North Carolina, 2018: Morgan Christopher's life has been derailed. Taking the fall for a crime she did not commit, she finds herself serving a three-year stint in the North Carolina Women's Correctional Center. Her dream of a career in art is put on hold—until a mysterious visitor makes her an offer that will see her released immediately. Her assignment: restore an old post office mural in a sleepy southern town. Morgan knows nothing about art restoration, but desperate to leave prison, she accepts. What she finds under the layers of grime is a painting that tells the story of madness, violence, and a conspiracy of small town secrets.
North Carolina, 1940: Anna Dale, an artist from New Jersey, wins a national contest to paint a mural for the post office in Edenton, North Carolina. Alone in the world and desperate for work, she accepts. But what she doesn't expect is to find herself immersed in a town where prejudices run deep, where people are hiding secrets behind closed doors, and where the price of being different might just end in murder.
What happened to Anna Dale? Are the clues hidden in the decrepit mural? Can Morgan overcome her own demons to discover what exists beneath the layers of lies?
After a twenty-year absence, Guy Vidoq is returning home to meet his daughter for the first time. He discovers his mercurial daughter, Isabelle, has been raised in a bizzarre, cloistered environment by her libertine mother, Martine, who is now living with a young man, Harry, roughly the age of their daughter. If the intense, closed and sensual relationship of these three housemates wasn't bad enough, Guy soon discovers that the entire household is deeply enmeshed in a counterfeiting operation that produces fake American currency for the black market.
Extraordinarily intelligent, though volatile, Martine soon becomes the obsession of Guy, turning his world upside down. As they begin to rekindle their relationship, tension in the house rises. And when the counterfeiting operation begins to break down, everyone finds themselves in desperate situations as they are each drawn closer to the criminal underworld.
Compared to Milan Kundera, Leonard Cohen and Barbara Gowdy, Natalee Caple constructs an exquisite portrayal of the human psyche with a daring, provocative style. Reminiscent of crime films from the French New Wave, Mackerel Sky is a dark, thrilling novel about seduction, the intricate, often destructive relationship between parent and child, and the impulses of the heart.
When Ruth faints from hunger at a North Carolina five-and-dime, Rose, a feisty elderly reporter, rescues her. A friendship stronger than family ties blossoms; for all her bravado, unsentimental Ruth can never quite disguise her need for a mother's love. In Ruth, Rose finds someone who refuses to see old age as a handicap, and gives her life new purpose.
With spirited humor and empathy, Landis beautifully intertwines the unforgettable stories of Rose, in stubborn denial of lung cancer, and Ruth, who possesses the energy and conviction of Rose in her younger days.
Eden gets more than she bargained for when Kyle gives her the journal her mother had kept from the age of thirteen until her death. Eden is spellbound by the powerfully written, intimate diary that chronicles a life of hardship, madness and tragedy. But her fascination turns to horror when she discovers the shocking truth about her mother's life.
Eden turns for comfort to Ben Alexander, Kyle's colleague, not knowing that Ben has a secret of his own that could ruin Eden and her career. Now Eden must make a heartbreaking decision as she struggles to lay the ghosts of the past to rest and come to terms with her own future.
Shifting gracefully between Eden's world and Katherine's, Secret Lives seduces with the power of its images and the lyricism of its prose.