After his service in the Civil War, Sergeant John Weldon, haunted and nearly shattered by his experiences on and off the battlefield (which left him with lingering acute pain and a morphine addiction), makes his way to the picturesque new village of Englewood in New Jersey at the invitation of the spirited and welcoming McCullough family. He falls in love with the daughter of the house, fiercely intelligent and compassionate Kate, but he’s traumatized by the war and its aftereffects, and in the course of a long and very satisfyingly complex novel, Morris throws dozens of obstacles in the path of their relationship (including some extremely evocative flashbacks of Weldon’s war memories).
The various members of the McCullough family are portrayed with careful detail and some moments of unexpected humor, but it’s the tortured John Weldon who commands the book; his slow and halting search for personal redemption makes for mesmerizing reading. Recommended.
Forget Me Not
The Gilded Age saga of love, friendship and redemption continues! The shocking illness of a parent forces the Weldon and Crenshaw families to reveal their hidden desires and to consider what it would take to forgive themselves and others. In the fourth book of The Tenafly Road Series, Lieutenant Fred Crenshaw’s young wife dies in childbirth and secrets are exposed. At the funeral, the Crenshaw and Weldon families confront mortality but also find hope in young love.