How well do you really know the people in your life?
Annabel O’Conner has the perfect husband, two adorable children, an amazing job, and the mother from hell! Annabel doesn’t like it but has come to terms with the fact that her relationship with her mother, Bea, deteriorated to the point of forced and strained communications. However, an unscheduled call from Bea turns her world around and makes Annabel question everything she believed about her life.
Despite the fact secrets, lies, and misplaced blame have destroyed the women’s relationship; Annabel reluctantly agrees to help Bea plan her wedding. Little does Annabel know the impact of her decision.
In this Women’s Contemporary Fiction novel, Hilary Grossman explores the complex relationship that exists between mothers and daughters in a light-hearted and relatable manner.
Excerpt from Plan Bea
Two hours passed and we still didn’t select an invitation. I wondered if the search would ever end. While I didn’t expect this to be a quick task, I didn’t anticipate it to be an all-day affair either. I swore my mother was determined to look through each and every book. I already had found ten invitations I thought would have been perfect. Every time I showed her one she’d just hand me a sticky and instruct me to mark it for later. She wanted us to narrow down our favorites.
“Excuse me?” I asked the bored looking girl behind the counter. “Exactly how many more books of invitations do you have?”
She paused for a second. “You’re in luck. There are only five more so you’re only looking at another hour or two before you can leave here.”
“Thank you.” Turning to Beatrice, “Mother, we need to speed up this process. I don’t have another two hours to sort through all these books.”
“Why? Do you have somewhere to go? A plane to catch or something?” she asked, her eyes never left the books.
“Mother, it’s already a quarter to four. I have to get home and prepare something for dinner so I can feed the kids.”
She cocked an eyebrow, “Isn’t Cole with them?”
“Yes, but cooking isn’t exactly his specialty.”
“Really?” She said as she continued to flip pages of the book. “I pegged him for the cooking type. He does make a marvelous martini, you know. Walter, on the other hand, sure knows his way around the kitchen let me tell you! It’s probably from all those years he lived as a bachelor. He’s an excellent cook. He makes the most amazing shrimp scampi with just the perfect amount of garlic. He’s completely the opposite of your father. Do you recall your dad wasn’t even capable of making toast? He tried to once and nearly burnt my house to the ground.”
“Yes, I remember mother.” At first I wasn’t going to say any more, but then anguish filled my heart. I stared at her. “Don’t you think that it’s sad I’ve been married to Cole for almost twelve years, yet you barely know anything about him? He makes a good martini because he had to work as a bartender in order to pay for college. Connie and Patrick didn’t have money to send him to school. He worked his ass off in order to get his degree. He was so determined to become an architect. In fact, as a little boy he drew blueprints for fun. Connie once showed me some of his drawings, she saved them you know. They were amazing. He was so cute...” I paused as I pictured the little boy my husband once was. “His dad was doing the plumbing for a nursing home that was being built and he took Cole to the site almost every weekend. Cole was fascinated by the building and started drawing his own blueprints. They were so detailed.” I smiled. “But the really cute part was while he was able to do such intricate work, he titled the drawing senior citizen home and spelled citizen s-i-t-e-z-e-n.”
She marked another invitation. “That’s sweet,” my mother muttered, without so much as a glance in my direction.
“Well, nothing was going to stop him from his dream, especially a lack of funds. When he graduated, he was so in debt he continued to bartend for years after on weekends just to pay them off. Which is why he makes such a mean martini.”
Beatrice didn’t comment so I continued, unable to keep inside what I had kept bottled up for so long. “Of course you didn’t know any of this. After all, you never once tried to get to know him. You never made any attempt to get to know anyone important to me. Whenever you’ve been with Cole’s family you barely manage to be civil. I wonder if you even know his sister’s names. Do you have any idea how hurtful this is to me?” I bit my lip in an attempt to hold back my tears.
“Oh, Annabel. Don’t be so dramatic.”
“Dramatic? I’m just trying to express my feelings, Mother. You know, I have feelings too.” I sighed. I felt so defeated.
The girl behind the desk no longer looked bored. Her gaze was fixated on us as I debated if I should say more. For far too long I’ve held my tongue, the words I wanted to say stuck in my throat. They choked me. I finally had to get my feelings out in the open.
“How do you think it makes me feel knowing you have no interest in my children?” I closed the book of invitations in front of me with probably more force than was needed. “You never spend any time with them. Forget about going to one of their sporting events or recitals, you’ve never even played a game with them. You have no idea if Violet plays baseball or soccer. You don’t know what Harley’s favorite food is or that he’s allergic to strawberries. The fact that you don’t know any of this, Mother, is what is tearing me apart inside.”
“Are you done with this little outburst?” She asked as she tucked a caramel colored lock of hair behind her ear.
“You know what Mother? Yes. I’m done. I have been done for years. I don’t know why I didn’t realize it sooner. But I guess better late than never. I’m sorry.” I reached into my pocketbook and pulled out my car keys. “I’ve got to go. I wish you all the best picking out your invitations. I hope you find happiness with Walter. He really does seem like a lovely man. But I can’t do this anymore. I can’t continue to walk on eggshells around you hoping and praying to gain your affection and your forgiveness. I’ve done nothing to be forgiven for, despite what you may think.” I got up from the stool and started to put on my coat. As I zipped it I remembered my car was parked in her driveway. Leave it to me to ruin my grand exit with a lack of transportation. I really hoped I would be able to catch a cab by the train station down the block.
Hilary Grossman loves to find humor in everyday life. She has an unhealthy addition to denim and high heel shoes. She likens life to a game of dodge ball - she tries to keep as many balls in the air before they smack her in the face. When she isn't writing, blogging, or shoe shopping she is the CFO of a beverage alcohol importer. She lives on the beach in Long Island.
Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B016E6FS4G/
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B016E6FS4G/
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