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The Secrets She Carried

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4.12 of 5 stars 4.12  ·  rating details  ·  184 ratings  ·  62 reviews
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 mem...more
Paperback, 368 pages
Published October 1st 2013 by NAL Trade
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Multiple / Dual story lines
10th out of 74 books — 37 voters
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Historical Fiction 2013
288th out of 585 books — 2,275 voters


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Community Reviews

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Jill

4.5 stars

I shall but love thee better after death.

Upon the death of her grandmother, Leslie Nichols inherits Peak Plantation. She has little interest in keeping it as it dredges up memories of her thirty-year estrangement from her grandmother, Maggie and the death of her mother. When she returns to North Carolina, she discovers that she is to share the inheritance with Jay Davenport, the estate's caretaker and Maggie's friend.

While both Leslie and Jay have their own secrets, mysteries from the...more
Sandi *~The Pirate Wench~*
4 1/2 stars
Recommended by Jill

Leslie Nichols cant wait to finally be rid of Peak Plantation,the stately family home left to her by her estranged grandmother Maggie. the Plantation doesn't hold good memories for Leslie, and she wants nothing to do with it. But her estrangement from her grandmother came at a price as she now is not the only one with a claim to Peak Plantation. Jay Davenport the caretaker of the property,still wants to hold onto the land bequeathed to him. Before her death Maggie h...more
Barbara White
I was fortunate enough to receive an advanced reader copy of THE SECRETS SHE CARRIED from Ms. Davis' publisher. A beautifully crafted page-turner with many twists, this stunning novel has a simple theme: no matter how far you run, you can’t escape your past (or your family). 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. Add a mysterious death, love that defies the grave, and...more
Tamara Burford
Very well written. The past is interwoven with the present.. And Adele comes to life in these pages . This is a must read
Chandler
Quite honestly, the first chapter of this book is probably the most gripping chapter I have ever read in any book.

Leslie Nichols leaves her affluent life up north and returns to her deceased grandmother's home in agricultural eastern North Carolina. Leaving the tried and true crops of the south, tobacco and cotton, the farm is now a vinery runner by Jay Davenport.

Jay and Leslie spend quite a bit of time being belligerent to each other. Spotted throughout the book are glimpses from the past sha...more
Roger Cole
I received my iBooks copy of Secrets first thing Monday morning and I finished it early this morning. When I was younger I read incessantly, but have read very few novels recently that were able to hold my attention. I enjoyed this book tremendously. Ms. Davis kept my attention very easily with her debut as a novelist. I have only one word to give regarding this book: BRAVO! Thank you for the journey into your imagination. I look forward to many more.
Valerie
I won this in a goodreads give-away and I enjoyed it! It was pretty good for the authors first book. I will read her next book. I loved the history and the setting. I didn't like Leslie at first, but I'm glad to see she turned completely around. If you like historical fiction with a bit of a love story and mystery, I recommend this.
Eric Hall
I am pleased to say, I received this book as a gift from a dear friend of mine. I can honestly say, that this wonderful story got me interested in reading again. I felt like I knew these characters personally. I found myself saying "just one more chapter" every night. The depth of Leslie's own emotional struggles mingled with the troubles of her past relatives turned into an amazing and heartfelt lesson on the past, forgiveness and moving forward. I am definitely looking forward to Ms. Davis' 2n...more
Rachel Butler
I was fortunate enough to receive an advanced reader copy of THE SECRETS SHE CARRIED ... I felt immediately drawn in to each of the characters and where their stories were headed and I loved that feeling of anticipation of how each of those stories would intersect across generations and societal barriers. I found myself thinking about the characters throughout the day and wanting to rush through whatever was on my schedule so I could get back to reading.

