Why this book?
The Secrets They Kept is a story that simply had to be told. Although years passed between the first time Ms. Handler learned about Sally, her long-deceased aunt, and the publication of this book, the question of how a father, any father, could take the life of his own child, has never been answered to her satisfaction. Because Sally’s story is also, in so many ways, her own, she was compelled to give voice to the mysterious girl who never really had the chance to live.
It is Ms. Handler’s hope that, after reading The Secrets They Kept, others will be inspired to look for, and hopefully acknowledge, those individuals who, through no fault of their own, have been abandoned by their families and erased from memory.
Click below to play a 30-second video of Suzanne talking about two questions to consider when reading her book The Secrets They Kept:
Excerpts from the book:
“Trapped in a nightmare of indecision, held captive in a life or death tug-of-war not of his own making, Sam had wrestled with doubt for days and nights without end. He knew the unspeakable act he was about to commit was wrong, but what other choice did he have?”
“The infamous Wyoming wind howled through the man-made canyons of the deserted cemetery on that late winter afternoon as I trudged up and down row after row of graves, straining to read the words inscribed on each snow-covered plaque. At last I stood before a small, unadorned headstone bearing the name of my long-forgotten relative.”
“At that moment, my worst suspicions were confirmed. There was a lot more to this story than I would probably ever know or comprehend. It was clear my mother and her siblings had forged an unwritten agreement to never tell their own children, including me, that there had been another sibling in the family, and that our much-admired grandfather had ended her young life under circumstances so bizarre as to completely baffle the mind.”