by the main character:
you have to come undone to be whole again
seem like a Cinderella
story, but it certainly didnt feel like it at the time.
Spencer: The Protagonist (A
celebrated artist and mother of four).
novel was inspired by a true story and is based on a 21st
century wife from a simple background, who faces challenges in the
highly-affluent marital setting
in which she finds herself.
has to brave the in-laws with a smile all the while having to deal with
niggling ghosts belonging to her past.
story originates in the heart of Melbourne, drifts on to remote country and will
take you on an intimate journey to the intricate chambers of her psyche.
In Store Price: $AU25.00
Online Price: $AU24.00
Format: A5 Paperback
Number of pages:
Compelling and entertaining; a great gift idea for mother, sister, girlfriend
Spindleworth (Editor of Literary Voice Perth)
A must for anyone in a relationship
or wanting to get in to one, which pretty much covers everyone.
R.J Brown (Marriage counsellor/ writer)
A good start from G.K. Summerakoon;
watch her progress.
Simmons (Literary Critic, VIC)
Publisher: Poseidon Books
Date Published: 2006
A born a
wanderer lived, qualified, and toiled in two countries. A surfer, calling any
place the hat is laid a home, and a Godot of many trades and a master of none;
waiter, scribe, miner, journo, teacher, subeditor, barmaid, publicity officer
and general nobody.
resting here and hovering there, living life.
A roommate to
hundreds in fifty dwellings: from
, to Robinvale in
, to White cliffs in New South Wales and Childers in
much good at anything except in dreaming…which I now put into words.
One (part sample)
sweet home … hummed Rebecca, striding through the cobbled footpath that
meandered through a well-manicured garden. Her suede shoes tapped along a flight
of sandstone steps, which ended at French doors marking the entrance to her
a bronze key from her pouch-bag, Rebecca let herself into her classically
designed townhouse in secluded suburbia of
. Once inside, she allowed the beige carry-all with its matching tote bag to
slide to the floor. Flexing her arms she then sighed aloud, relieved to feel the
resumption of the blood flow.
… A blissful sigh eloquently expressed her joy at being in the one place
that could bring her such instant, sweet relief: her personal haven where she
could shut the door on the outside world. Far away from the maddening crowd and
frenetic office environment filled with deadlines and nerve-racking conferences.
Where temperamental creative directors issued briefings each time they were
attacked by a brain wave.
Silken dark eyelashes swept
over a pair of midnight blue eyes, as she mentally reviewed the mad rush she had
escaped from only five hours ago. In all of the two weeks she had been on the
promotional tour in
, not a single moments peace had she been allowed either by accident, or
by design. The hectic pace had begun the moment their team had touched down at
airport, to be met by a client who was having second thoughts about hiring the
services of Zenith, the
publicity firm Rebecca worked for. Sending their team into a whirl of panic.
client was none other than REV, the energising sports drink and the
biggest thing to hit the sporting industry since good old sneakers. Preliminary
research had shown that it was already a hit with high-profile sport stars
proving its might in a highly competitive market. A field where products came
and went in the blink of an eye, not having made the slightest impact on a
single bystander let alone its target audience.
Invariably a product of such
magnitude meant not national but international campaigns, not millions but
billions of dollars splashed on advertising, and marketing tools that would also
carry the name of its publicity firm Zenith to international heights. A
factor that had left them with no choice but to fight tooth and nail to regain
the clients trust or risk losing credibility.
Two days prior to the meeting
with the exalted client, premature celebrations had been underway in Zeniths
strategically located office in St Kilda. With champagne bottles uncorked in a
relay to toast what they had assumed at the time to be the most lucrative and
sure-shot account for years to come. Nothing but the best had been used to
secure this account: the finest stationery with letterheads embossed in gold,
the most sensational ideas, and only the senior, the most experienced executives
had dealt with the clients to guarantee quality service.
Which is why Rebecca had
nearly collapsed when she was summoned to the tenth floor by the Creative
Director who then announced in an officious manner that her tireless efforts,
late hours and somewhat novel ideas hadnt gone entirely unnoticed by the
senior members of the company. And as such, they would like to have her join the
promotional team for their new client.
Barely restraining her impulse
to jump for joy and shout yippee! shed nodded her head repeatedly in
complete agreement with everything the portly man had said. Recovering her voice
she had said yes it would be an honour indeed to be part of the REV team
and of course she could be packed and ready to take off to Tasmania at
short notice. In three hours time to be precise. Then with a emphatic shake
of the head she had dismissed the next suggestion that being away from home for
two weeks might pose a problem with her partner as she knew David would
understand her reasons for taking off in a hurry for work purposes.
