DiscoverContemporary Fiction

Resurrecting Rain

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Worth reading 😎

This book is a good look at how even our choices determine our path going forward and we may be surprised where we end up.

Synopsis

Deena's house is being auctioned off at sheriff's sale and her marriage is falling apart. As her carefully constructed life unravels, her thoughts return to the New Moon Commune outside Santa Fe where she was born, and to Rain, the lesbian mother she abandoned at fourteen. No one, not even her husband and children, know about New Moon or that she sat Shiva for Rain in exchange for her Orthodox grandmother's house in an upscale suburb of Cleveland. Deena's story unfolds with empathy and wit as a cascade of disasters leaves this middle aged librarian unmoored from her home and family, penniless and alone on the streets of Sarasota, Florida. The novel is populated with deftly drawn characters full of their own secrets and surprises--from Deena's blue haired freegan daughter, to the octogenarian TV writer who believes that crows are the reincarnated souls of Jews lost in the Holocaust.
At its heart, the novel is a tale of loss and redemption, a reevaluation of our material culture and an appreciation for the blessing of friends and family. It demonstrates that sometimes you have to lose everything before you find yourself.

“Everywhere, every step we take is a choice. We can’t choose what happens, but we choose how we respond. “ These words are spoken by one of the characters in Resurrecting Rain and it is pretty much the big lesson that I took away from the book.


From all outward appearances, Deena and her husband Martin are your typical All-American upper middle class family. Gainfully employed, two nearly grown children, big house, two cars. But they are just one poor decision away from a very bad situation.


When we join Deena in the opening pages of the book we find her in quite a desperate state as her life as she knew it is crumbling around her. As we follow her on her journey we watch her navigate her new life and find a new normal. However, things are not going to stay static for long. Deena, in many ways, sees herself as a victim, but has to learn that she is just as accountable for her actions and the repercussions of them. In fact, we find later that this is not the first time she has started over--though her family does not know about this yet.


Deena is not the only one in her family who has to learn some important lessons. In fact nearly every character learns that you can try to walk away from your problems, but you may find out that each step takes you around a circle until you're face to face with what you tried to avoid in the first place.


Resurrecting Rain had some difficult moments and it certainly wasn’t an easy read, but it is a good story and one that many readers will find themselves lost in. I certainly enjoyed this book. The writing was very good I found myself reading longer each day than I had anticipated as I wanted to see what happened next.

Reviewed by

I am a mom of six grown children--soon to be a grandma--and now foster mom to 33 children. I run an orphanage in Zambia and divide my time between there and Texas.
I read widely (and quickly) from just about every genre. I enjoy writing and plan to get back into writing regularly this coming year.

Synopsis

Deena's house is being auctioned off at sheriff's sale and her marriage is falling apart. As her carefully constructed life unravels, her thoughts return to the New Moon Commune outside Santa Fe where she was born, and to Rain, the lesbian mother she abandoned at fourteen. No one, not even her husband and children, know about New Moon or that she sat Shiva for Rain in exchange for her Orthodox grandmother's house in an upscale suburb of Cleveland. Deena's story unfolds with empathy and wit as a cascade of disasters leaves this middle aged librarian unmoored from her home and family, penniless and alone on the streets of Sarasota, Florida. The novel is populated with deftly drawn characters full of their own secrets and surprises--from Deena's blue haired freegan daughter, to the octogenarian TV writer who believes that crows are the reincarnated souls of Jews lost in the Holocaust.
At its heart, the novel is a tale of loss and redemption, a reevaluation of our material culture and an appreciation for the blessing of friends and family. It demonstrates that sometimes you have to lose everything before you find yourself.

Resurrecting Rain

Chapter One

Deena wasn’t a drinker, but she unearthed a bottle of vodka

from under the sink and a bottle of cranberry juice from the

back of the refrigerator. By the time Martin got home from

work she was well into her third Crantini. Wednesday was

his early night, so it was still light outside when he walked

through the back door. Deena was sitting at the breakfast bar

they’d installed when they thought that they were rich. Her

glass left a pale pink ring on the granite counter.

“This came today. I guess we’d better start looking for an

apartment.” She took another long swig of her Crantini and

held up the final notice from the sheriff’s department. She felt

as though she were looking at her husband through the wrong

end of a telescope. He appeared small and light years away.

His eyes were red rimmed and puffy, his skin hung on his large

frame like a suit too big for his bones. He was only forty-five,

but he had the washed out, done-in look of someone already

defeated by life.

