The Mulberry Tree by Jude Deveraux

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He needed me.
For nearly twenty years, those three words dictated the life of Lillian Manville. Quiet, unassuming, and overweight, Lillian did anything and everything to please her husband, the illustrious self-made billionaire James Manville. Since the tender age of seventeen, she had obeyed this powerful older man's every command and in return she received a life beyond her wildest dreams. Elaborate mansions. Trips around the world. The finest jewels and the most luxurious fashions.
Whatever I wanted,
he gave me long before I knew I wanted it.

But when Jimmie dies suddenly in a plane crash, Lillian's pampered life comes to an abrupt halt. She learns that Jimmie has bequeathed all of his riches to his devious siblings, Atlanta and Ray. All, that is, except an old farmhouse in small-town Calburn, Virginia. Although Lillian is devastated by Jimmie's death and apparent betrayal, she soon discovers a well of secrets connected to Jimmie's past that originate in Calburn and to a long-ago tragedy concerning a group of boys hailed as the "Golden Six." Uncovering those secrets, Lillian thinks, will help her to better understand the man she loved and mysteriously lost.
What Lillian doesn't foresee is how her unexpected circumstances quickly transform her. She loses weight, changes her name to avoid further harassment from the press, and, with the help of Matthew Longacre, a kind, handsome local man, begins to renovate the farmhouse and establish friendships with Calburn's quirky townspeople. In time she develops her own thriving business and an inner strength she never knew existed. But, though Lillian's new life seems as strong as the mulberry tree firmly planted outside her farmhouse, there remain secrets and lies that threaten to uproot the past she cherished and the future she will fight to protect.

About Jude Deveraux

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Jude Deveraux is the author of more than forty New York Times bestsellers, including Moonlight in the Morning, The Scent of Jasmine, Scarlet Nights, Days of Gold, Lavender Morning, Return to Summerhouse, and Secrets. To date, there are more than sixty million copies of her books in print worldwide. To learn more, visit
Published June 25, 2002 by Atria Books. 464 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Romance, Literature & Fiction, Action & Adventure, History, Horror. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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As Bailey gossips with nosy neighbors Patsy and Janice (the trio has started a jam-making business), she hears the story of six local boys who, years ago, saved a rural high school from being blown up by a bomb.

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Publishers Weekly

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Perennially bestselling romance writer Deveraux's newest (put out by Atria, S&S's new hardcover imprint) tells the story of a 33-year-old woman's successful remaking of her life and self-image after the sudden death of her beloved husband, Jimmie, who was a combination of business tycoon and Mafi...

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All About Romance

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(Note: Throughout the story, each of these numbers is given for the length of time Lillian and James were married, so it's anybody's guess.) Chapter 2 takes us to Calburn, Virginia (I don't know where we began, it is never mentioned), but now the story shifts to the third person, and we are i...

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