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over the devil's back

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MELVA HAGGAR DYE

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If you knew a secret, a terrible secret, one that could destroy a family,

would you keep your silence? Would you choose friendship over justice? Would you

hide the truth to protect someone you love?

What would you do if you were only nine years old?

The summer of 1999 begins on a joyous note for best friends Gabrielle Westin, the white daughter and granddaughter of the wealthy and powerful Remington-Westin clan, and Leander Washington, the African American son of a family of modest means. The children's deep and platonic friendship is sealed in their emotional blood sibling's ceremony, in which they pledge commitment to one another throughout life and vow to have no secrets between them.

 

But that idyllic day in late May cannot last. Young Leander witnesses an evil deed committed on the wooded grounds of the Remington-Westin estate known as the Ramble. Several male members of Gabrielle's family are moving about in the Ramble that day, but which one committed the appalling act? Leander alone knows the identity and he makes a gut-wrenching decision, one that no nine-year-old child should be forced to make. He breaks the sworn oath made earlier that day to Gabrielle. Out of love for her and her family, he vows to keep the secret.

 

The complex dynamics of this powerful southern family are expressed through differing points of view, none more endearing than the bond between the two children. Throughout the years, Gabrielle and Leander move from childhood through adolescence and college years toward promising futures, always supportive of each other. Their connection knows no gender or racial disparity and rises above the lust and greed that seeps into their way of life. It appears nothing can ever tarnish the faith that they place in each other. Or can it?

 

 With the passage of time, buried secrets find their way to the surface. A series of tragic events brings about the emotional unraveling of the man guilty of committing the grisly act twenty years previous. When the truth is revealed along with Leander's part in suppressing it, the very foundation of the Remington-Westin family begins to crumble. Gabrielle is heartbroken and feels betrayed by her best friend.

 

Over The Devil's Back spans twenty years and tells the story of a complicated family, each member struggling to come to terms with temptation, past regrets and long-held secrets.

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ALL THAT REMAINS

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MELVA HAGGAR DYE

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In the suburbs of Dallas, Texas, little girls have started to disappear. The city is in hysterics. Parents are frantic, and the police are baffled. Thea Kelly is one of the shocked community members, witnessing the horror via the news on TV. She feels bad for the parents, but her home is protected and her neighborhood is safe. She isnt worried

until her own daughter, Alexa, goes missing.

 

Days pass, then weeks and months. Alexa Kelly is not coming home. The realization is paralyzing, and Thea finds it almost impossible to go on. An entire year passes before the culprit is brought to justice, but there is no word on the whereabouts of Theas daughter or whether she is alive or dead. It is possible that the kidnapper did not murder all the girls, but it looks as though Theas daughters location will remain a mystery forever.


No longer able to remain in Dallassurrounded by the memories of her little girlThea escapes to Santa Fe, New Mexico, where she plans to start a new life, leaving the painful past behind. The healing process gradually begins when she meets new friends and embarks upon a new career. But is it possible to move on after the loss of a child, or will Thea always be haunted by the image of her little girl, reaching out to her?