Martin took off his coat and hung it in the entry, ignoring

the paper dangling from her hand. She stood up, waving it in

front of him. “Take it. Read the fine print.” She wasn’t going

to let him look away from the mess that he’d created.

He took the notice, glanced at it briefly, then set it on the

counter. “Where’s Elliot?” He filled a glass with tap water and

stood holding it without drinking.

“He’s still at the pool. We’ll have to tell him when he

gets home. I think he’ll be OK, but I don’t know about Lauren.

She’s such a drama queen.” Deena collapsed back onto

the stool and put her head down on the granite, allowing the

cool stone to soothe her hot cheeks and overwrought emotions.

What was the matter with her? They weren’t going to

be out on the street. They’d just move into a perfectly decent

apartment. God knows, she’d lived in worse, a lot worse.

Martin seemed to read her thoughts. “It’s not the end of

the world. No one’s being marched off to a death camp. We’ll

get through this.”

If her head hadn’t been swimming in grief and confusion

and vodka maybe she’d have said something consoling, something

brave and insightful, but she didn’t have it in her at the

moment. She felt his hands on her shoulders and stood up

abruptly, moving away so she couldn’t see the expression on

his face. She wanted to hold onto her anger awhile longer and

couldn’t risk seeing the pain in her husband’s eyes. She’d just

wind up forgiving him again. “I’d better pick Elliot up. Swim

practice is over at six o’clock.”

“You’ve been drinking, I’ll go get him.” Martin reached

over and took a quick swig of her Crantini and made a face.

“What is this?”

“Hemlock.” Deena opened the refrigerator and pulled out

a package of ground meat and some corn tortillas. Tacos were

Elliot’s favorite; maybe they’d soften the blow. “We’ll have

to find something in Shaker Heights. There’s no way we’re

making him change schools his senior year.”

Elliot arrived home with his hair still wet and smelling of

chlorine. He sat at the table, numb and slack mouthed, staring

at his plate, his big hands helpless in his lap as Martin

tried to conjure consolation from the things that they could

keep, things that wouldn’t be lost on the auction block. “Your

mother and I still have our jobs.” Martin’s voice sounded

strangled; Deena could see the cords bulging in his neck. This

was costing him, but he deserved it. “We’ll get a nice apartment

and you’ll graduate with your class, you can still compete

with the swim team. Your mom and I would have sold

the house when you went off to college anyway.” This was a

lie. She and Martin had planned to spend the rest of their natural

lives in the snug colonial, mortgage free, hiking through

the small park down the street and puttering in the garden.

“I don’t understand. If you’re making all this money, how

can we be bankrupt? It doesn’t make sense.” Elliot was his

father’s son: logical, deliberate, and responsible to a fault, but

he was only seventeen. Deena watched as he struggled to wrap

his mind around the mess that was their new reality. High risk

real estate speculation wasn’t part of his vocabulary; it was a

violation of everything he’d been taught, everything he knew

about his parents. Deena wanted to defend herself, to say, it

wasn’t me. I warned him. I told him not to. He signed those

papers without my permission, but she held her tongue while

Martin floundered, searching for the right words. Finally, all

he could say was, “I’m sorry. I did the math. I crunched the

numbers. It looked like a sure thing.”

“What are you talking about? This is crazy. Who gambles

away a whole house? I can’t deal with this right now.” As

he shot up from the table, Deena was, as always, amazed by

his height, six feet two inches of beautiful, raw, gangly adolescence.

Martin looked as though he’d been struck in the face. He

tried to shout, but his voice came out a thin, high pitched

whine, “Don’t you ever talk to us like that.” Deena waited for

the rest of the speech. "We’re your parents and you’re to treat us

with respect," but Martin didn’t say another word.

Elliot knocked over his chair as he backed up, set it right

without slowing down and headed for the door. “Sorry, I

didn’t mean that, but I need some time to think. I’ll be at

Sasha’s.”

Deena blinked back tears. “Elliott, please we only meant...”

The door slammed and she and Martin were alone in the

kitchen. As furious as she was at Martin, Deena was glad Elliot

had been spared the sight of his father pleading with her

to sign the papers. That argument had been so out of character,

so unexpected, that Deena had been blindsided. Her

careful, conservative husband, a man terrified of letting time

run out on a parking meter, had decided to play at high stakes

real estate. A pharmacist who measured everything to the

milliliter, he’d ultimately gone behind her back to guarantee

a construction loan with the equity in their house and all their

savings. The funny thing was, Martin didn’t even care about

the money.

