WHAT A TANGLED WEB WE WEAVE WHEN FIRST WE PRACTICE TO DECEIVE

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Hear our radio interview with Rebecca Grant, originally aired on KNSJ: http://www.eastcountymagazine.org/hear-our-interview-sticky-web-vengeanc...

A Sticky Web Of Vengeance: Memoirs Of A Coach’s Wife – The Story Of James And Rebecca Grant, by Rebecca Grant (RG7 Book Publishing, Dallas, Texas, 2014, 319 pages).

Book Review by Dennis Moore

February 26, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) - A Sticky Web Of Vengeance, a memoir by Rebecca Grant chronicles her life and times with James Grant, a Jamaican Pan American Games representative and head coach of the women’s team at the University of Iowa. This book by Grant, a devout Christian and mother of four small children and a recovering victim of domestic abuse before she met James Grant, is full of intrigue and jealousy, as well as greed and institutional malfeasance at the highest levels.

A Sticky Web Of Vengeance: Memoirs Of A Coach’s Wife – The Story Of James and Rebecca Grant, depicts Rebecca’s life with James Grant, and his fateful battle with cancer. As a man of a dubious past, who’d fathered five children by five different women, James Grant struggles to have relationships with the grown children he hadn’t raised. While Rebecca initially encourages the relationships between “Jimmy” and his children, she discovers their hatred for her because of her light-skinned complexion, age, and American heritage.

This intriguing memoir actually starts on a cold January day, as the author meets a friend for lunch, who introduces her to James Grant, the head track coach at a major university. She rebuffs his attention, considering him too old. Undeterred, James Grant, of Jamaican roots, campaigns to win Rebecca’s heart.

James Grant would wine and dine Rebecca; take her to meet his mother in Jamaica, and gradually break down the barriers of her resistance and captured her heart. The author graphically tells of many episodes of erotic behavior between the two of them, in hotels and limousines, prior to their eventual marriage.

Clearly, the author did not realize just what she was getting into prior to her involvement with James Grant. As her relationship with Grant progressed, the more revelations about his dalliances with other women, which would carry over into legal problems with these women and the University of Iowa. Perhaps the author was blinded by love, despite the telltale signs of the fragility of the relationship. Or perhaps the author was a victim of her earlier domestic violence, as she actually alludes to it in her story. The author shared with me in many phone conversations, giving insight into how this situation evolved, which might explain the ensuing behavior.

There is plenty of deception in this book, starting with James Grant denying his own son Justin. Rebecca actually had to find it out from Justin that James Grant had five children by five different women, yet she still would decide to marry him after she got over the hurt and disillusionment. Rebecca dealt with it by rationalizing it in a Donnie Hathaway song; A Song For You, which states: “I know your image of me is what I hope to be. I’ve treated you unkindly but darlin’ can’t you see. There’s nothing more important to me. Baby can’t you see through me. Cause we’re alone and I’m singing this song to you.” Clearly, the author is a romantic, that possibly clouds her judgment.

Perhaps the underlying reason for this book, A Sticky Web Of Vengeance, is the ensuing lawsuit involving the University of Iowa after James Grant had died of cancer – and the attempt of the author to claim what she felt was rightly belonging to her through marriage. When money is involved, characters abound, demonstrated by James Grant’s ex-wife J’lalah Reynolds. In a trial started on September 8, 2008, with Judge Hill presiding – a trial filed by Mrs. Rebecca Grant disputing the second will that Craig Bender, John Morris and J’lalah Reynolds had drawn up and supposedly had Mr. James V. Grant sign the same day he was discharged from the hospital. See attached letter.

Rebecca nurtures and cares for James during his battle with cancer. Upon his death, his children sue for his estate, forcing a final battle between Rebecca Grant and them. It is not pretty! She outlines in this memoir the University of Iowa involvement in this sordid mess, that would make the Penn State fiasco with Joe Paterno, pale in comparison. She pulls no punches as she categorically includes University of Iowa coaches Larry Andrews and Vincent Hudson, while alluding to her stolen mail – which brought about Iowa Senator Tom Harkin attempting to intervene on her behalf.

