I was barely thirteen years old when Mama died and left me and Will in the care of Papa, a man who’d think nothing of shoving a dose of castor oil down my throat just so he could watch my face turn inside out.
I was barely thirteen years old – Friday Fiction
“It’s good for what ails you,” he’d say; yet, I noticed he never gave Will the same big dose. Papa didn’t say it in precise words, but he made it clear enough he wouldn’t give two hoots if all the girl babies in Chestnut Ridge, Virginia, were in the graveyard along with Mama. Of course with him being a staunch Methodist, I don’t believe Papa was capable of taking a butcher knife and slicing off heads or anything; but he surely knew how to destroy people from the inside—a sliver of spirit, a piece of pride, a chunk of heart—until one day there’s nothing left but a walking around shell to do the cooking and laundry.
It’s a roundabout story, but Papa’s blind-sightedness is the very reason Destiny Fairchild may end up in the Women’s Correctional Facility—which is a fancy way of saying penitentiary. Everybody’s life could have been a whole lot different if Mama hadn’t died before she got a chance to set things right. She was the one to tell Papa there were two sides to every story and he should have the fairness of mind to hear them all the way through. Will, bless his heart, wasn’t the least bit like Papa; nonetheless, we’d get to scrapping over something—who was smarter, who slacked on their chores, who said what and who didn’t—and that’s when Mama stepped in. She’d make us sit at the kitchen table and tell both versions of how the tussle got started. After everything was all explained, she’d generally say we should be ashamed of ourselves, fussing over such a bit of nonsense when here we were twins, born of the same seed, a brother and sister, linked together for life. More often than not, she’d dole out a punishment that involved standing in opposite corners of the room and thinking things over for a while.
Unfortunately, Destiny didn’t have Mama to see to the fairness of things before they got out of hand; besides, in her case there were three sides, hers, Elliott’s and mine. Problem is, no one’s ever heard mine—not even Judge Kensington.
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From a USA TODAY AUTHOR OF WOMEN’S FICTION BEST SELLERS comes an uplifting tale of trust, love and friendship.
Abigail Anne Lannigan searched for these things all her life, now, when she is at the tail end of her years, she teams up with a free-spirited young woman. A nobody from nowhere, who suddenly moves in across the street. Their unusual friendship comes under suspicion when a million dollars goes missing and a distant relative, claims embezzlement. Abigail knows the truth of what happened but, unfortunately, she’ll never get the chance to tell.
Reminiscent of Fannie Flagg’s “Fried Green Tomatoes” the May-December friendship of these two unforgettable women is sure to settle in the soft spot of your heart.
The Twelfth Child, told in the timeless tradition of Southern Fiction, is a novel rich with emotion, humor and tenderness. A Historical Mystery set in the 20th Century, this is a story of love, friendship and one woman’s struggle to survive America’s Great Depression.
Literary awards for The Twelfth Child –
Amazon Historical/Mystery Fiction Bestseller
Royal Palm Literary Award
FPA President’s Book Award
National Association of American Pen Women Fiction Award
Praise for The Twelfth Child –
Her unique style of writing is timeless and her character building is inspiring. I admired the protagonist Abigail and her resilience to life and situation. She is a character of strength and courage, we can all learn a lesson from. Bette has such a way with words that you feel the happiness, love, hate, sadness, greed, and outrage of the characters. You know you’re reading a good story when you feel such emotions for the characters and their plight. They’re like real people you know and love. This is a deeply moving story that touches the core of your heart. Bette truly is a talented writer and a wonderful story teller. – Layered Pages
I really enjoyed this delightful, emotional novel by Bette Lee Crosby. I had a few laugh out loud moments; times when I wanted to slap a certain person – I loved Abigail Anne – her character was wonderful. The dreadful times of the Great Depression were heart wrenching, the delight of love and friendship made me smile. I have read a few by Bette and very much enjoy her writing; I have no hesitation in recommending this novel, which is book #1 in the Serendipity Series, highly. – Brenda on Goodreads
I can’t praise this book and the author enough…Ms. Crosby is amazing. Her writing is smooth, detailed, interesting, and it pulls you right into the story with believable characters and a wonderful flowing storyline. I couldn’t put this book down and was sad when it ended.
And…….the ending has a splendid lesson in itself. I truly enjoyed this incredible book. – Elizabeth of Silver’s ReviewsRead an excerpt from The Twelfth Child Book Discussion Questions for The Twelfth Child
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