Twenty-four-year-old hairdresser Torie Sullivan has given up on life. When her boyfriend betrays her, she careens her car into a ditch in a drunken fury.
After paramedic Adam Benedict rescues Torie from her mangled car, he learns she's the middle school bully who brutalized him. A week later, he discovers she lives in a lean-to in Hookskill Nature Preserve. Despite his hatred, his innate compassion won't allow him to leave Torie in the wilds. He offers her a room in his miniscule cabin.
After Torie's first night at Adam's, tragedy strikes his life, and he can no longer house her. His girlfriend, Maya Vitale takes Torie in. Though first-grade teacher Maya's past isn't as sinister as Torie's, she, too, hides a shameful secret.
The lives of three disparate friends collide and reveal the toxic pasts that threaten to poison their lives. Only by forgiving the unpardonable can they be set free.
Her world burned, dissolved into ashes, and Torie Sullivan needed to keep her tears at bay.
Stupid girl. Should've figured.
Torie chugged the last of her drink and waved her hand toward the barkeeper of The Stadium Bar and Grill. "Another, Collin. No ice this time." She struggled to make her voice crisp, in command.
"Easy, Torie. No one's worth what you're doing to yourself." Collin slid a scotch and chaser across the bar.
She grabbed for it, but his fingers lingered.
Collin leveled his eyes at her -- the look fired her anger.
How dare he believe I drink too much?
Torie forced a smile. Men. All alike. She lifted the whiskey, winked at Collin, and cocked her head. "A faithful find who can man?" She squinted and mused. "A find is a faithful. A faithful find man?" Giggles hiccupped, and she covered her mouth. "However that saying goes. Cheers." She put the glass to her lips, paused, and placed it back on the bar. "Cheers is all wrong." Torie gnawed her forefinger. "I got a better toast." She lifted the glass. "Glooms." The Jim Beam singed her throat. The sting hadn't lessened over the evening, didn't numb her emotions.
Sorrow settled in her chest, a heaviness like her childhood asthma. She hadn't cried and wouldn't. After all, what could one expect from a man who thought with his hormones? Men all acted alike, and Trey Currey proved her expertise. Selene was her friend. Her one real friend. Until she stole Trey.
Collin took her empty glasses. "Want a Coke?"
Torie propped her head on her hand and glared at him. "Another boilermaker would fit the bill, sweetheart." To play to Collin's ego, she murmured the words. He was too moral for a bartender.
"Torie." His voice purred with a concern. It pierced her fog.
She brushed it away.
"You've had enough. How about a ginger ale?"
Bolting upright, Torie lost her balance and gripped the edge of the bar. Falling over like a common drunk would never do. She wasn't no drunk -- no how. "Come on, Collin. I only had..." Fumbling for the number, she waved three fingers in his face.
"Try five. At least by my count. Who knows who you conned out there?" He nodded toward the crowded dining area behind her.
Where she and Trey should've been enjoying a candlelit meal...
Posted by June Foster on 23rd Dec 2016
The Poison We Drink is a story set in central New York with a multitude of people whose lives are closely intertwined. We are led through the hearts and minds of three main characters—Torrie Sullivan, Adam Benedict, and Maya Vitale.
Torrie is a beautician who numbs the pain of childhood abuse with alcohol. Though she realizes the destructive nature of the drink, she's powerless over it.
Adam is a paramedic who rescues people for a living. But when he receives a call to help a woman who's run her car off into a ditch, she looks vaguely familiar. Later he figures out she was the ringleader of a gang of bullies in middle school who made his life miserable. He can't hide his hatred for her.
Maya is a school teacher and the woman who sets Adam's heart on fire. She's kind and gentle but literally wears the scars of her past, as well.
The author leads the three on an unlikely friendship that anchors them in faith in God. Only until they look outside of themselves can they find freedom to forgive and walk a victorious life.
In The Poison We Drink, readers will experience a full range of human emotions, no doubt seeing themselves in one of the characters.
Carol McClain writes an engaging story, keeping the reader involved until the last page.