A powerful and provocative debut novel, GETTING THE IMPORTANT THINGS RIGHT follows the lives of West Point graduate Colonel Thomas McChesney Albemarle, III and southern debutante Lydia Rose Carlyle Albemarle (Colonel Tom and Ma’am to all) from their first meeting at the Officers’ Club at Fort Bragg, North Carolina during World War II to The Colonel’s death forty years later. While Colonel Tom physically and emotionally batters his family, Ma’am escapes the turmoil with alcohol. Their children, Percy, Sis and Oops, with no adult guidance, learn to sidestep their family minefields alone. Percy longs for a loving relationship with his father but is unwilling to compromise his aspirations of owning a motorcycle repair shop to win his father’s love. Sis wants a strong mother who will stand up to her abusive husband but finds herself in an abusive marriage, as well. Baby Oops escapes the chaos by teaching herself to read at three and retreating to her own world where abuse and parental neglect can’t reach her. Siblings Percy and Sis forge a loving bond that will sustain them through the most poignant and tragic of circumstances. Whether it’s eating an entire chocolate cake in one sitting, playing Cuss Scrabble, double dating to the drive-in movie, or stealing their father’s car to hotrod in the wee hours, the brother and sister find unbridled joy in their friendship, despite the dysfunction swirling around them. Told with captivating grit, humor, and insight, this tale of family discord carries the Albemarles through decades of turbulence until tragedy teaches them to forgive and understand by GETTING THE IMPORTANT THINGS RIGHT.