Claudia's Shadow

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Island Nation Press, Apr 1, 2008 - Fiction - 282 pages
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As her sister's sole heir, Rowena Graham moves into Claudia's house -- their old family home -- and begins to sort out her sister's affairs. She also steps in as manager of Claudia's restaurant and gradually leaves her former life and successful career behind as she relentlessly searched for the truth about her sister's death. There was no note and the suicide verdict feels all wrong. And while her beautiful younger sister had always been difficult and unpredictable -- warm and affectionate one day, calculating and cruel the next -- Rowena is certain Claudia would never have taken her own life. Rowena's unexpected discovery of a trove of documents and photographs unearths a host of secrets -- kept not just by Claudia but by every member of the family. Unraveling a tangle of lies and distortions that hid the dynamics of her family, Rowena uncovers the secret to Claudia's death. And finally sets herself free from the shadows of the past.

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About the author (2008)

Charlotte Vale-Allen was born in Toronto and lived in England from 1961 to 1964 where she worked as a television actress and singer. She returned to Toronto briefly, performing as a singer and in cabaret revues until she emigrated to the United States in 1966.

Shortly after her marriage to Walter Allen in 1970 she began writing and sold her first novel Love Life in 1974. Prior to this book's publication she contracted to do a series of paperback originals for Warner Books, with the result that in 1976 three of her books appeared in print.

Her autobiography, the acclaimed Daddy's Girl, was actually the first book she wrote but in 1971 it was deemed too controversial by the editors who read it. It wasn't until 1980, after she'd gained success as a novelist, that the groundbreaking book was finally published.

One of Canada's most successful novelists, with over seven million copies sold of her 30+ novels, Ms. Allen's books have been published in all English-speaking countries, in Braille, and have been translated into more than 20 languages.

In her writing she tries to deal with issues confronting women, being informative while at the same time offering a measure of optimism. "My strongest ability as a writer is to make women real, to take you inside their heads and let you know how they feel, and to make you care about them."

A film buff and an amateur photographer, Allen enjoys foreign travel. She finds cooking and needlework therapeutic, and is a compulsive player of computer Solitaire. The mother of an adult daughter, since 1970 she has made her home in Connecticut.


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