Ten years had passed since they had joined hands in the ruins of the old abbey church. Standing before the high altar, they were handfasted in the Celtic custom, engaged to be married.
A rose bush had bloomed beside the ruined altar. Stephen had reached out to caress one of the flowers.
“I’ll find you,” he had said. “In ten years, when we have finished school, when we are able to marry, I’ll find you. Until then, whenever you see a yellow rose, remember me. Remember I love you.”
In those ten years, Katherine had finished college, completed med school, and become a doctor. In those ten years they had not seen each other, had not spoken, and had not written.
It was what they had agreed.
For a decade, she had been waiting, hoping, praying.
Today ─ her birthday─ she finds a vase of yellow roses when she reaches home.
Stephen, though, is not Katherine’s only suitor. Bill Wilson has known her since they were in high school. He has long planned to wed her, and he finally decides to stake his claim.
Although the action occurs primarily in New York City, psychologically, the story is set in a small town in Virginia. Change came slowly to the rural South in the nineteen-seventies, and attitudes toward women were most resistant to change. Women were expected to be subservient to men, to have children, to keep house. A woman was to be above reproach, and any hint of scandal was met with censure, with ostracism, with shame. These attitudes threaten to destroy Katherine and the life of which she dreams.
The Handfasting is a story of love renewed, a suitor spurned, a vicious attack, a struggle for healing. It is a story of love that survives.
I didn’t think there was going to be much to this book. The main characters – Stephen and Katherine – were handfasted right away. The title of the book is The Handfasting so I figured there wasn’t much more to it.
Until you realize that you then jump forward 10 years and that Stephen promised Katherine to find her 10 years later.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book – it invoked several emotions.
Katherine came from a small town that is very different than anything I personally would be able to survive in, but I understand that life, so the things that Katherine goes through, I can completely understand her points.
Katherine’s other suitor, Bill Wilson, invokes all kinds of emotions on his own.
And of course, Stephen himself invokes his own emotions as well.
I really, really enjoyed this book. It was a great, interesting read that held my attention. I couldn’t read it fast enough!
I definitely recommend The Handfasting to anyone and everyone who enjoys a good read!
About the Author:
David lives in Columbia, South Carolina, with his wife and their blue-eyed cat, Bonnie. The Reunion, his first novel, is set in nearby Charleston. The Handfasting, his second book will be published this month. He enjoys traveling, photography, baking bread, and the Carolina beaches.
David has photographed subjects as varied as prehistoric ruins on the islands of Scotland, star trails, sea gulls, and a Native American powwow. He and his wife have traveled widely in the United States and the United Kingdom. During one trip to Scotland, they visited Crathes Castle, the ancestral home of the Burnett family near Aberdeen. In The Reunion, Michael’s journey through England and Scotland allows him to sketch many places they have visited.
David spent years in school(!), and he has graduate degrees in psychology and education. He and his wife have two daughters.
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