Dr. Michelle T Weckmann of the University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics was the key witness for the defendants, as stated in the author’s book, and Weckmann stated that Mr. Grant was competent to make these decisions and that a test was performed that guaranteed he was competent to make such decisions prior to court. Yet in her deposition, she stated she never performed a test on Mr. Grant stating she didn’t know if he was competent or not to sign any documents that involved competency. The author allege in her memoir about her life with James Grant that Dr. Weckmann falsified medical records and took all control out of Mr. Grant’s primary care physician’s hands. The author further states, that Dr. Weckmann was initially called in to test Mr. Grant’s mental competency, yet this was never done and Mrs. Grant was never informed of any results, because there weren’t any.

Furthermore, the author alleges that Dr. Weckmann, without any testing, put Mr. Grant on one additional medication, added to his list of already numerous meds - which was Haloperidol (Haldol), an antipsychotic which works by changing the actions of chemicals in the brain.

In the end, and it truly is not the end, for the author continues to strive for justice in this case. Although the author has the benefit of her husband’s will leaving virtually everything to her, after a new trial was denied, the case was appealed to the Iowa Supreme Court. She lost in 2008 in regard to the will. The Court decided nothing inappropriate had occurred during the proceedings. In all, the estate valued between $600,000 - $700,000, was split among the five adult children each receiving $50,000 apiece, with some disclosed and undisclosed amounts for the lawyers. The author states, in accordance with Iowa law however, the spouse cannot be excluded completely. Therefore, she received one-third of the estate for the wife allowance.

Although her heart and soul is gone, James Grant, this tenacious fighter and courageous leader that has been in the forefrront for righteousness in the Cedar Rapids School District in the second largest city in Iowa - now devotes her time to championing causes such as bullying and racism. Just reently, in the Iowa Caucuses, the author could be found in the midst of Democratic Candidate Bernie Sanders and others. Of course, with her book in hand! All this is therapeutic, for clearly the hurt and pain is still there.

In addition to continuing her battle against the University of Iowa at getting to the truth about the tragic death of her husband, which she has alleged in numerous phone conversations to me of a conspiratorial nature, she is forever the political activist as indicated here at an event in Iowa where former President Clinton is campaigning for his wife Hillary.

In this intriguing book, which must be read, there are so many sub-plots to this story that will keep you spellbound. This book is riveting and I encourage the readers to sort through this Sticky Web of Vengeance.

Dennis Moore has been the Associate Editor of the East County Magazine in San Diego and the book review editor for SDWriteway, an online newsletter in San Diego that has partnered with the East County Magazine, as well as a freelance contributor to EURweb based out of Los Angeles. He can be contacted at contractsagency@gmail.com or you can follow him on Twitter at: @DennisMoore8.

 

 

 

 

Comments

Hello Rebecca,

Hello Rebecca,

This book is very reviting & moving. It's a love story from being to end with some major bumps in it. It is also a story about how love dose not end with death. It is a love story most women would love to have. Is there a tradgety that occurs to them yes, but it only strengthens the love between them until death do them part. It is as God intended it to be. Life is not easy for any of us and we all have a story to tell, but many of us do not fine true love, so when you see it you can appreciate it. Is this a heart breaking story without a doubt. Where there injustices without a doubt. Is it a great love story without a doubt.

Sherry Cherry

I HAVE READ THE BOOK AND

I HAVE READ THE BOOK AND SPOKEN WITH REBECCA ABOUT HER EXPERIENCES WITH THIS ENTIRE PROCESS. IT IS A SAD COMMENTARY ON JUSTICE, INVESTIGATION AND FAIRNESS. AS HARD AS IT HAS BEEN FOR HER TO CONTINUE TO PURSUE AN EQUITABLE OUTCOME, HER PERSISTENCE AND COURAGE ARE AN INSPIRATION TO ALL. I APPRECIATE THAT HER BOOK AND HER STORY ARE GETTING THE ATTENTION THAT IT DESERVES AND I HOPE IT ENCOURAGES OTHER WOMEN TO STAND UP FOR JUSTICE AND FAIR TREATMENT AND NOT GIVE IN TO THE SEEMINGLY IMPOSSIBLE HURDLES THEY FACE. WELL DONE REBECCA...

