Maddy Kennedy is divorcing her unfaithful husband when she learns he has a secret more devastating than adultery.
Jenny, Maddy's mother, has taken the identity of Maddy's biological father to the grave with her. With a madman stalking the family, attempting to uncover hidden bank robbery money dating back to the days of the infamous Jesse James, Maddy's only hope is to find the answers to these secrets--to find her biological father before she loses her sanity or possibly her life. Can she do this without endangering the "daddy" who has raised her as his own? Maddy goes back to Willow Shade, the family farm in Logan County, Kentucky in quest of the truth.
Even though this novel is totally fiction, you will laugh, cry, reminisce and recognize characters, rivers, bridges and caves of Logan County, Kentucky, especially "Daddy," patterned after the author's own dad.
She exited I-65 onto the gravel State road. White-faced Herefords dotted fields of sweet clover. Corn tassels nodded and tobacco stalks waved green arms in the wind. Maddy pulled the Pinto over, slid out of the car, and stepped onto the Jasper River Bridge.
"This is it, Welby." She shifted her eyes to the passenger seat, patted the dog's head and loosened his collar. "If I had a dime for each time I played under this bridge, I'd be rich now."
Leaning on the paint-peeled guardrail, she chewed on the tip of her left forefinger. Lacy white foam collected on the banks of the swollen stream below. It had rained yesterday.
Maddy sighed and summoned her courage. Willow Shade Farm spread across the sloping fields beyond. She swept her hand in the direction of the old plantation diminished to an ordinary farm. "When I was a young girl, I made believe I was Scarlet O'Hara and the farm was Tara." She surveyed the scene before her. The red roof of the main house dwarfed the smaller buildings like the owners had once dominated the slaves who subsisted in the little houses.
She took a deep breath, got back into the car, and followed the winding drive up to the farmhouse. Yeah, I know. Now it's more like Tara, post bellum. That old verandah's going to collapse one of these days. She shielded her eyes from the morning sun with her hand. "Look, there's Daddy on the porch."
Daddy leaned against a tall, white column, shoulders stooped, one thumb hitched into a strap of his bib-overalls, scrutinizing the car pulling into his drive. Howard Livingston would always be her real daddy even after she found the man who sired her. She wasn't looking to replace him. She only wanted to find her heritage. Daddy met her at the end of the walk. Weathered hands pulled a red handkerchief out of his hind pocket and blotted his eyes. "Maddy, you've come home. I been praying you'd show up. Been worried about you. Going through a divorce has to be hard. On Kenneth, too, I reckon."
"I'm fine. Really I am. Wouldn't know about Kenneth."
Author: Jean Kinsey
Photography/Artwork: Carol Fiorillo