Family Secrets

  • Book: Telling Sonny
  • Location: Vermont
  • Author: Elizabeth Gauffreau

Review Author: author@tonimorganbooks



Every family has secrets, old feuds and disagreements, but not many have a past like Faby’s. Telling Sonny, by Elizabeth Gauffreau, is a novel of inter-generational memories and a past that embodies every little boy’s dream—running away to join the circus. Only in this case it was a carnival and a 19-year-old girl. The reader is quickly and easily drawn into the wonders of the old carnival world as Faby travels with Louis, who has taken her under his wing and into his bed, only to discard her several months later. The past comes to light after Faby, now the mother of a son about to marry, receives a phone call from her former sister-in-law, telling her that Louis has died in a single-car accident. Louis had promised to come to Sonny’s wedding, even though he’d spent a lifetime of ignoring his firstborn son. Faby considers his apparent suicide just another of Louis’ broken promises. How can she tell Sonny that his father’s family thought so little of him, they didn’t even bother to let him no his father had died, or that the funeral had already been held? This novel shines a light on a time that most of us would never even dream of…traveling with a carnival in the twenties and seeing first hand the underbelly of that world. Plus, the wonder in the eyes of beholding exotic exhibits for the first time. What will now-conventional Faby, who works for the telephone company and has dinner every Saturday with her sister, tell her son about her old life? Will she ever forgive Louis? And will Sonny finally see Louis beyond the charming exterior he’s occasionally beheld?

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