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Home is the place where they have to take you in. But Kate Randsome finds out the hard way that that isn’t always true. Betrayed by family and friends, Kate fights to find a place for herself in the only town she’s ever known. Turning to strangers for the love and respect she’s lost, Kate finds herself moving from place to place; sometimes finding a shred of happiness and sometimes in even deeper trouble. On the eve of her death, she determines that her granddaughter will know the true story of her life. She writes a manuscript which she gives to her son and extracts his promise that he’ll give it to his daughter when she’s an adult. But will her son keep that promise?
Kate Randsome held her emotions in tight control as she searched the farm for Michael. He was not in the house, where a peach pie, cooking for supper, scented the air. Not in the cotton fields where several acres of the fluffy white stuff reached verdant arms to the sky for sustenance. As she searched, apprehension chewed at the bonds holding her emotions in check. Michael had not left the farm. She would find him soon. At last, she found him in the barn mucking out the stall that belonged to the one mule that they managed to keep. Watching him from the doorway, she felt panic welling up. She shook her head to clear away the unwanted feeling, then stepped further into the barn. Michael didn’t look up from his task. Her feet had made hardly a sound on the hard packed earthen floor.
Maintaining her outward calm she spoke, “Michael, we have to git married right away”. Knowing that it was the wrong way to go about this all important conversation, but unable to lead up to it more gracefully.
He looked up, startled, then smiled the beautiful smile that she so loved. His face was red from exertion. Sweat ran in rivers from his hairline. Even on this early spring evening, the temperature inside the barn was stifling. Though he was smiling, there was a look in his eyes that made her throat go dry, but when he spoke his voice was loving and gentle.
“My darling, I thought we agreed to wait until we have some money so we can make the wedding the most special day of our lives. Cain’t you wait a few more months, my greedy girl?”
She tried desperately to hold on to her outwardly calm appearance; though her heart was beating so hard she was surprised he couldn’t hear it. She must persuade him. The alternative was too painful to contemplate. Her entire future balanced on the outcome of this conversation.
“Yes, we did, but I’m going to have a baby. We have to git married right away. Everyone will be counting on their fingers as it is because we’ll be getting married so sudden. Don’t you want our child to be born in wedlock?”
His face went a peculiar shade of white under his tan. He staggered back, his eyes skittering from side to side. His hands convulsed on the handle of the shovel he held and the knuckles turned white.
Seeing his reaction, Kate’s knees started shaking under her skirt. Her palms were suddenly sweaty. She rubbed them against her skirt and moistened her dry lips. An edge of panic crept into her voice.
“Michael, you swore you loved me and that we would be married. We have to marry now instead of waiting for the crop to be picked. Tell me you’ll go to Reverend Thatcher and arrange for the wedding.”
He finally focused his eyes on her. The stranglehold on the shovel loosened and he tossed it aside. His beautiful smile bloomed across his face and he came swiftly forward to hold her tightly in his arms. Relief flooded through her at his next words.
“Of course I will, darling. I was just so startled for a minute there. Go on back to the house now. When I come to dinner tonight we’ll tell George our good news. I’ll go talk to Reverend Thatcher right now and arrange for the date. I love you, dearest girl.”
After planting a swift kiss on her lips, Michael walked out of the barn and Kate went back to the house. The rest of that afternoon her heart brimmed with happiness. Michael would marry her. The relief was enormous. She took special pains with the food for dinner that night because she knew she would remember it always. She hummed little melodies as she went about her work.
When George came in for dinner, he immediately noticed the silver candelabra that she had unearthed from an old trunk and placed on the table to give it a more festive appearance. Sniffing at the fragrant cooking smells, he looked at Kate and laughed.
Renee Russell has loved books since before she could read them herself. As young as the age of 2, her mother would find her with a book in hand, upside down, reciting the story from memory. As a teenager Renee’s dream was to become a published author, but the dream was put on hold while she pursued a business degree and a career in the business world. She currently works in the investment and insurance industry and freelances for The Commercial Appeal. A seventh generation West Tennessean, Renee shares her home with her husband, Gerald and their cat, Gambit.
Book Publisher: Wings e Press
No. of Pages: 344
Paper Weight (lb): 14.4
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