As an amateur genealogist, my “job” is to follow paper trails to determine family connections and unearth long-buried family secrets. So, it should come as no surprise that when selecting fictional reading materials, I often choose stories about families and their complex relationships.
Such is the case with my latest read, The Secret Keepers of Old Depot Grocery. This is the second novel by Amanda Cox; her first was The Edge of Belonging. Like its predecessor, The Secret Keepers of Old Depot Grocery is a split-time novel, focused on family secrets.
Set in a small town in Tennessee, the story starts off in the present day. Sarah Ashby has come home to help her beloved grandmother, Glory Ann Clearwater, save the family business, the Old Depot Grocery. However, Glory Ann’s daughter Rosemary (Sarah’s mother) has other plans. Sarah soon realizes that saving the store is not her only quest; she must also repair the bond between her grandmother and mother and between her mother and herself.
However, Sarah is pretty sure that she can boost grocery’s bottom-line better than she can fix her fractured family. Although it might be easier for Sarah to make peace with her mother, the divide between Glory Ann and Rosemary spans decades, sown from a salacious secret and sustained by assumptions and insecurity. Nothing but the truth and love will help their family cross the chasm.
Engaging and emotive, The Secret Keepers of Old Depot Grocery is like a warm, downy comforter on a cold, damp day; it pulls readers in and wraps them in its pages.