Rubies - Escaping the Curse - Book Two Review
Rubies - Escaping the Curse - The Widening Road
Our Past Often Reflects in our Future
How many of us wish we could go back in time and change all of the poor decisions we have made in our lifetime. Unfortunately, we cannot alter the past and must live with the consequences of our actions whether they be positive or negative.
Book Two, The Widening Road, continues the Rubies Saga as Kaja’s descendents search for happiness while journeying a road filled with clay and mire.
Marty receives a wonderful gift only to have it overshadowed by the death of a loved one, while Katherine and Stacey persist in their belief for a better life. As they journey the widening road, their lives continue to be filled with tragedy as they struggle to escape the curse that has befallen them.
Marty Must Live without Sonny
Children Often Pay a Heavy Price for the Mistakes of Their Parents
In Book Two we find Marty struggling to face each new day alone without Sonny. His final infidelity has left her family in shambles. After discovering the abuse suffered by her youngest daughter, Stacey, at the hands of her eldest son, she sends Ronny away to live with Sonny and says good-bye to the past forever. She has moved on with her two daughters and son, Christopher.
Katherine Continues the Chain of Tragedy
Katherine’s Life as a Wealthy Woman Isn’t Exactly What She Planned
Unfortunately, Katherine is consumed by anger because of Sonny’s betrayal and Stacey’s abuse at Ronny’s hands. She determines within herself to marry a rich man and provide her family with all the things they have never had.
Professor Edward Parkingson is wealthy and several years older than Katherine. When she becomes pregnant with his child, they marry against his mother’s wishes. Soon Katherine realizes she has made a mistake and is miserable in her married life. It is not until after the birth of her second child that catastrophe hits and she loses her husband and the wealth she dreamed about. Sadly, it is then that Katherine realizes too late that she has fallen in love with her husband .
Edward stood up from his desk and walked into the dining room. He removed his pipe from his mouth and frowned at Katherine.
"Really, darling, must you walk around in that wretched robe all day. It's almost the dinner hour."
Katherine was so tired of being proper, tired of play acting in this Victorian mansion with its formal dining room and five fireplaces. She wanted to be a slob for just one day; to sprawl out on the sofa, put her feet up on the coffee table, eat popcorn by the fire and use her jeans to wipe the residue of butter from her fingers.
She shot a sneering glance at Edward and continued to set the table. "You know I'm not well, Edward. Must you smoke in front of me?"
"What does my smoking have to do with that filthy hospital gown you've been parading around in for three days?"
"Three days!" She slammed a cup down on the table.
Edward winced. "Careful, that's Mother's good china."
"That's Mother's good china," Katherine mocked. "Don't you ever tire of living your life to please mummy dear?"
Seemingly undisturbed by her outburst, Edward turned his back and strolled into the living room.
Katherine could feel her face burning and her head was beginning to throb. The smell of his pipe was driving her crazy. She would kill for a cigarette even if they only made her puke.
She followed close on his heels, screaming into his back. "You are nothing but a pompous tyrant, Edward Parkingson!"
Edward turned to face her and calmly snuffed out his pipe. "Well then," he said, laying the pipe on the table, "perhaps I shall assume the role."
Swiftly, he swooped down and lifted a startled Katherine into his arms.
"Put me down! What do you think you're doing?"
"I'm taking you upstairs for a nice warm bath, and then you will dress appropriately for dinner."
Katherine attempted to kick her legs but found them wedged securely under Edward's arm. Damn, how did he get so strong?
"Do you think I'm just a kid you can push around?" she screamed, pounding her fists on his chest.
Edward kicked the bedroom door with his foot, flinging it open. "I think you are my wife, Katherine dear, and you'll do as I say." He plopped her down on the bed.
Katherine crossed her arms and stared at the floor, making no attempt to move from the bed. Edward sat down beside her and took her into his arms.
"Katherine, darling, I know I've behaved rather poorly since we discovered you were pregnant, and for that I apologize. But I promise this is the last time you'll have to endure this laborious condition."
Katherine looked at him sideways. "What are you talking about?"
"I mean this is the last baby you'll ever conceive. A simple surgery--”
"No!" Katherine shook her head. "I won't do it!"
Edward laughed and stroked her cheek with his hand. "Not you, darling - me. I've made plans to take care of the matter next week."
"But we may want more children!"
"I don't want you to do this!"
"Darling, you don't have a choice in the matter. I'm just attending to priorities; you on the other hand, have spent the past six months wallowing in self-pity. You haven't been out of this house since you took your sister to Dallas. Good god, woman. It's time to put your chin up and make the best of this."
Katherine's eyes widened in fury as she swung at him.
Edward grabbed her wrist before her hand reached his face. "I'll expect you down for dinner in half an hour." He stood up and walked towards the door.
Katherine bolted from the bed. "Edward!"
