- Hardcover: 208 pages
- Publisher: Doubleday; 1St Edition edition (January 7, 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0385534140
- ISBN-13: 978-0385534147
- Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.9 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 46 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,289,502 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Secrets and Lies: Surviving the Truths That Change Our Lives Hardcover – January 7, 2014
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Praise for Secrets and Lies
“This masterful and psychologically sophisticated book takes us into the heart of darkness, family secrets, and shows that they can and must be faced. Isay's ideas are fresh, provocative and ultimately deeply healing. Her stories glitter with authenticity.”
—Mary Pipher, author of The Green Boat and Reviving Ophelia
“Who better to guide us through the anatomy of betrayal and its aftershocks than Isay, who has lived both sides of a public, family-shattering secret? Isay introduces us to a dazzling array of characters whose lives were fractured by painful revelations. Most important, she offers tough love advice about how to make sense of the unthinkable and move on. Anyone who has ever been harmed by a secret will find solace in Isay's compassionate, laser-sharp storytelling.”
—Rachel Simmons, author of Odd Girl Out
“The truths that Jane Isay illustrates with compassion and delicacy about family relationships, ring true for communities and institutions as well: everyone involved is hurt by deceiving oneself and others, but truth can lead to healing.”
—Mary Catherine Bateson, author of Composing a Further Life: The Age of Active Wisdom
“A wise, brave, and gripping book about the stories families hide from one another, Secrets and Lies instructs us in the many important ways that even painful truths can set us free.”
—Judith Viorst, author of Necessary Losses
“Jane Isay starts by baring some secrets of her own—which is only fair, since this wonderful book abounds with stories of other people's secrets that are closely-guarded and, when revealed, deeply unsettling. She explores the full range of secrets people keep—using tricks ranging from well-intended white lies to self-serving and even vicious deceptions—and the full range of reactions when you find out you've been lied to for years. ‘You don't know what you don't see until you are forced to see it,’ Isay writes. A fascinating book.”
—Robin Marantz Henig, Contributing Writer, The New York Times Magazine
“Jane Isay has once again brought her unflinching honesty, searing insight and open heart to corners of family dynamics that most of us avoid. In Secrets and Lies Isay examines the tangled webs we weave and the pain they inflict on innocents who become ensnared. With wisdom and warmth, she reassures us that facing the truth is possible, and that the time to do it is now.”
—Dr. Ira Byock, physician and author of Dying Well, The Four Things That Matter Most, and The Best Care Possible
“As a family therapist for over three decades I recognize close-to-the-bone truth when I see it. So, if you or someone you know needs to be encouraged to take that bravest of steps toward the truth, get this page-turning book. Jane Isay is a gifted story teller with the soul of a poet and the wisdom of a master teacher. Secrets and Lies is not only about betrayal, it is about courage, the kind all of us need to negotiate the hidden currents and sudden riptides of life.”
—Dr. Ron Taffel, author of Childhood Unbound
"Whether we are Finders or Keepers of secrets (or both), Jane Isay vividly shows how secrets and lies render the very fabric of our lives shot through with a corrupting thread of untruth. To move ahead, she argues, we must unravel these tangled threads and rework the tapestry of our inner worlds and intimate relationships that dishonesty and dissembling has distorted. Using her own riveting personal story of her husband's coming out as gay and their mutual decision not to tell the children as a jumping-off point, Isay also engagingly captures secrets and lies in the lives of others through in-depth interviews. Finding and keeping our own truths, Isay argues, leads to the honesty and authenticity that makes us whole and connects us to others."
—Susan C. Vaughan, M.D., author of The Talking Cure
About the Author
JANE ISAY is the author of Walking on Eggshells, about parents and their adult children, and Mom Still Likes You Best, about adult siblings. Formerly a book editor and publisher, she lives in New York City.
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Top customer reviews
The power dynamics deep within the relationships of those who hold huge secrets and those who discover them provide the reader with a clearer understanding of why people choose to keep secrets and insight into how the ways that these secrets are eventually revealed change peoples' lives in countless ways forever.
The "Secret Keeper" uses an enormous amount of energy to hide/cover the truth, in making things appear to be normal. There is also worry of discovery, fears of change, retribution, and judgment. The "Secret Finder" can be outraged or feel a sense of hopelessness when their trust is betrayed. In forms of deception people are diminished. Cognitive Dissonance occurs when reality doesn't match actions, as individuals shield themselves from emotional distress. Silence in secrets is a "powerful tool", meant to provide a sense of normalcy, is threatened by questioning, keeping people from resolving painful problems, differences, truths, etc. In openness, (usually from disclosure), warmth and understanding can follow, leading to genuine intimacy and trust.
Of the people's lives/secrets Isay profiled, these pages of material seemed abstract, and would have been better briefly summarized. By limiting her own unique fascinating story told in the first and last chapters, and not offering more details of her life experience, Isay missed the chance to truly connect with her readers and write a great book.
In the U.S. there is an estimated 4 million marriages/relationships where a person is straight, their spouse/partner is gay. Even in the best of circumstances these relationships are difficult to understand and accept. Amazingly, Isay got a second chance at romance with her beloved former fiancé Jonathan. The joy and happiness she must have experienced with him after having a gay husband all those years must have been exquisite. Isay is a founding Board Member of The New Press, and lives in NYC.
* Reference: Gay Husbands/Straight Wives ~ Bonnie Kaye M.ED. ~