Opal’s Story: A Novel
Today’s Free Kindle eBook: Opal’s Story: A Novel
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. Over fifty years later, terminally ill, Opal’s only desire is to forgive herself for the unspeakable aftermath resulting from the chaos. She wants to face the person who betrayed her trust and let him know he separated her from her faith. With the support of her brothers, their families and an unlikely former student, Opal discovers the forgiveness and the faith she thought she left behind in her twenties, while her niece, Joy, discovers a tender love story she never expected as she learns that decisions to “protect” family from information may deprive them of the opportunity to demonstrate the depth of their emotions.Set in a small town in west Texas, the fictitious, Jordanville, embodies most small towns in the late forties. The lifestyles and attitudes that shaped the community defined the values and the prejudices that could condone and precipitate acts of bullying and intimidation. Harold sat watching Opal recall the house. He never expressed his opinion about his parent’s need to maintain a social presence. It didn’t sit well with him. In fact, it irritated him. He thought the need to have material things and be seen in the community as law-abiding, church-goers was the root of their problems. Opal saw the family one way, and he recalled their existence in a different way. He supposed it was a gender thing. Opal liked the silver, china, bridge-playing, choir-singing. He, on the other hand, didn’t feel those things were necessary. He didn’t mind attending church, but he saw duplicity there. The boys tended to be out on the town, observing the men of the church in the pool hall, courting women, not their wives, gambling, and telling irreverent jokes. He knew their father was one of those men, living one way in view of his family and church, and living another way when they weren’t looking. Harold knew the gambling was a problem and caused the financial problems they discovered after Billy Mack’s death. Harold’s memory was not as flattering to his father. Sometimes he thought his mother’s desire for silver and china was the reason their father turned to gambling. He wanted to blame someone, but he wasn’t sure . . . I’ll let Opal have her pleasant memories. No sense upsetting her at this stage of the game. What’s gone is done. Nothing we can do about it now. She may not even know about the financial problems. Opal may have been in the hospital when we discovered that. I can’t remember. No harm done keeping that away from her. She had enough to worry about. Nothing anyone could do about it anyways.
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