|Tapestry Award - 1st Place|
Here’s the synopsis:
“Three can keep a secret …if two are dead.”
– Benjamin Franklin
How deep do the roots of an orange tree grow – deep enough to sustain a sixty-six-year old secret?
In 2014, eighty-eight-year old Miss Ellie looks out the window of her empty kitchen and views the towering orange tree in her back yard. “They’re going to tear down my house, aren’t they? And my orange tree, too?” She turns to leave and with a quick glance back, whispers, “And won’t they be surprised when they do.”
While war ravages Europe in the summer of 1944, eighteen-year old Ellie Miller must fight her own battles in the peaceful city of Tampa, Florida.
Lieutenant Joey Clement declares his love to her before leaving to join his Flying Fortress. The sprig of an orange tree she and Joey planted from a seed provides the only consolation in his absence. She waits…and waits…and waits for a letter from him.
Ellie’s tendency to panic throws her into a loveless marriage. Her abusive husband resents the baby she carries. And the worst onslaught of all – knowing the only man she’ll ever love is due to return to MacDill, unaware of her unbearable situation. Worn down from her own combat, she hasn’t the courage to face him.
Will Joey forgive Ellie when he learns she married a man he despises? Will he forgive himself when he discovers that he, not Ellie’s husband, is the father of her child? Is his love deep enough to cover her buried sin?
Miss Ellie’s Orange Tree is an 80,000-word historical love story that moves from present-day to the 1940s, and back to the present.