Table of Contents
Veil of Roses
“Every mother, every daughter, and anyone who’s ever been in love should read this book! Grab the tissues. It’s a triumphant tearjerker!”
—New York Times
Vicki Lewis Thompson
“Evocative, poignant, and truly lovely. Laura Fitzgerald gives us a glimpse of a culture that’s terrifyingly different—and yet heartbreakingly the same as our own.”
Alesia Holliday, author of
Seven Ways to Lose Your Lover
“A fun, romantic, and thought-provoking debut novel from a promising author.”
“A gorgeously authentic voice. Fitzgerald’s narrative is infused with wit, warmth, and compassion. If you like cross-cultural books, you won’t want to put this down.”
Kavita Daswani, author of
For Matrimonial Purposes
“In this winning debut, Fitzgerald has crafted the powerful story of one woman’s courage to look beyond the life she has been given—
Veil of Roses
is a poignant and uplifting novel full of charm, wit, and grace.”
Beth Kendrick, author of
“Watching Tami find her voice through such small comforts as being able to sit alone in a house, walk to school unescorted, or buy lingerie with her sister will leave readers rooting for her.”
“After picking up
Veil of Roses,
I did everything one-handed for two days, I was so unwilling to put it down! Charming and heartbreaking and hopeful and funny, this is the rare book that completely transports the reader. Laura Fitzgerald is an amazing talent.”
Lani Diane Rich, author of
A Little Ray of Sunshine
“Poignant and warm,
Veil of Roses
is a story about having hope, finding love, and embracing freedom. I loved it.”
Whitney Gaskell, author of
New American Library
Published by New American Library, a division of
Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 375 Hudson Street,
New York, New York 10014, USA
Penguin Group (Canada), 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 700, Toronto,
Ontario M4P 2Y3, Canada (a division of Pearson Penguin Canada Inc.)
Penguin Books Ltd., 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England
Penguin Ireland, 25 St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2,
Ireland (a division of Penguin Books Ltd.)
Penguin Group (Australia), 250 Camberwell Road, Camberwell, Victoria 3124,
Australia (a division of Pearson Australia Group Pty. Ltd.)
Penguin Books India Pvt. Ltd., 11 Community Centre, Panchsheel Park,
New Delhi - 110 017, India
Penguin Group (NZ), 67 Apollo Drive, Rosedale, North Shore 0632,
New Zealand (a division of Pearson New Zealand Ltd.)
Penguin Books (South Africa) (Pty.) Ltd., 24 Sturdee Avenue,
Rosebank, Johannesburg 2196, South Africa
Penguin Books Ltd., Registered Offices:
80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England
First published by New American Library,
a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
First Printing, February 2009
Copyright © Laura Fitzgerald, 2009
Readers Guide copyright © Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 2009 All rights reserved
REGISTERED TRADEMARK—MARCA REGISTRADA
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS CATALOGING-IN-PUBLICATION DATA
Fitzgerald, Laura, 1967-
One true theory of love / Laura Fitzgerald.
eISBN : 978-1-101-01475-2
1. Single mothers—Fiction. 2. Kindergarten teachers—Fiction. 3. Iranian Americans—Fiction. I. Title.
Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise), without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the above publisher of this book.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party Web sites or their content.
The scanning, uploading, and distribution of this book via the Internet or via any other means without the permission of the publisher is illegal and punishable by law. Please purchase only authorized electronic editions, and do not participate in or encourage electronic piracy of copyrighted materials. Your support of the author’s rights is appreciated.
This book is dedicated to my children, Carly and Luke,
and to the adults they will one day be.
Writing a book can be a long, lonely journey. Mine wasn’t. I’d like to thank the following people, whose efforts and involvement made the process both challenging and fun:
My first thanks go to Ellen Edwards at NAL, for her editorial tenacity, sharp eye, and open mind as the story changed and grew . . . and changed again, and again . . . and again. I am also appreciative of: Becky Vinter, Monica Benalcazar, Kara Welsh, and Claire Zion. Thank you to Jennifer Bernard and the other publicists working with Craig Burke; to Rick Pascocello and his team in advertising and promotion; to Sharon Gamboa, Don Rieck, Norman Lidofsky and his entire sales team; and to Trish Weyenberg and all the sales representatives in the field.
Thank you to Stephanie Rostan, my very trusted agent at Levine Greenberg Literary Agency, and to the rest of the Levine Greenberg team, especially Monika Verma, Beth Fisher, Melissa Rowland, and Miek Coccia.
I am profoundly grateful to Ross Browne at The Editorial Department for his editorial support throughout the extensive writing and editing process. His high standards, good sense, and laid-back persistence made this an immeasurably better book.
My friends and family continue to offer meaningful support and cheerleading on a daily basis. Thank you all. Extra special appreciation this time around goes to: Bill and Maureen, my parents, for hosting me when I’m in Milwaukee and spreading the word about me when I’m not; Julie Ore-Giron, who pounds the miles alongside me and is an excellent brain-storming partner, as well as generous with her time and enthusiasm in reading draft after draft; Lisa Dew, for a lifetime of friendship; Sherry Martin and Todd Martin, for ongoing friendship and support; Robin Brande, for being my writing-pal confidante; Annette Everlove, for legal advice and inspired feedback; Daisy Lebron, for sharing some of her toughest life lessons; Colleen Geurts, for sharing her single-mom rules for dating; Austin Hodge, founder of the lovely tea shop Seven Cups, for the tea lesson; Renni Browne, for her presubmission editing; Peggy Bommersbach, for her friendship and for sharing what it’s like to be a young person in an old woman’s body; to the women in my book club, for being great examples of how to live rich.
I so appreciate the readers and bloggers and book clubs who contacted me after reading my first novel,
Veil of Roses,
and shared their thoughts and invited me into their worlds. Please stay in touch! A special thanks to Liz Broomfield and a hang-tough to Stephanie Coleman-Chan.
Finally—saving the best for last: I thank Carly and Luke (poets and writers, both) for being such truly excellent individuals. I thank Farhad for—well, simply for everything. (I have kept a list. . . .)
t’s easy to look at men and think they’re idiots. They watch their ESPN and sneak their
and for no good reason at all refuse to ask for directions. It’s easy to think there’s just not a heck of a lot of depth in men as a species.
I’ve got this theory. It’s about Adam and Eve and how things really went down that day in the Garden of Eden. I think the newness of the relationship was wearing off and Eve, being a woman, had an unquenchable need for them to COMMUNICATE about their FEELINGS, which of course Adam, being a man, simply would not, could not, do. And then the serpent slithered along, representing our not-best selves, and whispered to Eve, “Keep poking him. Threaten to eat from the Tree of Knowledge if he won’t talk to you.”
It seemed like a good idea at the time, but when Eve made the threat, Adam shrugged it off, barely acknowledging he’d heard her. Maybe he just said, “Go ahead, dear, if it’ll make you happy,” thinking whatever she was yakking about going and doing would at least get her off his case for a while.
Being a man, he didn’t consider how much was really at stake. Which, of course, was everything.
Meg Clark stood and waited in front of her twenty-three kindergartners at Foundation Elementary School on Tucson’s south side. It was the last ten minutes of the school day, and at this hour they were ABC’d out and ring-around-the-rosy pooped. The time might have been better spent with them resting on their mats. But Meg always took this moment, because to her it was the one that mattered most.
She began and ended the day with song, and now, a few weeks into the new school year, her students knew that when she clapped and announced afternoon-circle time, they were to push the small-person tables and chairs out of the way and gather in a standing circle for one last time that day.