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In 1948 a murder/suicide rocks a small west Texas town, devastating a prominent family, changing their lives forever. At the center of the tragedy is Opal Evans, the widow. Over fifty years later, terminally ill, her only desire is to forgive herself for the unspeakable aftermath resulting from the chaos and the family's loss. She wants to face the person who betrayed her trust and let him know he separated her from her faith and the most important relationship left to her following the loss of her husband. Joy, Opal’s niece, questions the family history, asking about her uncles and a move from their small home town. With the support of her brothers, their families and an unlikely relationship with a former student, Opal discovers the forgiveness and the faith she thought she left behind in her twenties, while her niece, Joy, discovers a love story she never expected. Opal's brother and sister-in-law are supportive, but curious about her inability to come to terms with the tragedy they all faced: In the car on the way home Marlene questioned Opal’s need to confront Pastor Earl. “What is that all about, Jimmy? I don’t understand. She can forgive herself. Pastor Earl has nothing to do with her forgiving herself. Maybe we need to get her in to see a counselor, a grief counselor. What do you think?” “I’m at a loss. She kind of went into a trance there talking about confronting him. He’s around. I could probably find him. Last I heard he had a little congregation down in the valley. I don’t know. I suspect he wouldn’t be willing to come back up this way. He certainly wouldn’t want to run the risk of running into anyone in our family. It would be easier if she just wanted to parachute out of an airplane or something.” “Hell, Jimmy, you are not responsible for making all her wishes come true,” Marlene said, pulling the mirror down in front of her in the car to check her lipstick. “She has to understand that the forgiveness she needs can only come from herself, no one else. That’s why I think she needs to see a counselor. None of us want to confront her with that. We all love her, don’t want to hurt her feelings. We have had to go through the same thing, forgiving ourselves. She is not the only one who lost something back then, we all did. Every one of us lost those people. Every one of us could have done things different. I still have pangs of guilt. I have to go back and forgive myself. It’s not a one-time thing. It crawls back over you, and you have to tell yourself you did your best with the knowledge you had at the time.” “You could have said all this to her earlier, Marlene,” Jimmy said. Marlene glanced at Jimmy, irritated. “No, no I couldn’t and neither could you. I wish you had not asked her that question. I really do. It seems to put the burden on us to facilitate this.” “You only say that because you think you always have to fix things, Marlene. You don’t have to do anything,” Jimmy said. “You don’t have to provide a pound cake, clean the windows, nothing, just let it sit. She’s said what she needs. If she needs it that bad, she’ll figure out how to get it. I agree with you. It’s not going to come from outside, this forgiveness. She could do it without this imaginary confrontation. She has conjured this dilemma in the form of a man. She has put Pastor Earl’s face on it, but that’s not where it sits. She will figure it out and the universe will conspire to help her figure it out. You watch, Marlene. It will happen.” “I admire your faith in such things, Jimmy,” Marlene said “If you think it will happen, I’m sure it probably will, but her sphere of acquaintances has dwindled to us and Harold since her retirement and illness. I can’t see anyone else entering her life to throw that forgiveness switch unless she volunteers to go to counseling.” “Hide and watch, Marlene, hide and watch.”
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Phyllis H. Moore is the author of the Sabine Trilogy, Sabine, Josephine's Journals, Book, Two of the Sabine Trilogy and Secrets of Dunn House, Book Three of the Sabine Trilogy. She writes in the Southern Gothic style with a Texas twist. She enjoys reading Fannie Flagg, Rebecca Wells, Jeanette Walls, Rick Bragg, and other southern writers. Phyllis lives on a small ranch in South Texas with her husband, Richard and their adopted terrier, Ollie Bubba. She enjoys writing, reading, gardening, travel and visiting her adult children on Galveston Island, Texas. Follow her on Facebook, Pinterest, and visit her web site at www.phyllishmoore.com.
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Book Description CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2015. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M1519403631