From the acclaimed author of Speak Softly, She Can Hear, a literary page-turner about a proper New England family and the dark secrets that undo them.
Pony Carteret -- the lovely headstrong youngest member of the Carteret family -- has always been a strong swimmer. So when she is discovered drowned at the family's summer home on Lake Aral, Vermont, her red hair tangled in an anchor chain and her baby abandoned on shore, her family is stunned by disbelief.
As the police conduct their investigation, Jasper Carteret, the patriarch, calls an urgent family meeting. Had any of her siblings known that Pony would be at the house that day? Was she having personal problems, was she depressed? Had she ever revealed the true identity of her baby's father? Neither sister -- Tinker, the family caretaker, nor Mira, the moody, thoughtful one -- has any information, and ultimately the police rule the drowning an accident.
But William Carteret, Pony's older brother, can't accept the explanation that his favorite sister's death was an accident. Determined to uncover the truth, he eventually learns the disturbing fact that a stranger had been present at the house the evening Pony died. Who was this man, what was he doing at the house, and why hasn't he stepped forward? As William digs deeper, his investigations quickly lead him to a new and more daunting series of questions, not only about the mysteries in Pony's life but also about the shadowy details of his deceased mother's past and even his own. Before long, he has opened a Pandora's box of family secrets, including one dangerous fact his mother has kept hidden for a generation.
Pam Lewis's Perfect Family is a masterful, atmospheric tale about the ways in which family secrets, no matter how long they're buried, can wield their tremendous power.
Long-festering secrets erupt with devastating consequences to Connecticut's moneyed Carteret clan in Lewis's second novel (after Speak Softly, She Can Hear), a literate page-turner. When 24-year-old Pony, the family's daredevil golden girl, drowns while skinny-dipping at their Vermont lake house, her death leaves her year-old son, Andrew, an orphan\x97as well as a hornet's nest of troubling questions. Why had Pony begged big brother William to meet her in Vermont that day? Did someone else show up after they quarreled and William stormed off? Who is Andrew's father? And was Pony's death really an accident? Widowed patriarch Jasper Carteret III and bossy eldest daughter Tinker seem less interested in answers than damage control. But William, heartsick at whatever role his departure might have played in the tragedy, starts digging. Before long, some of his startling discoveries challenge his core beliefs about the people he thought he knew well. Lewis skillfully lures the reader through her narrative maze with plenty of plot twists\x97most of them credible until an over-the-top climax\x97without compromising a masterful portrait of a quirky New England family in crisis.