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FEAR

“He’s a walking menace. “He should be locked up....”

FOR REAL!

``When Ian is angry, he goes mad. Suppose he gets so mad at Mummy that he strangles her.``

CONTROL

“The bathroom is for your mother’s and my exclusive use...``

EVEN FOR THAT!

``If you need to use it, you must ask permission first.”

SOLUTION?

``Murder would not be a mortal sin.`` and Aunt Carlota chews her words...

COURAGE!

“A person could murder someone and go to Confession and receive absolution.``

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FUNNY

‘Baby dearest, understand. I have scoured my soul and found it sorely lacking.``

PRAYERS

“I pray that meddlesome priest ends up writhing in agony in the seventh circle of Hell!”

WHIMSICAL

``The powdered Equanils. We didn’t put in enough to kill Ian, only knock him out...``

SMART

``I pass fourth-grade Spanish. Thanks to my great-great-grandfather. In Mexico, it’s very important to be related to someone famous.``

DILEMMA

``God isn’t listening. From what I can see, He doesn’t listen much to prayers in Mexico.``

HERE WE GO AGAIN!

``He’ll win Mummy back. She says she won’t accept him, not if he goes down on his bended knees and begs her.``

 

ABOUT THE BOOK

 

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Two little girls
Live in a seaside village in postwar England.
American-Mexican mother. Daddy, a retired Royal Navy commander, is an inventor.
Two different cultures
When Daddy’s inventions fall through, their mother takes them to live in Mexico City with their grandparents.
Enter Ian, a retired British colonel
“He’s one of those people who you can never be sure of. His mouth smiles but that’s all.”
Their mother remarries Ian who sets hard-to-follow house rules:
“You are not to go out with your mother without my consent.”
“Under no circumstances are you to use this telephone.”
Ian uses spy tactics to scare them into submission.
“Ian stares at us with bulging eyes, pinning us with his gaze. He’s trying to hypnotize us, invade our minds and take them over.”
A scared mother.
“I’m convinced Ian hypnotized Mummy. She behaves as if Ian’s taken out her guts and left mush in their place.”
A crazy stepfather
“I always suspected he had some loose screws,” Grandpa says. “Now I know he’s a nutcase.”
A great-aunt suggests “Murder would not be a mortal sin.”
“I don’t want to feel guilty. I don’t want to feel like a murderer.”
“I just want to get rid of Ian.”

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

PENELOPE JAMES

England, my country of birth, childhood, and youth, shaped me. Mexico, the country where I lived thirty-eight years imbued me with its culture and a Latina identity. The U.S., the country where I currently reside, opened up new opportunities that have led to a challenging new life.”

Penelope’s parents, a British naval commander in his forties and her mother, an American-Mexican in her mid-twenties, met in New York City during WWII. Despite age and cultural differences, this unlikely pair was married three weeks later. She was born in a seaside village on the English south coast where she lived until ten. Then, in a traumatic cultural change, her mother took her and her sister to live in Mexico City where she spent her adolescence.

 

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REVIEWS

 

“Ian: Is he a pompous jerk? A control freak? A psychopath…or maybe all of the preceding? Whatever he is, he has few redeeming qualities. And two little girls from England want to get rid of him. Why is that? He terrorizes them; throws out their personal belongings; throws them out late at night; denies bathroom privileges; keeps a tight rein on the time spent with their mother, and makes weird demands. Finally, the two girls have had enough. So what do they do? Read this can’t put-down memoir to find out.”

Marsh Cassady. Author of The Professional Writer: Getting Ideas; Avoiding Pitfalls and 54 books.

GET THE BOOK ON Amazon.com