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Gloria Miles lives a lie that was woven by insecure parents who wouldnâ€™t admit she wasnâ€™t theirs. As she searches for her true identity, those who profess their love for her practice their own brand of deceit. When the one man she can trust walks into her life, can Gloria get beyond the lies?
Motherâ€™s Day, 1948, the Hamiltons rose earlier than usual. Each holiday, Doris, her sister, Kate, and their mother took turns hosting a family dinner. Being practical and frugal people they celebrated Motherâ€™s Day and Gloriaâ€™s birthday, which were only days apart, as one. Gloria would have preferred her own party, but it wasnâ€™t her decision. This dinner, Kate was hosting at her farm near Tipton, Indiana, with her motherâ€™s help. Even when Grandma wasnâ€™t the hostess, she and Grandpa arrived a day early so she could "lend a hand.â€ Doris, who liked the comfort of her own bed, preferred to make the trip all in one day.
After breakfast, Gloria and her father disappeared, so Doris could prepare in peace for the trip. History told them that it was best to stay out of her way on these occasions.
Upstairs, Gloria sat in front of a mirror looking for something that might quiet her fears that she wasnâ€™t really a Hamilton. Fears she had kept to herself for years.
At eleven, spider-legged Gloria towered over her mother. Over the past two years, she had sprouted even more. Only days from her thirteenth birthday Gloria stood an inch taller than her father and eyebrow-to-eyebrow with her married brothers, Richard and Rudy. Just once she wanted to look into a mirror and recognize a family feature--her motherâ€™s eyes, her fatherâ€™s smile, or Richardâ€™s cleft chin. Even the beauty spot above Grandmaâ€™s upper lip, like Arlene Dahlâ€™s, would be welcome. There was the superfluous nipple beneath her left breast, but no one in the family would ever discuss anything that intimate, so Gloria had no idea if anyone else was so endowed. She prayed for a sign that would confirm her as a Hamilton, hoping against hope to banish her suspicion that she was adopted. Still, the mirrored image offered no clue.
Leaning forward, she examined her features. If she wasnâ€™t a Hamilton, maybe she belonged to someone famous. Looking deeper, she wondered whose child she might be. Lana Turner? Barbara Stanwyck?
Around nine-thirty, Doris shouted a summons. Her "Gloria!â€ climbed the stairs and slithered into her room, disintegrating slowly as a few maverick phonemes chose other directions and lost their way The third calling of her name brought Gloria back to reality. Then, she could visualize her mother, standing at the foot of the stairs, looking upward and waiting patiently. There was still time. Her voice lacked conviction.
Still searching her reflection, Gloria pushed away from the vanity, but remained seated. In less than a week she would be a teenager, so her preoccupation with the mirror was not considered excessive. Doris excused the daily mirror-worship ritual as perfectly normal behavior. "A side-effect of puberty,â€ according to her mother.
Some time ago, Gloria asked her parents about the height difference. Ralph dismissed her concern, as he did most serious subjects, with a joke. "Whatâ€™s the problem, Princess? Everyoneâ€™s taller than your mother.â€ True enough. Doris was short--very short--about five foot nothing. The discussion ended there.
Again, her motherâ€™s voice traveled up the stairs. "Young lady, you have exactly thirty seconds. Now, move it!â€
Gloria sighed, "Okay, Mom. Just a minute--â€
native of Indiana, Carolyn lived in Michigan, Illinois, and South Carolina before she retired and moved to Missouri to be closer to her grandchildren. She graduated from Ball State University where she also received a masterâ€™s degree in student personnel administration in higher education. Carolyn taught special education at the junior/senior high level before moving into academia. Officially, sheâ€™s retired, but she works part-time at the local library in Poplar Bluff. Her duties include writing a the libraryâ€™s bi-weekly column for the local newspaper. Writing has always been part of her life, but it was her dear friend and former colleague, David Silberstein, who convinced her that she had a flair for fiction. Carolyn travels often to visit with her five children when she isnâ€™t writing. Her hobbies include tennis, reading--especially mysteries, and travel.
Book Publisher: Wings e Press
No. of Pages: 328
Paper Weight (lb): 13.8