"Laelia "is the story of the Cates sisters, vibrant and prosperous
African American matrons who decide to free themselves from ailing
husbands and lackluster marriages. Led by the eldest sister,
Rebecca, the three women embark upon a plan to discreetly but
systematically place their men in care facilities.
Rebecca commandeers her two younger sisters, Claudia and
Gracelyn -- assigning each a role in distracting their community
from their real intent -- to live life unencumbered by rarely sober
Timothy, confused Jake, and terminally ill Bernard. Rebecca's
skillful strategizing ensures that the women will emerge from their
plan smelling like roses, their good names intact, despite the Old
Testament rantings of their Baptist pastor and relentlessly
gossiping neighbors in their small-town world of Peoria,
Claudia, instructed by Rebecca to be more outgoing, enchants her
parochial neighbors with her refined bearing and urbane chic.
Gracelyn corrals the Sunday school children and stages a play about
Harriet Tubman, equipped with Greek chorus. When Hillary Clinton
appears at a tea the sisters host at their mansion for the
churchwomen, the Cates women achieve a veritable coup, establishing
themselves as the indisputable leaders of their newly empowered
These unforgettable women, united in their purpose, transcend
the unkind hand fate dealt them as younger women. They find
themselves anew and introduce the possibility of midlife romance.
"Laelia" tells a tale of sisterly devotion and love, and the ties
that bind as well as liberate.
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