During the summer of 1937, in rural Alabama, 14-year-old Emma Munn had no idea that the events of one morning would change her life forever. She never dreamed that her father would commit suicide and leave a secret inside a written letter. A letter Emma is determined to find and her mother is determined to keep hidden. More
“Chasing Secrets” is a historical fiction novel based on actual events, about a young girl growing up and surviving during the Great Depression. Her life is an everyday struggle of poverty with an alcoholic, out of work father. Now that her father is dead, her life is going from bad to worse, or so it seems. Emma, her mom, and three brothers, try to stay in their home and continue on after her father’s death. Even with the help of their trusted neighbor, they barely make it through the winter, with not enough food, money and an adequate house to live in. Determined to seek a better life for her family, Anna, Emma's mother, decides to move to Ohio to live with a relative. Their only way there is to walk, hitch rides and ride the rails.Their journey is filled with many different experiences and people. A homeless rail-rider, a kind couple who takes them in after the death of Emma’s younger brother, a burlesque dancer,and a camp of gypsies all have an impact on their lives in some way. Emma's mother meets a new man when they arrive in Ohio that she decides to marry and be the father for Emma and her brothers, only to place Emma in an unspeakable situation where she emerges even stronger. When Emma finally discovers the secret in the letter, her mother is forced to explain and Emma ultimately must decide whether to take a journey back to Alabama and face her past or stay in Ohio.