He stopped, stock-still, his back to her.
"I want to go home for a visit."
He spun around, his glaring eyes challenging her. "Out of the question."
Katherine thought she would strangle swallowing her tears. She stretched out her arms. Edward's gazed softened and he walked toward her.
She reached for his hand. "Edward, Stacey's birthday is in May. And I'd like to join the family in Duluth."
"But, darling, it's only April and you've already used up May's budget."
Katherine reached her arms around his waist and laid her head on his chest. "Why are you so Scotch when you've got so much money?"
"And did you marry me for my money?"
Her bottom lip jutted out. "Please, Edward."
Edward raised a suspicious eyebrow and brushed his lips over the top of her head. "All right, darling, get dressed and we'll discuss it over dinner."
Katherine giggled inside. Aunt Ginny always said one got more flies with honey than with vinegar. As usual, she was right.
Stacey Falls in Love and Marries Gary Walker in Spite of Warnings From Katherine that he is like Sonny
Stacey Finds Herself in an Abusive Relationship
Stacey picked up her hairbrush and stroked her long red hair letting it fall softly around her shoulders. She stared at herself in the mirror and noticed the tired lines around her eyes.
It had been six months since Gary claimed his affair was over, but Stacey still couldn't stop doubting him.
Katherine was livid when Stacey told her about it. . .
"I knew he was just like Sonny!"
"That's not true, Katy. I drove Gary away by not accepting his behavior after Nam."
"Oh, that's a Walker brainwashing if I ever heard one. Nobody forces a man into an affair. He had one because he's too damn selfish to think about anyone but himself."
"But I promised God until death do us part and -- and I still love him."
"Now you sound like Momma. Do you want to spend your life raising a bunch of kids and living off welfare?"
"Gary would never abandon his children. That much I know. Not after living without parents himself."
"Even so, I still think you should get out of there and come to Chicago. He could get rough on you."
Visions of Gary's irrational behavior had flashed in Stacey's mind but she'd reassured Katherine, "Gary would never hurt me."
Stacey shook her head, trying to refocus on the present. Why couldn’t she forget Katy’s words? She wondered if she should confront Gary.
She heard footsteps on the stairs and took a deep breath. She walked to the bedroom doorway and watched Gary empty the change from his pockets onto the dresser.
"You've been getting home awfully late this week."
Gary turned and shrugged. "Maybe."
Shaking inside, Stacey could feel the beads of sweat forming around her mouth. "Gary, I can't stand living like this any longer."
"Living like what? Your constant innuendos about me having another affair."
"That's not fair, Gary."
"Fair? He scowled. "Maybe if you'd given me time after Nam."
"Time?" She felt her face flush with rage. "Did you need time for two or three women to understand you?" She spun around to leave the room. "You make me sick!"
He seized her shoulder. "Don't you ever walk away from me!"
She thrust her shoulder forward, releasing his hand. She started walking down the hall. "It's no good, Gary. I think we should talk about a divorce."
She shuddered at how easily the words had come from her mouth.
Gary rushed after her. "A divorce? Is that what your bitch of a sister told you to do?"
"Katy is not a bitch! And she has nothing to do with this."
"She probably has everything to do with it!
Stacey kept walking, ignoring his comment. She could feel Gary’s breath warm on her neck as he followed closely on her heels.
"Stace, listen to me. We can work this out. We can have a child."
Stacey shook her head. "A child isn't the answer to our problems." She walked into the bathroom and turned to shut the door.
Gary slammed his hand against the door, blocking its closure.
Stacey paled, overcome by nausea. "Please, Gary. I need a shower."
"I want to talk about this!"
Her hands trembled as she unbuttoned her robe, pretending he wasn't there, hoping he would leave. Her legs felt like rubber as she stepped into the shower and quickly pulled the curtain. Turning on the water, she took a deep breath and closed her eyes, letting the warm water flood over her body, hoping to soothe her jangled nerves. Rolling her shoulders to release the tension, she reached for the soap, spreading its rich lather over her body.
It was then she heard the rustling of the curtain. She opened her terror filled eyes to see Gary's fingers edging around the side.
Flinging it open, he stood glaring at her.
"What do you think you're doing," she screamed, reaching to pull it back.
But Gary was faster, wrapping the curtain in his fist and yanking it from the rod.
She stepped back, bracing herself against the wall of the shower. "Get away from me!"
"I want to talk about this - now!" He lunged for her arm as she wildly slapped in the air.
Suddenly, she was reliving a horror hidden deep in her subconscious, a horror from her childhood now erupting, plunging her into terror. "Don't hurt me!"
Her deep gasping breaths echoed through the pounding water as Gary groped to reach her.
Swearing under his breath, he stepped fully dressed into the tub and reached for the faucet.
Before he could touch it, she pounced on him, like a caged animal, ripping her fingernails down his face and beating on his chest with her fists.