9780977218707 / 0977218708

Better Days Ahead


Publisher:English Mill Press



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About the book:

Welcome to the 1950s where four uniquely intriguing families are in search of the American dream. In BETTER DAYS AHEAD, debut novelist Charlie Valentine brings mid-century America to dazzling life in this enthralling tale of passion, power, and betrayal that sweeps from the Midwest to the deep South to the West Coast. During the course of this dramatic saga, readers will be enthralled with these four interwoven stories and will relate to the sacrifices each family must make and the consequences they must live by in order to realize their visions for a better way of life. We meet: Sarah Robbins, a lounge singer with a drinking problem from Cleveland. Her life will soon change forever when she discovers at the last possible moment that she is pregnant. Readers will become acquainted with her adorable son, Billy; her business partner, Sam; her svengali, Judge Henry Kinslow; and her lover, Jack Stratton. Neil Dvorak, a Detroit native with exquisite taste in woodworking and rotten taste in women. After his first wife, Janet, is caught in a bold affair, he leaves her and loses his beloved daughter, Amy, in the process. Neil thinks his luck has changed when he meets Anne a respectable and kind woman, but after she gives birth to baby Victoria, Annes true nature emerges with unforgivable consequences. Dolores Drake, a devoted mother of two teenage daughters, with a baby boy on the way. She works long hours in a local Alabama sweatshop to provide for her two teenage daughters and her drunk, abusive creep of a husband. The rest of her hours are spent keeping her children safe from the clutches of her leering husband and warding off his drunken blows to her unborn baby. When she finally gains the courage to leave him and accepts the help of Ruthie Jackson, a black woman in town, ugly racism bubbles to the surface and lives are changed irrevocably. David and Karen Stratton, the California golden couple who has everything going for them stunning looks, excellent breeding, the best educations, and wealth. But even the Strattons are not immune to loss and tragedy as they learn when David becomes way too close to one particular client, Jessica Heisen. Eventually, circumstances compel three of these families to head West to California in search of a fresh start for their children. No one can predict the high-stakes drama and devastating results that ensue when their lives intersect. BETTER DAYS AHEAD is filled with historical detail, drama, and romantic intensity. With moving prose, Charlie Valentine tantalizes readers with a captivating saga that explores the struggles of love, hope, disappointment, and loneliness universal themes that touch us all. Ultimately, this tale, the first in a trilogy, is a story of possibilities and hopeof BETTER DAYS AHEAD.

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