Duet for Three Hands, a novel set in the post-emancipation South is a poignant tale of the complexities of love, family and cultural norms. Though the novel is set in the American South during the prohibition era, plantations and speakeasies are absent from the story and in their place is a fresh look into a defining time in American History.
The story opens with Nathaniel Fye, a famed concert pianist, lured and beguiled, like an innocent lamb, by the beautiful and ambitious Miss Francis Bellmont. Francis is a complicated character that, along with her father, and the prejudice of the culture, wreak havoc in the lives of the other, more saintly, characters who refuse to let cultural norms cloud their emotions.
After marrying into the Bellmont family, Nathaniel quickly learns that Francis' beauty is only skin deep the family's secrets are deeply troubling. Nathaniel bonds with Francis' younger brother, Whitmore, a like-minded artist soul, who is secretly in love with the dark-skinned maid's daughter, Jeselle. Mr. Bellmont is a violent man who seems to leave the help and children alone and takes all his rage and anger out on his wife, Claire, the patron saint of the book.
Nathaniel's career is ruined in one of the book's pivotal moments and he is forced to take on a new profession as an instructor at a women's college. An unlikely widowed student enrolls in a summer class and challenges Nathaniel's ideals and beliefs that his career is over. He finds hope in the promise of his protégé. In a crescendo of events, fueled equally by love and hate, the student and teacher are compelled to try and help Whitmore and Jeselle escape the murderous prejudice of the south.
It was an intriguing read that I can whole-heartedly recommend to anyone who likes epic Antebellum tales of love and heartache.
Visit author Tess Thompson at: http://tesswrites.com/
Tess Thompson is a mother and writer. She’s also a Zumba dancing queen, though the wearing of the crown is reserved for invitation-only appearances. Her creative life began as an actress, director and playwright but found her true calling in narrative fiction, specifically Women’s Fiction.