The Price Of Silence
Soho, Jun 2008, $13.00
In Manhattan Emma Perotti teaches English as a second language. Five years ago, Chinese immigrant An-ling Huang signed up to attend Emma's ESL class. Emma felt the frightened young girl’s loneliness and overall defenselessness. Emma suffers from guilt from an incident involving the death of her other child as an infant. She has hidden her culpability from her husband Tom for years. she brings An-ling into her family.
Whereas An-ling thrives on her teacher’s motherly attention; Tom is irate and resents the intruder; An-ling perceives his loathing Emma while Tom’s teenage son Josh forges his own special relationship with her. However, when An-Ling is found suffocated to death, Emma is arrested. During her trial secrets the Perotti conceal from one another and that of the deceased Chinese woman surface.
This is an exciting family drama as guilty secrets lead to an implosion. The story line is fast paced from the moment Emma feels that helping the vulnerable An-ling will give her some solace from what she accidentally did years earlier to her little girl. Although the climax feels too easy, readers will appreciate this look at relationships when lies are key elements of the foundation.