Brittan Lee Hayworth does not want to return to Liberty, Georgia, until a nine year-old girl’s body is discovered in the Altamaha River. Everyone thinks it’s Beth Ann Hamilton, Brittan Lee’s best friend back in 1964 – until the night she disappeared.
FBI Agent Andrew Zeller is already in Liberty, investigating civil rights violations from that year. The night Hurricane Dora swept through Liberty, a terrible fire started in the black community. Everyone always assumed that lightning started the fire, but its origin is now being questioned.
Brittan Lee joins the investigation reluctantly. Always encouraged to believe they were just nightmares, she now has her memories validated and tries to remember what really happened that fateful night. As Liberty faces another hurricane, Brittan Lee finds herself in danger once again, as someone doesn’t want that long-ago night’s events revealed.
The suspense builds as repeated attempts are made on her life, leading to the stunning conclusion when Brittan Lee finally remembers the details of what really happened the night Beth Ann Hamilton disappeared.
Paige M. Cummings has beautifully recreated the turbulent times of civil rights unrest, revisiting the 1960’s through Brittan Lee’s memories. She writes with a strong southern voice, painting delightful sensory images. If you enjoy southern mysteries, you’ll love this novel.
Under the Liberty Oak is a nominee for the Georgia Writer’s Association’s “Best First Novel”/Georgia Author of the Year award for 2007.
Reviewer: Alice Berger