Mary Beth Latham lives with her Opthamologist husband, Glen, and their three children: twin boys, Max and Alex, 14, and Ruby, 17. Mary Beth has prided herself on building her life around that of her family's. She owns a landscaping company and can be around whenever the kids need her.
At the beginning of the story, Ruby is dating Kiernan and busy trying to find a dress for the high school prom but it's proving to be a much more difficult task than her mother ever thought it would be. With so many dress choices Ruby just can't make up her mind. Ruby is finding Kiernan to be somewhat of a pain in neck lately and doesn't want to date him anymore or attend the prom with him, although Kiernan has other plans and he intends on hanging onto Ruby for as long as humanely possible. Ruby is snubbing him, giving him the cold shoulder, sitting in her bedroom alone doing homework while Kiernan sits in the kitchen waiting. Kiernan is not taking the hint.
In the meantime, Alex and Max are busy with school and sports until one afternoon Max arrives home with a note from his music teacher expressing his concern that Max appears to be deeply depressed. Mary Beth and Glen feel he is mistaken and chalk it up to typical teenage moodiness.
Kiernan continues to be a permanent fixture in the Latham household as his own home is anything but the "typical" he craves. He doesn't see his Dad much due to a divorce, doesn't talk much to his mother and has no brothers or sisters. He NEEDS Ruby and everything that she represents: an intact family, parents who love each other and their children, siblings, confidence, and happiness. Kiernan parks himself at the Latham home even when Ruby isn't there or upstairs bathing, listening to music, or completing homework assignments. Max and Alex keep pestering Beth as to why Ruby is being so mean to Kiernan.
Life is continuing on day-after-day until another teacher expresses their concern over Max's seemingly depressed mood so Mary Beth and Glen decide there could be more to it and arrange for Max to begin counselling with Dr. Vagelos when suddenly tragedy strikes and Mary Beth is blindsided by a: "...shocking act of violence."
This is such a normal family in every way and just goes to show that even though we think we are comfortable in our lives and that we're invincible, bloodshed can happen to ruin what we thought of as our own perfect little worlds. It's always the OTHER people in the newspaper, not us!
May 9, 2011