The Keeper of the Glass Slipper

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In swimming, in track and field. A silver medalist in the , she was one of the women who beat Torrence in the — one of the accused, in other words. And she was angry. Finally, she turned to Torrence with a scowl. How would you like it if I came out and accused you of being on drugs? I went from a high to a low. Torrence straightened. She spoke into the microphone. Back upstairs, Gail Devers had risen and was limping slightly toward the tunnel. She looked at the scoreboard and saw that she had finished fifth. What a sad end this was to a remarkable comeback.

Eighteen months ago, suffering from Graves disease, Devers was barely able to walk.

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Her feet swelled. They ached constantly.

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She would wear five pairs of socks and extra large shoes and shuffle around a track until those feet were so bloody she had to cut the socks off. A doctor finally ordered her to stay in bed for several months, and she became so helpless her parents had to carry her to the bathroom.

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Then, to what should have been the sound of violins, she snagged the gold medal in the last Saturday, a race that is not even her speciality. But that was not the surprise. The surprise was that a member of her own team was downstairs, right now, accusing her of using drugs. The whispers are everywhere. Cuthbert was now agreeing with her. Blood tests go back further than urine tests. But it is sadly undeniable.

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And it is everywhere. As soon as someone wins big around the Olympics, someone else starts whispering.


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And finally, here she came, down to the interview area, just minutes after Torrence and Cuthbert had gone. Devers was asked about the fall. She was asked about her feelings. Then she was asked about drugs.

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Her coach, Kersee, interrupted. You know, I wanted to come in here and ask Gwen my own question. I wanted to ask her for proof. She has no proof! I am so upset that Gail and other athletes have to defend themselves against these charges! Gail and none of my athletes have ever failed a drug test. So why do they allow someone to slander us? Where is the proof? Not anymore. There is none. The fact is, even those athletes who use drugs — and there are many — have found chemists smart enough to hide those drugs from the testing procedure.

So there is no proof. Not for innocence.

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Soon the vice-president of HarperCollins came calling, offering Thomas a lucrative deal, the proverbial glass slipper. The Keeper of Secrets lets the captivating trajectory of this rare instrument dominate the action, shaping the fate of its owners and plunderers from Nazi Germany to Stalinist Russia, millenial London and urban America. She has also managed to portray the horror of life in Dachau with pinpoint accuracy and emotional conviction. Although it suffers from the inescapable difficulty of elevating current drama to the intense excitement of wartime intrigue, The Keeper of Secrets merits its success.

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