RESPECTFULLY SUBMITTED,

JOHN BARNES
CEO INNERSOUND STUDIOS,
FILM COMPOSER AND RECORD PRODUCER

Webs of Intrigue Re: Dennis Moore Book Review

Thank you for another insightful and interesting book review about the trials of life. James and Rebecca Grant appear to have had a relationship that is often typical for women with a background of domestic abuse. The abused are often abused again if there is not therapy and positive intervention in the lives of women who choose another abuser because of the familiarity of that kind of relationship. It is common for there to be fighting when money is involved in situations and it is not surprising that blood relatives will fight for a share because they are kin. It is wonderful that Mrs. Grant is a political activist and interested in helping others while she continues her valiant fight. I wish her luck and think it is sad that people are rejected because of the many shades of the human complexion. How dull life would be if we were all the same.----MJ Payne, Author, The Remembered Self, A Journey into the Heart of the Beast

Critical Justice Discourse - Tangled Web

What a powerful and moving story! While the book certainly includes some salacious scenes that somehow document the love and attraction between Grant and her husband, I am impressed with her insatiable quest for justice once she realized that she and her husband were wronged. Her willingness to take on not only those at U of I Hospitals, U of I Athletics, Iowa City Hospice or the US Postal Service, but also those who loosely called themselves “family” demonstrated Grant’s tenacity and persistence over the years to see this case through. I can only imagine the pain she must have felt, the “opportunity costs” with respect to her family and her children, the long days and long nights of gut-wrenching disappointment and rage. The good news is that her pain has now become transformative and her manifesto serves as template for others who may encounter similar situations. ____________________________ Rev. Abraham L. Funchess, Jr., Director of Waterloo Commission on Human Rights and Pastor of Jubilee United Methodist Church Resource Center (www.jubileeumc.com)

"A Sticky Web of Vengeance" by Rebecca Grant

This book is a "must read!" I know this was a very difficult book for Rebecca to write but it was a very necessary book. It was really sad that she had to go through this when she was going through one of the most difficult things, the loss of a love one! But, this book can help people who are experiencing this, know what to look for, questions to ask and just things to be aware of and your rights as the spouse of someone who is sick and dying! Really like the honesty of Rebecca and how she put it all out there!

FIGHT FOR WHAT'S RIGHT

Thank you for this review Dennis, It was a long and horrific journey for Rebecca , a true friend at heart. I removed myself from state of Iowa ,long time ago with no regrets due to the injustices. I know she truely loved her husband unconditionally and stood by his side every step of the way.. Robbed of self respect and dignity while having to endure all the pain agony throught it all.. yet remained strong and full of courage and able to share her stuggles and help others. I am so Thankful.. Continue to fight for what's right Rebecca my friend..

A Web of Deceit

Thank you for this comprehensive and provocative review, Dennis. I recall when Rebecca went through all of this and I know how much pain and agony this tragic situation caused her. It's truly a shame that she was robbed of this time with her husband, whom she loved so deeply. The duplicity of the doctors, the University of Iowa and the Iowa justice system is reprehensible. These people put Rebecca through sheer hell during a time when she was a grieving widow. I applaud her strength, resolve and courage in sharing her journey. I pray she gets the justice she deserves!

Tangled Web

Thank you for this review, Dennis. This sad tale is yet another example of how blinding love can be--and how persistent some pursuers can be, in making yet another conquest. If there is a victory in this story, it is that Rebecca used the experience for a greater good: championing the causes of victims of racism and bullying. I do wish her success with her book, and further hope that she will speak before women's groups across ethnic and racial lines, who share similar experiences. ---KB Schaller, Author, 100+ Native American Women Who Changed the World, Winner, 2014 International Book Award, Women's Issues

"A Sticky Web of Vengeance"

Thank you KiKi, in my numerous talks with the author she has assured me that she will be speaking out on behalf of women.