I finished The Secrets She Carried this mo...more
Stacy Sabala
Book Review- The Secrets She Carried by Barbara Davis

This was a fascinating story that combined the past with the present. The author takes the story of Adele and Henry and intertwined the story of Jay and Leslie. It all takes place on the Peak plantation in Gavin, North Carolina. Gavin is the family name of Henry as his family was the founders of the town. Leslie grew up in Gavin at the Peak plantation living with her grandmother Maggie, Henry’s daughter. Leslie left the plantation when she was...more
Carmen Slaughter
I added this title to my "to-read" list last year and never got around to it. Recommendations for it kept popping up so I finally decided to read it. The first few chapters were pleasant but I wasn't overwhelmed and then everything shifted. I became totally engaged with the characters and the mystery woven into the story. I was a little more than halfway through when bedtime rolled around. I planned to finish it today but, as I lay in bed, I couldn't sleep for thinking about the book so I just g...more
Tori
Mystery, love, heartbreak... Really good book although I felt like at the end a whole bunch happened without enough explanation. But I still really enjoyed it.
Laura Lee
Very good story and suspenseful. Who is Adele? How is she related to Leslie? Two parallel stories that intersect. Mystery and love story both, the writing is good and I enjoyed it very much. Would recommend for book clubs.
Colleen Turner
I reviewed this book for www.luxuryreading.com.

The Secrets She Carried does that wonderful thing so many books I’ve enjoyed lately do: effortlessly combine the past and the present, swirling the secrets and truths of the two timelines together until all the connections are laid open for the reader to marvel at. The modern day story of Leslie and Jay was very enjoyable, showing a slow but sweet love affair open up for these two characters that have been hurt in the past and need each other’s pers...more
Jennalyn
*** (3.5 stars)

With dual-narrative books like this, it seems like one strand of the narrative is always more interesting than the other. In this case, I was interested in both Leslie’s story and Adele’s, but I Adele’s story definitely has more depth.

When Leslie comes to Peak Plantation, she’s running away from a disappointing life, but also running back towards memories of her past. She’s barely been at Peak for a chapter before the astute reader can guess how her story is going to end. Eventual...more
Paula
I won this book in a Goodreads.com first reads giveaway. Thank you for the opportunity!

Leslie couldn't wait to rid herself of her recent inheritance of Peak Plantation, the North Carolina tobacco farm where she grew up. It is plagued with bad memories and disgrace. Upon her arrival at Peak, Leslie meets Jay Davenport, the caretaker, who has inherited half of the plantation and has his own reasons to hold onto the land. Leslie finds a photograph of an unmarked grave and is suddenly gripped by a...more
Viviane Crystal
Leslie Nichols ran away to New York City years ago but now she’s returned to Peak Plantation in North Carolina to discover that she’s been left half of the plantation by her grandmother, Maggie. She’s not pleased when she discovers a stranger, Jay Davenport, was left the other half. When they first meet, their conversation flounders into the drastic opposite of warm and fuzzy; it gets even worse when Leslie realizes Jay resents her long absence and resents her arriving to quash the plans he had...more
Sandy M
I think it’s my new-found hobby of genealogy that heightened my curiosity when I read the blurb for this book, telling me I’d be in for a very delicious story. Connecting with your past, finding out the truth, discovering where and who you come from has a way of fascinating folks, who then become addicted to searching for more ancestors and even more ancestors. Our heroine, Leslie, comes to that point in this story, wanting to know more and more. Though her search is slightly different than what...more
My Book Addiction and More MBA
THE SECRETS SHE CARRIED by Barbara Davis is a wonderful Literary debut Women's Fiction/Historical set in Peak Plantation, North Carolina from 1940 to 2013. Two eras,buried secrets, family secrets, and a love that defies death. Follow Adele Laveau, Henry Gavin, Jay Davenport and Leslie Nichol's journey of love,secrets,a mysterious death,a legacy of redemption, devotion, Adele's heartbreaking life and the secrets she carried. A fast paced story. Which switches from present to the past seemingly an...more
Andrea (Cozy Up With A Good Read)
This review and others can be found on Cozy Up With A Good Read

I love books that revolve around family secrets, I find it is always interesting and really shows that at times it shows you a different side to people. This book was all about people carrying secrets and how those secrets affected their past and present lives.

The story goes back and forth between two different stories, the story of Leslie Nichols, who has returned home after being gone for almost 30 years. The other story is Adele's...more
Chris
Full review on Two Classy Chics

This book contains a story that is told from 3 different perspectives. Adele, the ladies maid that started working at the plantation in the 1930′s; Leslie, the granddaughter of the plantation owner, Maggie and Jay, a friend and confidante of Maggie. The story is a wonderful tale of family history, romance and drama that surrounds the plantation known as Peak.

