Lane Carson is used to getting her own way—apart from throwing hissy fits and pulling outrageous stunts to attract her workaholic husband’s attention, Lane lives a seemingly perfect life. But things are seldom as they seem…
Lane is blindsided and her charmed and pampered existence uprooted, when her shattered husband, Micky Capello, breaks the devastating news: he’s lost the family fortune and is leaving on a quest to “find himself.” The most daunting part is they’re losing the nannies—and the children Lane barely knows will live with her.
Without the leisure to wallow in misery and self-pity, Lane is catapulted into an adventure of a lifetime that’s filled with outlandish and often emotionally charged escapades of trial and error, all with her über supportive—albeit dysfunctional—family in tow.
This comedic drama is bursting with outlandish hilarity and warmth, and is sure to keep you roaring with laughter, while tugging at your heart with its endearing, candid reflection. A must read!
We drop off the groceries and survive the chaos of packing for the beach, then make our way down to Kits Pool—the longest saltwater pool on the continent, boasting extraordinarily beautiful views of English Bay. I’m not certain, but I think I can actually pinpoint our very house across the channel in West Van, which leaves me feeling melancholy and agitated, until I hear Billy’s sing-song voice calling me. I turn around with a grin as Billy strides over, wearing aviators and a Gucci swimsuit. I notice a couple of brown paper bags poking out of his beach tote, which can only mean one thing—pastries! Margo is a few feet away splashing around in the pool. I lower Rory’s feet into the glistening water. She starts kicking wildly, mesmerized by the sensation and the splashing.
“Here, pass me the baba so you can take a little dip,” Billy says.
I hand over Rory and plunge under the cool water, opening my eyes to the exquisite turquoise underworld. Peace. I feel a lightness I haven’t felt since the East Wing. And the silence is incredibly precious. Underwater, I feel at home—safe, hopeful, and serene. I come up for a big gulp of sea air and plunge back under. I flip onto my back, still submerged a couple of feet, and watch the water ripple above me. This is one of my favorite things to do underwater. I smile at the thought of knowing I live less than a block away from this pool now and can experience this whenever desired. If I find a babysitter first that is. Speaking of which, time to find Billy.
Billy is lounging on a towel with the girls, and he and Margo are filling their faces with croissants. Margo hops up as I approach, flashes me a huge grin, and splashes back into the shallow water to play. I flop down onto the towel beside Rory.
“Fear not, dear cousin, there’s some for you too,” Billy says, handing me a bag.
“Perfect, thanks,” I say, pulling a chocolate croissant from the bag and biting into the buttery flakes.
“So, tell me. How was your first night at Casa George?”
Ha! Wait till he hears.
“Well, interesting you should ask. Turns out we had a house fire, and yours truly, along with your beloved nieces, were lucky to have escaped alive!”
Billy’s eyes widen and he sucks in his breath. I fill him in on all the details, ending with George’s ten-thousand-dollar fine.
“TEN THOUSAND DOLLARS?!” Billy has stopped mid chew and is gaping at me with those enormous, green eyes.
“That’s right!” I confirm, lounging back on my towel and taking another bite of my heavenly chocolate croissant. I glance over at Margo to see her playing with two little boys and their water toys. Rory has fallen asleep. I reach out to touch her delicate, golden tresses. My lips curl into a slow smile as I think about George’s reaction to the fine.
“I can’t believe this. I can’t believe you! You’re a downright, first-class bitch, Lane.” Billy shakes his head, smiling.
“The fireman was astounded at George’s lack of responsibility to have such a decrepit fire escape for a woman and her two young children. It was a major offense according to the city,” I say, eyes large for maximum drama. “The City of Vancouver Standards of Maintenance bylaw constitutes a maximum fine of ten thousand dollars for an unsafe fire escape. And George was struck with the maximum.” I pause for effect. “And,” I continue, “serves him right for calling me a pyromaniac—I mean, please.” I throw my head back and laugh just thinking of George’s angry, red face and crotchety yelling in protest to the fine.
“Oh! So that’s why you did that; to get back at him for calling you a pyro?” Billy raises an eyebrow.
“No. I wouldn’t risk taking my kids out on that deathtrap fire escape for anything. So he has to pay a little fine and have it fixed. Well, it should have been fixed a long time ago, and THAT is not my fault.” I shrug my shoulder and take another greedy bite. Yum!
“Unbelievable.” Billy is still shaking his head. “Since when have you gone all Mother Hen on me?”
“I haven’t gone all ‘Mother Hen’; I just don’t want to endanger my kids. Do you realize I could sue him? I mean, we almost died!”
“Lane, you’re wild. You’re the one who begged him to live there; he never asked you to. And you started the fire!”
I raise my hand in protest and wag my finger back and forth. “It was a broken-down fireplace. I could sue for that too!”
Billy rolls his eyes and crumples his paper bag from his croissant and chucks it at me. We both dissolve into peals of giggles when it misses me by about three feet and hits a nearby sunbather on the bum. Billy always was hopeless at sports.
Camille Nagasaki is a Toronto-born Canadian author, film/TV actress, and entrepreneur.
Having always had a tremendous fascination with the written word, Camille became an avid reader at a young age and has written creatively and for business for many years.
After leaving the corporate world to be home with her kids, Camille earned a professional designation in her field, launched a new business, and began a three-year labour of love writing Riches & Rags.
Camille lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and children. Riches &Rags is her first novel.
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