In A Time for Jonathan, the exciting sequel to A Place for Ida, Patricia Richardson draws the reader once again into Ida's world. Her precious boy is acting more and more erratically, hitting classmates, striking her. As she struggles to help him, the demons of her childhood come back to haunt her. Could this be the curse she thought she had escaped, coming back to claim her only child?
Whether you are a fan of Ida's, or are meeting her for the first time, you will find her unforgettable. And this tale of love and madness will stay with you long after you put the book down.
The wind whistled outside the window of their new luxury apartment. Billy had landed a job on Wall Street as a Financial Consultant, a few months after their wedding, and they had been able to move out of her mother’s apartment. Ida gave Billy a quick peck on the lips at the door, while he tried cupping her firm breasts, still heavy with milk. (Yes, the fire still burned between them; they were still great lovers and each other’s best friend.) But she pushed his hand away, closed the door and frantically ran back to the bedroom to check on their wailing son. “What’s the matter with my baby?” she whispered as she cradled him close to her chest, kissing his cheeks, before placing her breast into his mouth to feed him. She sat rocking Jonathan, listening to the wind outside the windows. How Ida wished her grandmother Carrie had lived to see her great-grandson. She had died when Ida was seven months pregnant and at times Ida felt that a part of her heart had died with her. She ached to see the smile that would have been on her face when she looked at Jonathan.
He was a wonderful joyous baby, he only cried when he was hungry or wet. Ida had gotten pregnant right away, that’s something that neither she nor Billy had planned, especially since they were living with her mother. She had planned to get a part-time job to help Billy with living expenses and so she could attend college. However, they happily accepted what fate had brought them - her pregnancy. Billy was excited about becoming a father again. Ida felt that he had not completely gotten over the loss of their child when she was raped by the rednecks in South Carolina, when she was a teenager. And Harriet was delighted to have a new addition to her now loving family. So much so, she was willing to give up her bedroom and sleep in the living room so that there would be a room for the baby and they wouldn’t have to ever move. Living with Harriet was wonderful, she was a great mother and
mother-in-law, she seemed to always know the right things to say or when to leave a room to give them the privacy they needed.
After the wedding there had been no time for a honeymoon. Billy had to look for a job and Ida settled into her role as a housewife. So when they were finally able to move into their luxury apartment, with a doorman, wall to wall carpeting, and chandeliers, it was like going on a honeymoon. They had all the privacy and luxury they could dream of. Ida often walked through their lavish apartment, which was elegantly decorated. Her feet sank in the thick carpeting, tugging at her feet with every movement. Beautiful Nubian art adorned the walls. The plush sectional sofa took up an entire wall in the living room, beautiful green leafy plants bedecked just the right places, making every room feel and look cozy. Despite all the luxuries Ida’s favorite pastime was admiring the beautiful view of the city through the skyline windows that covered the wall behind the couch.
Her mind drifted back to where she had come from, her miseries as a child in South Carolina periodically haunted her. The prejudice she and her family endured from the rednecks, the house behind the woods with all its snakes, how her brother Harry had died, after he was bitten by one that slithered its way into the kitchen one night. She closed her eyes, remembering the miseries of her childhood in New York, her struggles to survive with her alcoholic, uncaring mother and her mother’s drunken
boyfriend Joe. Her evil, selfish sister Rebecca added to her anxiety.
She loved thinking about the happy times she and Billy spent planning their lives, and all their love-making under her grandmother’s house. But she had also spent hours crying, pleading to God to help her find her place in life and to meet her father who had left them when she was just an infant. They finally did meet when he and his son Edward moved to New York, leaving the woman he had left her mother for in Chicago and, to everyone’s surprise, they moved into the same neighborhood as her mother, Harriet. She also prayed for her mother and sisters, who disliked her and treated her evilly for as long as she could remember, to love her and treat her as family. It had all happened with God’s help, Harriet had managed to bring her family together as one, loving and caring about each other - after she almost died from alcohol poisoning.
Her brother Henry and her sister Emma had decided to stay in South Carolina and deal with the rednecks. They didn’t feel comfortable living in a big city like New York. They were both married and raising families of their own. Her cousin John, who had introduced Ida to Billy, and his sister Beverly, both decided to stay home (out in the country). Since Carrie’s death they didn’t visit Emma and John as often. Rebecca is the only one of the siblings who decided that she wanted to remain single and free to live her life anyway she wanted to without having to answer to a husband. “All I want is a good education and a job making big bucks,” she would say. And she was doing just that, she returned to college after receiving her bachelor’s degree, and was now working on getting her master’s degree. She had gotten several promotions on her job, and was a manager with a six-figure salary increase.
Rebecca spent a great deal of time over at Ida’s as did their mother, Harriet, her stepbrother, Edward and her father, James. They all adored Jonathan and seemed to never get enough of him. If two of them arrived at the same time, there was always an argument as to who would play with him first. Ida was thrilled by all the attention they gave him, her son, a part of her. She thanked God for the unity He had brought to her and her family. Jonathan’s room was full of gifts from the family. Clothes, teddy
bears, and mobile toys for the crib, books, even a tricycle Rebecca couldn’t resist buying. It was a wonderful experience for Ida to wake up after giving birth, to hold her son, surrounded by family, giving she and Billy and the baby all the love and attention they needed. When the labor pains had started she had called her mother, who called everyone else. Even her uncle Harold, and Pam, her best friend, were there waiting their turn to see the proud mom and her newborn son.
It was the mid-seventies, and technology was on the rise. Ida and Billy could have known months ago the gender of their unborn child but Ida refused to take a sonogram test. She told Billy that the gender of the first child should be a surprise and he readily agreed. But no one knew how overjoyed Ida was to have had a boy, she never told anyone, not even Billy, how she prayed that she was not carrying a girl for fear that a daughter would carry the evil curse she believed had possessed the women in her family for so many years. Ida smiled to herself, she had a beautiful, strong, healthy son, who had a head full of curly, ebony hair, unlike hers. But he has her honey brown complexion, and Billy’s dazzling, hazel eyes. NO, she no longer had that worry.