The author weaves a beautifully crafted historic tale of a family that spans many decades. Reading the story...more
Londa
FORGIVENESS - REDEMPTION - REGRET

This novel is swelled to overflowing with these three themes. Barbara Davis deals with them in a heartfelt manner. The reader is introduced to 1940's Adele and 2013 Leslie. These two women have something in common, Peak Plantation, and that connection affects both of their lives in powerful ways.

This book is in the dual timeline format that is becoming more popular in fiction novels. As I have found with many books written like this, I was more interested in the...more
Lydia Laceby

Originally reviewed at Novel Escapes.

The Secrets She Carried is filled with mystery, family drama, secrets, and a little bit of romance, and it was a pleasure to read. This novel has many layers and is often thought provoking as it weaves back and forth from a present day story to a historical one.

Who doesn’t love a story about family secrets, particularly dark, forbidden ones? Okay, maybe not everyone, but I seem to be loving this style lately. This cross genre novel blends a contemporary story...more
Andrea Murray
I received a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.
The Secrets She Carried is as beautifully-written as the love story between Adele and Henry. In this novel where the plantation becomes a living entity as vital to the plot as any of the other characters, the story alternates between Leslie and Jay’s story and Adele and Henry’s, showing Peak’s past as well its future. Though the Gone with the Wind cliché is inevitable (and unnecessarily mentioned), the setting’s charm makes visuali...more
Colleen
This book has two stories that are interwoven. The first one takes place in the present, when Leslie Nichols returns “home” to the tobacco plantation that her grandmother left to her in her will. Although Leslie initially plans to sell the plantation and get back to the city, she changes her mind and becomes a business partner with Jay, who has been looking after the plantation for several years and cared for her grandmother in her final years.

The second story takes place during the Depression,...more
Anna
Leslie has lost her job in New York City and is struggling to make ends meet. When she receives a call from a lawyer informing her time is almost up for her to claim her inheritance from her grandmother, she packs up and heads south. Peak Plantation has been in the family for several generations, and is home to many secrets. Leslie left at 8 years old following the death of her mother, and has not been back since. Upon arrival, Leslie discovers her grandmother, Maggie, has willed half of her est...more
Kimberli
"There's a difference between running away and starting over."

In debt and out of work thanks to the digital age, and with her lowlife of a father heading toward her front door, Leslie Nichols has no choice but to return to North Carolina and take her place in a family she'd abandoned decades ago. The discovery of a grave leads her to an unexpected career, romance, and secrets that force her to question everything she thinks she knows. This is a a well crafted, hauntingly beautiful novel of rein...more
Stephanie Rollins
I lost a lot of sleep because of this book. I did not think I would like it. The first few pages were a little bland. I also do not like books that jump around from one point of view to another. Barbara Davis pulls it off, though.

Leslie and Jay are running from their past when they become business partners. Together, they figure out a few mysteries of the past and maybe, just maybe, they will let themselves fall in love.

The mysteries of the past involve mistresses, crazy wives, southern ways,...more
Normandie Fischer
When Barbara Davis first mentioned a POV character who spoke from the grave, I imagined one of those emperor's-new-clothes gimmicks meant to garner attention. Not so. Barbara has shown herself an excellent storyteller in this debut release. Her characters are richly drawn and their story intriguing enough to keep me reading to the end--even though I'd guessed the big secret long before the story revealed it. Brava, Barbara!

Oh, and the dead woman? My favorite character. Loved her voice.

The Secret...more
Kristin (Kritters Ramblings)
Check out the full review at Kritters Ramblings

Two parallel stories that mingle right from the beginning as the present and the past of this one family mix to create a fantastic story. Leslie is escaping New York to return to the home that she escaped a long time ago. She finds it has changed and hasn't changed all at the same time and she must decide whether this can be home again.

The characters made this book and the secrets that they were hiding to the end. With each chapter, I wanted to fin...more
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7060621
Author of The Secrets She Carried (Penguin/NAL) October 2013, and The Wishing Tide, (Penguin NAL) coming in September 2014.
More about Barbara Davis...
The Wishing Tide

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