Afam and Nkechi Emecheta have been married for over a decade. They are planning to go on holiday with their three sons when disaster strikes. Afam is killed in a road traffic accident throwing Nkechi into early widowhood and grief that she is unprepared for. Nkechi expects her husband’s family to share in her grief, but they are more interested in a share of his property- A Rude Awakening.
Former nanny, Bethany Jamison goes west as a mail-order bride to escape a lecherous employer who threatens to expose her part in a past tragedy. When she arrives in Wyoming, she’s shocked to find her prospective groom, Joseph Milner, caring for a desperately ill newborn, abandoned by her father when her mother, Joseph’s sister, died in childbirth. Since he’s alone on his ranch, he insists the marriage take place immediately, but in name only. Bethany agrees, hoping to gain time to plan her future, but she quickly loses her heart to the infant clinging to life by a thread—and her new husband.
The need to be strong and present for her children keeps her going. For twelve years, no member of the Emecheta family reaches out to Nkechi and the children. The only person she has a desire to talk to is her mother-in-law- Mama Omalicha. She reunites with the family reluctantly at Mama Omalicha's burial. Rude Awakening is a story about betrayal, forgiveness, friendship, and love.
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