JOY COMES TO DINSMORE STREET
BY LINDA WOOD RONDEAU
My cousin and I were close growing up in Syracuse, New York area. I spent a lot of time at her house, and she often came and stayed with me. She had two older brothers and one younger. I remember the older boys and how mischievous they loved to be. The younger brother hung out with us girls, taking walks, going to the old swimming hole to swim. When we had family events at Grandma’s house, the cousins played basketball while the grownups played cards.
I graduated high school and went on to college. I married and moved hundreds of miles away. My cousin married as well and had a couple of kids. We both divorced. I remarried, and she now has a companion who has been by her side for years, a good fatherly role model for her girls and now her grandchildren. Life and circumstances caused us to drift apart. But whenever we’re together we reminisce about those wonderful years.
I often wondered how sad that we drifted apart. Not due to any rift, but the sheer busyness of life. The seeds of a novel took place. I imagined two cousins who were like sisters, practically raised together. I asked myself, “What life events might cause these two girls to become estranged. Then, I pondered the life events that might help them reconcile decades later.
How different would these lives become? How would the rift impact the rest of their development and young adult experiences? How would the rift shape the rest of their lives? Their families? And so Joy Comes to Dinsmore Street was birthed.
Many revisions later, the story now takes place Christmas 2000, set at the new millennium in the Adirondack Mountains. Christmas is a time for reunion, for healing, and forgiveness. No matter how many decades separate a friendship.
Most people looked forward to the dawning of the new millennium. For Colin O’Donnell, Christmas 2000 holds no anticipation until he learns Ma expects a visit from Joy, an adored cousin who disappeared on the girl’s sixteenth birthday. Why does she decide to visit Ma after all these years? The day Colin’s father left, Ma clutched Joy’s photograph as if it were a lifeline. Colin suspects the two disappearances are somehow connected although they occurred decades apart. Perhaps Joy’s visit will bring answers to years-old daunting questions. First, however, Colin must wrestle with a current mystery. What did he do to drive his wife from their bed? When all is revealed and the past and present collide, will Colin fight to preserve his marriage or follow his father’s path of abandonment?
Jolly Angel: a young women hopes to start a new life in a small Adirondack town, but is unable to shake the scourge of her past.
Songs in the Valley: A minister finds his runaway wife fifteen years later only to discover she is terminally ill as well as a primary witness against a notorious drug lord. In this modern version of Hosea, can a scorned spouse find the strength to care for a woman scourged by years of poor choices?
Award-winning author, LINDA WOOD RONDEAU, writes stories of God's mercies. Walk with her unforgettable characters as they journey paths much like our own. After a Long career in human services, Linda now resides in Jacksonville, Florida. Look for songs in the Valley to be released soon. Readers may visit her website at www.lindarondeau.com or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. She may also be found on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Goodreads.
HAVE A BLESSED DAY!