Just about everybody has secrets they carry around with them and things that are wrong that nobody else can know. [Most of these people would be surprised at how much better they'd feel if they revealed these secrets. In fact, here are mine:
1. I bite my nails in public--not that unusual, except I'm talking about my toenails.
2. I can't get to sleep at night unless I lie on my stomach with a hunk of raw calves liver in the small of my back.
3. I'm one of the world's greatest pianists, yet I've never touched a piano. I learned entirely from books.
4. I'm not actually an editor. I work for a rich guy as his house jester.
5. I have necronumismaphobia, the fear that while I'm sleeping someone will think I'm dead and put coins on my eyes.
Ah, I feel better already.] In the South, in 1965, Renae Hayes is a ten-year-old girl. And she knows enough to keep her secrets. She also knows all about navigating through the trouble in her tract house, and in her lower middle class neighborhood.
Her biggest secret is her abusive family - a violent father, Raymond;
a mother too weak to protect her children [so weak, so inconsequential, she has no name.] Raymond is bitter, unhappy.
Raymond says Renae has his ‘mean genes’. This gives them an unbreakable bond, he says.
But what Renae wants more than anything is to leave.
One fall night in the early 1970s, at a party, drunk, Renae is raped on the floor. [I just remembered why I don't have many parties. It's always so awkward for the host when the raping starts.] People watch. She doesn’t remember when she wakes up, head throbbing. The memory strikes her, hard, later that day as she leans over, legs aching, to kiss her cousin’s hand after his ordination ceremony. [You should have her throw up on his hand. Comic relief.] [Is it the fact that it was her cousin who raped her that awakens the memory? Because that would be an interesting twist.] She feels hollow. Filthy.
The next spring, Renae comes home one day to find Raymond raging, beating her brother while her mother watches, crying. No more. Enough. Renae pushes past her mother, stops her father [with a baseball bat, I hope]. Raymond is embarrassed; furious.
Renae moves out; Raymond, smirking, holds the front door for her. “You’ll be back. You can’t make it alone.” She shrugs him off, but his words stay with her. Underneath all the wanting not to stay is a fear of leaving. It’s a powerful pull.
Renae spends the next several years moving in and out of relationships. She moves away in the company of men; she always comes back. [Not clear that you mean she always comes back to Raymond.]
Tentatively, Renae takes a chance and finds another way to live, initially using and finally loving a quiet man named Geoff. Raymond forces her to choose between them. [Hmm. '07 Mercedes or '75 Pinto. I need more time to decide.] Renae chooses Geoff. Geoff assumes they’ve started a life together. Renae has another secret; she knows she’s only hiding out, waiting to go back.
Months later, Raymond has a heart attack. Geoff walks into the ICU to stand with Renae’s brother by their father’s side as breathing tubes are removed. Raymond lies dying. Renae sees for the first time, clearly, what it means to be truly weak and truly strong.
Renae stays away, in the waiting room, watching her mother chattering to herself, willing herself to remain oblivious. [Is it the mother or Renae who's willing herself to remain oblivious?] She touches her mother’s hand, then, and walks inside the room to say good [riddance] bye to her father.
Renae Hayes knows how to keep a secret. Her biggest secret is her abusive and violent father, Raymond, and a mother too weak to protect her children. What Renae wants more than anything is to leave. But she's only ten.
Fast-forward seven years to 1972. At her best friend's birthday party, drunk, Renae is raped on the living room floor. People watch. She doesn’t remember, when she wakes up, but later, when the memory strikes, she feels hollow. Filthy.
One day Renae comes home to find Raymond raging, beating her brother while her mother watches, crying. No more. Enough. She pushes past her mother, stops her father. He's furious.
When Renae declares she's moving out, Raymond holds the front door for her. “You’ll be back,” he tells her. She shrugs him off, but his words stay with her. Beneath her thirst for deliverance lies a fear of isolation. It’s a powerful pull, and it brings her back to Raymond every time another man lets her down.
Tentatively, Renae takes a chance on a quiet man named Geoff, and falls in love. There is joy in her life for the first time, and when Raymond forces her to choose between him and Geoff, it's an easy decision. Geoff assumes they’ve started a life together, but Renae soon begins to fear that she’s only hiding out, waiting to go back.
Months later, Raymond has a heart attack. As he lies dying in the ICU, Geoff stands with Renae’s brother as Raymond's breathing tubes are removed. In the waiting room, watching her mother chattering and willing herself to remain oblivious, Renae realizes, at last, what it means to be truly weak . . . and truly strong. She touches her mother’s hand, then, and goes to say goodbye to her father.
I suppose it's possible the tone, which is cold and dry, is intentional, reflecting the emotional vacuum of the Hayes household. But it comes across as choppy and lifeless, more like an outline than a summary. I've tried to maintain the tone while reducing the choppiness, but Dragnet's "Just the facts, ma'am" tone is always going to feel somewhat dry.
The connection between the rape and the home life could be made more clear. Renae justifiably blames the rape for her inability to connect with men. Emphasis on the number of, and reasons for, her failed relationships might help. Clearly the rape is crucial, yet you could eliminate it from the synopsis and still have a story. Connect it better.
Note that I added some specificity to sentence 2, paragraph 2. If you can do that in a few other places, I think it'll feel more engaging.
Clearly this is a novel in which character development is more important than plot. But you haven't told us much of what happens, so if there's some other event of any significance, it wouldn't hurt to work it in.