The Tell

Those close to us will often, over time, learn to recognize our "tells," physical signals of our state of mind--signals we may always not be conscious we're sending. Deciphering those signals is much harder than learning to spot them, though, and without clear and direct communication, they're subject to misinterpretation. Hester Kaplan's The Tell explores a husband's efforts to unravel his wife's unconscious messages.

Providence, R.I., seems an odd place to find a retired sitcom actor, but Wilton Deere has moved there in an attempt to reconnect with his long-estranged daughter, Anya. Mira Thrasher, surprised to find that the man she watches on TV during her late-night bouts of insomnia is living next door, invites him to dinner. As Wilton becomes a bigger part of their lives, enlisting Mira and her husband, Owen, into his efforts to win over Anya, Owen becomes increasingly unsettled by Mira and Wilton's developing relationship. When he finds that Mira has been disappearing from the struggling art school she runs to spend hours at a nearby casino with Wilton, Owen fears she's developing a gambling problem. If she is, it's not the couple's only problem.

The Tell is provocative, beautifully written and offers great discussion potential. In exploring the choices we make in our closest relationships, including the things we can't tell each other, Kaplan (The Edge of Marriage) draws an unsettlingly intimate portrait of a marriage in crisis. --Florinda Pendley Vasquez, blogger at The 3 R's Blog: Reading, 'Riting, and Randomness

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