Kristina Riggle (photo by John H. Riggle)

Withholding information that would change someone’s perception of a person, place or thing; hiding one’s actions to protect or mislead; couching words away from the facts. It’s not lying, but it can be as painful, destructive, or damaging as a bold faced lie. Consider some of the world’s best-known literary classics: Hamlet; Anna Karenina, Great Expectations, Pride and Prejudice; Jane Eyre and it’s mirroring Wide Saragasso Sea. Where would these stories be without the great mask that hides the truth? There would be plenty of words, perhaps, but the story would be nothing but letters on the page. This week in #litchat we are discussing novels where truth is deferred.

Returning to #litchat this Friday, June 22, is Kristina Riggle, whose latest novel, Things We Didn’t Say, is a study on family and foes, with a knot of deception, repression, and good old substance abuse. The morning Casey decides to leave her fiance and move out of the house she shares with him and his three children becomes the day the middle child, 14-year-old Dylan, goes missing. The family drama becomes a crucible when ex-wife Mallory encamps at the family home to share in the mystery and stir the misery. Layered between the two women is repressed Michael, the fiance and the ex-husband, whose compass is true to his kids at the expense of his own needs. Casey’s past infects the present when the truth she’d meant to reveal all along erupts in a shameful showdown before all eyes in the family.

Kristina Riggle lives and writes in West Michigan. Her debut novel, Real Life & Liars, was a Target “Breakout” pick and a “Great Lakes, Great Reads” selection by the Great Lakes Independent Booksellers Association. Her second novel, The Life You’ve Imagined, was honored by independent booksellers as an IndieNext “Notable” book. Riggle has published short stories in the Cimarron ReviewLiterary Mama, Espresso Fiction, and elsewhere, and she works as co-editor for fiction at Literary Mama. Kristina was a full-time newspaper reporter before turning her attention to creative writing. As well as writing, she enjoys reading, yoga, dabbling in (very) amateur musical theatre, and spending lots of time with her husband, two kids and dog.

Follow Kristina Riggle on Twitter: @KrisRiggle.