Thoughts on ‘Suspect, Love’ a story by Judith Andrade
I have been reading stories since I was old enough to remember opening a book. Every time I read a book, I wondered if I could write one of my own. During high school I wrote a lot of poetry, and short act plays but the pull of a nursing career and motherhood kept me on that track for years. I wanted to write a story about complex characters whose actions are motivated by cultural or traumatic issues from the past which affects their present behaviour.
The book will appeal to anyone who enjoys a love story. It may have special appeal for those in the health care profession and understand the pressures of related work issues. It may appeal to anyone who is married to someone raised in an entirely different cultural perspective who is interested in understanding how to blend their cultural values into a relationship. Women who have been hurt in a relationship and wonder if life will ever send them the right person may enjoy this story as well as men who feel isolated by the work they do.
Of the many characters in the book who appeal to me, I love Rosanna’s mother Anna who brings old world common sense to help her very modern daughter cope with the loss of a promising relationship. I enjoyed growing up close to my grandmother and loved the old fashioned values she instilled in me as a child. Rosanna’s conversations and interactions with her mother are some of my favourite scenes.
Angus’ sister Morag is a softer version of her brother. She gives him heart and feelings when we might believe he has none. Siblings play a big part in this story. Their love helps to support the two principles.
Rosanna and Angus share their family stories and history as they tentatively get to know each other. The scene at his condo where he tries so hard to nurture her is my favourite. To Rosanna, nurturing means home-cooked food. Angus can’t prepare a meal but does his best in other ways to show himself as a caring person. Cultural issues which often drive us apart are the very same ones which eventually draw us together when we have time to get to know each other. Suppose we don’t have that time?
I believe the multicultural nature of the characters and the nuances of culture which has guided their lives makes the story slightly different. The major part of the book takes place in Toronto, Ontario circa 1992 but hinges on a back story or prologue describing a family caught up in an earthquake in Irpina Italy circa 1982.
About the author.
Settling down to write.
I am not known as a person who finishes anything unless I am highly motivated. Both of my books sat on a shelf in draft form for nearly twenty years before I picked them up again. It was easy to get frustrated by the process of writing, editing and re-editing and staying under budget but I surprised my self and finished them both as well as ten others. My husband was seriously injured in a car accident and during his long recovery, I had to give up much of my activity outside the home but I needed to keep busy. A blog was fun but story telling has been sanity-saving. I do consider myself a story teller and not a writer. My initial goal was just to finish the stories but then my endgame became publishing them as a way of making them complete.
After they were done, I realized that telling stories in this way was the fulfillment of a childhood dream which I had let go. The prologue and epilogue were late additions to the overall book although the idea had been in my head. It’s difficult to create another short story within a story but easier if the short story provides background information. It is something I enjoy doing because I believe that every person has a background event which plays into the present.
Since the age of seven, I was very clear about my career path. I wanted to be a nurse. The opportunity to study abroad and experience life differently drove me to England where I met and married my husband of forty two years. We have two children and five grandchildren. My career in nursing has taken me on several different paths in Canada, Jamaica and England.
Many years later, after a life altering illness, I chose to work on doing things which were secondary dreams; things I might have let go of if I didn’t see my survival as a gift. I increased my nursing knowledge, took a course in theology and became an interfaith minister. I opened a wellness based business with a friend, who later passed away, and my sister. The loss of my friend actually propelled me into bringing my stories to a professional level of publishing. My greatest joy has been working with women who rise above the challenges of their lives to share their stories with others and the joy in observing mothers with their babies.
My favourite quote from one of the women I interviewed some years ago was ‘praise the woman who rises from the ashes’. Weaving bits and pieces of those stories from people who have touched my life into the current ones helps me to give voice to their pain and their healing. As I approach my retirement from nursing, I look forward to expanding and enjoying my secondary careers.
Love is such an incredible driving force. I have seen what love can do when it is elevated to its purest form. The sweetest love is that of a mother for her child. What we learn from loving our children makes us better people. The ability to move ourselves forward to embrace unmet challenges is what builds character deep inside.
We often hear of the way we must grow and become stronger. People talk about struggling to overcome challenges but what I have learned is the journey makes us who we are if we see the challenge not as a struggle but an opportunity. Humans are interconnected in a way known only to the hand of fate and free will. I believe there is a universal energy called by many names, each of which is personal to the individual. By sharing what we know of ourselves, it enables us to find the common ground of that energy and find in each other a thread which ties and connects our souls.
I have watched the cells of blood under a microscope respond to the owner who is feet away laughing. When families share the same blood their connection is built into the DNA. It never wavers and never alters. Our psyche changes, based on what we think and it may alter how we behave but in the end the connection we have with those who share our DNA is unshakeable.
Let go of rigid ideals and ideas which do not serve your needs. Be open to other possibilities. From time to time, reflect and renew how you see yourself in the world.
We have to believe in something, anything in order to give ourselves the impetus to move forward. Finding that spark which enables us to rise above the ordinary gives meaning to life.
Thoughts on ‘Suspect, Love’ a story by Judith Andrade