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Book Review: The Language of Secrets by Dianne Dixon

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Justin Fisher stares at the two headstones in the graveyard of his mother and father, but then he notices a third stone etched with his name on it. According to the chiseled inscription he died in 1976, a short time past his third birthday. It was bad enough to discover that his father and mother had passed during his absence, but now staring at his own grave, panic ensues.

Justin is happily married with a young son. He never questioned the gaps in his past, never questioned the holes he could not fill in until recently. Perhaps it was because of his son Zack and his future that precipitated his need to know. He hasn’t seen his parents in years, or his sisters for that matter, and now it is too late. He sometimes recalls the song his mother Caroline sang to him, that offers some details, that he lived on Lima Street and he had two sisters. Very little else is clear, yet he remembers his mom smelled like sweet sugar and his father used to run.

When he visits Lima Street he learns there are new owners, and is given his father’s address, but later learns his visit is too late, his father died. Now, the shock of seeing his own grave and his inability to remember the past sets Justin on a collision course with secrets of discovery, a Pandora’s box with no chance of turning back.

Dianne Dixon's The Language of Secrets is one of those books that you just won’t need to bookmark. It calls you back, a challenge to break away. I was compelled to read on past each pause, each chapter, as I had to find out what happened next. Entranced, I lost all sense of time. The tragedy of Justin’s fate at the hands of a gutless, disillusioned father is emotionally draining to read as the author captures the toddlers sobbing with sensitivity and realism.

The Language of Secrets is a superb read because the story appears to be unbelievable, a mystery, quite possibly fantasy. Perhaps a dream. As the reader you play detective trying to put together the puzzle Dixon has placed on the table. What makes the novel so entertaining, is that the pieces won’t fit until the final page.

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