Title: THE MONKEY CHARM
Genre: Upmarket Women's Fiction
Word Count: 66 000
In THE MONKEY CHARM, an upmarket women's novel of 68,000 words, Anne Ramone receives startling evidence that helping an abused family may be healing her husband’s brain injury.
Bob Ramone was an outgoing, athletic cop before a stroke leaves him unable to talk, walk or recognize his family. The doctors have labeled him vegetative, sparking Anne’s desperate search for a cure to “awaken” her husband. Anne discovers the Singhs, a mother and two young daughters, traumatized by domestic abuse and becomes their “monkey charm” – a secret, protective benefactor. To Anne’s surprise, the more she helps the Singhs, the more Bob responds to treatment.
When the Singhs’ abuser violates his restraining order and places the family in danger, Anne pledges to safeguard them - not only to help the Singhs, but to save Bob as well.
The manuscript for the MONKEY CHARM earned me two Ontario Arts Council grants and a Toronto Arts Council grant. My writing has appeared in literary journals, newspapers, and on CBC national radio. You can read more about me and my writing at diannescott.ca.
“He is mad.” Devanshi Singh sat in the witness box and twisted the thin copper bracelet around her wrist.
“What happened next?” Crown attorney May MacQuillan asked.
I leaned across my desk in front of the judge and tapped the volume button on the cassette recorder. Mrs. Singh’s voice was infused with a heavy Indian accent. I didn’t want difficulties transcribing the proceedings later in my office.
“He come into kitchen.” Mrs. Singh spoke directly to May. “He push over chair.” She made a shoving motion with her hands. “The children at table. They stop eating.”
“Yes.” May moved to block Mrs. Singh’s view of her scowling husband sitting at the defense table.
“He throw plates at me, bowl, knife, fork. I go like this.” Mrs. Singh spread her fingers over her face, the bangles on her wrist jangling. “He say bad names, bad words. Children screaming. I ask him stop.”
Domestics were tough. Heartbreaking for the victim, challenging for staff. The images stuck in my memory, long after I typed the court minutes.
“And then?” May asked.
A man in a trench coat walked into the court and stopped in front of Judge Bailey’s bench.
It was Poice Inspector David Cooper. He worked with my husband at 51 Division. What did he have to do with the Singh case?
I felt a touch on my shoulder. “You have to go.” It was Carol, another court monitor.
“What’s going on?” I asked.
David Cooper looked over at me. I froze.