Title: Between Nowhere and Lost
Author: Alexandra Christle
Genre: Literary Women’s Fiction
No one can understand Helen Hodges’s burning need to have a child, a need she’s abandoned in her childless marriage. But when David Drummond, the local textile mill’s owner, visits her small South Carolina town, those repressed yearnings come forth again, deepening her discontent as she falls in love with him.
David’s appearance brings escalating union and racial tensions to the town, and Helen is torn between her Catholic faith, her duty to her husband, and her growing desire to be with David. Overrun with guilt over her feelings, she renounces her lover and chooses to remain with her husband, until she learns some life-changing news and rushes to tell David before he leaves town, and her life…forever.
Helen is with her best friend, Dina, who manages to coax Helen into telling her about David.
Dina leaned back in her chair and eyed me. I averted my gaze under her scrutiny. “What’s got you so bummed out?”
“Aren’t you meeting Jake for dinner? Don’t you need to go?”
“No. Spill it.”
My mouth scrunched. Keeping my emotions in check had never before been so difficult, but I’d never had reason to be so…discontent. My tone became defensive. “I am not, as you put it, ‘bummed out.’ I’m merely…” I searched for an appropriate substitution.
“Depressed? Thinking about kids again?”
I stared at the pale yellow concrete block wall behind her, imagined my finger tracing down and across the lines of grout between each block. She waited patiently for me to speak. “No. Not this time.” I paused, debating. “Fine. I met a man.”
She straightened. “What do you mean, you ‘met’ a man? You have a man. His name is Harold. What kind of man? Where?”
“He was lost.”
“This is the sixties. Everyone is lost. What was he, a hippie? Was he driving a Volkswagen bus with flowers on it? I suppose he was trying to find himself.”
I clucked. “Not that kind of lost. Geographically. He pulled into my drive and asked for directions.”
“Did you tell him the commune is four hundred miles to the north?”
I rolled my eyes. “To Mayfield, nitwit,” thinking my use of her standard verbiage might ease up this onslaught of questions.
Instead, her eyes narrowed. “Harmless enough.”
“It was, until I asked him over for dinner.”
She sucked in a breath. “You didn’t!”
The office door flew open and the boys’ gym teacher stuck his head in the room. “You locking up, Deen?”
“I got it. Later, gator.”
He yanked the door shut behind him and was probably halfway across the gym before his muted ‘bye’ reached our ears.
“So you asked him over for dinner? And you didn’t think Harold would notice?”
“He’s in Connecticut, at one of the other plants.”
“Convenient. All right, lay it on me.”
I told her the entire sordid story, prudently omitting the part about wanting to kiss him.
“You want to kiss him, don’t you? Helen Hodges, I never would’ve believed it. You’re thinking about having an affair.”
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A 2018 Georgia Romance Writers Maggie Winner, Between Nowhere and Lost is a story of love lost and redemption, highlighting 1960s race issues as well as union battles in a small southern town.
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Alexandra has not traveled to 47 countries, worked in law enforcement for 25 years where she single-handedly apprehended ten of the world's most wanted, or practiced law or psychiatry.
She doesn't speak 5 languages fluently, rival Beethoven on the piano, or send her rescue dogs to save flood victims. In fact, currently, she is pet-less. She does, however, do a heck of a lot of research. She has jumped from an airplane, spent the day on a commercial shrimp boat, spent a weekend with a houseful of Navy SEALs, and hitchhiked across 3 states. She has worked for newspapers, taught high school English, and had a lengthy stint as a graphic designer. Raised a son and daughter, scored 3 grandchildren; and, written a few books along the way. The human condition and people fascinate her, and especially men. They are, in her words, pretty cool creatures. And she imagines.
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