About the book:
Every slave story is a ghost story. The haunting words of an historian and former cane worker on the Caribbean island of Nevis launch Meghan Owen on her quest to unlock the secrets of an abandoned sugar plantation and its ghosts. After Meg's parents die in a car accident on the night of her engagement party, she calls off her wedding, takes leave of her job in Annapolis, and travels to land she's inherited on Nevis. A series of discoveries in an old plantation house on the property, Eden, set her on a search for the truth surrounding the shameful past of her ancestors, their slaves, and the tragedy that resulted in the fall of the plantation and its inhabitants.
Through a crushing phone call with her lawyer, Meg learns that her father's estate was built on stolen money, and is being sued by multiple sources. She is faced with having to sell the land and plantation home, and deal with the betrayal she feels from her deceased father. In alternating chapters, the historical drama of the Dall family unfolds. Upon the arrival of British abolitionists to the hedonistic 19th century plantation society, Catherine Dall is forced to choose between her lifestyle and the scandal of deserting her family. An angry confrontation with Catherine's slave, Leah, results in the girl's death, but was it murder or suicide? Hidden texts, scandalous diaries, antique paintings, and confessional letters help Meghan Owen uncover the secrets of Eden and put the ghosts to rest.
An enthralling and captivating read.
After her parents die in a car accident, Meghan Owen postpones her wedding, takes a leave of absence from her job and heads to the Caribbean. Among the inheritances from her parents is a property in Nevis: a former sugar plantation called Eden. Needing to get away, Meg decides to take a vacation and check out her new acquisition.
As Meg begins learning about Eden and the sugar industry of Nevis, she makes some interesting discoveries, including unearthing a previously unknown painting by a famous artist. But, disturbed at the thought that her family were slave owners, Meghan dives into research to find out all she can. During her adventure, she also learns that her father embezzled from his clients, and that she will probably be sued for the money. Before she can sell the property, however, she must find the answers she searches for: what happened to the original owners of Eden and their slaves.
The story is told in alternating chapters between Meg's experiences in the present day, and the drama of the Dall family in the 19th century. Catherine Dall and her father Cecil were the original owners of Eden. After slavery was outlawed in England, British abolitionists journeyed to the sugar plantations of the Caribbean to do what they could to overturn slavery there.
The historical aspect of the novel was astounding: well researched, with fascinating accounts about the lives of the plantation owners and their slaves. The harsh realities aren't glossed over. The brutalities that these people were forced to endure is tragic, and Erika does a great job of portraying it in a realistic yet, sympathetic way.
A terrific debut novel filled with intrigue and romance, friendship and love, scandal and confessions and the occasional ghost.
Thanks to the author for the opportunity to review this book. You can learn more about Erika Robuck here. You can purchase the book here.
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