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The Secrets She Carried (2013)

Years ago, Leslie Nichols ran away from her painful childhood in North Carolina and arrived in New York City to start a new life. She quickly became the hottest name in the luxury lifestyle magazine business, however, thanks to the surge in electronic media, she now can't even find a job. Her mail is cluttered with overdue and final notices. She receives a phone call from an attorney office in North Carolina regarding the soon-to-expire window of time for Leslie to claim her grandmother's estate. If she does not claim the property, it will default to another beneficiary. Leslie reluctantly returns to her grandmother's home and the memories of her mother's death, her father's drinking and her miserable childhood come flooding back. She is shocked and annoyed to meet Jay Davenport, her grandmother's former caretaker. Jay has a claim to part of her grandmother's estate and makes his disdain for Leslie immediately apparent. As Leslie goes through her grandmother's stuff, she begins to fall into a life of secrets surrounding her grandmother and the parents that raised her grandmother. Leslie learns of the mysterious death of Adele Laveau, an African-American maid who lived in her grandmother's house when her grandmother was a young child. As Leslie delves into the circumstances regarding Adele's death, she begins to question her entire past. With the help of Jay, Leslie beings to piece together the mystery. The story flashes between Leslie's present-day story and Adele's life in the 1930s. The characters are so engaging and the secrets that are revealed are so unpredictable that this leads to an incredible novel. (AO)

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