About Provenance: A Novel

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Southern civility turns savage when Hank Whitaker’s dying words reveal the unimaginable. No one—not his socialite wife, Maggie, or young son, Lance—ever suspected the successful businessman, husband and father they knew and loved was a black man passing for white. In the segregated South, in 1931, marriage between whites and blacks is illegal. Maggie is now a criminal facing the real possibility of jail and, when Lance receives death threats to atone for his father’s betrayal, the family flees the U.S. for Paris.

Still grieving Hank’s death and fearful of their uncertain future as Europe marches toward war, Lance and Maggie mourn the lives they loved but lost. As they struggle to create a new lives and identities for themselves, they find a surprising community of artists and American expats that are on the same journey. Provenance is a sweeping historical saga about love, betrayal, tragedy, triumph, passion, privilege and the universal desire for acceptance—regardless of who you are or where you’re from.

Provenance won the 2017 Maryland Writers’ Association Award for Hisorical Fiction and, is the Go On Girl Book Club’s May 2017 reading selection for their 30 chapters nationwide. In 2016, Provenance was a finalist for the 2016 Phillis Wheatley Award for First FictionProvenance and author, Donna Drew Sawyer were also featured at the 2016 Virginia Festival of the Book and the 2016 Gaithersburg Book Festival.

Provenance: A Novel is available from:

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Read an excerpt from Provenance.