Secret Language: A Novel (New American Fiction) Hardcover – Import, 1 January 1993
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- Publisher : Faber & Faber (1 January 1993)
- Language : English
- ISBN-10 : 057112948X
- ISBN-13 : 978-0571129485
- Item Weight : 431 g
- Dimensions : 15.24 x 3.18 x 21.59 cm
- Country of Origin : USA
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from other countries
It's a sad story, of two sisters who come from a sad family, who grow up unable to really get past the barriers of communication, and yet come to realize they have their own form of communication. About halfway through, I wasn't sure I liked the story, it was so sad, and yet I felt compelled to keep reading - and I think the reason is this: I grew up in a family more like Faith's husband - loud, noisy, giving (although we have our snappish moments too!) - and I felt frustrated for Connie and Faith, that they couldn't become more like the Spauldings. But that was never the plan. What the book did, instead, was give me insight to a different kind of family, one for whom intimate moments were rare, but all the more meaningful for that. This is one of the things I love about reading - it can make me understand someone who I'd probably never understand otherwise, for the simple fact that this kind of person would never be able to open up to me.
One scene in particular really got to me. Faith has to assist her sister Connie, in intimate physical ways, after Connie is injured in an accident. My mother-in-law, age 100, does not speak English, and I've always been stymied in trying to communicate with her (her sons are not very helpful, they don't like to translate when the conversation gets personal or emotional). I had to bathe her once after after she had an 'accident'. I'm sure she was humiliated, but I had had to do things like this for MY mother, and we got through it - and strangely enough, that act actually, finally, after I'd been married to her son for 37 years, brought the two of us an emotional closeness we had never achieved before, without a single word of common language. Monica Wood put something like that into a story, so readers could comprehend even if they had never experienced anything like it in their own lives. And that's the kind of thing that makes this novel rich and makes it worth the read. You come to ache for these characters, but you can also get a new understanding of people in your own life.