Beloved author Sheila Williams beautifully captures the bittersweet humor and vivid adventures of women who survive the worst life can toss at them—and fight back to claim their right to be free, to be themselves, and to live in . . .
The courage to change doesn’t come easy. When Opal Sullivan walks out on an abusive husband after fifteen years, she has only her dreams in her pocket. Her new beginning starts in Appalachian River country, where she sees a bit of herself in a graceful but dilapidated house. Like Opal, the house is worn-out and somewhat beaten up, but it still stands proudly and deserves a second chance.
So Opal opens her doors—and her heart—to a parade of unforgettable characters. There’s sassy Bette Smith with her cantaloupe-colored hair and four-inch heels; short-tempered Gloria and her devilish son, Troy; the mysterious Dana, who dresses in black and keeps exclusively nocturnal hours; a dog named “Bear” who is afraid of his own shadow; and Jack, who doesn’t mind hanging out with an OBBWA (old black broad with an attitude). It is Jack who helps Opal understand a funny thing about life: You can’t move forward if you keep looking back. . . .
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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|Title of eBook: The Shade of My Own Tree|
|Release Date: 03-12-2009|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Random House Publishing Group|
This eBook download is available in the following formats:
|Parent title||The Shade of My Own...|
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The Shade of My Own Tree
I sit in the shade of my own tree now, but it wasn’t too long ago, I didn’t have a twig, much less a tree to sit under. I was running from a marriage that was no good. It took me fifteen years to take that first step, but once I did, I just kept going. Now, several years have come and gone. Already! Time flies when you’re having fun. Or running for your life.
I married my college boyfriend, Ted, when I was twenty-one.
After a few years of marriage, I knew that I had made a terrible mistake.
But once I was in, I didn’t know how to get out. It was like being in prison. And I had a life sentence with no chance of parole.
I got three squares a day and had a bed, but that was it. There was hard labor and solitary confinement if I was uncooperative. Or if, as in Ted’s words, I acted like a “sassy, smart-mouth bitch.”
Even when it got as hot as hell in the summer, I wore long sleeves. My arms were always bruised. One August, I wore turtleneck sweaters to work for two weeks until the marks of Ted’s handprints faded where he had tried to choke me.
I know what you’re thinking: She sounds so articulate! She could get a job anywhere. Why didn’t she just leave? Why did she stay and put up with that?
How many times have I asked myself those questions? How many times did I beat myself up after Ted beat me up? I’ll turn the tables on you. You don’t understand what I was dealing with. And for years, I didn’t understand, either. By the time I did, it was almost too late.
The slaps, pushes, kicks, and punches didn’t start right away of course. The