The Rhythm of Secrets by Patti Lacy
This is not an easy book to read. It contains harsh realities of prejudice that were particularly harsh at this time period.
The book starts out with Sheila, a pastor's wife, who gets a call from a man who needs her help. The man is the son she had when she was a teenager. A son she forgot to tell her husband about. But this is a watershed event. Sheila has many, many secrets.
Sheila meets her son and she begins her story. Sheila was once named Sheba, the daughter of a gambler in trouble with the mafia and a prostitute made respectable by marriage. But the secrets continue. Her mother or grandmother was the result of a cruel slave master raping his slave. Sheila has black blood.
The journey continues with the death of her parents, a pious grandmother, a pregnancy, a trip north where she has to give up her baby for adoption, and starting a new life over and over again while carrying shreds of her old life. Eventually Sheila feels she needs to come clean to her husband in order to help her son. The journey takes us to Thailand and it is ugly and uncomfortable but ultimately provides a backdrop for God's grace.