Just Out of Reach
by Belinda Stevens
When high school freshman Katherine Boyd meets David, her life is forever altered. Their romance experiences the turmoil of Mississippi in the sixties, family relationships that keep them apart, and political differences that threaten to destroy them. Through the death of JFK and James Meredith’s admission to Ole Miss, Katherine’s growth means being progressive in a traditional Southern family, accepting the loss of those closest to her, and learning to cope with her family’s darkest secrets. Just Out of Reach is the story of a young woman forged in desperate times and a love that changes her life forever.
I was numb from the news. As I listened to Dr. Pierce, my mind seemed to separate from my body. It was like my family doctor, the same doctor that had delivered my girls, was talking to someone else. I thought I had been so careful but, obviously, not careful enough. I was pregnant, and Tom was not the father! I thought about my last pregnancy. This time I knew I would not abort. Other than that, I didn’t know what I was going to do. As I drove home, I thought about the events that had lead to my present state; all the things Tom did wrong and the things I did wrong as well.
After Birmingham, things settled down somewhat. For the girls’ sake, Tom stopped drinking. But we still fought over everything from civil rights to how I raised the girls, especially Katherine. She was her father’s favorite, and Tom felt she could do no wrong. My youngest daughter was very independent and had a strong, stubborn streak in her. No matter how I tried to force her to behave, she fought back. It always led to tantrums, tears, and eventually spankings. As my daughter grew older, the fighting between me and Katherine worsened, with Tom acting as a referee. The fact that my husband sided with Katherine enraged me. This, of course, widened the gulf between me and Tom. We were like strangers living under the same roof, barely speaking to one another. There were days and sometime weeks of silence between the two of us. Things rocked along unchanged until the fall of 1958.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Belinda J. Stevens was born in Yazoo City, Mississippi, the gateway to the Mississippi Delta, in 1948. She grew up in the turbulent sixties, and has a true appreciation for the difficulties experienced by Katherine in Just Out of Reach, which is Belinda’s first novel. She is an attorney who currently practices law in Yazoo City and resides in Brandon, Mississippi with her dog, Humprey B.
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