When Danny first came to them with a business proposition,

he said he was giving them the opportunity of a lifetime.

Florida real estate was booming and developers couldn’t build

fast enough to keep up with demand. At the beginning, it was

simply a matter of Martin trying to close an old wound from

adolescence. His cousin had been a big shot in high school,

a star athlete, popular with the girls while Martin had always

been on the outside looking in. There’d been a brief period in

college when Martin outshone his cousin, making the Dean’s

list and winning biking marathons, but then Danny married

into a Cleveland building dynasty and went into high end real

estate leaving Martin in the dust. So, when Danny offered

Martin an equity position in River Parc Mall, he mortgaged

the house and their life savings, delighted that his cousin had

finally dealt him in. Neither of them had been savvy enough

to realize that becoming equity partners in River Parc Mall

meant they were also buying its debt. That awful realization

came later.

Deena wrapped a sheet of foil over Elliot’s uneaten dinner.

The muscles in her shoulders were so tight that her head was

beginning to throb. “That didn’t go too well.”

“No,” Martin’s voice was as hollow as his eyes.

“Well, what did you expect? We just ripped the kid’s house

out from under him.”

“I said I’m sorry. I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry. What do

you want me to do, put a gun to my head?”

“No, don’t do that.” Deena softened at the sight of the

large man hugging himself and rocking back and forth in the

kitchen chair. She put her arms around his shoulders. “It’s

not all your fault. Danny put you up to it.”

“How about if I shoot Danny. Would that make you feel

better?”

“Maybe.” She kissed him on top of his head. “ How about

just setting fire to his yacht? How many years would we get

for that?”

“Don’t bother, the yacht’s gone. His father-in-law repossessed

all his toys.”

Deena shook her head. “Don’t worry about Danny; his wife

may have him on a short leash but he’s still sitting pretty in

a big house in Moreland Hills. I guarantee he’s not worrying

about you.”

“You’re too hard on Danny. Honestly, he thought he was

helping us out. How could he predict that both our main tenants

would go bankrupt?”

“It was his business to know, due diligence or whatever.

Losing both your main tenants to bankruptcy isn’t just bad

luck it’s incompetence or criminal negligence or...I don’t know

what. But he should have seen it coming. He should have

protected us.”

“No, it’s my fault. I should have protected us.” Martin

turned to look out the window where twilight was already

obliterating the maple and the forsythia hedge. ”I should have

listened to you.”

Deena sat back down and looked across the table. The

man who’d once been her rock, the source of everything good

and orderly and predictable in her life had become a puddle of

remorse. “Do you want some salad?” She held out the wooden

bowl as a sort of green peace offering.

Martin stabbed a cherry tomato and stared at it glistening

at the end of his fork. “It’s a nightmare. Everyone involved in

the deal got burned.”

Deena glanced around the kitchen with a sense of nostalgia

for everything they’d have to leave behind. “What did Allen

tell you? How much has to go and what do we get to keep?”

“You know attorneys, they always give you the worst case

scenario, but it looks bad. What really hurts is that we’re being

punished for being so damned responsible and paying things

off. If we didn’t have so much equity in the house and cars we

could probably keep them.” He raked his fingers through his

thinning hair. “This should never have happened. The deal

was fail-safe, guaranteed. There was no way we could lose.”

“Well, we lost, now what do we get to keep?” Their house

was being sold at auction in one month and she didn’t have

time for a pity party. They had to make plans, and they had

to move fast.

“We can keep most of the furniture and personal stuff.

Theoretically, you should turn over your jewelry but Allen says

to just keep it. Your wedding ring is exempt and the other stuff

isn’t that valuable. We can keep your car, but the Honda goes.”

“How will you get to work? You have to have a car.”

Deena looked up in alarm, the impact of their situation hitting

her full in the gut. “What about our savings? What about

the kids’ college fund?”

Martin looked at her with eyes that floated out of focus

beneath a pool of tears. She watched him try to speak, then

simply swallow and shake his head. So that was that. She

couldn’t think straight; all she could feel was the cold fear that

they’d wind up living in a derelict house with no plumbing and

broken windows. After a lifetime of doing everything possible

to escape, she was being sucked back into her mother’s world.

Maybe she’d been marked from birth for a life of poverty and

chaos. Maybe it was hubris to think she could elude her fate.

