Granny Kate O’Brien
You were introduced to her granddaughters, Cathy and Muriel O’Brien in a previous Closeup profile, and now I’d like to introduce Granny Kate O’Brien from my novel. I don’t want to spoil the surprises in the novel if you have not read the story yet. But I think I can dare to tell you a bit about her past, which brings her to who she is when Ruthe meets her. These details were not all part of the plot, so some got trimmed out.
Kate O’Brien grew up in England in her childhood, and later moved to Ireland, which was her parents’ birth place. They were entrepreneurs who tried to make a sale of whatever they could, just to keep body and soul together. In other words, sometimes they raided garbage dumps, looked for things they could fix or paint up and sell as antiques.
Kate was assigned the job of gilding old clocks and other knick knacks, or damaged art projects, because she had such a steady hand with a fine brush.
She also had a steady flowing tongue and had a lively wit. That was what helped her win the heart of a handsome landowner, and got her into a fine castle. She disowned her family, believing they would be an impediment to her rise in society.
It turned out that her husband’s family fell on great financial difficulty, and so she urged her husband Ian O’Brien the I, to sell the household goods for tickets to Canada. He was not used to hard labour, so at the beginning she had to support them with her old refurbishing skills.
Fortunately, Kate seldom forgot anything once she learned it, and while they had been in the castle back in Ireland, she’d learned quite a bit more about true antiques and their values. Ian was embarrassed, but she was able to restore their fortune, and get him a fine job as a banker. Of course, he learned to ask her advice on business agreements at home.
They had one son, Ian, who became a lawyer about the time his father died.
When he married Pearl without consulting his very controlling mother, it threw Kate and Pearl into bitter cross-purposes. They quarrelled over just about anything and everything. Ian usually gave up, not being a peacemaker, and withdrew into the quiet ivory tower of his mind.
He felt he had done his duty to his mother when he had their home built next to hers, and that he was there whenever his mother screamed, Crisis!
Kate on the other hand, wished with all her might to provoke him to action. She was ashamed to have a son so unlike herself, and was confounded that her attacks on Pearl could not rouse him. Kate feared that if he and Pearl ever came to ruin as she and her husband had in Ireland, he would not be as resourceful as she had been.
Ian and Pearl’s four children, as they grew older, gave her a wide berth too, and so Kate, completely out of ideas, took to her bed and decided to be an ugly old witch.
But she choose a bedroom on the second floor of her huge, greystone house, that had a window overlooking her son’s property. That way she could spy on their comings and goings.
To see what happened when Kate met Ruthe, you need to read the novel! Read more about it first here; Introduction. Or, jump straight to the order pages here; (order page for the ebook); (order the softcover).