Title: In Black & White by Catherine Lavender
Published: June 7th, 2016
Publisher: Chamomile Books LLC
Genre: Women’s Contemporary Fiction
Micah Winters always knew that she was different. It was the pigment of her skin and the texture of her hair that revealed that she was a woman from biracial parents. For five decades, Micah’s African American mother has remained silent about Micah’s estranged father (Sidney Irving).
It is not until after Sidney Irving’s death that Micah learns that she is the daughter of the legendary novelist and screenwriter. Now with her mother’s memory fading away from Alzheimer’s disease, Micah can only rely on a novel that was written from her father years ago to understand her parents past during the time of segregation in the United States. Micah’s once simple life is not so simple anymore as she tries to make sense of an unfamiliar world as she inherits her father’s wealth and private past. With an abandoned heart, Micah must forgive the past in order to discover who she really is.
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About Catherine Lavender
Catherine Lavender is from Baltimore, Maryland but now resides in Tampa, Florida with her miniature schnauzer name Ripken. She is an animal activist, as well as a supporter of the organization First Book which helps supply literature for underprivileged children. In her spare time, Catherine enjoys reading classic literature and playing the acoustic guitar.
Sidney Irving knew that his time had come. At the age of eighty-four, the prospect of imminent death didn’t frighten him. In truth, death was a welcome reprieve from the loneliness that had plagued him for the past few decades.
As a well-known and respected author, Sidney achieved much success in his youthful, productive years. He was certain that people would continue to read his novels and watch movies based on his screenplays long after he was gone. He had won many awards, given interviews, and shared his work on public platforms. For a long time, his work satisfied and fulfilled him in a way that his life was not able to. But then, old age caught up. He couldn’t write as well or as quickly as he used to, and eventually, even the personal delight in finding the right word, and the perfect sentence began to elude him.
Sidney knew that like most men, he had committed a number of mistakes during his years of living. Unfortunately, many of them came back to haunt him on his death bed. Chief among them was a relentless guilt that ravaged his already worn-out body.
However, he had already done all that he could do to set things right after his death. There was nothing else that could be done. Perhaps in time, he would be forgiven. It pained him that he did not take that step forward while he still had the energy to do so. It was cowardice; he knew. Although, it was hard to make amends with the distressing fear of facing rejection and humiliation.
When he died, things would be set right – as they should have been fifty years ago.
A sudden cough escaped his lips. Years of habit brought him to cover his mouth with his hand, which was now leathery, spotted, and dry. Once, he had been a robust man, with an almost insatiable lust for life, but age had stripped him of all energy.
His nurse, a staid, matronly woman of middle-age, walked into the room. “You have a visitor, Mr. Irving. It is Nathan. Should I bring him in?”
“Yes, let Nathan come in,” he wheezed.
Nathan came to Havre de Grace seven years ago. An ex-Navy SEAL, who had been fighting his own personal demons after taking an early retirement from the military, with hopes to begin a new life, Nathan started working at the Irving Estate as a handyman. As the years went by, he slowly opened up to Sidney.
Nathan walked in. For a moment, he stood staring at Sidney. “And here I thought you would be up for a round of golf, but you are still lounging in the bed.”
The laughter that escaped Sidney’s lips turned to a cough. After helping Sidney sit up against the plush pillows that neatly lined the headboard of the bed, Nathan made him drink some water. “You…” Words seemed to escape him as he tried to catch his breath.
Sidney leaned back and rested his head against one of the pillows. “Don’t worry, Nate. I’ve made my peace. My time has come.”