Backstory for The Art of Going Home

This week in our blog hop, we're presenting some background material for our novels. 

Cecilia, also known as Aunt Ceci, is an important character in The Art of Going Home. Because she dies at the beginning of the book, I thought it might be interesting to see, from her point of view,  one of the events that take place when the heroine Maddie is a child:

June 30, Eighteen Years Ago 

     It was the saddest funeral Cecilia had ever seen. More miserable than the day her husband had been buried. At least her William died after having some chance at life, though it was too short. 

      But this? It was incomprehensible. How could anyone justify a life ending after barely ten years? It was difficult for Cecilia to stop herself from blaming God.

     She glanced at her brother among the mourners. His face revealed exhaustion, and rage mixed with grief. She knew Rey’s anger at God would last a long time. Maybe forever. And she couldn’t blame him.  As a deputy in the county sheriff’s department, he’d seen some bad things. But nothing compared to this. Though he refused to discuss it, she knew he was determined to find the murderer.

     Cecilia had come to the house at eleven o’clock, the same as she did every day. As she folded the laundry, Jacqueline’s screams had reached her. Cecilia had never heard such an awful sound. She’d called Rey as she ran from the house, knowing she’d find something horrible.

     Jacqueline had been sitting by the wading pond, drenched after pulling Angeline’s body from the water. Cecilia had tried to make her let go, but Jacqueline refused to release the body. Rey arrived a short time later and confirmed the worst. Angeline had been drowned in two and a half feet of water. And poor Madisen had gotten there before Cecilia, seeing her dead twin clutched in her mother’s arms. She’d fainted from the sight of it.  When Rey picked Maddie up, Jacqueline had screamed at her, “What did you do?” As if the death had somehow been Maddie’s fault.

    As Angeline’s coffin was lowered, Cecilia hugged Maddie to her. Maddie still wasn’t crying. It worried Cecilia that she didn’t express her grief. She knew the longer people buried their emotions, the more damage they would cause. She was truly worried for the little girl. Living in that house, with parents that not only didn’t show the child love, but were cruel to her. 

     Well, Cecilia was more determined than ever to change that. She’d love and protect this girl enough for two parents. William and Angeline had been taken from Cecilia, but no one would hurt Madisen again. Not if she could help it.


I hope you enjoyed the short backstory! Thanks for checking in.