“Could she just accept her child? Or should she, must she, remain on guard, forever nudging and nagging her daughter toward safety?” page 336, Family Secrets
My darling son and daughter became teenagers, and suddenly they were full of secrets. Gone were the children I could cuddle and tickle. In their place were two strangers who thought Charley and I were insignificant and irritating.
At the same time, my darling widowed mother got married again. She was seventy, she’d been widowed for five years, but my sister and I went bananas. Oh, we pretended to be thrilled for mother, but we were insulted for our father’s sake, and amazed at how our mother changed, wearing make-up, flying to London for her honeymoon, dining at the Savoy. Now, really.
My father had brought back a cigarette case when he returned from WWII. It was silver, with the enclave where his battalion had been based made from the brass from the bullet taken from his leg.
I had romantic visions of my father and mother as young adults. (When I was a teenager, my parents seemed insignificant and irritating.) From all of this change and all of the memories, I conjured up the women in Family Secrets: Diane, caught between her wayward mother Jean and her endangered daughter Julia.
I’ve always loved the cover of the book, the way the artist caught the revealing light coming through the window, and the Persian rug with its many intricacies and connections, like those in a family. I like the cover of the ereader, too, with those two keys for opening the doors into the secrets kept in families. I wish I’d had keys back then. . .or maybe it’s best that I didn’t!