Connie has trouble with time. She always has to stop and think a minute: How old is she now? . . . Faith always seems to know, though her life is the same as Connie’s: back and forth to theater towns all over. The same dingy food, the same noisy sidewalks, the same cramped suites in the same hotels. . . Sometimes they go to school, sometimes not, though they always have books to read: big packets of books that Armand sends to them in every city. Armand is their parents’ lawyer, the only person they know who likes children. . . .
Faith and Connie endured the same childhood as daughters of egocentric, semi-famous actors who can scarcely take care of themselves. But the two sisters could not be more different. Connie learned to beg for attention, clamor for approval, and fill the silence with words. Faith turned inward, shrinking from the tender emotions that make up an ordinary life. Despite their differences, the sisters came to rely on each other exclusively. But lately, after years of quiet connection, Faith and Connie seem to have lost the ties that once held them close. Faith has a home and two growing sons, but is still unable to fathom unconditional love. Connie, a flight attendant, is always searching, ever-expecting to find her true place in life at the end of each long flight. But a series of shocking, revelatory events will bring the sisters back to each other—and forever alter how they define love, fulfillment, and most importantly, family.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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|Title of eBook: Secret Language|
|Release Date: 12-10-2008|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Ballantine Books|
This eBook download is available in the following formats:
|Parent title||Secret Language|
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Chapter OneFor the longest time, Connie thinks the house in Connecticut is two houses. The one they used to live in with Grammy Spaulding had a pretty yard with giant white flowers growing next to the door, and window boxes with smaller flowers, pink, spilling over the lip. It had a shiny wooden floor in the upstairs bedroom where she and Faith used to skate in their socks. It had places to hide: big closets that smelled like cotton, and an open shape behind the stairs, not the cramped, creepy places of the house they're in now. Connie hasn't seen that other house since Grammy went away, and she longs for it, the snow filling in the windowsills, Grammy's crooked finger tracing their names on the cold pane.
"What happened to that other house?" she asks Faith.
Connie is three. Faith is big; she's five.
"What house?" Faith says. She is sitting on the dull floor, her legs splayed in front of her, reading a book with butterflies on the cover.
"That house where it snowed and had pink flowers."
"We didn't have a house like that. Flowers don't grow in snow."
"Oh," Connie says. She waits a minute. "Where's Grammy?"
Faith looks at her book, hard. "In heaven," she says. "I told you."
Connie knows Faith won't talk to her anymore now that she has mentioned Grammy.
"Grammy took care of us when I was one," Connie says, but Faith won't answer. "I was one years old."
The house is silent and too small. The other house was big.
"Fix my pants," she asks Faith.
Faith puts down her book with the butterflies. Connie trails her to the bathroom, yanking her rubber pants and wet panties down to her...