Book review: 'A Hell of a Relationship: A Tale of Love and Penance' by J.M. Harrison

“A Hell of a Relationship: A Tale of Love and Penance” by Oklahoma author J.M. Harrison gives us a look at Oklahoma City as it was in the late 1950s and early '60s.
BY BETTY LYTLE Published: December 30, 2012
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“A Hell of a Relationship: A Tale of Love and Penance” (CreateSpace, $14.95) by Oklahoma author J.M. Harrison is set in Oklahoma City in the late 1950s and early '60s.

Mike Fisher first sees Tomi Sue Hudson bowling at the Bowlarena. She throws a nice curve but looks about 12 years old. A week later, Mike needs a partner for a doubles tournament. His friend offers to set Mike and Tomi Sue up on a blind date.

They fall in love, but Tomi Sue's father, Harry, disapproves. Mike has been married before and has an 8-year-old son. Mike runs cattle at the stockyards, and Harry doesn't think he can provide for Tomi Sue in the style to which she is accustomed.

Mike understands Harry's misgivings but is puzzled by the degree of dislike. When the couple decide to marry, Harry brings the police to arrest Mike, saying Tomi is underage, although she is of legal age to marry. Harry tells Mike he will never be welcome in his house. Mike and Tomi marry, and for about three years, friends and family tiptoe around the issue.