Marsha Hunt thought her grandmother was dead until a phone call in 1992 from a relative told her that Ernestine had been discovered alive in an old people's home in Memphis. Her first thought was to rush to her grandmother's aid, her second to try to find out why, at the age of 23, the attractive young woman, mother of three young sons and wife of a respected religious leader in Memphis, had been locked away for the rest of her life - why Ernestine had become the family skeleton who could never be mentioned. Her search leads her to confront not only truths about her family and her own life - the tragic suicide of her own father, one of the few successful black psychiatrists in America in the 1940s, features very large - but also unpalatable truths about the nature of black society both during the 20s and 30s and today as it continues the struggle to emerge from the shadow of slavery and racism.
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