Sneak Peek: Failure to Thrive

Well, here it is.  I’ve polished the first part of the book.  I’m not done yet; I’ve got mountains of pages to cover, but I’m on the home stretch.  Therefore, as promised, your first synopsis and sneak peek.  It’s an epistolary and its genre, if it has one, is Women’s lit.  Without further ado…

Failure to Thrive 

Following an awkward falling out with her lifelong best friend, Edith Kelly accepts a marriage proposal from Mr. Right Now, Tom Burgess.  Tom is a man who wants bigger, better things from life than a mediocre job in a sleepy semi-rural Minnesota town.  Edith quickly finds herself swept off to a creaky old house in Chicago, recently vacated by a victim of the 1995 heat wave.  She instantly regrets this decision when an unexpected and unfairly complicated pregnancy stalls her plans indefinitely.  As homesickness, a failing marriage, a charismatic but needy new friend, and a hopelessly small daughter slowly consume Edith, she begins to lose herself in the single-minded pursuit of rectifying the biggest mistake of her life and returning home.

Chapter 1

June 25, 1995

Dear Melissa,

I’m sorry about the way I acted at your wedding. Really, it’s all just a huge misunderstanding. I had nerves about making my maid of honor speech and Tom just kept offering wine to calm me down and I’m afraid I lost count before I knew what was happening. There was at least a red, a white, a blush, and a glass of champagne, but I can’t be sure the red and the white only counted for one each. I can hardly be expected to tell a merlot from a cabernet sauvignon by my fourth glass. You know how drinks can add up when you’re not paying attention. Remember my twenty-third birthday? You had a pina colada, an appletini, and a long island iced tea in one hour before I caught you in flagrante with Matt on the balcony, dress over your head and grunting like a pig, face hidden behind your mass of curls? I’d just wanted a smoke. The neighbors threatened to call the police. I forgave you for that.


That’s not how it went. You’ll never fall for this.

I’m an asshole. Why can’t I just write a simple apology? God dammit, Edith.

June 26, 1995

Dear Melissa,

I’m sorry about what I did at your wedding. There’s no excuse for it and I’m sorry. It was such a beautiful day – warm and sunny just the way you were hoping. All of the purple gerardia, lavender hyssop, and bastard indigo were in bloom at the edge of Foedested Presbyterian, spraying pollen everywhere and procreating furiously like young married couples, just the way you wanted it. The wind was blowing a little hard, but our hairspray held up. Craig’s family was simply everywhere, and my brother Chris was always close at hand, incessantly snapping pictures with little regard for the cooperation of his subjects. Snap, snap, snap. I felt like Princess Di. I was honestly a bit overstimulated. My head was swimming in the heat and the noise and all the pressure, but I won’t make excuses.

Just please forgive me. Please just don’t cut me out of your life and oh God please don’t tell Craig. He’ll never look at me the same. He won’t let you invite me to important things – baby showers, birthday parties – whatever else you and he have in store for your lives together. I want to be a part of it all the way we’ve always been a part of each other’s lives. I realize that I behaved inappropriately and to be honest, I don’t know why I acted that way.

Yes I do.





1 Comment to "Sneak Peek: Failure to Thrive"

  1. fantysq's Gravatar fantysq
    January 15, 2013 - 12:53 pm | Permalink

    I quite like it. Really dragged me in and made me want know more. If this gets published, I’m buying it.

Leave a Reply