Emily Liebert is the author of Those Secrets We Keep, a novel of the unraveling of friendships, relationships, and assumptions between three women, and will be blogging here all week as a Visiting Scribe on The ProsenPeople.
As someone who grew up in New York City in a Jewish Family and went to a predominately Jewish Elementary and High School, all I did was communicate. No stone was left unturned when it came to disclosing my feelings. Or expressing when someone had done something to upset me. Or even talking just to hear myself talk.
When I first introduced my husband to our chatty clan over dinner at a neighborhood restaurant packed with equally boisterous patrons, he’d come away feeling appropriately confused. “I couldn’t follow any of the conversations, much less get a word in edgewise!” He declared, practically breathless. He was right. “You all speak over each other and finish each other’s sentences.” Right again.
The benefit of having someone from the “outside” bring this to my attention is that I probably never realized how fortunate I was to be part of a family that laid everything out on the table. And, while it may sound like we don’t actually listen to each other, we do. We just have a way of anticipating what the other one is going to say before he or she has the opportunity to say it.
This is probably why my parents have been married for 40 years. And why my husband and I just celebrated our tenth anniversary (clearly he’s adapted!).
This is also probably why I’m intrigued by secrets and the damaging effect they can have on relationships.
When I wrote my first book, a nonfiction entitled Facebook Fairytales, I learned a lot about the things that people dare not conceal and the things they choose to post for the world to see via social media. I mean, how many people’s lives do you think truly reflect their Facebook timeline? How many people have three perfectly tidy children, a perfectly tidy home, and a perfectly tidy existence? No one I know.
After that, I turned to fiction so I could explore through my characters the idea that most people have hidden parts of them they don’t disclose. And what the ramifications of that are.
My first novel, You Knew Me When, reunited two girlfriends who’d had a falling out and didn’t speak for 14 years. Neither of them was happy in life.
In When We Fall, my second novel, I introduced a couple who was once madly in love and, because of lack of communication, were on the verge of a divorce.
And, finally, in Those Secrets We Keep, I threw three strong women who were all harboring life-changing secrets in a house together for three weeks. Let’s just say things combusted in a major way!
Perhaps I’m living vicariously through my characters. Perhaps I need a deep dark secret of my own. Or, perhaps I’ll just keep on sharing. Yadda, yadda, yadda…
Emily Liebert is the bestselling author of You Knew Me When, When We Fall, Facebook Fairytales, and Those Secrets We Keep.
Emily Liebert is the author of five novels and has been featured in publications such as Wall Street Journal, People, HuffPost, and more. Born and raised in NYC Emily lives with her husband and two sons in Connecticut. In addition to writing novels, Emily pens a travel and books column in Westport Magazine, teaches Pure Barre classes and enjoys traveling and cooking.