Secret Keepers

A Novel

Mindy Friddle

Picador

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At age seventy-two, Emma Hanley has finally made a plan to get out of small-town Palmetto, South Carolina, and travel the globe with her husband. But when he dies suddenly, just before their departure, she's taken up with the problems of her grown children. Her once free-spirited daughter, Dora, turns to compulsive shopping and a controlling husband, hoping to blot out her wayward past. Her son, Bobby, still lives with her, struggling with the illness that robbed him of his childhood promise.

 

But then Dora’s old flame Jake Carey returns to Palmetto with a broken heart and a gift for gardening, and soon the town is filled with mysterious, potent botanicals and resurgent memories. Before long, Jake and his group of helpers begin to unearth the secrets that have divided the Hanleys for decades.

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Secret Keepers
PART Iam a ranth (AM-ah-ranth) n. 
1. Any of various annuals of the genus Amaranthus having dense green or reddish clusters of tiny flowers and including several weeds, ornamentals, and food plants. Also called pigweed. 
2. An imaginary flower that never fades.ONEThe town had moved the Confederate Monument from the square to the gates of Springforth Cemetery some twenty years after the War of Northern Aggression, and General Robert E. Lee--who stood atop the mossy marble with a scowl--had never quite recovered. The general was listing, slowly sinking in the boggy

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Reviews

Praise for Secret Keepers

"Beguiling . . . A poignant and reassuring tale of regret and redemption."--Booklist
 
"With fluid prose and telling details, Friddle deftly captures the downward pull of the past and the Southern penchant for mythmaking."--Publishers Weekly
 
"A beguiling debut novel. Friddle . . . handles the juxtaposition of two highly eccentric cultures--small-town Southern society and small-college English department--with a light, quirky touch that keeps the story moving along and steadily entertaining."--The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

"A comic delight . . . Winning characters and piquant wit, with an underpinning of graciousness: a standout."--Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)

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About the Author

Mindy Friddle

Mindy Friddle received the Individual Artist Fellowship in Prose from the South Carolina Arts Commission for 2008--2009.  A master gardener, she lives in Greenville, South Carolina. Secret Keepers is her second novel.

Mindy Friddle

© Josh Norris
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Available Formats and Book Details

Secret Keepers
A Novel
Mindy Friddle

Trade Paperback

Trade Paperback
Picador
May 2010
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9780312429799
ISBN10: 0312429797
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 304 pages
$14.00

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
St. Martin's Press
April 2009
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781429994903
ISBN10: 1429994908
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 304 pages
$9.99
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