Rubies - Escaping the Curse - A Family Saga written by Sandra Eastman
Rubies - The Beginning
What is Rubies About?
Have you ever felt alone and that everything you tried to accomplish in life had some mysterious curse upon it. Everything you touched seemed to explode in your face. No matter what you did things always turned out the same way –- disastrous. This is the legacy given to the women of the Rubies Family Saga.
In our society today a great deal of attention is focused on people of other countries seeking a new life in America.
This truth is evidenced by the fact that all Americans have a generational lineage to the emigrants of old who sought a new beginning in a land of freedom and prosperity. The Midwest is populated by the Olson’s, the Anderson’s, and the Johnson’s who came to America as the Ostman's, the Svenson's, the Tveter's. Names were changed but people remain the same.
In the newest fiction publication, Rubies – Escaping the Curse, we find all the heritage of times gone by. The Rubies Saga is a four book series tracing the life of a Norwegian Emigrant family from 1913 to 1992.
The story takes place in the Midwest, from the North Dakota plains, to the charming tourist city of Brainerd to the shores of Historic Duluth, bringing all the history of the era while showing us that the past can become the present whether it is 1913 or 2014.
The idea for Rubies came to me when searching for the truth about my own grandmother’s journey from Norway to America in 1913.
Kaja traded her life in Norway for the farm of Dakota
Kaja left Mary and Janna behind in Norway
The Beginning- From Norway to Dakota
What does it mean when a fine gemstone is shattered in a million pieces? Its brilliance no longer glistens in the sunlight as the only remains are the remnants of the jewel broken and left with jagged edges
Book one begins with our main heroine, Stacey, who has convinced herself that she and all the women in her family are victims of some mysterious curse – a curse that has destroyed all their lives. As her sanity crumbles after the untimely death of her sister, Stacey seeks the help of psychiatrist, Gregg Phillips. Together they journey back in time using a unique method of hypnosis. Together they discover the secret of the mysterious curse lies only in the mind of its victims.
Stacey begins to recall the story of her grandmother, Kaja, who journeyed to America in 1913.
Kaja is cursed by her father on his deathbed when he discovers she has disobeyed him and married a vagabond musician. Kaja has two daughters before her husband abandons her for another woman. She leaves Norway and her daughters to travel to America to become the housekeeper for a Norwegian emigrant. She fully intends to return for them as soon as she is able to earn enough money. The decision to leave two children behind in Norway is heartbreaking for Kaja; but the journey itself was even more perilous than she had imagined.
Chapter Three 1913 - Book Excerpt
The train ride from New York to Dakota had been unbearable, nothing like the beautiful Bergensbanen of Norway. Prairie dust hung in the air and crept along the edges of the seats and onto the windows. The filth was appalling for Kaja, and she longed for the mountains and fjords of Norway. She ached inside for her children, recalling the perilous crossing she had just endured. Much of their food was rancid by the time they reached Ellis Island and many aboard ship were suffering malnutrition. The children could never come to America by themselves. She would have to find a way to return to Norway for them.
She knew little about the widower who had hired her for his housekeeper but only prayed her new home would be in greener country. As the buckboard rumbled along the dirt road, Kaja feared God was no longer listening to her prayers.
Kaja became a nanny for two children, Sophia and William
Kaja soons discovers she has bit off more than she can chew
Kaja was appalled at the tawdry surroundings in which she must now live but even worse she soon discovered that being a housekeeper was only part of what was expected of her. Her life changed forever when she met Hans Berglund.
Chapter Four 1914 – Excerpt
The outline of his sturdy frame was faint against the darkness as he stood in the doorway of her room. Kaja closed her eyes, praying to escape her worst nightmare yet knowing it would soon be upon her. His breath smelled of spirits and his body of sweat as he smothered her cries with his mouth. Lifting her gown, he took pleasure in her body, then left without speaking.
The following night he returned, his need for fulfillment replaced by his passion as he covered her body with his lips and lingered with his pleasure. He awakened in her the desires she had long forgotten, and she gave herself to him. In the weeks that followed Hans came often to Kaja's room at night, yet in the daylight he was only her employer and the father of his children.
Kaja is forced to marry her employer Hans Berglund
The struggle continues for Kaja
Kaja conceives a child and the birth of a new little girl gives Kaja hope for the future but that hope is shattered when she conceives a second child. She has tried to become a mother to her husband’s two children but only William will accept his new mother and Sophia builds a strong hatred for her step-mother that will last until the end of both their lives. Kaja is consumed with a wall of bitterness towards her new husband and so self-absorbed it almost kills her own daughter, Martha.
Chapter Five 1916 - Book Excerpt
Cursing her life, Kaja stood by the stove and rubbed her back. She tried to smother the bitterness she felt for her husband, but his insatiable lust fueled the fire within her. She was much larger with this baby than she had been with Martha, and had spent most of the first three months vomiting day and night. Even though the war was still raging, Kaja was overcome with anger when she realized another baby would make a trip to Norway impossible. Her passion destroyed, she vowed after the child was born her husband would never touch her again.
Smiling down at the eighteen-month-old child playing at her feet, Kaja murmured, "When you become a woman, you, too, will learn that men only think of their own pleasures."
Pouting, Kaja walked to the window and gazed out at the cloudy sky, wondering how soon Hans and William would be through with the milking. She wished just once the sky could be blue like the clear skies of Norway in the daylight months. Her only consolation living in America had been her baby girl and the new son she seemed to have acquired. Thoughts of William made her smile. He had been so kind to her those first months, helping her with dishes, even doing the laundry. I wonder how long it would take before he becomes a selfish pig like all the other men in the world.
Kaja rubbed her stomach, silently thanking God the horrible nausea was past. She was even feeling hungry herself this morning. She had already fried the bacon and kept the grease hot to cook the eggs. So deep in thought, she neglected to notice the stillness of the room.
Suddenly sensing a danger in the silence, she spun around.
"Martha, no! She watched in horror as the child's hand reached for the hot pan of grease. Screams of pain echoed through the room as the scalding grease poured onto the baby's hands and arms.
Grabbing the child, Kaja rushed to the wash basin, trembling as she listened to Marty's shrill cries. While fighting the child's flailing arms, Kaja frantically ripped off her tiny dress. Hot tears stung her eyes and rolled down her cheeks. "Please, God, don't punish me anymore. Don't take this child, too."
A familiar hand touched her shoulder.
"Kaja, move away," Hans commanded. "William, get me some egg yolks while I hold the child." With one hand Hans held the screaming baby and with the other he opened the reservoir and scooped some water into the basin. "Kaja, a towel -- quickly!"
Hans carefully dampened the towel and wiped the residue of oil from the child's body. "William, go for the doctor," Hans said as he turned to Kaja. "Woman, come help me hold the child."
William kissed Kaja on the cheek. "Don't worry, Momma, I will hurry with the doctor. Martha will be all right."
Kaja's eyes flooded with tears. It was the first time William had called her Momma and she didn't deserve to be one.
Will Kaja ever find happiness?
Kaja soon discovers she can never return to Norway for her children. In her dismay her bitterness turns to hatred for her husband. When Hans dies suddenly, she is left penniless and alone. Her only child has been left deformed from the burns she had received as a baby and Kaja is determined to build a new life for the two of them. Can she find a way to escape the terrible curse that is destroying her life and appears to be destroying the life of her child?
Find out what happens to Kaja as she struggles to pick up the pieces of her life when Book 1 continues next week.
Rubies - Escaping the Curse can be purchased on Amazon.