||Plain focuses on the salient issue of date rape in a novel that examines the ramifications of the crime on the lives of three of the women involved. There is the teenage victim, her mother, and the mother of the boy who committed the rape. Over the years, the lasting impact of the tragedy continues to affect their lives in ways both subtle and blunt, but always compelling, in Plain's signature style.
||First came the sin.  Then the lies.He was handsome, charming, irresistable, and an eighteen-year-old lady-killer, her uncle Cliff's stepson, Ted.  But in one terrible night he would shatter the life of fourteen-year-old Charlotte Dawes and nearly destroy her family.  Years afterward, Charlotte would remember that night with fear and loathing, with pain that could be banished only by her work as a gifted architect, building a new world for others as she conceals her own.For Charlotte's family, prime employers in New England mill town, what happened to Charlotte was the beginning of the end.  Her father is left shattered by his daughter's pain.  Her troubled mother is unable to cope.  And her distinguished family has fallen from grace, plunged into debt.  The only rock that sustains them in their darkest hours is a woman whose own guilty secret has given her the power to ruin—or resurrect—the family to whom she owes her life.Belva Plain's searing novel cuts to the heart of a family ravaged by secrecy.  But it is ultimately a story of redemption, the kind that grows when one person dares to tell the truth.