Yes, things were stressful sometimes. Life was hectic. Yes, she and Derrek used cocaine, but it was just a harmless little now-and-then pick-me-up.
Derrek, on the other hand, thought they needed to stop getting high.
When he was a child, Derrek’s parents were addicted to crack and the drugs became more important than their twin sons. Derrek and his brother were raised by their grandparents, which was the best thing that ever happened to Derrek. Dixon, however, had become an addict like his parents and he was always asking for money.
Over time, that destroyed the brothers’ relationship; in fact, Derrek hadn’t spoken to Dixon in three years. So when Dixon’s number kept popping up on caller ID, Derrek was annoyed and angry. He wasn’t about to give more cash to some deadbeat drug addict. Dixon was just no good.
But then Derrek learned that his brother wasn’t calling for money. He was calling to say goodbye because Dixon was terminally ill. And when he died just hours after the two patched things up, it sent Derrek deep into grief.
Instead of reaching for his wife for comfort, though, he reached for something powdery white…
Scan the first few pages in this book and you’ll know exactly what’s ahead. You know – but you can’t not look, which is a curious downfall for “The Perfect Marriage.”
It’s an uncomfortably squirmy book to read simply because we do know what’s coming, and author Kimberla Lawson Roby doesn’t make that discomfort any easier: her main characters seemed awfully uppity to me and I thought, without ruining the plot for you, that the actions of their “smart” daughter were pretty dumb. On one hand, that distastefulness heightens the experience of reading this story. On the other hand, that made me race to end it.
(“The Perfect Marriage” by Kimberla Lawson Roby, Grand Central Publishing, $19.99, 192 pages.)