Jael hears voices. Some are real, like the voices of the others in her incest-survivor group, or the homeless woman she meets at the laundry. Some are more mysterious, like the Virgin Mary’s. Jael was born into a hard life, but she’s a survivor, growing stronger all the time. Waiting for the day when the only voice she needs is her own.
So I was a ward of the court, and I slept on a cot in the basement of the Pentecostal church until old River Bill, a recently widowed deacon, offered to take me in. The church lady who came to bring me food and extra clothes delivered the news. As she picked nits out of my hair, she said it was a miracle from God that a man like River Bill would take a wild girl like me to raise as his own daughter . . .
Sheri Reynolds is a professor of writing and literature at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia. She is the author of five novels, including the Oprah Book Club selection The Rapture of Canaan, which was a #1 New York Times bestseller. She lives in… More about Sheri Reynolds