, much to the teams sheer relief and utter joy REV had reverted to the
original decision of retaining their services. And the recently acquired client
had been won over a second time but not before the publicity team had been
compelled to employ every persuasive device known in the history of public
relations; to convince them that they were indeed the best in the business and
were more than capable of launching the most mind-spinning media campaign aimed
at grabbing the attention of many a consumer. They had achieved this task with
commendable effort in the ill-equipped conference room of a three-star hotel in
, with very little leg space and even less breathing space.
Oh, the endless noise in that
small conference room had been maddening, reflected a weary Rebecca massaging
her nape. And if the constantly beeping mobiles and non-stop chattering hadnt
been bad enough there had been an ever-growing mess to contend with. Halfway
through the campaign, the carpet had nearly disappeared underneath a thick layer
of crumpled up draft paper. What had happened to cleanliness in workplaces? she
had wondered at the time, struggling hard not to let it get to her. Perhaps that
was a thing of the past, shed surmised, another fading workplace trend just
like invective-free speech and seeking permission before borrowing another
Caught amidst a whirlwind of
people buzzing like bees and scurrying like ants, the only thought that had held
in her seat had been the recent promotion she had received: from lowly Publicity
Assistant to Promotional Manager. A position she had been coveting for aeons. A
step in the right direction. A sure sign of progress proving to her critics that
she was no stick-in-the-mud bumpkin from the country, but a person with potential
who was going to prove her might in an industry where upward mobility was
limited only to words.
Therefore, having come this
far she was not about to let something as trivial as a messy office deter her
from proving, particularly to the elitist
lot (which included her mother-in-law, Laura Spencer, who found the subtlest
ways of reminding her of humbler origins), that she was indeed worthy of David.
Their golden-headed son, popular for his sunny disposition and even temperament.
The most eligible of the Spencer heirs and Lauras most favoured progeny who
could do no wrong in her eyes.
And it was also only a matter
of time before she would prove to those waiting for her to trip that not only
was she capable of climbing the corporate ladder but was equally adept at
running a smooth household without external assistance. That she was able to see
to weekend laundry and weekly shopping, whip up protein-based meals at short
notice and keep a lid on the general maintenance of the place. In other words
she was quite easily able to juggle both the role of a working gal and that of a
housewife, effectively contradicting her mother-in-laws view that being a
Spencer wife was a full-time job needing great time and effort. One that did
require an admirable deportment at all times with an eye for meticulous dressing
up. But one that did not require the encumbrance of an outside job.
Laura hadnt voiced her
expectations quite so directly to Rebecca but it had been implied through
various hints dropped in her presence, leaving her with no doubt as to what was
expected of her.
Of course at the time she had
nodded her head in mute acknowledgment. Not in agreement, mind you, but in
acknowledgement out of courtesy for the older woman. She had also been reluctant
to appear disagreeable in front of her father-in-law, Andrew, whod ambled
onto the veranda in search of refreshments at the end of a round of golf. Not
that he would have interfered in any case. Unlike Laura her husband didnt
interfere with his sons lives. He offered guidance and support when required
but that was the extent of it.
Mentally, however, Rebecca had
dismissed Lauras comments as hogwash. She hadnt gone to university for
four gruelling years and earned a first class degree in Public Relations to stay
at home dressed to the nines, strolling among fuchsia bushes. And host
extravagant dinners in the name of charity which only fattened the already
bulging contours of the wealthy.
Nope, she wasnt about to
fall for that trap. She was driven by stronger urges that could only be
fulfilled within the sphere of a professional career one which contained
head-on challenges and knife-edge competition. She had clearly outlined
professional goals she aimed to achieve before a set time, ones that couldnt
be fulfilled by performing dainty housewifely chores twenty-four-seven. To be
confined to four walls day in day out, leading a life that was unchallenged,
would be a fate worse than death for Rebecca. Shed grown up witnessing it
take its toll on her mother whod remained a housewife her entire life. A
woman whod lived in the same house in the same shire for forty years, never
setting foot abroad or accomplishing anything else. And that was one path
Rebecca was determined to avoid. At all costs.
The word housewife
brought her up short, reminding her of the surprise she was going to spring on
her husband. The only good thing to come out of the nightmarish trip to
was that it had created a bit of breathing space for them, which in turn had
led to more effective communication. The night before she left they had talked, really
talked. Chatted openly without the interruption of taut silences that had become
customary of late. Further thrilling her to bits had been the way David had
opened up to her, confiding in her like old times.
