“Because life is about living…”
Julia has never been one to surrender without a fight, but when she receives a devastating diagnosis, she has a decision to make.
Even after thirty years, she can still see her mother slowly fading away with every dose of chemo, every round of radiation, and every lost shred of hope. No, she won’t do it… not to her family… and not to herself!
Without warning, she packs up her belongings and disappears, leaving behind a life that, by all accounts, had been as perfect as they come, and a distraught family full of questions.
Finding peace in a beach house in Northern California turns out to have its complications though. While only a handful of other residents share the tiny beach community, each one has brought their own baggage and developed their own way of dealing with it. All Julia wants is to be left alone, but that simply does not seem to be an option, especially when there’s a persistent bird that declares her to be his new best friend.
Haunted by the shadows of the past, Julia is struggling to cope with the present. Will she have the strength to do this alone and eventually follow through with her plan? Will her family, divided by mixed reactions to being abandoned, come together to try and track her down? And what is the deal with that pelican of hers?
Only time will tell – and time is the one thing Julia does not have…
Tom punched the redial button for the fifth time, as if, through persistence alone, he could simply will Julia to pick up and tell him that this was all just a big joke, a misunderstanding, a mistake, whatever. He’d take anything that would result in her walking through that door. Still in his suit, disheveled and deflated, he sat slouched over on the bed, the note on the floor in front of him.
“This is Julia. I can’t come to the phone right now, please leave a message, and I’ll call you right back. BEEP” Her voice filtered through the phone speaker just as it had the first, second, third, and fourth times he had called.
For the fifth time, Tom left a message.
“Jules, it’s me again. Call me. Let’s talk. Please.” After a short pause, he added, “I love you, Babe.” This was by far not as loud and frantic a message as any of the previous ones. Not that he had simmered down in any way, he was merely beginning to realize that this was all he was going to get, no matter how many times he tried. The call had gone straight to voicemail—his wife had shut off her phone.
He let himself fall back against the pillows and stared at the ceiling for what seemed like forever. He studied its texture as if he had never seen it before. Had that little black spot always been there? He didn’t understand how he could have missed it, after all, it was right above his head. Suddenly he wondered what else he had missed.
About the author
Born and raised in Germany, M.Naidoo lives in Northern California with her husband, two daughters, and three dogs. One of them, Dusty, a spunky terrier mix, found its way into her debut novel. When she is not in front of her computer, pounding out story lines and characters, she enjoys reading, movies, spending time with her family, and long walks on the beach – her proverbial ‘happy place’. M’s love for the beach and ocean shine through in the vivid descriptions of the coast in The Pelican. “Juggling my life as a writer and a full-time ‘real’ job has its challenges. I don’t get to spend half as much time as I’d like doing what I love, and there are never enough hours in the day. Still, I feel extremely lucky to be following my passion, and I am enjoying every minute of it. Getting here has been one heck of a ride!”