LEDBETTER STREET Though there are few circumstances where a mother might be able to regain custody of a child she surrendered for adoption, Marian Reid, the proprietor of Reid's Ritzy Rags, a pre-owned clothing shop on Ledbetter Street in Galveston, Texas, is in just such a situation. Years after Marian's mother forced her to give up her child, Marian searched and found her son in foster care, dumped by adoptive parents, because he was autistic. Marian fought for him, but after hearing from the "experts" the judge decided Robert would suffer too much from attachment disorder if he were to be separated from his foster mother. Even later, when Robert was about to turn 18, Marian fought for him again, asking to be named his guardian, but the judge refused though he granted her visitation. Now, the guardian can no longer serve so Marian has one final chance of having her son in her life. At first, she is not sure that emotionally she can handle a third trial especially since the social worker is against her. She would have to convince the judge that after all these years, her son should be placed with her, not sent to a facility for autistic people. But, realizing it's her last opportunity, Marian hires an attorney and fights the most important battle of her life. To make matters worse, since high school, Marian has pined for her high school sweetheart. At their 40th class reunion, they reconcile, but Marian may have to choose between her son and her lover, the father of the child he's never known. This is a story about mother's love, but also about Marian's friends and neighbors, the quirky people who live on Ledbetter Street: • Eva, who is fighting breast cancer while trying to keep her coffee shop afloat. • Jane, a homeless woman, who is fighting to survive on the mean streets of Galveston. • Chloe, who is enmeshed in a violent relationship and fighting to keep custody of her baby son. Ledbetter Street is a small story of mothers, children, friends, and personal tragedies of people who have become a family by virtue of their choice of home.
About the Author
Susan P. Baker is the author of five novels and two nonfiction books, all of which have a legal angle due to her career in the justice system. A retired Texas judge from Galveston, for twelve years Susan heard family violence, child abuse, juvenile cases (including murder), child custody battles, and other family cases. Previously she practiced law for nine years spending much of her time in the courtroom in the trial of criminal and family cases. During law school, she worked as a probation officer. Her worst experiences during those years, besides driving from Galveston to Houston for classes several times a week, were making home visits to some scary neighborhoods. Susan is a member of Women Fiction Writers Association, Authors Guild, Sisters in Crime, Galveston Novel and Short Story Writers, and San Miguel Literary Society. She is married, has two children, eight grandchildren, and lives with her husband in Mexico. She loves dark chocolate, especially with raspberries, and traveling around the world. An anglophile, her favorite country is England where she likes to visit relatives--her mother was a British war bride--Roman ruins, anything Shakespeare, and just about everything else she comes across. Read her blog at http://www.susanpbaker.net. Follow her @Susanpbaker. http://www.Facebook.com/legal writer.