Father’s Day is a toughie for some people. Not everyone had a stellar childhood with a “father knows best” type. Last week, Howard Stern said he went shopping for a Father’s Day card for his dad and he thought, “None of these are right!”
In LUNA RISING, my debut women’s fiction, Luna has a tough relationship with her dad. He was a heroin addict, and largely absent. At the beginning of the novel he has a stroke–but does a medical condition absolve someone from their wrongs? Luna struggles with this question.
Here’s an excerpt:
Today, Lenny Lampanelli would hear what he’d done to his only child.
Snow started falling just as Luna’s minivan tires met the metal grid in the center of the bridge. Fat flakes splatting against her windshield, like kamikazes dropping from the sky and crash-landing. They were so big that she could see their individual patterns in the seconds before the wiper blades obliterated them. The air in the van smelled sweet, lilac-coated by the air freshener dangling from the radio knob. She’d turned the music off. It clashed too much with the din in her head. Beneath her, under the floor littered with hardened corn-muffin crumbs, the tires grooved their metallic murmur—a soundtrack for the flakes’ demise.
Memories flurried through Luna’s mind.
Unlike the snow, unbreakable.
Why can’t you pick the things that last?
She remembered crossing the 59th Street Bridge with her parents. A rare appearance by Dad. They were in a little Fiat, driving down the long, winding exit ramp into Queens. The small backseat felt massive to her. She was tiny, shrunken into upholstery, watching the rhythmic flashing of the outside lampposts flickering reflections on her lap. Then she noticed something across the divider – a deflated red balloon. Only a flash, then they were past it. Her dad had said: “This kid, she doesn’t miss a thing.”
She wished she did miss things.
She wished she could shut down and rest.
She wished she couldn’t recall the hurt . . . that she couldn’t remember missing him.
Swoosh—more snowflakes met their maker. Was there a snowflake heaven?
All she’d ever wanted was in that moment with her parents.
The three of them, together.
The van’s tires hummed on the bridge like a choir of monks.
Does Luna confront her dad as planned? Is a resolution possible with a stroke victim? Read LUNA RISING to find out!
She releases one week from today–and you can preorder now!