The Tree of Lost Secrets
Helen Ainsley is a best-selling mystery writer struggling with cancer. She begins to doubt her storytelling ability, so to restore her confidence, she returns to her childhood home in rural Brattleboro Vermont for the serenity she hopes will rekindle her imagination.
Ainsley Hill Farm was originally an Inn dating back to the American Revolution. With a new-found friend, an old golden retriever, and an ancient sugar maple, Helen’s life is about to change.
Initials carved on the tree trunk suddenly appear. . . then disappear. Helen is impelled to investigate. She realizes that the majestic tree is a portal into past injustices and it is up to her to bring closure to the lost memories of the dead.
From World War Two, Italy, and the anti-Nazi partisan movement, she moves back in time to events during World War One, in Nova Scotia, Canada, and the Halifax explosion, which obliterated the city in an instant and took thousands of lives. Next, Helen learns that Brattleboro was a stop on the Underground Railroad and runaway slaves used the Inn as a sanctuary on their journey north. Finally, she returns to the Inn’s early days during the Revolution, where she discovers that her ancestors played a significant and dangerous role in the survival of the thirteen colonies.
Through her venerable maple tree, Helen finds her own storytelling artistry re-emerge as she sets out to immortalize the heartbreaking past of the Ainsley Hill Inn.
“Talented author Lynne Kennedy once again delivers excellence in a thoughtful, historically accurate and intelligent tale about a woman determined to triumph over cancer and reclaim her career as a successful writer. Helen Ainsley’s quest entangles her in the complex history of her own Vermont heritage at the Ainsley Hill Farm Inn, prompts her to explore the roles of her ancestors during the American Revolution, and inspires her search for the truth about the Inn’s connection to runaway slaves during the Civil War and a World War II era murder victim. The Tree of Lost Secrets is a satisfying and entertaining read. Highly recommend. 5 stars!”
—Laura Taylor – 6-Time Romantic Times Award Winner