With her mother dying and her marriage falling apart, Euly Winger returns to her birth place in order to uncover a dark secret about her parent’s divorce. Something that has haunted their family since Euly was a young adult.
But when Euly meets up with an old acquaintance, her time back home turns nightmarish when he angrily reveals everything he knows about her parents.
A suspenseful and inspirational read, THE LAST MAHARAJAN is a story of love–in all of its forms, loss–in all of its sadness, and forgiveness–in all of its redemption.
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Why would she lie? Why now, knowing she was going to die?
Somehow Belle’s words felt contrived, forced. Euly Winger had been calling her mother Belle since around the age of fourteen. When Belle showed signs that Euly could treat her as an equal.
Her mother’s words rung like an indictment, allowing a wisp of a notion making Euly recoil from something that happened long ago, evoking a lingering emotion in Euly, a dreamy memory, caught somewhere between the dead and the living and equally unattainable to conjure.
What was it her mother said? The exact phrase, the exact placement of words, the first one and then the next, that stirred in her such a strong reaction?
“He’s your brother.”
Was it that simple? No, she had added the word “probably” and, with emphasis.
Euly remembered how, when Belle spoke, her breath leached out a rancid, metallic odor grown from all the intravenous drugs pumping into her, drugs keeping her alive.
Her veins looked larger against her pale mottled alabaster skin, accenting the clear plastic lines stabbed into her arms, covered by white paper tape to hide where the needles had been inserted.
No. That’s not what she said. Belle’s exact phrase was, “He’s probably your brother.” There it was. And Euly’s mind roller-coastered back to a spot, an exact time, location, and age–the way the scent of mown grass takes you back in a specific point in your history, to your childhood.
Belle had said it as if to sentence her father, yet again, for their divorce. A divorce that happened so many years ago, a lifetime really, that Euly wondered how it could still bother her mother. But it did.
She stared into her cup dunking her teabag as she tried to put the pieces of yesterday’s conversation back in order and wondering if her mother had tasted the hate drooling off of her tongue.
Belle’s year-old diagnosis felt like a slap across Euly’s face–a swift year that blew by like a fleeting Santa Ana. And, what made it worse? The doctors now gave Belle less than a month. If that.