The Language of Secrets Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Language of Secrets

The novel begins with Justin Fisher, a young father, searching to find out what happened in his past. He was a young boy when he found himself uprooted and living with people he didn't know. So, when he was older and the curiosity could no longer contain him, he went on a search, looking for his parents and sisters. Somehow he found the familiar house, but the people in it were no one he knew. His journey then led him to a nursing home where his father had been, but then he discovered that his father died and was buried in a nearby cemetery. So, Justin goes there and sees his father's marker, as well as his mother's marker. He is sad, but then when he continues looking he discovers another marker, one that bears his name, which is a shocking discovery. And so begins his journey to find out why he had been claimed dead while bits and pieces of memory come back to him over time.
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The reader is then given the boy's history by getting to know his mother and finding out the decisions she'd made that eventually led to giving up her son, who also had two sisters. Justin eventually finds out that he is the byproduct of an affair his mother had with a friend of his father's. His father cannot accept this child and, instead of divorcing the mother, the father finds a way to get rid of the child so that the family can go on without the constant reminder.

Oddly, the mother doesn't question why the father returned with supposed ashes of the child from a fishing trip gone bad and never asked for verification of the little boy's death. This led me to no longer have faith in the author.

The conclusion was not satisfying at all. The author had the characters use dialogue to tell a story, as opposed to show what happened, which is a lazy way to bring a story to life.

Best part of story, including ending: I hated the story since it felt like it was being manipulated by the author.

Best scene in story: The very beginning was interesting, especially when the man discovers he'd been claimed dead.

Opinion about the main character: Actually, Justin Fisher was the one redeeming quality about this book since it made sense being a new father that he wanted to offer his own son a history.

The review of this Book prepared by Carol Hoenig a Level 3 Eurasian Jay scholar

Chapter Analysis of The Language of Secrets

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Plot & Themes

Tone of book?    -   depressed Time/era of story    -   1980's-1999 Internal struggle/realization?    -   Yes Struggle over    -   search for family/history Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Nationality    -   White (American)


How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   3 () United States    -   Yes Small town?    -   Yes

Writing Style

Amount of dialog    -   significantly more dialog than descript

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Dianne Dixon Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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