(Amber/Liz’s identity was significantly altered earlier in the novel, and now she finds herself doing marital therapy with her parents, one of whom had molested her as a child).
Both have been beaten down by the years. Now that Carolyn is accompanied by her husband George, she resembles a little bird, almost leaning against him. He is wearing a suit, and is clean-shaven. His half-moon of gray hair offsets the reddened complexion and broken facial capillaries of the habitual drinker.
Liz/Amber flashes back to herself at twelve years old and sees his suddenly glittering eyes and hears his panting as he reaches out a trembling hand and touches her. In her flashback she does not move, frozen, horrified and stimulated. She had gotten use to a drunk daddy, but this man was sudenly a stranger. She remains rooted to the spot beside him on the bed where they have been listening to the radio. It is Saturday morning, and Mother is working at the laundry, Amber’s little sister is dead, and Mother is gone, and her Daddy is gone, leaving nastiness in his place. And she has lost herself, too. She isn’t herself any more, nor is he.
(Available on Amazon under Nan Mykel, Shattered Boundaries).