The House Behind the Cedars

The House Behind the Cedars Summary

The classic novel of two mixed-race siblings who flee the South after the Civil War, hiding their identities—until a romance brings the truth to light.

A landmark in African American literature, The House Behind the Cedars tells the tale of Rena Walden, who runs away from North Carolina to start a new life with her brother. Their mixed ancestry allows them to “pass” as white—and they settle into life in Clarence, South Carolina, keeping their past a secret.

But Rena eventually becomes romantically involved with a white man from a prominent and wealthy family—and their lives are turned upside-down when her true heritage is revealed.
“A story of sustained strength and interest, wrought out to an artistic finale.” —Detroit Free Press



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