Iris Surrey seems to have a perfectly normal childhood. She lives with her mother in a rambling wooden house, in a small college town not far from Chicago. But something isn't quite right in her perfect, bell-jar world. There may be something wrong with her mother. Or with her. Or with her mother and her. Small disturbances lead Iris to suspect a deeper peculiarity in the very fabric of her life. Something not quite...natural. Or authentic. But what does that mean? You are what you think you are, aren't you? Who is to judge the nature of your nature, your character, your reality, except you, the subject yourself? Unless you aren't real enough to know in the first place. |
In this gripping debut novel, writer Eva Hoffman uses the near future to reflect on the fast-moving present and to explore various kinds of secrets: intimate secrets and family secrets, the kinds of secrets that can be decoded from clues, and the kind that only lead to more tantalizing questions about the nature of consciousness and self-knowledge. This is a philosophical fable about an uncannily powerful mother-daughter bond and a young woman's quest for identity. The Secret explores ancient conundrums of selfhood and the profound challenges posed by contemporary science to our most cherished notions of individuality.