By Judy Ragan and Joe Shumock

October 2, 2013

In Joe Shumock’s first book, “A Letter to Die For”, Cary Anne Warren was the character that captivated our interest and kept us turning the pages as she set out to find her birth family after the accident that claimed the lives of her beloved adoptive parents. She had been instrumental in planning their trip and was now motivated by guilt and an intense desire to know more about the mysterious death of her birth mother, the identity of her father and the circumstances surrounding her adoption.

We followed the unnerving experiences of her discoveries in New Orleans, the unfolding relationship with her mysterious new friend, Webster, and ultimately, his disappearance from her life. How would she cope with the information she uncovered, and the loss, and how would she change as the result of those experiences. Maybe there are some clues for us if we look hard enough!

A letter left in Cary’s adoption file by her mother, Janice Talmer, explained the difficult decisions the young mother had been faced with and the strength and compassion. These same decisions had propelled Janice to leave a dysfunctional, abusive family, never to return. When she arrived in New Orleans, Janice dedicated herself to creating the life that she knew was possible. She studied hard to complete her education and developed some very good friends like Carolette who was with her when she died.

Then Janice met and fell in love with Cary’s father. She was attracted by his good looks, charm and ambition. Unfortunately, he had neglected to tell her about his marriage and family, and she soon discovered his ambition would overshadow any concern he had for her and the baby they had created. To his detriment, he surrounded himself by some unsavory characters that appeared to insure his success. When Janice told him she was expecting his child, their relationship could not compete with his ambitions for a powerful political career. We know how disappointed she must have been by his betrayal. However, the young expectant mother’s strength surfaced again as she chose to give Cary an opportunity for a better life through adoption.

Now we realize that Cary was genetically predisposed to her determination and intelligence—yes, and even her beauty.  Add to that, the love, integrity and wholesome life she inherited from her adoptive parents, the Warrens, and I  expect we can look forward to meeting a new Cary with all the beguiling characteristics we loved but enhanced by the swift and powerful surges that come with major life changes.  I think, if we meet Cary again, we’ll find a very strong, intelligent, and beautiful woman who can wield the power necessary to achieve her goals without sacrificing the integrity she so values.  My guess is she will lead more than follow, take responsibility rather than waiting for someone else to take care of her, and perhaps outgrow many innocent, naïve tendencies of her youth.