They Believed They Were Safe


Product Details

Vine Leaves Press
Publish Date
5.5 X 8.5 X 0.52 inches | 0.49 pounds

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About the Author

Cordelia Frances Biddle finds inspiration in the connections and correlations within history. Her prior career as a stage and television actress helps her inhabit other lives from earlier eras. Cordelia teaches at Drexel University's Pennoni Honors College. She received the 2021 Adjunct Faculty Award for Teaching Excellence. Visit:


"In a tale of conflicted affections and obsession, of abuse and memory, the past resonates in the present to expose a friendship and explode a marriage with tragic consequences. They Believed They Were Safe is complex, masterful storytelling at its best deftly mixing tragedy with courage and ultimately with survival." Jonathan Santlofer, author of The Last Mona Lisa and The Widower's Notebook

"Cordelia Biddle has such a gift for storytelling--I was hooked by They Believed They Were Safe from the first page. This is an engaging, propulsive novel that examines a unique time in American history and will appeal to all kinds of readers." Liz Moore, New York Times bestselling author of Long, Bright River

"They Believed They Were Safe is the unforgettable, can't-put-it-down tale of people who see what they want to see, think what they want to think, and do what they want to do, until, ultimately, their individual paths collide with disastrous results. Mabel Gorne, at the center of it all, is trapped among those who relate to her not as she is, but as they need or want her to be. Caught up in their own mounting resentments and desires, the characters each follow a narrow path between tragedy and farcical comedy. Cordelia Biddle's sharp, dark wit grabs hold and doesn't let go until each of her creations meets its own inevitable - and superbly satisfying - fate. Do not miss this unique and utterly captivating read!" Merry Jones, award-winning author of Child's Play and Summer Session

"Crystalline storytelling. Biddle, at her best here in They Believed They Were Safe, lays a solid narrative foundation then builds us a tale that proves dreamlike. There's enough of the familiar to make it real-small town, midcentury, New England. But the ending, both surprising and inevitable, leaves us astonished in a Gothic wonderland. I thoroughly enjoyed this new novel." William di Canzio, author of Alec (Editors' Choice, New York Times Book Review)

"Cordelia Biddle's latest has everything I want from a potboiler: Voyeurism, repressed sexual urges, an attractive young heroine, and a bumbling older man who can't resist her. Again and again, I was reminded of James M Cain and his finest short and steamy crime novels. This is a breathless and wild ride!" Jason Rekulak, author of Hidden Pictures