Secrets and Lies: Surviving the Truths That Change Our Lives by Jane Isay

Jane Isay takes us behind the backdrop into the effects of lies told and truth revealed in Secrets and Lies: Surviving the Truths That Change Our Lives. As I read this book, I nodded in recognition at times, I squirmed in discomfort at others, and I blinked back tears as I empathized with the people whose stories she shared. Isay concentrates on what we might think of as "big" lies, but her words made me think about the million little lies we tell every day to keep peace. As she examines the pain inflicted by both secrets kept and truth reveals, Isay pushes us to examine the lives we lead and the connections in our lives. Does the secret we keep help or hurt? Does the truth we seek to reveal help or hurt? Do we seek to keep secrets or reveal truths to assuage our guilt or to free someone else? We all have to examine our motives, and Secrets and Lies acknowledges that every situation is unique and yet eerily similar regardless of the secret being kept or the truth being revealed. Isay takes us into the journeys of several people whose lives were irrevocably changed by secrets kept and by truths revealed. Those stories left me discombobulated as I realized how often our reactions to secrets and lies revealed lacks compassion and leaves everyone involved hurting and alone. I like to to think I lean toward compassion more than toward judgment, but Isay made me wonder if what I think is compassion could be perceived as judgment. Secrets and Lies provokes thought, promotes compassion, and provides insight into why people keep secrets, why people reveal secrets and why people pretend they don't know the secrets right in front of them as Isay examines the impact of secrets and the revelation of truth.


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