Owen and Mira's marriage is as stale as the dusty air in the house they have inherited from Mira's family. They are dull with memories of past losses and stumble through their days like ghosts until Wilton Deere, an aging, wealthy, ex-TV star moves in next door. Deere, longing to repair a severed connection with his daughter Anya, gradually inserts himself into Owen and Mira's lives, showering them with gifts and money, seducing them both. Deere eventually lures Mira into a sordid world of slot machines and addiction, which threatens their marriage. Lies, betrayal, secrets undulating beneath the surface of things, The Tell is a fascinating study of the intricacies of relationship - what is known, what we allow others to see. — Amy Palmer
An elegant and haunting novel of love and family, The Tell demands that we reconsider our notions of marriage—duty, compromise, betrayal, and the choice to stand by or leave the ones we love.
Mira and Owen's marriage is less stable than they know when Wilton Deere, an aging, no longer famous TV star moves in to the grand house next door. With plenty of money and plenty of time to kill, Wilton is charming but ruthless as he inserts himself into the couple's life in a quest for distraction, friendship—and most urgently—a connection with Anya, the daughter he abandoned years earlier. Facing stresses at home and work, Mira begins to accompany Wilton to a casino and is drawn to the slot machines. Escapism soon turns to full-on addiction and a growing tangle of lies and shame that threatens her fraying marriage and home. Betrayed and confused, Owen turns to the mysterious Anya, who is testing her own ability to trust her father after many years apart.
The Tell is a finely-wrought novel about risk: of dependence, of responsibility, of addiction, of trust, of violence. Told with equal parts suspense, sympathy, and psychological complexity, it shows us the intimate and shifting ways in which we reveal ourselves before we act, and what we assume but don’t know about those closest to us.
Hester Kaplan is the author of The Edge of Marriage, which won the Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction, and Kinship Theory, a novel. Her short stories have been included in The Best American Short Stories series. She teaches in Lesley University's MFA Program in Creative Writing and lives in Rhode Island.