The Secrets She Carried

The Secrets She Carried

4.1 8
by Barbara Davis
     
 

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When a young woman returns to North Carolina after a thirty-year absence, she finds that the once grand tobacco plantation she called home holds more secrets than she ever imagined.

Though Peak Plantation has been in her family for generations, Leslie Nichols can’t wait to rid herself of the farm left to her by her estranged grandmother Maggie—and

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Overview

When a young woman returns to North Carolina after a thirty-year absence, she finds that the once grand tobacco plantation she called home holds more secrets than she ever imagined.

Though Peak Plantation has been in her family for generations, Leslie Nichols can’t wait to rid herself of the farm left to her by her estranged grandmother Maggie—and with it the disturbing memories of her mother’s death, her father’s disgrace, and her unhappy childhood. But Leslie isn’t the only one with a claim to Peak.

Jay Davenport, Peak’s reclusive caretaker, has his own reasons for holding onto the land bequeathed to him by Leslie’s grandmother. Before she died, Maggie hinted at a terrible secret surrounding Adele Laveau, a lady’s maid who came to Peak during the 1930s and died under mysterious circumstances. Jay is haunted by Maggie’s story, yet the truth eludes him—until Leslie uncovers a cryptically marked grave on the property.

As they delve into the mystery of Adele’s death, Leslie and Jay discover shocking secrets that extend deep into the roots of Leslie’s family tree—secrets that have the power to alter her life forever.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Praise for The Secrets She Carried

“Davis paints a picture of two eras and beautifully flawed characters with evocative and caring words.”—Susan Crandall, author of Whistling Past the Graveyard

“Lovely and assured writing. Adele Laveau's haunting voice and Leslie Nicholl's journey toward understanding lingered long after I read the final page of this engrossing tale."—Julie Kibler, author of Calling Me Home

“A beautifully crafted page-turner with many twists but a simple theme: no matter how far you run, you can’t escape your past.  Part contemporary women’s fiction, part historical novel, the plot moves seamlessly back and forth in time to unlock family secrets that bind four generations of women….A stunning read from the first page to the last sentence.”—Barbara Claypole White, author of The Unfinished Garden

Kirkus Reviews
2013-09-01
An old tobacco plantation buries past secrets and unearths opportunities for new beginnings in Davis' romantic generation-spanning debut. Leslie Nichols returns to her North Carolina roots to claim an inheritance left by her estranged grandmother. Once a darling of the luxury lifestyle magazine world, 38-year-old Leslie's fallen on hard times since glossies have succumbed to electronic media, and she's eager to unload Peak Plantation, head back to NYC and start anew. Sounds like a solid plan, but the heiress runs into some major stumbling blocks. First, she discovers Grandma Maggie's ventured into the winemaking industry and left half of her estate to a handsome, younger business partner, Jay Davenport. Second, Leslie's determination to unload the large house and make a quick killing is thwarted by a real estate market that's as bottomed out as Leslie. Third, a sepia photograph of an old grave and a set of keys pique Leslie's curiosity, and suddenly, she's all hot to uncover secrets about her ancestors. And there are secrets everywhere. After resisting, Leslie agrees to partner with Jay in the wine business and puts her marketing skills to good use. Of course, romantic sparks fly while Leslie discovers old paintings, papers and the unmarked grave in the photo. She also uncovers a tragic event that could hold the key to unanswered questions and searches for witnesses who might know more. Maggie's father, Henry Gavin, his wife, Susanne, and her hired companion, Adele Laveau, are at the crux of the secret, but Leslie has trouble piecing together the nuggets of information she obtains. That's because she doesn't have the same advantage the reader has: Adele narrates much of her story from beyond the grave and supplies huge chunks of the puzzle to readers long before Leslie figures things out. But Leslie can be forgiven for her obtuseness: Although several paces behind the reader, she's preoccupied with extraneous complications. Jay hasn't been forthcoming about every aspect of his own life, and haunting memories of her childhood pop up along with her good-for-nothing father. Davis' writing is heartfelt and effective, but she adds too many superfluous characters and "secrets" to the plot.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780451418777
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
10/01/2013
Pages:
384
Sales rank:
493,949
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

After spending more than a decade in the jewelry business, Barbara Davis decided to leave the corporate world to pursue her lifelong passion for writing. The Secrets She Carried is her first novel. She currently lives near Raleigh, North Carolina with the love of her life, Tom, and their beloved ginger cat, Simon.  

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