As I begin the novel, I thought I’d introduce the first four characters you will meet ahead of time. You will get to know them well in the months to come. I already feel as though they sit beside me, looking over my shoulder, reading along, acquaintances sure to become my most intimate friends.
Melinda is 34 with no children, married to Jake, a lawyer who has two children from his first marriage. They are high society Houston although Melinda is still finding her way with the full-time volunteerism of the women in the River Oaks area of Houston where they live. She gave up her law practice when she married Jake because they did not need the money and because she wanted to focus on having a family. Jake’s ex-wife Sarah is haughty and mean to Melinda, treating her like a babysitter and ridiculing her efforts to fit into society. Melinda’s miscarriage will open the book.
Stella is 44 and has run the pregnancy loss group for ten years, since her second loss. She is Jewish, funny, boisterous, and opinionated. She has a horror story to outdo most any horror story, and she leads women through the group with a sensitive but firm hand. She experienced secondary infertility after her second miscarriage and did four rounds of IVF before giving up. She makes jewelry now, and owns a small shop where she sells her pieces, which are solely made from gentle purple amethyst and vivid green peridot, the colors of the would-have-been birthstones of her two babies. She has been married to Dane, a construction worker, for 20 years.
Dot is 29 and has five children with her truck driver husband Buster. He has dropped in and out of her life since they married when she was 17. After each departure, she tends to end up pregnant. He was only present for one of the kids’ births. She makes ends meet by running a little store in the trailer park where they live. Buster has been gone for an unprecedented 18 months when she meets Barry and falls desperately in love for the first time. When an accidental pregnancy with Barry ends in miscarriage, she feels God is punishing her and vows never to see him again, and to make amends with her philandering husband.
Tina is 17 and in high school. She and her boyfriend had finally gotten through the hard parts of telling their parents, rearranging their futures, and working out who they will be to each other when she goes into labor at 19 weeks. The death of their baby three hours after his premature birth alters her new life yet again–the boyfriend breaks away in relief, her parents insist she return to regular high school from her alternative school for pregnant teens, and in her desperation, she harms herself. She enters the pregnancy loss group as part of her therapy but resolves to get pregnant again as soon as possible to fill the emptiness.
Other women will come along as the story progresses until a serious twist to the story will take a controversial but necessary slant.
I will begin writing the novel at midnight tomorrow night as the clock switches to November. I plan to post the first scenes of the book by 4 a.m. Central Time, GMT -6.
I can’t wait!