The Language of Secrets

Buy the Book:
Barnes & Noble
Powell's Books
Vroman's Bookstore

Published by: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Release Date: May 3, 2011
Pages: 272
ISBN13: 978-0767932233



Justin Fisher appears to have the perfect life—a beautiful wife, a baby son, a glamorous job as a luxury hotel manager, and the lavish spoils of his prosperous in-laws. But beneath this charmed existence, lies a dark secret: Justin’s past is a puzzle with missing pieces. His search for the truth begins with his attempt to reconnect with his parents: a visit to 822 Lima Street—the house where he was born—a place made unforgettable by a haunting song his mother sang to him when he was a child.

Justin is shocked to discover his mother and father are dead. But the real jolt comes when he visits their gravesite. There, he finds a weathered headstone bearing his name; and an inscription that says he died before his third birthday. And so begins Dixon’s intriguing tale spanning almost four decades and thousands of miles—from the lush shores of California to the coastal hamlets of Connecticut.

At the heart of the story is the woman Justin remembers as his mother: Caroline Fisher. In college, as the result of a bicycle accident, Caroline forges friendships with three, very different men—one becomes her husband, one a secret flame, and one her closest confidant. Years later, on Halloween, the lives of this foursome collide again. The collision occurs when they are balancing jobs and families; and leads to shocking betrayals, heartbreaking loss, shattered memories—and unexpected deaths.

The drama of the story has its roots in a startling and emotionally wrenching family tragedy. Caroline, who spends most of her adult life trying to obscure the details of that tragedy, finds herself lost in her own lies; realizing, with bewilderment and regret, “that she had unwittingly written her life into a language of secrets, into an indecipherable code riddled with questions.” In chapters that alternate between the past and present, Dixon reveals the damage family members can inflict upon one another in the name of love, and explores the devastating ways in which that damage echoes from one generation to the next.

Add on Goodreads


“A lovely, compelling debut novel. Aptly titled, The Language of Secrets explores the ramifications of loss, the aftermath of tragedy, and the sometimes terrible cost a child can pay for a parent’s guilt.”
—Kristin Hannah, New York Times Bestselling Author

The Language of Secrets is a psychological mystery with emotional underpinnings that will have you puzzled and intrigued right up to the moment Dixon’s sleight of hand is revealed.”
—Sue Grafton, New York Times Bestselling Author


“Dianne Dixon writes a most intriguing story that will surely keep you flipping pages perhaps late into the night, while asking yourself if you’re really certain you and the people around you are really who you believe.”
Linda K. (Belvidere, IL) Reviewer rating: 5/5

“The very first chapter prepares the reader for a whale of a story, and Dianne Dixon fulfills that promise to the fullest. Her story has many facets, each of which is explored thoroughly; there are no loose ends, but many unexpected turns. At no point did the story lose momentum;’ I couldn’t put it down until I had read the final page!”
Jane A. (Lakeport, Ca) Reviewer rating: 5/5

“This is a novel that builds gradually as the layers peel away. On the surface, it starts when a man tries to connect with his parents who he has not seen since he left home. This journey results in a shocking series of revelations. The mysteries move the story along as the pieces fall into place. Poignant and beautifully paced.”
Mary Ellen B. (Hebron, CT) Reviewer rating: 5/5

“I loved this book, it has everything – love, drama horror, suspense. I would compare it to Jodi Picoult’s books. Sat down to take a look at it and read non stop till the end. Will look forward to more from this author.”
Rachel D. (Leominster, MA) Reviewer rating: 5/5

“I didn’t intend to sit down and read it immediately, but I read the first page…and kept on going! Enjoyable page-turner that should generate excellent book group discussions. Can’t wait to handsell it to my customers.”
Barbara C. Reviewer rating: 4/5

The Language of Secrets rates five stars…the author skillfully weaves an intricate plot with alternating chapters told by well-defined characters over a period of time…the intriguing results of decisions made by these all too human people accompanied by unexpected twists of fate provide much for book group discussion.”
Joanne G. (Kennesaw, GA) Reviewer rating: 5/5

“Quick read due to the intriguing plot and the beautiful writing. The interweaving plot is told through past and current narration, keeping the mystery of the secret alive throughout the book. Thought provoking themes on truth, who we are in relation to our past, the sanctity of marriage and the choice to enter into marriage. Look forward to other books by this new writer.”
Melissa H. (McKees Rocks, PA) Reviewer rating: 4/5

“I enjoyed this book. It grabs your attention from page one. The alternating pattern of flashback in the organization of the book added to the intrigue. Hope to see more books from this author.”
Melissa K. (Oviedo, Florida) Reviewer rating: 4/5

Read a PDF Excerpt