Book 2 of this trilogy, “The Umbilical Cord,” continues the saga of Alexandra (Alex) Gabriel, an adjunct English instructor and aspiring novelist, who was married to Tony, her high school sweetheart, who commits suicide at the end of Book 1. Her dreams to write novels and to travel to Paris, France, to view the Eiffel Tower seem even more unattainable now.
Because her mother is in declining health and Alexandra’s finances are stretched, she uproots her life and moves to High Point, North Carolina, to live with her mother to whom she has never had a close relationship due to her mother’s paranoid schizophrenia. Her mother now has dementia and early stages of Alzheimer’s After falling and breaking her hip for the second time, her mother’s decline in health is exhilarated, and Alex’s patience is tested to its limits.
It is her Christian faith, her beloved sister, and friends that she turns to for support, comfort, and sustenance throughout her dark times. At the end of Book 2, Alex, and her mother have reconciled and become close friends, or as her mother calls her, “My Better Half.” This story is sprinkled with themes of faith, love, family, hope, struggle, and despair. Prominent issues of parental care, Alzheimer’s, and mother-daughter relationships are addressed.