Deena visualized her mother squinting at her, sizing her

up then shaking her head in disgust. In memory, Rain, as

Leah Marcus had renamed herself, was still the rebellious hippie

of her youth. She stood barefoot, arms akimbo, her blond

curls alive in the spring wind blowing off the Sangre de Cristo

Mountains. “Well, Miss Harmony, you finally got what you

had coming.” Deena cringed beneath the imagined rebuke.

“What did you expect, trading your family for a bunch of

junk? Hope you remember how to cover your windows with

old newspaper when it gets cold this winter.”

Deena got up and staggered to the powder room they’d

updated when they still had money, and threw up in the environmentally

conscious, low-flow, gravity assisted toilet.


As predicted, Lauren freaked. She wanted to drop out of

school and come home the minute she heard there was no

money for next year’s tuition. It took all of Deena’s strength

to convince her to stay in Boston and finish the semester.

“What’s the point?” Lauren whined while Deena clenched

her teeth. “Why torture myself studying for finals? It’s not

like I’m going to graduate.”

“You’re going to graduate.” Deena had been firm. She’d

been reasonable. She hadn’t screamed back, you spoiled little

twerp. What about us? Can’t you think of anyone but yourself?

Instead, she’d said, “You might not be going back to Brandeis,

but you’ll go somewhere and those credits will transfer.

So help me God, if you leave early and throw away a whole

semester I won’t let you in the house. I’ll lock the door. Do

you hear me?”

Lauren was crying. She was twenty years old, but still a

baby. “OK, I’ll finish the semester, but I’m not coming home.

I don’t even have a home.” Deena heard a strangled sob, then,

“Oh, my God, are you and Daddy going to be homeless?”

Deena closed her eyes and inhaled deeply. Why couldn’t

Lauren have taken after her father? The entire maternal side

of the family was nuts. Without ever setting eyes on her grandmother,

Lauren managed to channel her every gesture, mannerism,

and vocal intonation. The only difference was that

Lauren was boy-crazy and her grandmother was a lesbian.

There was a long pause as Deena exhaled slowly to the

count of ten. Lowering her voice as though she were talking

to an injured child she tried again. “We’re not going to be

homeless. We’ve found a nice apartment on Van Aken Boulevard.

Your dad and I still have our jobs. Elliot will graduate

with his class. We’re going to be OK. It’s not the end of the

world.”

“Good, I was scared you were going to wind up living under

a bridge or something.” There was a pause while Lauren

sniffled and blew her nose. “But, honestly, I’m not moving

back home. I’ll help you pack, but then I’m going back to

Boston. I’m twenty years old and I can live wherever I want.”

Deena’s heart clenched with the old, familiar fear that Lauren

would disappear from her life the same way she’d run

away from her own mother. Losing Lauren was her nightmare,

the feared retribution for her own defection. Lauren was her

darling, her best friend. Until Lauren left for college they’d

shared the same wardrobe, attended the same yoga classes,

cried at the same movies. Losing her would be unthinkable.

“We’ll be done packing before you’re done with finals, but it

will be great to see you. As for staying in Boston, you’re a big

girl; you can live wherever you want as long as you can pay

the rent. I just want you to know that there’s still a place for

you with us.”

“Thanks, I really mean it, but I’ve had a better offer. I’m

just going to pick up a few things then move back here.”

“Where are you moving?”

“That’s all I’m saying for now. I’ll see you in three weeks,

as soon as I’m done with my exams.”

“What better offer?”

“Bye Mom. Tell Elliot I said Hi.”

“What better offer?” but there was no one on the line.


The day appraisers from the Sheriff’s office walked through

her home, violating her most private spaces, inventorying and

tagging items that resonated with her family’s history, their

daily rituals, their very DNA, had left Deena shattered. She’d

opened the door to admit the two very polite and efficient

women, pointed out the pieces she’d be keeping, then quietly

slipped into her bedroom closet, buried her head in an old

tweed suit, and bawled her eyes out.

Most of the good stuff, the appliances, the oriental rugs,

and the oil painting over the sofa were being auctioned off.

Her grandmother’s Waterford and sterling would go on the

block along with the Rosenthal china, but not the silver menorah

or the candlesticks that had arrived from Belarus with her

grandparents in 1938. Those were hidden away in a bundle

of blankets beneath the bed, silent and still, like hidden Jews

concealed from Nazis pounding on the door.

Deena had used a week of her vacation to pack up what

they’d take and to discard the rest. It was the most exhausting

and soul wrenching work she’d ever done. How could

they have accumulated so much stuff? Every drawer and

closet bulged with outdated insurance records, manuals for

appliances they no longer owned, flashlights without batteries,

pens without ink, coats the kids had long outgrown and

a sequined dress she hadn’t worn since college. There were

pots without lids and lids without pots, endless computer

cords, a trove of ancient floppy disks and a lifetime of books.

