FAMILY SECRETS …or Why You Don’t Burn the Letters and the Photographs by Nancy Sackett, Fiction Librarian

On August 27, 2008 Catherine Bailey began researching the archives of secret roomsthe 9th Duke of Rutland at Belvoir. She intended to write a book about this little corner of England during World War I.  The archives included household account ledgers and correspondents dating back to the 11th century when the Manners family first came to Belvoir.  As an aid to researchers the 9th Duke had compiled a book that gave examples of the handwriting for every member of the Manners family since the 1540’s.

When Catherine Bailey dived into this wealth and abundance of documents, what caught her attention?  It is the letters and dates of documents that weren’t there.  Instead of the book she was going to write she wrote The Secret Rooms: a true story of a haunted castle, a plotting Duchess, and a family secret.  If you enjoy Downton Abbey and the history of that period in England you should read this book.

Carrying Albert Home: the somewhat true story of a man, his wife, and her alligator a novel by Homer Hickam is another example of family stories and secrets.  Homer Hickam in the oral tradition of his West Virginia roots spins this story of a journey and a quest.  It reads like you are watching a movie and even is he says it’s a novel I believe it’s all true and really happened.  You will have to read it to find out how John Steinbeck came up with the title The Grapes of Wrath.  It reminds me of Big Fish by Daniel Wallace which they did make into a movie.  Enjoyable reading for the end of summer season they will keep you turning the pages.

Speaking of family photographs did you see the one posted on our facebook account of the children in the goat cart dated 1917?  Does anyone out there have a goat cart photo in their family archives?  We are looking for information about the family in our photo or the traveling photographer and his goat.  Contact the library if you have a photo of kids in a goat cart or any information about such a photo.

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