by Rebecca Bryan
Upon learning she is the only living beneficiary of a late aunt's estate on far away Mackinac Island, Elle Curtis finds an unusual array of items connected to 19th Century writer Constance Fenimore Woolson—a discovery that will lead her on a journey and change her forever.
May 1894, Venice, Italy
The gondolier’s oar sliced through the soft black water, parting the thick night fog with the bow of his boat. His passenger, a stout, smartly dressed American, sat near the front as if he were a dog sniffing for a scent. Beside him lay a heap of women’s dresses. “There will be no return of the dead,” he muttered as he plunged each dress deep into the water with an oar, only to have them rise to the surface, their busts and sleeves swelling like balloons.
The dresses had belonged to his friend, another American writer who had fallen from her third story apartment window to her death only a few months before. She’d been sick, recently suffering from influenza and a bout of depression passed on from her father. Or was there another reason?
One that involved our American, a close confidant and friend of many years.
Months passed and eventually our well dressed American left Italy, but the speculation as to the cause of her death rose on every corner in Venice.
“Some say she was desperately in love with him,” a huddle of friends speculated in the San Marco plaza months later.
“And he refused her?” a short, stout woman asked.
“Maybe she refused him,” said a tall skinny English woman with a nose resembling a crooked tree branch. “Miss Woolson had left him in England only a few months before.”
“I heard she hadn’t answered any of his letters,” said another.
The stocky woman whispered, “I heard he burned all their letters.” Someone gasped. All eyes turned to Marie Holas, a dark-haired woman with kind eyes who had been hired on as a caregiver a few weeks before the author’s death and was the last to see Miss Woolson alive.
Finally she spoke. “He was here for four months going through her belongings with her niece. It was cold and there was often a fire, but I never saw him burn letters. It is hard to say what their feelings for each other were beyond that of a friend.”
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Rebecca started writing one summer day in 2008 to escape from the stresses of life, never imagining she actually publish one day. Becoming Fenimore is her third novel. Her previous novels, The Sand Bar, 2012 and Far From Perfect, 2013 were runners up on Readers Favorites, in the category of women’s fiction.
In a previous life Rebecca graduated from Brigham Young University-Idaho in Interior Design. When she is not writing or taking care of her five children, she can be found working in the theater and has been known to do a commercial or two on the side.
Twitter handle : rebeccabryan2
GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE
Rebecca Bryan will be awarding a $20 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.