By Linda Wood Rondeau
Helping Hands Press
c. March 2013
From the publisher: A romance writer and her estranged publisher husband spend a summer together in their Connecticut estate. But when reconciliation seems possible, malignant forces within the home seem determined to keep them apart.
A lifetime of regrets in a marriage kept up for appearance's sake comes to the tipping point in its thirtieth year.
Sylvia and Henry Fitzgibbons have struggled along because they are comfortable in their Wednesday dates, their parasitic lifestyle and separate tents, so to speak. Sylvia, aka Lana Longstreet a somewhat over the top romance writer, has overstepped her bounds as a bread-winning wife and allowed her devil may care Lana personality trump her husband, Henry, who along with an army buddy partner, runs a successful publishing firm catering not only to Lana but others. Henry and Sylvia could have been divinely in tune but for their personal hangups and decided lack of confrontation, er, communication skills with each other. They are, of course, in love as well as lust with each, but can't figure out how to make the other aware of their feelings.
In true Lana form, Sylvia bought a mansion for herself early on in the marriage. She decamped there, outside of New York City, to write and mother their two children. Henry always hated the early American historic home, and claimed the feeling was mutual. Sylvia ignores the odd things that happen upon occasion and made fun of Henry for his fears. But the summer of the roses, the last-ditch effort Sylvia makes to try and salvage their marriage, forces them to face their...ghosts. Literally.
If Sylvia and Henry can't find the means to confront themselves, outside influences force them to decide whether they are stronger alone or together, and even better, three-stranded with the One God who above all else, keeps them in perfect peace.
Told in snippets from Sylvia and Henry's viewpoints, along with chapters from the novel Lana is currently writing, Days of Vines and Roses is an interesting read. From things that go bump in the night to facing the demons that make us who we are, and force us to confront the choices we've made and how those choices affect others, readers of contemporary fiction who like a forties-era feel to their heroes will find reasons to keep turning these pages.