Welcome to BOOK CLUB, a joint venture between me and Jen from Devourer of Books. Today we are discussing Seven For A Secret by Lyndsay Faye, the second book in her series about New York “copper stars” Timothy and Valentine Wilde.
From The Publisher: Six months after the formation of the NYPD, its most reluctant and talented officer, Timothy Wilde, thinks himself well versed in his city’s dark practices—until he learns of the gruesome underworld of lies and corruption ruled by the “blackbirders,” who snatch free Northerners of color from their homes, masquerade them as slaves, and sell them South to toil as plantation property.
The abolitionist Timothy is horrified by these traders in human flesh. But in 1846, slave catching isn’t just legal—it’s law enforcement.
When the beautiful and terrified Lucy Adams staggers into Timothy’s office to report a robbery and is asked what was stolen, her reply is, “My family.” Their search for her mixed-race sister and son will plunge Timothy and his feral brother, Valentine, into a world where police are complicit and politics savage, and corpses appear in the most shocking of places. Timothy finds himself caught between power and principles, desperate to protect his only brother and to unravel the puzzle before all he cares for is lost.
If you plan on participating in today’s BOOK CLUB, please consider subscribing to comments at the bottom of the page, and check back throughout the day as more questions are added to the post.
- What were your general impressions of the book, and how did your thoughts and opinions evolve as the story unfolded?
- Show of hands, how many of you read The Gods of Gotham? Was the continuation of this story satisfying for you? How did the books compare?
- If this is your first time reading about the Wilde brothers, what did you think of them? Will you go back to read The Gods of Gotham? Is this a series that interests you?
- Timothy and Val are involved in Copper Stars and politics to varying degrees. How do their personal ideals and politics affect their choices? Their relationship? Do you think either of them walks an easier path than the other?
- Early on Jean-Baptiste (the chimney sweep) signals the importance of identity in Seven for a Secret. What are your thoughts on the way it presents itself to different characters throughout the novel? Did anyone’s identity hold surprises for you?
- Each of Faye’s novels in the Wilde series has approached important issues permeating 19th century New York City. How familiar were you with “blackbirding” and Vigilance committees before this novel? Why is some history more widely known?
12 copies of Seven for a Secret were provided by Amy Einhorn/Putnam Books in order to facilitate this discussion. Thank you so much!