Dick Sheffield’s next novel, Cables from a Restless Heart (coming soon)…
The story revolves around the journals of Barbara Jean Moore, a women in her late forties who to most observers has a full and accomplished life. Through her notebooks we learn “there is often a gulf between what we say we want and what we want; between what we officially admire and secretly desire, and in the greatest sense, the people we marry and the people we love.”
Barbara Jean’s entries are unflinching, without varnish, evasion or design and reflect both an openness and panic as she searches for a path back to a place of trust. By paying close attention she discovers she will never get over the shadows in her life by simply walking away from them, and ultimately surrenders to the deep impulses that keep people together even when they are apart.
The journals contain the elements of any important diplomatic cable and become a place where she blends hope and despair with the freedom to live by her own rules. As Emily Dickinson once wrote, “Ourself behind ourself concealed/Should startle most.”
Sometimes making a living and making a life point in the opposite direction – this story is about making a life.
The package arrived on a Friday morning by overnight courier and was addressed to him – Paul Wade Benjamin. It was mid-sized, tightly wrapped and he recognized the cursive strokes across the front right away.
His heart raced and his hands trembled slightly as he peeled open the gift box and found four black journals bundled together inside, nothing else. He paused and handled them gently before he approached what he figured to be the water’s edge. Years ago, the pair had agreed to love each other madly and somehow had allowed this unique opportunity to slip through their fingers. There is no joy in that.
Without expectation, he opened the first page of the notebook and began.