A Secret Grave 130: The Plot Thickens


In researching Victor, I came across a novel entitled “A Hidden Grave” about a woman who died during treatment for weight loss with an alternative doctor. Because the title was practically the same as my own title, “A Secret Grave,” I had to read the book. I will give you a synopsis of the story but must tell you first that the novel was written anonymously and was self-published.


plot structure

dark room dream 6/52 (edited), Tom Hart, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/


The name of the girl in the story was Joanna (Josie) Carter, an accountant who worked for a state agency in Austin, Texas. She was in her early forties and extremely overweight. She was described as, “strong and energetic with wavy blond hair and a face that would have been beautiful if its features hadn’t been so bloated with excess flesh.” Josie, who had grown up in Seguin, Texas, played soccer as a girl and was quite athletic. A nature enthusiast, she loved hiking in the green belt and knew bird calls so well that she could identify the type of bird without seeing it. She also loved storytelling, reading about the occult, and was an ardent follower of Edgar Cayce whose predictions she could quote along with those of Nostradamus. And having been raised by Evangelical Christians, she knew her Bible inside and out. She was the middle of five children. Because her parents were missionaries, she lived in the Philippines, Guatemala, and Honduras, but mostly she was brought up in Texas, where her father was the owner of an office supply franchise. Since the story was written more as a memoir than a novel, photos were included.

Here’s one of Josie, age fifteen:


growing up in the 60s

Josie Carter, age 15


Her weight problems must have started at about that age because, according to the author, she’d been plump as a child. But at fifteen, her body really ballooned out. The author hints at spurned love and Josie’s realization that she may have been sexually different (gay) as the cause. Since I too am a storyteller, I imagine Josie at a summer bible camp where she became infatuated with another girl who initially befriended her, but then pulled away when Josie’s attentions overwhelmed her. Maybe Josie kissed her on the mouth instead of the cheek. Maybe she touched her inappropriately. Whatever happened, Josie’s heart was broken, and there was the double whammy of falling in love with a girl instead of a boy, a big and possibly punishable no-no for a homeschooled evangelical female. And so Josie, humiliated by her own forbidden desires, began to find solace in food, and that would become the most serious and dangerous love affair of her life.


To be continued…


Cover photo ~ https://uofllibraries.wordpress.com/2014/03/12/artist-book-or-livre-dartiste/


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