The Lies That Bind: A Novel

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9780688174934: The Lies That Bind: A Novel

Edward DeAngelo's debut novel The Lies That Bind is a gripping, resonant work, emotional and true, that weighs the complex question: What defines fatherhood-blood, legal obligation, or love? This exquisite novel about the complicated ties and ambiguities that irrevocably bind us to one another introduces an extraordinary new talent in contemporary fiction.

Business executive Peter Morrison and his ex-wife, Joan, an artist, were never right for each other-Pete dreamed of a comfortable family life in the suburbs while Joan envisioned a more bohemian existence. Nonetheless, when their marriage failed after eight years, Pete was devastated. He couldn't imagine not sharing his home and day-to-day life with his young son, Sam-knowing court-sanctioned visits would never be consolation for his loneliness and pain.

Five years later Pete-who's never remarried still lives for his visits with thirteen-year-old Sam. But over the years Pete has been plagued by nagging doubts about their connection, as they've never shared physical similiarities or common interests. Though his devotion to Sam is steadfast, Pete can't stop asking himself whether the boy he loves so much is really his. So, when an opportunity arises to take a paternity test, he seizes the opportunity-and discovers that his worst fears are true.

Overcome with feelings of anger and betrayal, Pete confronts Joan with the test result. She strikes back, cutting off his visitation rights *in order to keep Sam from finding out the truth. Suddenly Pete finds himself without a son-and without a father's legal right to get the boy back. Desperate for a solution and spurred on by an ambitious lawyer, Pete brings a lawsuit that breaks new legal ground 'in defining what a father is. Overnight the private war over Sam's custody becomes front-page news-and the very public trial forces Pete and Joan to face the truth about their marriage and the lies that bind them both to Sam. But before a judge decides, Pete and Sam must answer that same question themselves-and discover the truths that determine the meaning of family.

An honest and profound novel written with great skill and compassion, The Lies That Bind is a journey of the heart that no reader will soon forget.

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About the Author:

Edward DeAngelo is a graduate of Harvard Law School and Currently works in the Massachusetts attorney general's office. He lives in the Boston area with his wife and two sons.

From Publishers Weekly:

What does it mean to be a father? That's the question DeAngelo thoughtfully and exhaustively addresses in this serious-minded legal drama. Peter Morrison, a successful, middle-aged, self-made Boston computer company executive, has been divorced from his wife, Joan, for eight years when nagging suspicions about the paternity of their 13-year-old son, Sam, induce him to submit to a blood test. Pete has always been the perfect father, affectionate and generous, and even after he discovers that Sam is not, in fact, his son, he plans to continue to fill a fatherly role. But a confrontation with Joan makes it clear that nothing can ever be the same again. Cutting off child support after Joan denies his visitation rights and issues a restraining order, Pete lies by omission, conveniently forgetting to tell his lawyer about the blood test, which, of course, is soon revealed, upsetting everyone involved, especially Sam, who begins cutting school and shoplifting. When Pete decides to sue Joan, trial in family court is an acrimonious, explosive affair. First-timer DeAngelo, a family lawyer out of the Massachusetts attorney general's office, creates believable characters; Sam's conversations with his father are authentically pitched and moving. Yet the novel belabors its themes, weighting endless talk over scene setting. Still, DeAngelo delves intelligently into legal and emotional issues. (Jan.) Forecast: The publisher likens this novel to Kramer vs. Kramer. The comparison is apt, and film rights have already been optioned by Sony-Tristar. Given the current interest in DNA technology and the perennial issue of child-custody in a divorce-prone society, this book may enjoy substantial sales, boosted by author appearances in Boston, New York and Philadelphia. BOMC alternate; audio rights to Brilliance.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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