Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Under the Heart Tree by Rosemary Hayes

From the February 6, 2017 issue

Tagline: Susan couldn't accept losing the heart tree where she received her first kiss...

Woman's World Tropes: a small town, old flame

Observations: I loved the idea of this story--saving the tree. It's not something I recall seeing before in Woman's World. Neither do I remember seeing a lot of stories in which the hero and heroine unite to fight for a common cause. This might be a plot line worthy of further exploration. If any of you remember other examples, please let me know.

Hayes is an old hand at these stories. I don't think this was her strongest story, despite what I said about the innovative plot. I just didn't get a warm fuzzy feeling at the end and I've been trying to figure out why. I think part of the problem might be that they both held torches for each other, so I couldn't help but wonder why they broke up in the first place.

Also the epilogue paragraph just didn't give me a zing of happy.

Some things in life I definitely can Justin's eventual marriage proposal. The reception was held at the new Heart Tree Hotel conference room. And of course, there was only one place to hold our ceremony--under the iconic Heart Tree.

Could it be that the reception was in a conference room? That sounds so stuffy. Maybe it would have been better if Hayes had just not included those words. That's not to say that a wedding reception in a conference room is bad or can't be romantic. It just didn't sound romantic.

Maybe it might have been better to mention again that the Heart Tree was the site of their kiss rather than that it was an icon. Or maybe we could have witnessed Justin proposing under the tree... I don't know. Anyway, your mileage may vary. Obviously the editors deemed it worthy of publication. :)

Photo credit: Krista Grinberga via Flickr Creative Commons License


Tamara said...

Not sure whether it was deliberate, but I noticed a parallel in this story: The way Rosemary describes the lives of the love interests taking two different directions but now curving back toward each other following the description of the elm's trunk splitting and growing outward then curving inward again. I thought it added some richness to the story.

Pat said...

I noticed that also, Tamara. I thought this was a cute story with a great premise as Kate pointed out.

Sandy Smith said...

I guess I wasn't bothered by the location of the wedding reception. I only noticed the tree. Lots of people have receptions in hotels or community buildings. It's the way it is decorated that makes is romantic.

Chris said...

I appreciated the different back story here and the fact that saving the tree from destruction was what brought the two together again. Liked the splitting apart of the branches only to find their way back to entwine again, lovely touch. I'm not one for weddings at the best of times, so the setting for that didn't bother me. It's the emotion that I look for and the idea that these two realised what they felt about each other from revisiting the tree was enough to provide the 'warm and fuzzy' for me.

Pat said...

I'm with you on the emotional aspect of this story, Chris.

Tamara said...

I'm a little late with this comment, Kate, but I just re-read the paragraph about the wedding. I also think that "conference room" takes away from the romantic feeling and I would have omitted "iconic". Maybe "the hotel, where we exchanged our vows under the Heart Tree" or something like that, to match the tone of the parallel I mentioned above.

Pamela S Thibodeaux said...

Enjoyed this story too.