The Secret She Kept
Her novel Say Amen, Again won the NAACP Image Award, proving that ReShonda Tate Billingsley’s storytelling “scores a direct hit” (Publishers Weekly), delighting and inspiring with powerful, soul-searching situations and unforgettable characters.
How far will you go to save someone you love and trust when they’ve kept a dangerous secret for years? That’s the question facing Lance Kingston, a successful Houston magazine executive whose recent marriage to beautiful, high-powered attorney Tia Jiles seemed to promise a bright future for both of them. But under the surface, a fierce and frightening storm was brewing. That’s because Tia never revealed to Lance what she and her family have known since Tia was seventeen—she has an illness that takes over her mind, transforming her into a raging, violent woman hell-bent on destruction. Bipolar disorder. Schizophrenia. Or crazy, as Lance’s grandmother continually reminds him. “Crazy leaves clues,” she told him point-blank, and perhaps Lance should have listened. Tia’s mother tries to pray the problem away . . . and Tia’s doctors can’t help her if she won’t do what they advise. Now there’s more than their marriage and Tia’s survival at stake: Tia is pregnant, and Lance will stop at nothing to keep his troubled wife and unborn daughter safe. But at what price?
Author ReShonda Tate Billingsley Talks About Her Previous Occupation
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Reading Group Guide
Magazine editor Lance Kingston thinks he’s found the perfect woman in Tia Jiles—a beautiful and philanthropic lawyer on her way to making partner. After a whirlwind courtship, Lance ignores his family’s warnings and marries Tia—but after the wedding, her manic behavior clues Lance in to a serious secret she’s been hiding. With in-laws who do more harm than good and stubborn resistance from Tia, Lance urges his wife to seek medical attention. But ups-and-downs in her career, plus an unexpected pregnancy, make Tia even more unstable. As he navigates through her illness, Lance faces life-altering decisions as he tries to help his wife when she refuses to help herself.
Questions and Topics for Discussion
1. Lance’s grandmother admonishes, “Crazy leaves clues.” Before they were married, what clues did Lance ignore about Tia and her behavior?
2. Uncle Leo and Virginia disagree on whether Tia should be honest with Lance. Discuss how each person pulls Tia in a different direction. In y see more