The Tell by Hester Kaplan
A Novel (P.S.)

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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.


About Hester Kaplan

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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.
Published January 8, 2013 by Harper Perennial. 352 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Tell

Kirkus Reviews

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As Anya circumspectly approaches Wilton, discord between Mira and Owen escalates until, too abruptly, Owen is contemplating violent solutions to his soured relationships.

Sep 27 2012 | Read Full Review of The Tell: A Novel (P.S.)

Publishers Weekly

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Mira and Owen’s marriage begins to stutter as they struggle with money problems when Wilton Deere, a washed-up television star, moves in next door and begins to charm the couple with stories of his estranged daughter and his dramatic past.

Oct 08 2012 | Read Full Review of The Tell: A Novel (P.S.)

Star Tribune

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Kaplan's characters are impeccably crafted and the language is heightened enough to distinguish it from the everyday.

Jan 19 2013 | Read Full Review of The Tell: A Novel (P.S.)

Fiction Writers Review

Although the novel’s structure doesn’t push realist boundaries, its first half potentially contributes to a conversation about realism and the novel, and how characters might, in an almost self-aware way, see themselves as “novelistic”: Wilton, couched in the world of television, searches for epi...

Jan 24 2013 | Read Full Review of The Tell: A Novel (P.S.)

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