MCV Egan’s Defined by Others is a story that unveils the life of Anne, a middle-aged woman who recently has realized that life has brought her down to a crossroad. Her husband Frank has confessed to her as being a gay and that he needs a divorce from Anne. Life becomes truly complicated for Anne when she attends her friend Amanda’s funeral and Allison, Amanda’s lawyer, informs her about some files and dossiers which, according to Amanda’s last wish, should be handed over to Anne.
Emotional fragility and mental turmoil drive Anne to become a prey to Amanda’s dirty game. Amanda entrusted Anne to continue her ‘game’ even after her death. The game of virtual peeping Tom, the game in which Anne and Connie connive together to know the secret desire, sex life and clandestine affairs of others.
Anne and her high school friend Connie continue the process started by Amanda, whom they refer to as ‘bitch’. The stuffs inherited from Amanda open up a new world to them; the world of cyber-stalking, impersonation, psychological persuasion and emotional blackmailing.
Though their intentions are naive and, they consider it just as an innocent fun but, the more they explore the minds of others, the more they get involved in the ‘game’.
In a small town, where almost nothing can totally be kept as a secret, (or, at least, people think so) they begin to discover the darkest desires of their friends and acquaintances through their hooded disguise. Will their intrusion in others private life through back-door remains a secret and, they manage to continue it for ever? Or will this create a crucial conundrum for them? Of course, you’ve to go through the book to find the answers.
Defined by Others is a book which throws light on different aspects of life. The emotional turmoil of middle-aged women, cyber impersonification and too much affinity to social networking, spirituality parenting, the political condition of the US in 2012, homosexuality and much more.
The book reveals that at some given point of time, our life is not under our control anymore. It just becomes what others define it to be. The strength and confidence and introspection one needs to become the master of one’s life, are not easy to grasp. Manipulation is there in every realm of life along with other natural disasters. But, still in the end, the positive sides of one’s persona has a fair chance to become triumphant.
There’s skeleton is everyone’s closet. But whether you happened to show it up to the world determines the maneuvering skill to handle the gossamer called life.
Some Quotable Quotes
If you share a secret it will no longer be a secret.
Keep your secrets safe.
Do not share your secrets, it will destroy you.
Secrets give power.
Cyber sex is something like mental masturbation.
Enemies always attend each other’s funerals. I guess it is a way of knowing they won.
There’s a bitch in every woman.
From the very beginning, I enjoyed the book. Things happen pretty quickly in the beginning and the tale becomes quite gripping. But as it deals with many things at a time, at some places, it loses the firmness and becomes desultory. Still, I like the way MCV Egan has dealt with her characters and the plot. Especially, I liked the ending. I think almost all people can relate to the story at one or the other point. I recommend it for all book lovers.
From my side, it’s 3.5/5
About The Author
M.C.V. Egan is the pen name chosen by Maria Catalina Vergara Egan the author of The Bridge of Deaths and Defined by Others. Catalina is originally from Mexico City, Mexico. She has lived in France, Sweden and various parts of the U.S.A. She has called South Florida her home for the last twenty-five years; she is a writer, a mother a wife and a pretty good cook. Her first book The Bridge of Deaths is available in two different versions, her book Defined by Others is the first in a series Defining Ways exploring what makes us flawed and human. Book two Climbing Up The Family Tree; Defined by Pedigree will be released in November 2015.