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The Sunday List of Dreamsby Kris Radish
Synopses & Reviews
1. Stop being afraid.
Connie Nixon's house starts talking to her at 9:51 p.m. on a Wednesday.
She has just finished pawing through her heart and examining the long lines of desire that parade through her body like an endless roll of string and tangle in a knot inside her chest. Her left hand is holding the knot, loosened briefly by means of the pen in her right hand that has translated her dreams into the list. The 48th list. Connie Franklin Nixon's list of dreams.
Connie's list-making tonight has been assisted by one and then two glasses of red wine-a really nice dry cabernet from Australia-and she is trying to decide if she should have another glass. This would push her way over the halfway mark, as far as her usual alcohol consumption goes, and into a semi-critical what the hell state that she associates with the early stages of drunken folly, Saturday nights on her sister's back porch and the good old days, which did not last long enough.
Three seconds of hesitation is enough and Connie Nixon rolls over, lets the pages of her list fold against each other, drops the pen, grabs the gorgeous dark red bottle off her book-laden nightstand and pours the wine into the rounded, clear glass so close to the top that she has to lean over and sip it before she can actually pick up the glass.
That exact moment is when she hears the house speaking.
What? she whispers out loud. As if she is answering the walls that seem to be speaking. What did you say?
She pauses. Her top lip is swimming in wine and her bottom lip has wedged itself against the smooth glass, her breath in a holding pattern. Six years alone in this house have left her on more-than-intimate terms with every squeak, roof sway, late-night foundation settling creak, gutter birds, falling limbs, and an assortment of other sounds that are as familiar to Connie as a rushing waterfall might be to someone on an enchanted vacation. Even before those six years, when the girls were still romping through the house, climbing in through unlocked windows after curfew and sliding their tricycles, bicycles, cars and motorcycles into the garage door from dawn to dusk, there was a rhythm to the sounds, a symphony of life, a ballet of movement that signaled a house settling in around its family, the arms of the walls wrapping them close and keeping the rain and snow off the beds and dressers and the kitchen table.
The sound Connie hears now, however, is a distant voice, a faint indistinguishable rumble that tangos itself into a kind of hum. It is highlighted by a hint of music, as if someone has left a radio playing at the far edge of the basement. It echoes and sways as if it is about to snuff itself out and, when Connie pauses, unmoving, not frightened but a bit confused about its origin, the sound does not change or grow or stop or turn into something else. Maybe, she speculates. Maybe the list has started to speak.
Connie drinks half the glass in one gulp and swings her legs off the edge of the bed. Accustomed to sleeping in whatever she happens to be wearing at the moment she falls into bed, Connie makes certain that if she has to avert disaster she can do so with at least partial dignity. When she looks down, she sees that she has on an old navy-colored t-shirt
Now that she is happily divorced and recently retired, Connie Nixon is ready to get on with her life and begin living her own dreams, starting with her determination to get rid of all of the junk in the garage, but when she opens a box belonging to her daughter, her unexpected discovery transforms her life and that of her daughter. By the author of Annie Freeman's Fabulous Traveling Funeral. Original. 95,000 first printing.
Connie Nixon is no stranger to making lists. In fact, she has rewritten the list of her deepest desires no fewer than forty-eight times. And each Sunday, for as long as she can remember, she’s tinkered with it. But actually doing something about her desires is a different story—until the night she comes across a box belonging to her estranged daughter…and makes a stunning discovery. It turns out that her seemingly straitlaced Jessica is part owner of one of the most successful sex toy shops in America.
Shocked by her daughter’s secret life, Connie tucks her list in her back pocket and does something utterly impulsive: she hops on a plane to New York City to track down Jessica—and winds up on the wildest adventure of her life. Because with her daughter’s help, Connie’s about to let her own inner bombshell see the light of day.
Now, for the first time ever, things are flying off Connie’s list. Like reconnecting with her daughter. And getting tipsy before noon. And the most startlingly extraordinary desire of all: falling in love.
About the Author
Kris Radish is the author of six books. Her Bantam Dell novels The Elegant Gathering of White Snows, Dancing Naked at the Edge of Dawn and Annie Freeman's Fabulous Traveling Funeral have been on the bestseller and Book Sense 76 Selection lists. She also writes two weekly nationally syndicated columns.
She travels frequently throughout the country speaking about women's issues, the value of female friendships and the importance of personal empowerment, as well as the necessity for laughter, a terrific glass of wine, lying quietly in the summer grass, embracing kindness, following the path in your own heart and no one's else's, and having fun at all costs.
Kris Lives in Wisconsin with her partner, a teenage daughter—who she sees when the gas tank is empty, a college son—who shows up when it's time to wash clothes and where she is cursing through menopause on her Yamaha orange-lanced walking shoes, a chlorine blocking swim suit, a gallon of calcium, about 100 notebooks for her novels, short story, poetry, and journalism ideas and a case of cheap wine glasses.
She is also working on her fifth novel Searching for Paradise in Parker, PA which Bantam Dell will publish in 2008.
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