HH Com 219 (215)

Since finishing his seminary training in Atlanta, Jake Buchanan has done everything in his power to avoid returning home to Grady County. He lingers in the city, counseling homeless men at the seminary's mission. When the suicide of a vagrant he was counseling shakes his faith, his mentor re-assigns him to a church in Blooming Tree, near his hometown of Lucy's Cotton, believing that returning home will help Jake heal.

Blooming Tree is the last place on earth Jake thinks will help him. The town's infamy lies in a beloved minister's mysterious death and in Maggie Baker, the rumored murderess who still lives in town.

Jake only spends one month of 1938 as Blooming Tree's minister, but during that month, the enigmatic Miss Baker both courts and challenges him. Their interaction stirs up memories of that long-ago murder and forces him to confront both his relationship with Thaddea and the nightmares that have haunted him since the death of parents and sister.

Thaddea, the childhood sweetheart he lost when he moved to Atlanta seven years before, now lives in Blooming Tree with her husband and son. Jake clings to his skewed memories of her, despite learning of the woman she's become.

Through his evolving relationships with both women, Jake discovers the truth is not always as it seems, both in the past and in the present and he accepts himself and his past by opening himself to a hopeful future.

There's only one minister in Blooming Tree?? (you said "Blooming Tree's miniser").

This is clunky as a pair of ice skates on pavement. "The town's infamy lies in" and "skewed memories" are just two.

I'm not sure what the plot is here and I'm not all that enthused about finding out cause you haven't given me much reason to like this guy or wonder what happens next.

Start over. Focus on specifics.


Anonymous said...

Take that fourth paragraph and jam it onto the end of the second; it'll make the third make more sense.

Brady Westwater said...

First paragarph really works for me, though.

Anonymous said...

There's a seminary in Atlanta? With a mission? Funny, I've lived there for over twelve years and never noticed it. If you're looking for a city with missions, Atlanta's probably not your best bet.

aries said...

This reads more like a synopsis and less like a hook. There's too much back story and not enough info about the internal conflicts that haunt Jake.

HawkOwl said...

Try saying everything only once. It will be much easier to read and to make sense of.

Anonymous said...

I like the setup and the characters. Yes, it needs plot. But I like what you have so far.

Anonymous said...

To me, there appeared to be an inconsistency that required at least some minimal explanation. If he just completed his seminary training, I assume he is a young man. Yet, the alleged murderess who is courting him may have committed a murder long ago. Suggests a significant age gap between the two characters. Not out of the question, but odd.

Eden said...

This would be mine. Your comments & Miss Snark's are helpful. I do have a tendency to repeat things, something I have to make a conscious effort to correct in editing.

The story is set in the 1930s, not present day. Missions were quite common. They weren't permanent.

Also the town he goes to has a population of just a few hundred people. Most folks would probably have just gone to the next small town over for church. That's how it's worked where I've lived and where I live now. One church (or even no church) isn't unheard of, esp to cover a large area with sparse population.

I should be clearer about the age difference. Good call. It's funny how when you live with a story so long, it's hard to pick up on what you're leaving out.

I think clarity & focus are what I need most here. As I trim the plot elements, it will come together. Thanks again.

magz said...

ahem. Although I've been nearly everywhere, I swear I've never been within 100 miles of anyplace known as Blooming Tree.
AND, despite being 'mature' and appearing somewhat wheathered, I am waaaaay too young to have dallied with Jake back in '38!
Frankly, this disturbs me. I wasnt there; I didnt do it; I've never heard of these people.
signed, the Real Maggie Baker, aka Magz