I’m frequently asked about the moral dilemma associated with my novel, Pinnacle Lust—the affair between a young, single nurse and a married doctor. After I published my book, I heard worries about whether the hospital setting lends itself to this type of situation.
Yes, there is a moral dilemma associated with this kind of affair. And yes, a hospital has the right ingredients to cook up a steamy story. I was there, I witnessed it, and I lived it. And this may be why my opinion is a bit different.
While the attention of readers seems to focus on the morality of the affair, I struggle with other moral issues. Each time I get to the following part in Pinnacle Lust, my heart rattles.
“My beloved daughter,
The first chapter of my life was special to me but relatively ordinary.
The second chapter was different and very significant. It was, and still is, a beautiful part of my life. There were times when my life was overloaded with excitement and happiness deluded with loneliness and distress—times when my heart was aching more than it was relaxing—days when I could not distinguish between being silly and being brave.
Most of what happened to me then remains locked in my heart. Some of it turned into memories, some was buried in me, and some I still live every single day. Back then I had to keep it all to myself. I had to stay away from nosey people who would do anything to find out about me and about the life I lived. But I was faithful to my beliefs and to the man I loved. Later on, some of this material gave the city something to talk about, the other part is still besieged and locked within my heart and in my notes.
During the last nineteen years, from the moment you were conceived, it never crossed my mind that one day I would turn these notes to be the evidence of who you are. I never thought that my lie could be your truth.
I have to believe that you are mature enough to understand how babies come into the world. I’m sure you will not argue that it’s easy to make them. Yet I doubt if you know how difficult it is to preserve them and how harsh it would be to lose them. I doubt if you ever thought how you got into my world, certainly you never asked.
I am wondering if the world I provided for you really compensated for the missing part I held away from you.
The last part of my life is everything that happened after my last note—the part which I will never regret.
The pages you are about to read are my notes, but more importantly they are YOU! Please be patient; read them all before you make up your mind.
~Pinnacle Lust by Michelle Dim-St. Pierre
In my eyes, the real moral dilemma in Pinnacle Lust happens right here in this passage. It is buried in the decision Sharon Lapidot made to withhold the truth from her daughter, Leigh. Should she have waited eighteen years to tell her daughter that the man who raised her was not her biological father? Was protecting her daughter from a potential custody battle her decision to make? Will she ever gain her daughter’s trust again? Should she have told her daughter at all?
The struggles Leigh has with coming to terms with her mother’s past life show the depth and complexity of the mother-daughter bond. Like any real relationship between mother and daughter, it’s not always rainbows and sunshine, but hopefully the foundation is strong enough to weather the storms.
How will you be celebrating that special relationship with your mother this weekend?
Happy Mother’s Day.