McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

February 22, 2013

Bookworm Says

'The Perfect Marriage'

By TERRI SCHLICHENMEYER
Special Correspondent

— Once upon a time, you promised to love for better or for worse.

And so, through sickness and health, you tried your best in your marriage. Whether you were richer one day and poorer the other, you loved fiercely, honored often, and obeyed your heart.

Maybe that worked. Maybe it didn’t. Maybe you got the relationship you dreamed about, but in the new novel, “The Perfect Marriage” by Kimberla Lawson Roby, desires outside this household are stronger than the ones inside it.

Denise Shaw had everything she’d ever wanted.

She had a very-well-paying job she loved. Her adoring, handsome husband, Derrek, who’d come from a broken home with shaky roots, also had a great job with a fat salary. They had a beautiful home, fancy cars, good money saved, and a wonderful, smart daughter who was the light of their lives.

Yes, things were stressful sometimes. Life was hectic. Yes, she and Derrek used cocaine, but it was no big deal. It was just a harmless little now-and-then pick-me-up.

Derrek, on the other hand, thought they needed to stop getting high.

When he was a child, Derrek’s parents were addicted to crack and the drugs became more important than their twin sons. Derrek and his brother were raised by their grandparents, which was the best thing that ever happened to Derrek. Dixon, however, had become an addict like his parents and he was always asking for money.

Over time, that destroyed the brothers’ relationship; in fact, Derrek hadn’t spoken to Dixon in three years. So when Dixon’s number kept popping up on caller ID, Derrek was annoyed and angry. He wasn’t about to give more cash to some deadbeat drug addict. Dixon was just no good.

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Book reviewer Terri Schlichenmeyer has been reading since she was 3 years old and she never goes anywhere without a book. She lives on a hill in Wisconsin with two dogs and 13,000 books.