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“Written with tremendous narrative velocity, The Safety of Secrets is almost impossible to put down. DeLauné Michel has crafted a story that manages to be several things at once: a hilarious inside look at the fascinating fringes of Hollywood, a nuanced portrait of a friendship and its secrets, and a moving testament to the powerful effects of a destructive mother.”
—Dani Shapiro, award-winning, best-selling author of “Devotion”
“Funny and touching, this is a tale of childhood—and how it never ends”
—Cathleen Schine, New York Times best-selling writer “The New Yorkers”
“DeLauné Michel’s debut novel, Aftermath of Dreaming was remarkably assured and compelling. At once funny, moving, and richly evocative of contemporary Los Angeles, The Safety of Secrets more than confirms its promise.”
—Peter Biskind, best-selling author “Easy Riders, Raging Bulls: How the Sex-Drugs-and-Rock ‘N’ Roll Generation Saved Hollywood”
“The Safety of Secrets is a beautifully written book that takes you into the mind of a woman attempting the impossible; trying to make marriage, motherhood, friendship and a career as an actress all work in the gladiatorial ring of present day Los Angeles. DeLauné Michel writes with the precision and insight of an x-ray.”
—Merrill Markoe, New York Times best-selling writer “Calm, Cool, & Contentious”
“Michel is deeply attuned to the subtleties in women’s friendships, the little nuances that indicate a slight or an attempt at making up for one, and she pays tribute to them with this layered, fluid novel.”
Michel looks at women’s lives straight on, with an eye for rivalries and love that accompany both friendship and motherhood. Are our secrets ever safe? How do we move on from the unhappy experiences of the past? How do we forgive our mothers, our friends, ourselves? How do we balance the demands of career and motherhood and marriage? These are the questions — ready-made for book club discussions — that DeLauné Michel asks in “The Safety of Secrets,” with sharp wit and painful honesty.
–Susan Larson, The New Orleans Times-Picayune
“The Safety of Secrets is a funny, keenly observed, deeply moving story of coming of age too soon. DeLauné Michel’s elegantly structured novel jumps back and forth between an imperfect childhood in Louisiana, and a complicated adulthood in Los Angeles. The novel shifts effortlessly from parental betrayal, to celebrity friendship; from long buried secrets to the peculiar stress of L.A. life near the fast lane. She captures both worlds with perfect pitch.”
—Warren Leight, Tony award-winning playwright “Side Man”
Readers will be drawn into this story of contemporary L A life infused with remembrances of childhood friendships and coming of age in the South. Michel’s characters are well developed, and she weaves a compelling plot. Highly recommended for all public libraries.
“DeLauné Michel has written a terrifically funny book with a very tender heart. It manages to be wonderfully confessional and psychologically mysterious. The Safety of Secrets is the perfect curl-up-on-the-couch-and-read-all-day-long kind of book. It stays with you.”
—Jill A. Davis, New York Times best-selling writer “Ask Again Later”
The Safety of Secrets explores many themes. The first and main theme is that of lifelong friendship. Fiona and Patricia both come from abusive mothers, which helps them bond. The chapters that go back during that time period are heartbreaking. The abuse that Fiona goes through from her mother one summer was especially moving. I could also relate with Fiona’s present day anxiety of being pregnant after experiencing a miscarriage. The Lamaze class Fiona and her husband go to was a laugh out loud chapter. I found it highly interesting to learn about the Los Angeles acting culture and could picture the city from Delauné’s vivid descriptions. The heart of the story, though, was about forgiveness and mothers. Since most of us can relate to both, I highly suggest you put this lovely book on your reading list.
In “The Safety of Secrets”, DeLauné Michel deftly explores the bonds of both friendship and love as two childhood friends’ professional and personal lives take different directions, as well as the effects of the secrets we choose to keep. Of all the books I have read this year, this one manages to give true insight into what friendship really is.
David Gutowski, www.Largeheartedboy.com