Deena picked up The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

and started to open the cover, but stopped herself and tossed

it into a box being donated to the library.

When had she become the Countess of clutter, the Duchess

of debris, the Raja of rubbish? The...she looked around and

realized it was true. Why had she accumulated all this junk?

What was it for? Then with a sudden painful clarity she knew

the answer. This crap was what she’d gotten in exchange for

her mother and New Moon. She’d traded them for the house,

the clothes, the gadgets, the makeup, the matching dishes and

fondue pots she was tossing in the trash or leaving for the

sheriff.

Martin wandered through the house in a daze as if he’d

been dropped from another planet. He was clearly slipping

into a depression, but Deena was too exhausted and angry to

haul him out. He needed detailed instructions to purchase

strapping tape and bubble wrap, couldn’t find his hammer in

the tool chest or butter in the refrigerator. A simple request to

assemble a few boxes was met with confused dismay as though

he’d been asked to fold them into origami swans.

At least Elliot pitched in on the week-ends. He drove back

and forth to Goodwill with load after load of things not good

enough for the sheriff’s sale, but too good for the growing

mountain of trash bags looming behind the house. What did

it mean to own things anyway? Something she remembered

her mother saying, came back to her. Do you know who’s rich?

A person who’s happy with what he has, that’s who.

For someone who was so organized and meticulous Deena

had amassed quite a collection of worthless paper. It was

mostly trash, but something forced her to give each sheet a

cursory glance and a quick trial before its summary execution.

Old to-do lists, expired warranties, recipes clipped from

magazines: toss, toss, toss. Then a red folder emerged from

a bureau drawer, a relic from her childhood. It held report

cards, term papers, the program to her high school prom and

brochures from several universities. Deena riffled through its

pages, deciding to let it go after one last nostalgic look. As

she buried the folder in a large trash bag two sheets slipped

out and landed on the floor. She recognized them at once.

Had those incriminating pages been lurking in her dresser all

these years? Thankful that no one else was in the room, she

smoothed the two pieces of paper across her lap and began to

read.

Garfield University

Application for Undergraduate Admission

October 18, 1987

Personal Essay: An Experience That Changed My Life

I was born on the New Moon Commune just outside of Santa

Fe in the summer of 1970. My Mother named me Harmony—just

Harmony, one word, like Madonna or Prince, the same way she’d

named herself, Rain. I would have been Harmony Marcus if my

mother hadn’t jettisoned her last name along with her four poster

bed, her color TV, and her college fund.

My father was some guy hitchhiking to Berkeley who had gone

his merry way before my mom knew she was a lesbian. Everyone

called him Dante, but that’s probably not his real name. I don’t

know his real name and neither does my mother.

My mom’s partner, Casey, had inherited the house and some

land when her parents were killed in a car accident the summer she

turned fifteen. She lived with her aunt in Albuquerque for a while, but

she got pregnant and didn’t want to raise her baby in a city so she left

for Santa Fe and moved back into the farmhouse where she’d grown up.

Her son Paz was a baby when she met my mother and a big guy named

Buddha at a Grateful Dead concert.

They all moved in together and named the place New Moon

Commune. New Moon started out as a normal three bedroom farmhouse

with a garage, a tool shed and a chicken coop, but when I was small there

was usually no electricity or gas because no one paid the bills. We got

water from a hand pump in the yard and flushed the toilet with water

from a bucket. A woodstove kept the kitchen warm in winter, but the

bedrooms got so cold we could write our names in the frost that spread

across the floor.

Casey’s son, Paz, and I were the only two kids in permanent

residence if you didn’t count the Rios clan next door. The New Mooner

with frizzy blonde hair sticking out from under an old cowboy hat was

my mother who never, not for a single minute, behaved like the mothers

you read about in books. Casey came closer, but you couldn’t exactly take

either one of them to a mother-daughter tea. I’d go to Daffodil Days by

myself each spring and lie to my teachers about my mom being sick. It

was awful going alone, but it was better than letting the other kids see

what my life was really like.

My Mom and Casey are probably still there. I was going to say

that I might still be there too if circumstances had been different, but

that’s a lie. I would have left one way or another. I would have tunneled

my way out of there with a teaspoon.

Deena couldn’t read another word. She folded the papers

in half and looked away. Old memories blurred her eyes as

she remembered those early years. She’d shown the essay to

Bubbe, her grandmother, not sure how she’d react. Bubbe

had handed it back as though it was treif, something unclean.

