9780345499073

Children of the Waters

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780345499073

  • ISBN10:

    0345499077

  • Edition: Original
  • Format: Trade Paper
  • Copyright: 2009-06-23
  • Publisher: One World/Ballantine
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Summary

The author of the #1Denver Postbestseller andEssenceBook Club PickOrange Mint and Honeyexplores the connection between love and race, and what it really means to be a family Trish Taylor's white ancestry never got in the way of her love for her black ex-husband, or their mixed race son, Will. But when Trish's marriage ends, she returns to her family's Denver, Colorado home to find a sense of identity and connect to her past. What she finds there shocks her to the very core: her mother and newborn sister were not killed in a car crash as she was told. In fact, her baby sister, Billie Cousins, is now a grown woman; her grandparents had put her up for adoption, unwilling to raise the child of a black man. Billie, who had no idea she was adopted, wants nothing to do with Trish until a tragedy in Billie's own family forces her to lean on her surprisingly supportive and sympathetic sister. Together they unravel age-old layers of secrets and resentments and navigate a path toward love, healing, and true reconciliation. From the Trade Paperback edition.

Author Biography

CARLEEN BRICE was recently named 2008 “Breakout Author of the Year” by The African American Literary Awards Show for her debut novel Orange Mint and Honey, which was also a selection of the Essence Book Club. She is also the author of Walk Tall:Affirmations for People of Color, and Lead Me Home: An African American’s Guide Through the Grief Journey and edited the anthology Age Ain’t Nothing but a Number: Black Women Explore Midlife. She lives in Denver, Colorado, with her husband and two cats.

Excerpts

Chapter One


Trish


Since Trish Taylor came back home to Aurora, Colorado, she had found ten jigsaw puzzle pieces. They seemed to be everywhere: on the sidewalk near her house, in the parking lot at the grocery store, in the park where she walked her dogs.

Trish’s grandmother used to put jigsaws together. Now, a different type of woman would have started to think something funny was going on, that all these puzzle pieces were some kind of sign. But Trish wasn’t the kind who believed in symbols or signs from above. No gods, ghosts, afterlives, religion, or anything that couldn’t be studied and quantified.

She believed in a life force. She had felt it when she was pregnant, and had seen it in animals in the different clinics where she had worked. So natural? Yes. But supernatural? No way, José. She’d known there wasn’t a god since she was four years old, when her mother and baby sister were killed in a car accident.

She’d been on her way to work this morning at Friendly’s Animal Hospital when she’d found the eleventh puzzle piece on the sidewalk right in front of the doors. She picked it up and bounced it in her left hand, the small pasteboard piece making a soft clicking sound against the peridot mother’s ring she wore where her wedding ring used to be. The question that came to her when she found the first puzzle piece tickled the back of her mind, but again she dismissed it. One of her coworkers must have dropped it on the way in. Or maybe a client’s child had lost it yesterday.

“Don’t be silly,” she said to herself, blowing blond bangs out of her eyes. She slid the jigsaw piece into the pocket of her scrubs and went inside to stock the treatment rooms with supplies before the first clients arrived. She set the puzzle piece on the front counter while she reached for her key to the supply room and pharmacy.

“Qué es?” Alicia Alemán asked.

Alicia, the practice manager, was the closest thing to a friend Trish had since she returned to Colorado. Friendly’s was a three-doctor practice. All the vets were male and over forty. The rest of the staff was female, and most were so young Trish and Alicia secretly called them fetuses. Half-Mexican and half-Cuban, Alicia was even shorter than Trish (who was only five foot one) and reminded her of a beautiful tabby cat. Fat and sleek at the same time, caramel-skinned, with lush black hair. The definition of the word feminine. No matter the weather, she was always in heels and a skirt. One evening they went for drinks after work and Trish watched a man jab his chin with a fork full of food, missing his own mouth, because he was staring at Alicia.

“Nothing. I found it. I keep finding pieces of puzzles.”

“Cómo que. . . ?”

“I’ve found eleven puzzle pieces in the last month.”

“Here?”

“All over town.”

Alicia scrunched up her face, creating charming little wrinkles around her eyes. “To the same puzzle?”

“No. Different parts of different puzzles.”

“Why would you be finding puzzle pieces?”

“I have no idea.”

“Do you do puzzles?”

“No.” Trish hesitated. If she said the ridiculous idea she couldn’t seem to shake, the conversation was going to veer in a direction she was pretty sure she didn’t want it to go. “My grandmother liked to do puzzles.”

“Your abuela who’s dead?”

Alicia was very close to her family. A semi-lapsed Catholic, she was divorced and only went to mass on Easter and Christmas Eve, but she still crossed herself before she ate and lit a candle to St. Francis of Assisi, patron saint of animals, every time they lost a patient.

“Don’

Excerpted from Children of the Waters: A Novel by Carleen Brice
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

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