The Looking-Glass House
Adult Literary Fiction
Twenty-year-old Margaret Harmond is haunted by her Catholic upbringing, her desire for other women, and the ghost of her mother, whose suicide she witnessed at the age of eight. While training for the sisterhood in a Catholic home for unwed mothers, Margaret finds herself tempted by one of the pregnant teenage girls and throws herself further into her work by joining the local Civil Rights Movement. But as she begins to investigate the disappearances of young black men, she finds herself caught in a web of corruption, endangering the lives of those she loves most and bringing her closer to the one person she was trying to avoid.
First 150 Words:
March of 1964 in Cline, Texas was unseasonably warm. The frost had melted and the azaleas were beginning to bloom, their fuchsia flowers rippling across the grounds of Saint Therese's Home for Girls. Inside, the chapel was stuffy and quiet. No breeze came from the open windows, and dust particles hung motionless in the sunlight. Twelve pregnant girls knelt in the pews, praying. The only sounds came from the kneelers creaking as the girls shifted. Sister Mary Catherine, Mother Superior of Saint Therese's, sat in a burgundy mohair arm chair at the front of the chapel with a rosary in her hands, as if her eyes were closed because she too was praying. All the girls, though, knew she was sleeping.
But even with Mother Superior beginning to snore, a hum as monotonous as the bees outside who droned from blossom to blossom, fat and drunk on azalea nectar, the girls could not relax, because Margaret watched them from the back pew.