In the Promised Land by Angela Joseph

Women’s fiction
Date Published: June 29, 2018

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This third book in the Egypt trilogy wraps up the lives of the characters in a neat and satisfying way, according to some readers. Like the rest of the series, the story is set in the beautiful twin- island nation of Trinidad and Tobago. The two main characters, Marva and June, have come out of an abusive childhood (Egypt) and are now adults. Marva is a nun at a home for delinquent girls. Marva is known for being strict and well disciplined, but when her adoptive father is killed in a Muslim coup, the family relies on Marva’s levelheaded calm to help them get through their crisis. But little do they know that Marva has a crisis of her own, one that her discipline and her faith seem inadequate to handle.

In The Promised Land
Angela Joseph

Marva stared at the young girl seated opposite her. “How long have you been smoking
Carlene opened her mouth as if to speak then clamped her lips together. Marva’s gaze
swept over the girl’s smooth, dark skin, eyes black as coal and with the same potential to ignite,
thick hair permed and brushed away from her face, pointed chin extended in a defiant thrust,
long nails with chipped, red polish. She had given her age as fifteen, but her manner made her
appear much older. 
“Did you hear my question?” 
The girl looked up at Marva then quickly lowered her gaze.
“Not long,” she said.
“Okay, how many times have you smoked marijuana?”
“Twice.” She looked sideways at a calendar on the wall.
“Do you realize you could have been burnt to death last night? Do you? Answer me.”
“Yes, Sister.”
“Where did you get it?”
She shifted her gaze from the calendar to Marva and back again.
“Did your boyfriend give it to you?”
 Her head drooped.
“Carlene, look at me.”
The girl’s head came up slowly, but her eyes remained downcast.
“We went through this before about your boyfriend. If he’s the one giving you this thing,
then he’s no good for you. Do you know how dangerous marijuana is? Do you want your
freedom taken away, or do you want to be expelled?  If you’re expelled, you’ll have to go back
to court, and the judge could send you to juvenile detention center. Is that what you want?” 
Marva could see by Carlene’s widened eyes that her words were taking effect. She
pressed on. “How do you think your aunt will feel about this? She agreed to put you up one
weekend every two months. I don’t think you want to lose that privilege.” 
“No, Sister I want to go by my aunt. She’s the only relative who cares anything about
“Does she know you’re seeing this boy?”
Carlene shook her head. 
“And I guess she doesn’t know you’re smoking marijuana either, is that right?”
“Okay, so what’s your punishment going to be? Suspension from going to your aunt’s
house next month, or you work to repay the cost of the mattress and sheets?”
The girl’s eyes met Marva’s. “I’ll work, Sister.”
“Now, Carlene, you know I’m not stupid. If I agree to that, you can meet Mr. Marijuana
and have a good time. So, here’s what we’ll do. I’m going to arrange for you to work three
evenings a week at the China Clipper restaurant washing dishes. Frank will take you with the van
and bring you back, or maybe sometimes I’ll pick you up. Don’t try any tricks, because you
never know who’ll be driving.”

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Angela is the author of the Egypt series, three books written in the women’s fiction genre, and  Women For All Seasons, a Christian non-fiction book. Angela’s work has also appeared in A Cup of Comfort For Mothers and Chicken Soup For the Soul. 

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