Wednesday, October 15, 2008
an excerpt from 'Living It Down'
In the second novel in my trilogy, Living It Up, the main idea is that life can be so rich and sweet and wonderful, and there's no sense putting it off until a more convenient time. Lainie McGuire and John Marchbanks are minor characters in Living It Down, and meet briefly at the end. Now, in Living It Up, which takes place in 1991, Lainie is ready for a change in direction, with Polly Burke as her business partner at Sophie's Place, Polly's aunt's beautiful old home. Lainie and John, Winston’s law partner, meet when he draws up incorporation papers for the business. John and Lainie are two never-marrieds approaching 40, and are both at peace, madly active in the church, happy with their single lives. When they fall in love, their worlds are turned upside down. He’s an LDS convert of 20 years, oldest son in a big Catholic family, and his parents still don’t approve of his conversion. In many ways, John and Lainie are opposites. He’s a talented artist, acts in community theater, plays the piano, teaches Primary and has a small beach house on the Oregon Coast. He’s devoted to his law practice. She’s from Cedar City, Utah, a dedicated people person, works with the Single Adults in her ward, and does a lot of volunteer work in the community. John lives in a Quail Valley condo on the east bench of Provo, and Lainie lives in a house on the west side near Utah Lake. She is a breast cancer survivor who appreciates every day, even a bad one. John and Lainie are compatible, have a mutual attraction, and just as John is ready to acknowledge that he loves Lainie, he is diagnosed with malignant melanoma, and the world is upside down again. What they learn about themselves and each other through his treatment and recovery, given their cancer statistics, helps them work out the necessary compromises for a future together. Ultimately, it’s all about life. There are some other subplots, too, that contrast and parallel the John/Lainie story. We find out what happened to Polly and Winston after they reconciled, and follow through with the teenagers.