Just as Jodi Picoult tackles controversial contemporary issues in her compelling domestic dramas, in Web of Angels bestselling novelist Lilian Nattel explores the vivid reality of what used to be called multiple personality disorder. A Vintage Canada trade paperback original.
On the surface of things, Sharon Lewis is a lot like any other happily married mother of 3: she is the beating heart of a house full of kids, cooking and chaos, the one who always knows the after-school practice schedule, where her husband put the car keys and who needs a little extra TLC. Her kids and husband think she's a little spooky, actually, the way she can anticipate the tensions of any situation--and maybe they love her all the more for the extra care she gives them.
Life is definitely good until the morning Heather Edwards, a pregnant teenaged friend of the family, kills herself. The reverberations of that act, and the ugly secrets that sparked it, prove deeply unsettling to the whole family, and stir up Sharon's own troubling secret: she has DID, or dissociative identity disorder. And the multiples inside the woman the world knows as Sharon seem to know what happened to Heather, and what may be happening to Heather's surviving sister. Will Sharon's need to protect the innocent cause her to finally come clean about her true nature with her family and friends, and not just in the anonymous chat rooms on the web where she's connected to others like herself? Will a woman with DID be able to persuade her quiet and respectable community that evil things can happen even in the nicest homes?
"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.
LILIAN NATTEL was born in Montreal and now lives in Toronto with her husband and 2 daughters. She is the author of The River Midnight and The Singing Fire.Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
On a narrow street in the grey of dawn, in a row house with stained glass, a sixteen-year-old girl lay motionless. Her hair was blonde, short, gelled in spikes, her legs unshaven, her pink nightgown straining over a nine-month belly. Her sister leaned against her, whispering her name, while far away in a watery world, the baby opened her eyes. She tried to turn the other way, her heart beating quicker as she searched for the sound of her mother’s heart. She kicked hard, but she was wedged downward, stuck. All she could do was wait, watching shadows darkly drifting. Watching light shine crimson through a membrane. And while she waited, the sun rose through a veil of sleet, rainwater licked the gutters in front of her house, alarm clocks rang up and down the nearby streets.
The house was in Seaton Grove, a city neighbourhood south of the railroad tracks, a refuge for academics and artists with kids. They’d given up protests and all-night cafés and wearing black to renovate tall, gaunt houses with peculiar wiring and gasping plumbing. They sank into Seaton Grove, they nestled into it, a village annexed in 1888 by the growing city on the shore of Lake Ontario, a bubble of the golden age where cultures and races mixed and met, married and celebrated every tradition. As their houses rose in value and people who were better off bought into the neighbourhood, they felt confirmed in all their virtues. This was not the suburbs where trees were spindly and neighbours too far from each other to hear what went on behind closed doors. Here the streets were lined with old silver maples, lindens, cherry and mulberry. And though the trees were bare, sap was rising with a promise of shade and fruit for anyone who happened to look up.
A block and a half from the railway tracks, in a house on Ontario Street, Sharon Lewis was lying in bed that Friday morning, listening to her husband, Dan, sing in the shower. Their bedroom was under the slanting roof, facing east, and as clouds broke up, the sun touched the curtains and the wall hanging and the cushions kicked onto the floor, colour springing back from the neutrality of night, gold and russet, earth colours in the velvety fabrics Sharon loved to touch. She sewed, she baked, both of which she enjoyed, and she kept the accounts for Dan’s company, which she did not. There were three children asleep on the second floor, a teenage son in his room at the back and little sisters in the front bedroom, a seven-year-old in the top bunk and a five-year-old in the bottom. There would have been more children if Dan hadn’t said enough is enough.
He showered for exactly fifteen minutes, and at 7:15, when the second alarm rang, he turned the water off, dried himself and walked into the bedroom. He bent to kiss Sharon, whose eyes were still closed. He made her beautiful with his kiss, even though she believed she was too skinny, too fl at, too red-haired, too freckled, and now, at forty, too old to have another baby without the assistance of modern medicine.
He’d just turned forty-two, his birthday on Groundhog Day. His father was Jewish, his mother Chinese, joining the planet’s least and most populous peoples who, in a symbiotic miracle, share the same taste in food. In Dan they’d produced a man of average height with brown hair, black eyes, a smooth chest and a mole on his shoulder, which Sharon regularly checked for changes. His teeth were perfect due to his own diligence, wearing out a toothbrush a month. He owned a company that ran fundraising campaigns for causes that were both good and respectable.
“Did you call the plasterer?” he asked, getting cotton briefs and wool socks from the dresser.
“How could you forget?” From the wardrobe he extracted a freshly pressed shirt, polished shoes, a good suit and a hideous tie, which was a birthday present from the girls. They’d picked it out and paid for it on their own, making Sharon wait near the entrance of the dollar store. “It’s on the list,” he said as if she ought to notice a list on the fridge just because she knew exactly where everything was in the dining room, where she kept a mess of cloth and yarn in various stages of completion. A finished sweater was in a bag on the table. The quilting squares were on the third shelf of the cabinet. On the bottom shelf, in the back, was her money jar, with cash and cheques that she was always forgetting to deposit because her head was filled with too many thoughts, too many opinions, too many silent arguments.
“Daddy, you’re wearing the tie!” Nina shouted as she ran into the bedroom, jumping on the bed, Emmie right behind her.
“Of course,” he said. “It’s my birthday tie.”
Her older daughter and her son both looked like Dan, and Sharon was glad of that. Only Emmie took after her, with curly red hair, green eyes, and chipmunk cheeks, pinchable cheeks that she would probably outgrow as Sharon had. She closed her eyes. Maybe she could sleep for another five minutes while they jumped on the bed. She’d been up late again, chatting online; morning always seemed so far away at midnight.
“Mom! I can’t find my calculator,” Josh shouted up the stairs. Sharon kept her eyes closed.
“You’d better get up,” Dan said.
“You look,” Sharon said.
“I’d just be wasting time. You’re the finder in the family.”
He glanced at the mirror on the dressing table, giving his tie a twitch to straighten it.
They’d celebrated Dan’s birthday at the rink in Christie Pits, yesterday. She was someone else skating, lithe and free and not shy at all. That was how she’d met Dan, by skating backward right into him, laughing as they both fell. They always celebrated Dan’s birthday by going skating with their children and his sister and her family, who lived around the corner. Yesterday Josh’s girlfriend, Cathy, had come, too, and afterward they’d all had cocoa at Magee’s. Cathy was his first girlfriend, and Sharon was glad she was a nice girl—her mother a doctor and her father a professor. The family lived near the public school.
A thaw hinted at spring, mud under the sprinkling of snow. They’d gone home along Seaton Street, stopping to look at the funny house painted candy colours, the yard a display of plastic frogs and superheroes arranged around the fountain of the naked boy, turned off for the winter. A knife grinder had come along in his truck, his bell ringing, and stopped when the owner of the house flagged him down. Josh and Cathy had walked ahead of them, two gangly kids with skates slung over narrow shoulders, ignoring his sisters who’d followed making kissy noises. Cathy had a white jacket. How she kept it white was a mystery. She had straight blonde hair, too, and a perfectly straight part. Perhaps people with that kind of hair simply repel stains.
“All right.” Sharon opened her eyes and sat up. “You can stop shouting, Josh!”
"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.
Book Description Knopf Canada, 2012. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110307402096
Book Description Knopf Canada, 2012. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Brand New!. Bookseller Inventory # VIB0307402096
Book Description Knopf Canada, 2012. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0307402096
Book Description Knopf Canada, 2012. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0307402096