The Secrets She Carried by debut novelist Barbara Davis touches on the issue of whether one can really go home again. After she manages to escape a terrifying past at Peak Plantation, Leslie Nichols finds herself tormented about returning again. Her grandmother died a year ago, and apparently, Leslie has a claim with her name on it she is running out of time to inherit. So when push comes to shove, she bails, only to realize that more waits for her at Peak instead of just old junk left behind.
I enjoyed reading this novel because the big thing about it is coming to terms with our past. Another big thing about this story is righting a wrong. Something tragic happened at Peak a long time ago, and Leslie doesn’t rest until she finds out what it is and how she can fix it. She has a “confusing” relationship with Jay Davenport, co-owner of Peak who was living there when Leslie’s grandmother died. She loves him and she hates him.
This novel was not just Leslie’s story, though. It was also Adele’s story. Adele is the woman hired by the matriarch of Peak, and it was she who had such a big influence on what happened there. Adele’s story was so heart-wrenching yet told so beautifully. She really did come alive on the pages. All of the characters were portrayed so well, yet Adele was the “heart” of this story and she really brought it all together. I liked how the author shifted between Leslie and Adele’s stories. Both places in time were told so well without being confusing or interrupting the flow of the story. .
The Secrets She Carried is a gripping, harrowing novel about facing the past, family secrets and mending fences. I loved reading this novel; it was a story that was hard to forget even after I finished reading the very last page.
If Leslie Nichols had it her way, she’d stay as far away from the home she grew up in as she could. With an alcoholic father badgering her for money and problems at work, Leslie finds it easier to return to Peak Plantation to claim her inheritance. But what she discovers about her family and Peak’s history turns her life upside down, and novelist Jay Davenport has her trying to decide if she should follow her heart or her instincts to run away. Can Leslie put the pieces of her family’s past together and bring closure to a terrible tragedy? And can she find a way to let her heart trust enough for love and family again?
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.