From the coauthor of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society comes a wise, witty, and exuberant novel, perfect for fans of Lee Smith, that illuminates the power of loyalty and forgiveness, memory and truth, and the courage it takes to do what’s right.
In the summer of 1938, Layla Beck’s father, a United States senator, cuts off her allowance and demands that she find employment on the Federal Writers’ Project, a New Deal jobs program. Within days, Layla finds herself far from her accustomed social whirl, assigned to cover the history of the remote mill town of Macedonia, West Virginia, and destined, in her own opinion, to go completely mad with boredom. However, once she secures a room in the home of the unconventional Romeyn family, she is completely drawn into their complex world and soon discovers that the truth of the town is deeply entangled in the thorny past of the Romeyn dynasty.
At the Romeyn house, twelve-year-old Willa is desperate to learn everything in her quest to acquire her favorite virtues—ferocity and devotion—a search that leads her into a thicket of mysteries, including the questionable business with which her charismatic father is always occupied and the reason her adored aunt Jottie never married. Layla’s arrival strikes a match to the family veneer, bringing to light buried secrets that will tell a different tale about the Romeyns and the invisible threads linking them to the heart of Macedonia’s history. As Willa peels back the layers of her family’s past, and as Layla delves deeper into town legend, everyone involved is transformed—and their personal histories completely rewritten. Download and start listening now!