The Remedy For Regret revisited

I am happy to announce that another of my older novels, The Remedy for Regret, has been brought back from that sad place where out-of-print books go! This book was originally published in 2005, edited by the marvelous and gifted Nick Harrison. And it has a special place in my heart. It is set in five different locations, two of which are rather sentimental to me. One is the northeast corner of Arkansas where my husband and I were stationed the first year of his Air Force career – and where one of our sons was born – and Oxfordshire, England, another Air Force assignment and the place where another of our sons was born.

Its original cover featured a polka-dot purse that I loved for lots of reasons. The woman carrying it you didn’t see – just her gloved hand as she held on to a railing. At first glance you might think I was suggesting the remedy for regret is to go shopping. While that may be a temporary fix for remorse (!), the book isn’t about shopping or purses. It’s about a young woman named Tess who daily wrestles with the knowledge that the mother who gave birth to her, and who died right afterward, would still be alive had Tess not been born. She has lived with the specter of feeling responsible for her her mother’s death all her life, and the father who raised her – without the woman he loved-  never caught on he was largely responsible for Tess feeling that way.

Tess grew up without having a mother’s purse lying around the house but she had seen them at friends’ houses. She knew a mother’s purse was like an extension of the woman who owned it. It held a wallet fat with pictures of her children, lipstick kisses on her tissues, hand lotion that smelled like jasmine, her keys, and a little calendar with all the dates of the things that were important to her penciled in. And because Tess knew a purse was like this, she was drawn to them. Not like a klepto who wants to steal, but like a wounded soul who wants absolution.
That’s why there was a purse on the front of the original Remedy for Regret. This time around we went with a less metaphorical take. I loved the purse motif but it perhaps did not communicate what the book was about, leading people to think a shopping spree at Nordy’s was the cure for things you wish you could change but can’t.

This new cover features a Tess who needs balm for her soul. And the flower, a nod to the magnolia blossoms that show up a time or two in the story, suggests she will find it. This girl on the front clearly is looking for something; the petaled bloom promises she will find the remedy she needs.

If you’re a Kindle reader, here’s the link. If you’re Nook reader, here’s the link.

And before I go, I am wondering if there’s anyone else out there who had a fascination for their mother’s purse when they were little. I wrote this aspect of the story because I found comfort in seeing my mother’s purse lying around the house and knowing that she could pretty much fix any problem I had by pulling something out of it. What about you? Can you relate? Do tell…

Author: Susan

This post has 4 Comments

  1. Cherry Odelberg on March 5, 2012 at 8:52 pm

    First of all, congrats on the come-back!

    Yes, my grandmother's purse and my mother's purse had all the necessary things for keeping children quiet in a church with hardwood floors and a wooden alter like a crescent wall. Grandma's had wintergreen mints in it.
    My purse, likewise is a place of curiosity for my grandchildren, though I tend towards measuring tapes, post a notes, a drum key and a pitch pipe.

    For a woman, a well stocked purse is something you never go anywhere without. In fact, the only time you mistakenly leave it behind is when a toddler is tugging on that arm, so you thought you had everything.

  2. MJ @ Creative Madness Mama on March 5, 2012 at 9:08 pm

    Just added to my wishlist 🙂

  3. Susan Meissner on March 10, 2012 at 4:15 am

    Thanks, girls!

  4. Anonymous on March 16, 2012 at 10:10 pm

    Super. This is one of my favorite of your earlier books! My mother's purse aroused curiosity because it was so off limits?

    Blessings, Sue.
    Mary Kay

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