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.

Relat­ed Content:

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.