Longchamp has lost nearly everything, except for her quick mind and a grim
determination to keep her ancestral home, Joyeuse, a moldering plantation
hidden along the Florida coast. No one knows how Faye’s great-great-grandmother
Cally, a newly freed slave barely out of her teens, came to own Joyeuse in the
aftermath of the Civil War. No one knows how her descendants hung on to it
through Reconstruction, world wars, the Depression, and Jim Crow, but Faye has
inherited the island plantation—and the family tenacity.
the property taxes rise beyond her means, Faye sets out to save Joyeuse by
digging for artifacts on her property and the surrounding national wildlife refuge and selling them on the black market. A tiny bit of that dead glory
would pay a year’s taxes, and a big, valuable chunk of the past would save her
home forever. But instead of potsherds and arrowheads, she uncovers a woman’s
shattered skull, a Jackie Kennedy–style earring nestled against its cheek bone.
Faye is torn. If she reports her find, she’ll reveal her
illegal livelihood, thus risking jail and the loss of Joyeuse. She doesn’t
intend to let that happen, so she probes into the dead woman’s history herself,
unaware that the past is rushing toward her like a hurricane across deceptively
calm Gulf waters.
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