“My dad drowned. My mom died in her sleep.”
“How old was she?”
“About twenty-six.” Jessie shuddered just a little bit. “Just a little older than Miranda is now.”
“That’s awfully young to die in your sleep.”
“Heart condition, they said.”
“Richard and Lucy.” Jessie shook her head. “No. Just Richard.”
“What did your aunt say?”
“Nothing,” Jessie said quietly. “She just let Richard do all the talking.”
“How old was he?”
Jessie sighed. “Thirteen, I think.”
“And how old were you?”
“So how do you know you remember it correctly?”
Jessie looked at him square in the eye. “Because you know when you’re that age. When you’re a little kid, you don’t have to go through the apologetic BS you do when you’re older. When you’re eight, even. You just get it. And people think you’re crazy or in the way or rude because you get it and then you say it. So then no one wants to talk to you or they send you to your room. Then you start making up excuses for why they must be right and you must be wrong. Then you grow up, and you realize that you had it right back then, and if your world seems messed up, it’s because you bought into someone else’s lies. So don’t lie anymore, and everything will be just fine.”
“And when did you come to that nugget of wisdom?”
“When I was fifteen,” Jessie said quietly. “And I’ve been very happy ever since.”
Hypocrisy, half truths and lies...
Sick of being treated like she's going to break, Jessie Bartolome is back to her old ways and calling everyone on their hypocrisy. Sheesh! One little breakdown and even easygoing Martin Shepard thinks she's too fragile to handle their age difference. Good thing her older and equally yummy teaching assistant Robert Lester thinks otherwise…right?
After spending so long cleaning up after everyone else, Jessie's cousin Richard has never had the time to start a life of his own. However had he managed to find his girlfriend Zainab? So what is Richard going to do now that everyone else has grown up? Marry Zainab and start a family? Things have never been that easy for a Hendrickson…just ask his cousin Michael.
Richard's mother, Lucy, is one of the most powerful women in Boston... so when is she going to put a stop to the blackmail ruthless Alex Sheldon has been holding over her for years? And if Richard knows more than he's letting on, why hasn't he gone after Alex himself? The question is, how much does he- or anyone else- really know?
Welcome to the Bartolome/Hendrickson family.
The China Doll is Book Three in The New Pioneers Series
Deborah Nam-Krane is a writer living in Boston proper who has been storytelling since she was a little girl and writing those stories down since she was eight. Any given day will find her reading, writing, reviewing, editing and, just for fun, homeschooling her three school-aged children (she’s very grateful the fourth is now college-aged).
The China Doll is the third installment of the New Pioneers series, the sequel to The Smartest Girl in the Room (March 2013) and The Family You Choose (September 2013). While her long-suffering editor works her magic on the fourth installment Let’s Move On, Deborah is working on the fifth. That book will be set in the world of Boston and Massachusetts politics, and her job will be to tone down the true stories she’s heard so they seem believable.
Deborah is all over the place on the internet- no, really- but the best way to keep in touch is to follow her blogWritten By Deb and subscribe to her newsletter (only publishing news, never spam).