“Your mother’s dead. She’s dead to both of us. Throw this

away. Write about something else.”

So Deena had written a different essay and buried her past

along with the old papers. But why hadn’t she thrown them

away? Anyone, Martin or her kids, could have found them and

discovered that the whole story she’d invented about her childhood

was a lie. The lie had started with Bubbe, but that was over thirty

years ago. Deena felt a hollow ache at the center of her being.

Nothing she’d said or done had been completely honest since the day

she’d left New Moon. She’d yearned for her mother with an orphan’s

longing, yet she hadn’t called or written and her mother hadn't

written her.

With a flash of anger, Deena knew that if Lauren had run away

she’d have followed her to the gates of hell. But her own mother,

her universal love and peace hippie mother, had simply let her move

to Cleveland.

Why hadn’t she ever told the truth? How had her life become

so twisted? She tore the papers into narrow strips, and

then ripped the strips into tiny squares, before burying them

all at the bottom of a bag bound for the recycle bin.

Her mood swings were manic but her hands kept moving.

She went at the task of dismantling her life like the librarian

that she was: organize, classify, shelve, toss, donate, pack,

until the final drawer was emptied and the last room swept

out. That moment was the worst. She collapsed half way up

the stairs and surveyed the bare room through the wrought

iron banister. It was the home of a family that had failed,

that was forced to vacate the premises under a court order.

There was no evidence that she’d created a neat, orderly home,

that she’d been responsible, law abiding and paid her bills on

time. Or, at least, she’d paid them on time until Martin’s one

financial fling had cost them everything they owned.

Descending the last few stairs, she walked over to the large

bay window and pressed her head against the glass. Fernway

Road was lined with maples, honey locusts, and a few remaining

elms. A golden aura hung over the old slate roofs as the

afternoon sun dipped toward Horseshoe Lake a few blocks to

the northwest. Iris and peonies bloomed behind tidy vibernum

and boxwood hedges. A scattering of sparrows hopped

across the lawn. A pair of crows pecked at something in the

grass then looked up, staring back at her through the window

with shrewd, discerning eyes.

The houses were architectural gems, smaller versions of

the great mansions that stood along Eton and South Park

Boulevard. Most were nearly a century old, but they’d aged

well. A few needed paint or a bit of tuck pointing, but overall

the neighborhood remained gracious and welcoming. The

original owners, the old guard Protestants of British ancestry,

had given way to a diverse mix of religions and ethnicities.

Children named Sasha, Kumar, Huan, and Jamal ran back and

forth between the yards while their parents chatted companionably

across the drives and hedges.

There’d been cookouts, coffee klatches, summer evenings

spent chatting on front stoops, and yet there were no close

friends. Something always held her back. Why hadn’t she

opened up to her neighbors, laughing, gossiping, and sharing

stories? Blushing, she knew the answer. The sense of alienation

she’d carried from her youth still haunted her. Even

now, a marriage and two grown children later, she still felt

like an outsider. Growing up on a hippie commune had made

her a freak, an alien at school. When other kids had talked

about TV shows or computer games she’d withdrawn and become

silent. When they’d shown off their boom boxes, permed

hair and fancy sneakers, she’d made herself invisible. She’d

learned to keep her distance and to distrust people who might

have become friends. Even now, normal people still seemed

vaguely dangerous. They asked questions, made assumptions

and forced her to tell lies. It was hard enough keeping the

truth from Martin and her children, deceiving the rest of the

world was just too great an effort.

She took off the bandana tied around her hair and used

it to wipe her eyes. How was it possible to lose so much so

quickly? Is this how it starts, she wondered. Is this how people

lose their grip on their carefully constructed lives? She felt

vulnerable and naked, like a turtle without its shell. The old

ache returned and she knew it wasn’t just the loss of her house.

It was the longing for a home and family that had always felt

just beyond her reach. “Oh Harmony,” she whispered to herself,

“What have you done now?”

About the author

Patricia Averbach is the former director of the Chautauqua Writers’ Center. Her second novel, Resurrecting Rain, won a Royal Palm Literary Award from the Florida Writers Association and was a semi-finalist for a Tucson Festival of Books Literary Award. She won the 2013 Lumen/Camden prize for poetry. view profile

Published on February 03, 2020

Published by Golden Antelope Press

100000 words

Worked with a Reedsy professional 🏆

Genre: Contemporary Fiction

Reviewed by

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