On Shifting Sand (Paperback)Allison Pittman
Will Russ's love for Nola be strong enough to stand the test?
Long before anyone would christen it “The Dust Bowl,” Nola Merrill senses the destruction. She’s been drying up bit by bit since the day her mother died, leaving her to be raised by a father who withholds his affection the way God keeps a grip on the Oklahoma rain. A hasty marriage to Russ, a young preacher, didn’t bring the escape she desired. Now, twelve years later with two children to raise, new seeds of dissatisfaction take root.
When Jim, a mysterious drifter and long-lost friend from her husband’s past, takes refuge in their home, Nola slowly springs to life under his attentions until a single, reckless encounter brings her to commit the ultimate betrayal of her marriage. For months Nola withers in the wake of the sin she so desperately tries to bury. Guilt and shame consume her physically and spiritually, until an opportunity arises that will bring the family far from the drought and dust of Oklahoma. Or so she thinks. As the storms follow, she is consumed with the burden of her sin and confesses all, hoping to find Russ’s love strong enough to stand the test.
About the Author
Award-winning author Allison Pittman has penned more than twelve novels, including her series set in the Roaring Twenties—All for a Song, All For a Story, and All for a Sister. Allison resides in San Antonio, Texas, with her husband, Mike, their three sons, and the canine star of the family—Stella.
Size211 x 140 mm
PublisherTyndale House Publishers
THE BATHWATER WAS HOT when I first got in. Hot enough to steam the
mirror and turn my skin an angry red, with white finger-shaped dots
where I poked it. Punishing hot, Ma would have said, and that first sting
getting in felt a lot like the touch of Pa’s belt against my legs when I was
little. But soon enough the water cools itself to comfortable. I wring out
the washcloth and hold it aloft, letting most of the heat evaporate before
pressing it against my face. I let my hair go damp with steam, debating
whether I should dunk under to wet it enough for a good shampoo. It’s
Wednesday night, though, and I’m going to Rosalie’s to get a new set on
Friday, so I give it a run-through with my fingers and settle back with
my neck on the porcelain rim.
The faucet lets in one fresh drop after another, and I count them. Just
ten more, and I’ll get out. But I lose track, drift off into pressing thoughts
somewhere around number seven, and have to start all over again.
Although, on this night, there’s nothing to lure me out of the water.
Ariel, my little girl, four years old, is in her room, deep in sleep. My
husband, Russ, and the oldest, Ronnie, are at the church. Wednesday
night prayer meeting, which seems to be running later than usual. And I,
given the rare opportunity of an empty house and unclaimed bathroom,
let myself soak in the water, the only light streaming in from our bed-
room across the hall. I’d tuned the radio away from the midweek gospel
hour, and turned up the volume loud enough that I can hear strains of
Louis Armstrong, but not so loud as to wake the child. I hum along,
singing when I can, my lips skimming the top of the bathwater, making
bubbles with the lyrics.
The end to my peace comes with the open and slam of the back
kitchen door, and Russ calling my name as if I’d been in danger of being
sucked behind the baseboards.
“In here,” I holler, trying not to sound too disappointed at his arrival.
The bathroom door opens a few inches, and Russ peeks his head
through, averting his eyes to ask if I’m decent. Or, he qualifies, as decent
as a woman who skipped out on prayer meeting could be.
“Your daughter was sick,” I say in mock defensiveness.
“She seems fine now,” Russ says. “Sleeping well."