The Maid's Version
A NoveleBook - 2013
Alma DeGeer Dunahew, the mother of three young boys, works as the maid for a prominent citizen and his family in West Table, Missouri. Her husband is mostly absent, and, in 1929, her scandalous, beloved younger sister is one of the 42 killed in an explosion at the local dance hall. Who is to blame? Mobsters from St. Louis? The embittered local gypsies? The preacher who railed against the loose morals of the waltzing couples? Or could it have been a colossal accident?
Alma thinks she knows the answer-and that its roots lie in a dangerous love affair. Her dogged pursuit of justice makes her an outcast and causes a long-standing rift with her own son. By telling her story to her grandson, she finally gains some solace-and peace for her sister. He is advised to "Tell it. Go on and tell it"-tell the story of his family's struggles, suspicions, secrets, and triumphs.
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Preacher Willard accepted the ten commandments as a halfhearted start but kept adding amendments until the number of sins he couldn't countenance was beyond memorization. He appeared to be adding new ones shaped to your own reported shortcomings until you were tailored appropriately for a residence in hell, and nowhere else, but a complete and prostrate begging of God and an increase tithe might, just might, earn you one more chance at heaven, who knows, give it a try, it's only money.
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