In Her Presence: A Husband's Dirty Secret by Nancy Weaver ~ Book Review

Book Description:

Dedicated to mothers, daughters and sons whose lives have been shattered by the man you most loved and trusted. Like the Potter with the clay, your life can be made whole again.

The true story: The surreal, gripping saga of a young, desperate, rich African American mother and her children, and her courageous teenage daughter in the south in the 1950s is inspired by real life events.

Maebelle Hawkins, a young, pretty divorcee, moves to Derriene Crossing with her heart set on finding the perfect husband. When Rufus Poygoode, a well-to-do-, good-looking farmer enraptures her heart with a proposal of marriage, she feels her life has come full circle.

But it is a marriage awash in deception. A few weeks after their union, her fantasy word crashes and burns. She shivers when Rufus Poygoode places the cold black metal gun against her nose and calls her Olga Berry, the name of his surrogate mother, for whom he carries a vendetta. No amount of defense convinces him she is not the estranged daughter of his surrogate mother. Crushed by cruel and unusual hatred, Maebelle Hawkins resigns herself to a mere state of simply existing. Then their daughter Tara Poygoode grows up.

Tara Poygoode is pleased that she has her mother and father's good looks. But she hates him for the humiliation, cruelty, and power he wields over her large family. When she learns her father won't allow her to attend college, that he is intent on tying her life to the land forever, she vows to take control over her destiny, and rescue her family.

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About the Author: 

Nancy Weaver grew up in a small town in Mississippi. In the third grade she became close friends with a girl her age, a girl whose life in later years would inspire Nancy Weaver’s writing of In Her Presence: A Husband’s Dirty Secret. At age eighteen, Nancy Weaver left the south and moved to New York City where she spent most of her adult life. She was graduated from NYS Empire College. Still haunted by the stories of her close friend’s childhood, Nancy Weaver decided it was time to put her friends story in print for all the educators who had been aware of her friend’s plight and had remained silent, to now read about it. Nancy Weaver took a writing course with Reader’s Digest School for Writers. Soon thereafter she founded her own publishing company Time and Chance Publishing and published In Her Presence: A Husband’s Dirty Secret. In the same year she received the Reader’s Choice annual award for her book. The milestone achievement for Nancy Weaver inspired her to publisher her second novel Gaming for Love. Upon retiring from a 30-year career in city government, Nancy Weaver relocated to a quiet community in Anderson County, South Carolina with her husband. It’s sort of like sliding back in time a little bit in terms of serene, spacious living, as they reside on five rolling acres surrounded mostly by pines and oak trees. She is currently working on her third novel. 

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This story is not for the light/faint hearted. Understand it is a story of incest and rape, many times. It will sicken you and make you extremely upset and angry. This is one of those books where it is really hard to like the main characters until Tara comes along. Maebelle and Rufus are nasty characters especially Rufus as he is the "stepfather/husband/daddy" in the novel. It is one twisted story and I will try not to give much away in my review. Maebelle wants to be with Rufus as he has land and money and could easily take care of her and her children. Maebelle doesn't care that Rufus has a wife and will do anything she needs to to get into his house. Without listening to warns from her friends Maebelle helps to break up Rufus' marriage and moves into the house with her four girls. Rufus just wants revenge on Maebelle as he feels she is related to his aunt. He starts raping the girls and making sure they have babies to help him on the farm.

The whole story is about Maebelle's selfish decisions and Rufus' nasty incest and revenge, until Tara one of their daughters grows up and vows to get everyone out of the hell that they are living in. Rufus is a dirty dog. I would be lying if I said I didn't throw down the book at one point and curse the dirty SOB, my husband then needed to be filled in on the story to understand why I was so mad at the characters.

There are some editing errors in this novel but it didn't take away from the story. What I did find hard was at the beginning learning who was who and what their skin colour was. I also found there are a few spots that seem to jump in time, not sure if that was meant to be like that or it was an error not caught.

I give this book a 4 out of 5 stars.

~*Disclaimer: This post was written by Genuine Jenn. I received a copy of the above book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are honest and my own.*~


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