The Lies that Bind
About the Book
What is a father?
Are blood ties more important than emotional bonds? Everyone has different answers to these questions. Divorce, adoption, and in vitro fertilization create gray areas that challenge even the most widely accepted definitions of parenthood. The Lies That Bind examines how one family is forced to find answers -- and how the struggle nearly destroys the lives of a father, a mother, and their son. The action starts when Peter Morrison makes a decision to find out for sure whether Sam, the son he adores, is really "his." But the trouble started way before that. It started when Pete pressured his wife into adopting a lifestyle she didn't want. It started with Pete's disappointment that Sam wasn't as interested in sports as he was. It started when Pete became absorbed in a fast-moving career that guaranteed him wealth and prestige but also consumed his time and creativity. And it started with Joan's silent decision to endure all of this because Pete wasn't listening to her anyway.
Before the divorce and the blood test, Pete was living the kind of life he had always dreamed of. He had a successful career, a beautiful wife, a healthy child, and a comfortable house. But it turns out that these things weren't real, that his job was different than he imagined it would be, that his marriage was a sham, that his comfortable house wasn't really a home. His son wasn't even his son.
The realizations that Pete grapples with are more than the garden-variety mid-life crisis. But the feeling that events are spiraling out of control, the sensation of wondering "How did I get here?" are all too common in modern life. In an attempt to figure out how he got there, Pete begins to peel back the layers of his life, tracing the decisions he made, recalling events, large and small, that provide clues to how his life veered so radically off course. He begins to see Sam and Joan as individuals, not just as the people he wanted them to be. He embarks on a relationship based on honesty and the needs of someone other than himself. While reporters pound on his door and lawyers argue over his head, Pete takes the important first steps toward a new life. One that is different than the one he imagined, but one that has a chance at making him, and those around him, happy.
Is DNA more important than love? The Lies That Bind doesn't tell us. Instead, it tells the story of a man who, in an effort to answer the question, ends up with a new life. And it shows us that what matters is not the answer to the question, but the journey we undertake to find it.
The Lies that Bind
- Publication Date: January 8, 2002
- Paperback: 336 pages
- Publisher: Harper Perennial
- ISBN-10: 006000777X
- ISBN-13: 9780060007775