Honors College Theses

Publication Date



Writing & Linguistics (B.A.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Faculty Mentor

Professor Jared Yates Sexton


The Bones of Cordelia Lewis is a murder mystery novel set in 1995 that follows Margaret Lewis, a young doctoral student at the Georgia Institute of Technology, who returns to her hometown of Larkin, GA after a tornado uncovers the rusted remains of a ‘58 baby blue Volkswagen convertible. The car is quickly identified as the missing vehicle of her aunt, Cordelia Lewis, who disappeared in the summer of 1962. Cordelia’s case is officially reopened by the local police department, but Margaret begins her own investigation, seeking closure for her father and determined to find out what really happened that night. As the narrative progresses, she discovers that Cordelia was a closeted lesbian and that her hidden sexual orientation may have had something to do with her disappearance. This awakens questions buried within Margaret about her own sexuality as she grapples with internalized homophobia, conflicting messages about what it means to be a woman in a rural community, and the factors that ultimately led to her aunt’s death. The story is about generational trauma, navigating marginalized identity in a small town, and understanding both what we owe to each other and what we owe to ourselves.

Available for download on Wednesday, March 31, 2027

Included in

Fiction Commons