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Pearl Starling is forty-five, a hermit with a 'colorful past' — a past filled with treachery and desire, death and survival — who makes her living weaving rugs in a North Carolina military town. For years she has been an object of curiosity and scorn, and now she has defied the societys conventions once again: she is pregnant and no one knows who the father is. In 'The Secret of Hurricanes' Pearl tells her unborn child about how she has weathered the 'hurricanes' in her life — from religiously reading the local newspaper to drawing inspiration from the Kennedy's abiding strength in the face of tragedy. Traveling the dark roads of her past, Pearl reveals how her need for tenderness led to sexual confusion, a relationship with a much older man, and her part in a murder thirty years ago.

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