Welcome to another installment of If My Book, the Monkeybicycle feature where authors compare their newly released books to weird things. This week Heather Bell Adams writes about The Good Luck Stone, her new novel out now from Haywire Books.
If The Good Luck Stone were the afternoon sky, it would herald the approaching end of summer, a ways off yet, but you see it on the distant horizon where all deaths linger. Instead of looking away, you’ll shade your hand over your eyes, the air still thick with humidity. The kind of sky an artist would paint, layering white upon cerulean until the canvas ripples like ocean waves. But the expanse of genteel placid blue is ruffled by gathering clouds, smudges of charcoal gray that foretell secrets, betrayal, war. Every hour, every minute, they drift closer.
If this book were a storm, it would rumble in the night and wake you from slumber. In the four poster heirloom bed you’ll reach across the lavender-scented sheets for the friend, the lover, someone, anyone, who ought to be beside you. But you’ll find them gone. You’ll worry you’re to blame, that this is your legacy, that it’s built on a lie, that no one will ever know the real you.
If the story were a good luck charm, it would be a brooch carved from jade, the hazy green stone still as smooth as when you first held it so long ago. A tiny seed pearl glimmers from its center. A promise. You’ll clutch the brooch in your palm, its weight a stubborn reminder, until the storm passes.
If the morning after the storm breaks calm, the sunrise as rosy as Degas’ dancers, this book would arrive as flowers blooming—raspberry pink hibiscus as large as dinner plates and trailing vines of coral frangipani, their throats striped with yellow, their tropical scent as sweet as sugar, as enduring as memory.
If the story finds you on the first walk of the day, you’ll stroll through an elegant courtyard garden, its verdant heart encircled by lacy wrought iron. Your journey will meander in the way of tales told by Southern grandmothers. The path ahead is marked by uneven moss-covered cobblestones, past and present shifting until a decades-old decision, as momentous as it was irreversible, is unearthed.
If The Good Luck Stone were a gathering, it would be an intimate luncheon beneath an ivy-covered bower, a respite from the midday sun. You do not need—you’ve never really wanted—a large crowd. Your handful of friends, new and old, as close as sisters, are here. The swish of linen dresses, the crispness of chilled rosé. You’ll pick up the story again as though at a loose thread. The cool surprise of an easy breeze. Tangles of Spanish moss brushed back like a curtain rising. A flash of recognition, of understanding. You’ve waited years upon years for this. The truth like a fragile hothouse bloom passed from one hand to another, carefully cultivated, easily bruised, its startling color flashing in the light.
Heather Bell Adams is the author of the novels Maranatha Road and The Good Luck Stone. Her short fiction appears in The Thomas Wolfe Review, Atticus Review, The Petigru Review, Broad River Review, Pembroke Magazine, Pisgah Review, Deep South Magazine, and other journals. Follow her on Twitter at @Heatherbelladam.