Books by Rose Gluck (Donna Barrow-Green)
Exuberance Is Beauty
Oregon, 1940s: Eve Miller, a young war widow, rebels against the ordinariness of womanhood in the post-war era. Eve is enlightened as she succumbs to the sensual temptation of an adulterous affair. In its aftermath, Eve Miller’s life unravels and leads to unexpected violence and moral isolation. Exuberance Is Beauty, is a contemporary interpretation of Adam and Eve’s biblical allegory and Eve’s fall into desolation. The story examines the consequence of erotic obsession and the repentance the female protagonist must pay for her sins of the flesh.
Eve has recovered from the devastating aftermath of an obsessive affair. She appears to have established a new life with a loving, surrogate family where she can raise her lover Jeff’s illegitimate son and secure her reputation. As she embarks on an independent life, Jeff writes to tell her he’s been recently widowed and asks Eve to marry him. After tragedy strikes again, Eve is drawn back into his orbit. She moves to Chicago and begins a new life as his wife. Before long she finds herself trapped by his violence. Fearing the worst, she devises a plan to save herself and her children. Atropa Belladonna poetically illustrates the complexities of love, marriage and abuse in the context of the 1950s family.. Atropa Belladonna is a sequel to Exuberance Is Beauty, my historical novel set in the late 1940s. While Atropa Belladonna is a stand alone novel, it does reveal the plot details and the ending of Exuberance Is Beauty very early in the book.
Marvelous Error opens in 1955 in the aftermath of a near fatal act of domestic violence. Jeff and Eve navigate the last few months of their marriage. This is a time of reprieve during which Eve embarks on a personal journey towards self discovery and empowerment. Part 2 begins eight years later. Jeff and Eve have lived completely separate lives following their divorce but that changes when a ghost from Jeff’s past returns to haunt their 18 year old daughter Clara. Jeff and Eve are forced to interact and old patterns resurface. As with the other books in the series, Marvelous Error portrays family drama and the female experience in the context of social and cultural change. Marvelous Error is the third in a five book saga chronicling the life of Eve Lambert and her family. It can be read as a stand alone novel.
Christmas 1972 Alchemy is told in alternating points of view. Both Jeffery, Eve’s youngest son and Eve recount the events leading up to a family drama that plays out over the Christmas Holiday. This will be the first time all of the children have been home together in a very long time. More than anything Eve wants to make the holiday special for everyone. That proves an impossible task as problems in Eve and Jeff’s marriage escalate out of control. Neither Eve nor Jeff have insight into how these family patterns effect their children’s’ lives. Jeffery provides a contrasting point of view as he navigates the choices he makes in his own life. Alchemy is the fourth of five books exploring the lives of Eve and Jeff Lambert.
When Eve finds a hidden set of journals kept by Jeff’s first wife Margaret, she gains insight into the extent of his violent personality. Margaret’s writing is haunting, schizophrenic and yet poetic. It reveals certain truths about Jeff that Eve has denied for so long. Eve becomes obsessed with comparing Margaret’s life story with her own. As Eve’s own narrative turns less reliable, Jeff insists she relinquish the diaries, but she refuses. When Margaret begins addressing Eve by name in her psychotic prose, Eve becomes terrified and descends into emotional self-destruction.Eve begins to believe she is in imminent danger. In an attempt to escape harm, she recreates a traumatic experience from early on in her marriage to Jeff. Intentional Fallacy is the last in the five book series chronicling the relationship between Eve and Jeff Lambert.
If There Are Any Heavens
If There are Any Heavens is the story of Rose Miller, a WWII widow living in Oregon in 1943. Grief stricken, Rose walks through her life, a ghost of her former self. She is a locally renowned gardener and despite her despair, she continues with her small business creating floral arrangements for local events. She is stirred when handsome art professor Ed O’Neil, commissions her to design the flowers for his mother’s funeral. After a few coincidental meetings, his intense attraction to her becomes known. When he makes an advance towards her, Rose accepts and they begin a love affair. While her feelings are intensely passionate, it’s not long before Rose begins to realize that their arrangement is morally corrupt and deceitful. Rose breaks things off with Ed but as his love letters pour in she finds herself wanting him again. When tragedy strikes, Rose turns to Ed and he is unwilling or unable to help her.
Allison is spending the summer on picturesque Peaks Island, Maine where she is the caretaker for her Aunt Meredith’s exquisite beach house. While her intention is to hide-away in the small caretaker’s cottage and write her first novel, she begins a relationship with a sweet ferry operator named Kevin. Kevin’s rugged New England manner appeals to Allison just as a remote culture appeals to an anthropologist. Allison has grown to love the easy lifestyle and the natural beauty of the rocky coastal island. Things change when a handsome, confident New Englander named Greg Marshall inquires about renting the house. She finds herself completely flustered by his looks and smooth manner. Yet as her attraction for him grows, her life on Peak’s Island begins to fall apart. First Allison almost drowns at their private beach. Then her personal journal goes missing and she begins receiving threatening texts. She senses she’s being watched and a series of coincidences seem to confirm that she, in fact, may be in danger. Peaks Island is a romantic and humorous love story with a hint of suspense.
Coming January 2017 — After completing Katherine Gibbs Secretarial School, Andrea Davies takes a position at a large New York Advertising Firm, admittedly there to find a husband and secure a life as a well-to-do, country club socialite. Andrea meets Richard Hayes, one of the firm’s partners and a inexplicable attraction takes hold. To everyone Richard is the kind and respectful executive with tragic home life. He is the devoted husband to Margaret, a dangerous “lunatic” who is in and out of psychiatric hospitals. A growing attraction between Richard and Andrea intensifies when she is promoted to his secretary. When Andrea turns her attention to another marriage prospect, Richard quickly reveals a sinister, unpredictable side that naive Andrea interprets as unbridled passion, fueling her romantic delusions of “love at any cost.” In the classic noir tradition, The Diarist, explores the darker side of the human psyche and the terrifying consequences of indulging in base desires.
What Remains Inside
MEMOIR. In 1981 I was fifteen years old. My mother was having a psychotic breakdown. Over the course of that year, her fixations on me intensified. At first she said I ‘was’ her. She tried to convince me I would be the next victim in a string of imagined crimes. Most days, she’d describe the murder scene; how I would be killed. I’d listen to her with rapt attention, fearing that what she was saying might be true. I’d watch her eyes examine me and I never really knew if she believed the things she told me or if she just enjoyed watching fear consume me. I’d leave my house at night, my emotions in shreds, the fear and paranoia having settled in every muscle in my body. My heart raced and my brain remained constantly vigilant. In the midst of my trauma, I found another place. Drugs. Alcohol. Boys. I’d guzzle cheap wine and wait impatiently for it to dull my senses and grant me power. Sometimes I’d take LSD or get so high that I didn’t remember blocks of time. I’d sit with my best friends on the hood of our car smoking cigarettes, our feet in high-heeled Candie’s sandals swinging to the beat of another car’s radio blaring Led Zeppelin somewhere in the nearby darkness. When the crowd began to disperse, I’d find one of the handsome boys, make out and bask in the kind of attention I never tired of. I’d extend the nights for as long as I could, the fear of my mother a constant flicker just beneath my consciousness.
Trigger warning: this story recounts childhood trauma. Many of the scenes may be difficult for others who have experienced child abuse.
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