Every family has its secrets. Most are insignificant, harmless little privacies or even white lies that are perpetuated through the generations. We may guard them because they are painful or embarrassing. Human nature dictates that we protect the family name from ill-repute.
When I was a child, I sensed that my mother held a well-protected secret. As I grew older, it became evident that she had been molested as a child. Had she told me the truth, I might have understood her over-protection of my sister and me, especially her warnings about men. I’m sure I would have responded with empathy. She never shared her secret until I was middle-aged with children of my own. Yet, I knew. I’m convinced that if painful secrets are not shared, they manifest in the behavior and attitude of the secret-holder.
Sometimes secrets are used to manipulate or harm others. In my novel, Unrevealed, Allison Harmon, the twenty-seven-year-old protagonist is plagued by what she thinks are hallucinations. She begins to wonder if she is going crazy. Soon she discovers that a family secret has been scrupulously hidden from her throughout her life. We learn that this secret is the result of her powerful grandfather’s antiquated prejudice.
Even as a child, Allison senses that something significant happened at her childhood home, Wellington Manor, something her parents and grandparents, even her housekeeper, kept from her. Were they trying to protect her or themselves? Had they planned to reveal the truth to her one day?
Allison realizes that, rather than hallucinating, she is experiencing flashbacks to actual childhood experiences. Now, with her father’s recent death, both parents are gone, and she is left with an intense need to uncover the truth. She turns to Wellington Manor’s housekeeper, Martha, the only person who knows enough Harmon family history to enlighten her. But will Martha share what she knows, or will she continue to guard the secret?
I’m convinced that secrets can destroy families and leave individuals with strained relationships and unresolved issues. Will Allison Harmon struggle against her family’s demons forever or will she finally find the freedom to experience a life of love and possibility? Read Unrevealed to find out.
Cindy L. Freeman is the author of two award-winning short stories and three published novels: Diary in the Attic, Unrevealed and The Dark Room. Website: www.cindylfreeman.com; Facebook page: Cindy Loomis Freeman. Her books are available through www.amazon.com or www.hightidepublications.com