I just read a book called The Secret Place by Tana French. It's a mystery that takes place at a private girls' high school in Dublin. It's one of French's six Dublin Murder Squad books, which she's written along with a few other mysteries, all set in Ireland.
If you're looking for something to read, I recommend all of her books. But that's not the point of this post. What caught my eye in The Secret Place is a series of questions about human nature that came up while the two detectives were interviewing various persons of interest at the school And I'm thinking, those of us who have been around a while, who have a lot of life experience -- and who are looking for something to think about other than the remnants of an election -- might be able to answer these questions.
Most of the interviews involve teenage girls. But they cover boys as well, along with a few adults.
At one point, one of the girls says: "Everyone thinks girls blab everything, yap, yap, yap, like idiots. That's total crap. Girls keep secrets. Guys are the ones who can't keep their mouths shut."
Do you agree? Are girls better than boys at keeping secrets? How about grownups? In general, who is better at holding onto secrets, men or women?
Another issue comes up -- and you'll have to "excuse my French" so to speak. One guy is called a "prick." Later, a girl is called a "bitch." Here's the question: Is a bitch simply a female version of a prick, and a prick a male version of a bitch? Or are they fundamentally different?
One last issue. The plot of the novel turns on Chris who is a handsome, popular 17-year-old from the boys' school next door. He's also a player. First he goes out with Joanna. He dumps her because he's smitten with the dreamy and fragile Selena. But Selena's friend Julia knows that Selena will only get hurt. So she seduces Chris -- not because she likes him but to keep him away from her friend Selena.
My wife B says, "Oh, come on, I don't believe a girl would 'give herself' to a guy just to save her friend. I can't suspend belief that much." Can you?
By the way, if you're instantly angry at Chris, don't worry, he gets murdered. But that's not a spoiler. The question is: Who did it? To answer that, you have to read the book.