When Every Breath Becomes a Prayer

Excerpt

The day she returns from her mother’s funeral, Georgina discovers her husband Colin’s affair. A remote Englishman, he is unsympathetic to the fact that Georgina’s world has been capsized by the death of both her parents and her daughter, Kate’s, suicidal depression and suspected possession.

jAlready down on her hands and knees, fighting for her child’s life, Colin’s affair lands Georgina face down in the mud. As Kate grows sicker and nothing helps, Georgina descends into a nightmare world where all her assumptions about reality are exploded as she turns for help to an intuitive in Minnesota, a Peruvian archangel channel, an Irish mystic and her own dreams.

Georgina is mystical, Kate is practical. Where Georgina rushes in guided by intuition, Kate thinks things through, observing and sensing their pulse. Only love for her mother keeps Kate from taking her own life, when all she wants, is to beg for death, to end the unbearable pain.

Four women support them on their journey. It is articulate hardboiled Emma, an obituary writer for The Times, who perpetually goads Georgina in the role of side kick and commentator. The wisdom of the crone is offered by Georgina’s 80 year old friend Selma. Selma is the daughter of a black share cropper raised in the South before the Civil Rights Act. When Georgina says “If Kate dies, I will die. Did you know love can kill?” Selma tells her “pull up your socks girl, you got to pull up your socks and help your child.” And it is Carrie, the etherial horse therapist, who, when fear grips Georgina by the throat, stealing her voice, reminds her, “worrying is like praying for what you don’t want.” And then, there is Julia, Georgina’s younger sister. It is Julia who has always sweetened Georgina’s life. But it is Julia, and not Kate, who will be sacrificed to death before the story ends.

As the book moves forward into the present, six years after Kate’s confrontation with death, she is married to Finn and living in Okinawa, Japan, working as a graphic novelist. Finn is in Air Force special forces. Kate also has a friend, Lydia, who like Kate, is a military wife. But unlike Kate, Lydia, has never been able to be authentic even with herself.

There are four men in the book. Cyrus is Kate’s father and Georgina’s exotic, handsome, Persian ex-husband. Colin is Georgina’s most recent husband and the villain in the group. He’s self-centered and disloyal, but unfortunately also smart, funny and sexy. He doesn’t even pretend support as he burns the house down and poisons the well. Matthew is a nuclear physicist and Georgina’s final love. He arrives in the twilight hour of her life and carries her home to herself. Kate’s husband, Finn, is all American, full of testosterone, good will and tenderness, and he looks like James Dean. After her near death, it is Finn who calls Kate’s Soul back into being.

As the characters hurdle along through the story bumping up against one another, each has flashes of insight, but it is only Georgina and Kate who experience the full catastrophe of the human condition and see the blinding beauty in it. Their journey into suffering and their acceptance of it, become a thousand allumettes which light up the inner landscape of their lives, altering them forever.

Read the first two chapters by clicking on the following link https://www.scribd.com/doc/282817992/When-Every-Breath-Becomes-a-Prayer.

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Susan Plunket on Twitter
Susan Plunket
Susan Plunket is an author and psychologist in private practice, in Greenwich Village. For 27 years she has tried to help people become aware that it is the acceptance of our suffering, which frees us to move forward to meet our destiny. Her special interests are Jungian dream analysis and working with people who have had an experience of the numinous, a divine beckoning, which frequently occurs at a time of crisis in a person s life. She received her doctorate at The New School for Social Research in 1989 and completed her clinical training at New York Hospital, Bellevue Hospital and the Post Graduate Center for Mental Health. From 2005 to 2008 she served as a member of the Board of Trustees of the C.G. Jung Foundation of New York. Since 2008 she has been on the editorial review board of Quadrant: The Journal of the New York C.G. Jung Foundation. Her debut novel: When Every Breath Becomes a Prayer will be released February 9, 2016.

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