You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.

X

Welcome to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

Out best laid plans are doomed to fail


ReShonda Tate Billingsley has come a long way since publishing her first book 13 years ago. The manuscript of that novel, “My Brother’s Keeper,” had gotten rejections from several publishers.

Billingsley believed deeply in that story so she published it herself.

It went on to elicit a positive response from readers. She ended up scoring a book deal with a major publisher. During this period Billingsley was employed as a journalist.

Six years ago she took a mighty plunge, making a life changing transition, becoming a full-time writer. She left her job at the FOX TV station in Houston and has not looked back since. Billingsley just published “A Family Affair,” her 28th book.

“A Family Affair” opens with a scene of scalding rage. The author sets the tone with the unleashing of massive friction that propels this work of fiction forward. Adele Wells just realized that her nanny of nine years, Lorraine Dawson, has been having an affair with her husband, Bernard.

Adele’s discovery of her nanny’s betrayal and her husband’s unfaithfulness coincided with her realization that Lorraine’s three-year-old daughter, Olivia, had been the apparent result of her husband’s tryst.

Adele was livid. She wrote Lorraine a hefty severance check. Then Adele banished them forever. As this eviction was being enacted, the nanny begged to see her young charge, their son, Kendall, one last time. Adele refuses. As they were departing Kendall appeared. Hearts were breaking all over these pages as this scene transpired.

We flash forward quickly to 17 years later. Olivia has become a lovely young woman: “many of the guys were attracted to her, not only for her all-American-girl looks but for her toned dancer’s body.” Unfortunately Olivia and her mother Lorraine are now residing in a down-at-the-heels neighborhood in Houston.

Just how bad is it? “Olivia hated this filthy place. Everything about it — from the dilapidated units to the graffiti-laden walls … made her stomach turn. But sadly, this had been home since she was 12 years old. Before that, they’d lived in several apartments not much better than this, but at least she didn’t have to worry about the riffraff or getting shot by a stray bullet. No, this had been a step down, even in a life already sunk by poverty.”

Olivia had her aspirations to “become a famous dancer with a ballet company or on Broadway — a profession that would garner her a lot of money.” She had been accepted at a prestigious school to study dance.

For now her fierce loyalty to her mother seems to have derailed these ambitions.

Readers will anticipate that Olivia will eventually discern the true identity of her mysterious father. He’s rich and successful and hasn’t seen his daughter for all those years. His embittered wife, Adele, thought that she had bought this permanent estrangement. You can make your plans. You can pay bribes. Life rarely works out the way that you plan it.

Vick Mickunas of Yellow Springs interviews authors every Friday at 1:30p.m. and on Sundays at 11 a.m. on WYSO-FM (91.3). For more information, visit www.wyso.org/programs/book-nook. Contact him at vick@vickmickunas.com.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Springfield Entertainment

'A Dog's Purpose' producers respond to video of possible abuse, says German shepherd is fine
'A Dog's Purpose' producers respond to video of possible abuse, says German shepherd is fine

Video that emerged Wednesday of a German shepherd dog named Hercules was quickly called into question by some viewers. Celebrity gossip site TMZ obtained video from the set of the upcoming film "A Dog's Purpose," that some viewers may find disturbing. It shows Hercules struggling with a person who appears to be a trainer trying to get the...
Disney video appears to confirm theory that every Pixar movie is related
Disney video appears to confirm theory that every Pixar movie is related

One of the longest-enduring fan theories about movies is that in the Disney Pixar universe, all the films are related to each other. One theory by film reviewer Jon Negroni, aptly named, "The Pixar Theory," goes so far as to say that all Pixar movies take place within the same universe. The A.V. Club reported that, according to a video posted...
Madame Tussauds in London unveils Trump wax figure
Madame Tussauds in London unveils Trump wax figure

Other Madame Tussauds locations also have Trump wax figures on display, including Washington, D.C., Orlando and New York, according to The Telegraph.
Sanctuary show to focus on Great Women of Gospel
Sanctuary show to focus on Great Women of Gospel

Contact this contributing writer at bturner004@woh.rr.com. A Springfield native will pay tribute to the late Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and the civil rights movement in song. Lauren Kelley will take on the great women of gospel music at the next Sanctuary Series concert, 3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 22, at High Street United Methodist Church. The concert replaces...
Michelle Stitzlein sheds new light on recyclable items
Michelle Stitzlein sheds new light on recyclable items

Contact this contributing writer at bturner004@woh.rr.com. What you throw out today, Michelle Stitzlein may turn into art tomorrow. What you consider recyclable, she may hang on a gallery wall. The Springfield Museum of Art’s McGregor Gallery will have the proof when “Industrial Nature: Works by Michelle Stitzlein” premieres with...
More Stories