A writer discovers a secret that throws her family and their small southern town into turmoil
Raised in the waning days of the Jim Crow South, Grace Truscott has a unique perspective on race. Her father was a senator from Georgia whose liberalism sparked controversy during the civil rights movement, and who after his death becomes a hero in their small hometown. When she begins writing his biography, no one in her family expects anything surprising to come of it. But Grace knows the dead senator’s secret.
She was there that long ago day when Ned Emory came to her father’s office with a gun. The black man had learned of the senator’s ongoing affair with his wife, and he had come to kill. But Emory took the bullet instead. The town goes into uproar when Grace reveals the truth. And as she quickly learns, it is only the first secret to be revealed.
This ebook features an illustrated biography of Eileen Goudge including rare photos from the author’s personal collection.
Bestselling author Goudge Garden of Lies should hit the charts again with her tale of second loves and the emotional interbraiding of two complex family trees. Though the narrative does not sustain the compulsively readable jolt of its beginning chapters, it remains enjoyable even when the pace slows somewhat. New York City journalist Grace Truscott is hard at work on a biography of her famous father, a Southern Democratic senator and civil rights advocate. Her steel magnolia mother, Cordelia, now raising money for a memorial library for her late husband, is furious because Grace plans to spill the secret about Senator Truscott's role in the death of his black secretary Margaret's husband, a bitter pill that becomes more acrid after Grace learns that a long love affair between her father and Margaret produced a daughter. Other domestic squabbles fan the fires: Grace and her inamorato Jack, an editor, quarrel about their age difference, while sullen teens from their first marriages try to end their liaison and Jack's viperish older son plots against him at work; Cordelia struggles with her feelings for a younger man, a former teacher who is now her gardener. Goudge excels at capturing excruciating family dynamics, adolescent tantrums and emotions that cruise below the surface. Cliched descriptions--everyone is gorgeous and talented--and an overriding need to link characters with contrived plot twists do a disservice to an otherwise thumping good read. Paperback rights to Signet; BOMC dual main selection; 150,000 first printing; $150,000 ad/promo; author tour. June
As a child, Grace watched her father struggle with a man and accidentally kill him. As an adult, she wants to write a biography of her famous father, a great civil rights advocate and senator. However, Nola, the only other witness to the killing, and Grace's mother try to dissuade her from discussing it. Scandal breaks, and Grace is forced to confront her feelings about her father. Despite a fine beginning to her tale, author Goudge struggles to bring the second half of this novel to life. The plot is paper thin, and with the overuse of irrelevant flashbacks and commentary, the story gets totally lost. A well-paced, fine reading by Sheila Hart is a saving grace, but only the most diehard fans of Goudge Such Devoted Sisters, Audio Reviews, LJ 11/15/92 will have the patience to stay with it. Not recommended.-Susan B. Lamphier, Somerville P.L., Mass.
Denise Perry Donavin
Grace Truscott, a Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer working on the story of a famous civil rights activist, Senator Eugene Truscott, discovers that he was unfaithful long ago to his devoted, high-society southern wife and had a daughter with his black secretary. The news is particularly startling to Grace, since she is the senator's legitimate daughter. And she knows that if she includes such facts in her biography, her mother will be overwhelmed and the plan to build a memorial library in the senator's honor will be jeopardized. These shocking elements make up only the surface of Goudge's story, for Grace is also a divorced mother who is caught in a custody struggle for her teenage son and who is in love with her editor, whose children do not accept her. The romantic and family entanglements in the novel make the decisions about shocking secrets more understandable and ultimately more intense (as Grace's estranged husband tries to use the situation to winnow his way back into his ex-wife's life). Endowed with panache and a convincing story line, Goudge's newest fiction will certainly not disappoint her fans.
From Barnes & Noble
A shocking secret about a famous civil rights senator has far-reaching implications in the lives of three women--each at a crossroads in her life, each struggling with her conscience, and each wrestling with the heartache of second-time-around love.
Eileen Goudge (b. 1950) is one of the nation’s most successful authors of women’s fiction. She began as a young adult writer, helping to launch the phenomenally successful Sweet Valley High series, and in 1986 she published her first adult novel, the New York Times bestseller Garden of Lies.
She has published fifteen novels in all, including the three-book saga of Carson Springs, Thorns of Truth—a sequel to Gardens of Lies—and 2012’s The Replacement Wife. She lives and works in New York City.