Meet Alma, a mother and wife, who’s brutally honest and bitter. Disappointment and heartbreak have left the once vital and joyful woman so cynical and self-protecting that she has forgotten how to love anyone, including herself.
She has become so accustomed to being resentful of her husband, James, that even when she wants to show him love she doesn’t know how. He made some mistakes over the course of their decades-long marriage, but she made some mistakes, too, which alienated not only her husband but friends and neighbors as well. Deep down she is sorry for what happened and still loves Harold, but stubborn pride eats away the short time they have left to make amends.
When she finds herself widowed with grown children in far-off places, a deep loneliness sets in and she starts to give up on life. That is until a group of red hat ladies — whom she once thought of as belonging to a cult — extend hands of friendship and reintroduce her to herself and, possibly, a new love.
In this debut novel, Wayans has crafted unforgettable characters in Alma, her family, and friends, and a charming story that stays with the reader long after the last page is read and reminds us of the enduring power of love and friendship.
Lawrence Hill Books, May 1, 2010