Rebecca hadnt been aware of
the restructuring taking place in Davids company till hed admitted to not
being his normal, chirpy self due to the pressure of his role. David held a
demanding position as the managing director of the mechanical firm formed by his
paternal grandfather. Under Davids aegis the company that had been teetering
on bankruptcy had sprung back to life regaining its former status as a reputable
He had revealed that five
years of careful management and hard work was finally paying off, enabling him
to implement plans of expansion. She had listened attentively offering words of
encouragement in response to his future plans. Although she was not in a
position to advise on technical matters she could certainly provide him with
moral support and thats what shed done, delighted to experience the
familiar connection between them. Reminiscent of the first two years of their
marriage when they still lived in the blissful bubble without any
interference from outside forces.
In keeping with the old times
theyd decided to go kayaking on the
, weather permitting of course.
weather being so temperamental in its mood swings was hard to forecast with
perfect accuracy but one could only hazard a guess. The weather forecast for
Saturday had been sunshine in the morning, then drizzle in the afternoon, which
meant they might have to push off as early as seven in order to take advantage
of the sunnier portion of the day.
A fresh start in the morning,
however, meant theyd have to opt for an early night, which wasnt possible
if Rebeccas plans were to come into fruition. A mischievous twinkle
momentarily shone in her eyes at the thought of the stimulating night she had in
store for both of them.
Usually it was David who was
in the habit of springing delightful surprises on her, showering her with Gucci
gifts, jewellery or spontaneous trips abroad. Rebecca was aware that her
surprise was not in the same league as Davids with regard to its monetary
value. Even with her promotion it would be a while before she could afford to
purchase first class tickets to
with accommodation in the presidential suite of the
. Or buy three dresses from Versace just in case she disliked two of the
designs. But her surprise was going to be equally memorable, she was confident
of that. It would make up in quality for what it lacked in quantity and knowing
Davids weakness for scented oils and black negligees she knew that she
couldnt go wrong with her plans.
With a sudden rush of heady
excitement at the turn of her thoughts Rebecca inhaled a long breath.
… ugghh! she spluttered, nearly choking on the foul air she breathed
in. What was that horrible stink? She screwed up her face then lifted her nose,
intent on identifying the source of the smell. She took in a measured breath a
second time. The most nose-twitching, repugnant odour appeared to be wafting
from the direction of the corridor that led to the dining room. Deciding it was
more a mouldy cheese smell than gas leak, Rebecca put a hold on her fast-rising
Crossing the Belgian carpet in
the lounge room she strode to the dining hall only to find it in the impeccable
state that shed left in; the long table gleamed, the fruit bowl sat precisely
in the centre, its fruits ripe but not sour. She wrinkled her forehead. Then a
sudden flash of clarity had her changing direction and heading towards the far
end of the corridor that disappeared into the kitchen.
Her favourite corner of the
house, where the terracotta tiles gleamed against the apple-green walls giving
it a rustic look rather than a sterile glow. She loved it best on Saturday
mornings when shed trudge in half asleep to catch the early morning sun
having sneaked through the blinds make silvery formations on the coir mats on
the floor. Shed watch it with fascination for a quiet minute before plugging
in the kettle.
Rebecca had only taken a few
steps into the room when her feet skidded to an abrupt halt. Her mouth dropped
and her eyes flew wide at the sight that greeted her: beer cans, pizza boxes and
Chinese takeaway bags left a messy trail on the floor starting from the sink and
continuing all the way to the rubbish bin in a long, uneven line. Some boxes
were stacked against the wall with greasy pasta still decomposing inside. Other
containers, not having completed their journey to the bin, sat precariously on
and around the lid. Pieces of leftover seafood crept through the gaps while
decorating the floor in various pepper-green and tomato-red designs. Stunned,
Rebecca could only stare at the state of her once-spotless kitchen.
Telling its own story was the
chicken casserole she had whipped up briskly in case he got tired of takeaway.
It sat forlornly in the overloaded sink along with several other dirty dishes
and plates. With a sinking heart she recognised the D shaped garnish on
the top crust, still intact. A silly tendency of hers to write either his or
both their initials on anything requiring some sort of shape or form. The
casserole had been chucked away. Untouched. Uneaten. And making a mockery of her
efforts was the D shaped spinach as it stared back at her in broad
How could you, David?
she whimpered. How could you do this to my carefully prepared food?
Her hand went to her mouth as
she stood deeply distressed by his careless action. Fighting tears of dismay she
wondered why hed raved about her chicken casserole if he regarded it as mere
rubbish. Because thats what his action told her: that her efforts were
considered to be nothing more than rubbish. She closed her eyes.
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