The Keeper of Happy Endings Summary
The Keeper of Happy Endings is an enchanting novel about fate, second chances, and hope lost and found.
Soline Roussel is well-schooled in the business of happy endings. For generations, her family has kept an exclusive bridal salon in Paris, where magic is worked with needle and thread.
It’s said that the bride who wears a Roussel gown is guaranteed a lifetime of joy. But devastating losses during World War II leave Soline’s world and heart in ruins and her faith in love shaken. She boxes up her memories, stowing them away, along with her broken dreams, determined to forget.
Decades later, while coping with her own tragic loss, aspiring gallery owner Rory Grant leases Soline’s old property and discovers a box containing letters and a vintage wedding dress, never worn. When Rory returns the mementos, an unlikely friendship develops, and eerie parallels in Rory’s and Soline’s lives begin to surface.
It’s clear that they were destined to meet—and that Rory may hold the key to righting a forty-year wrong and opening the door to shared healing and, perhaps, a little magic.
About the Author
Barbara Davis is After twelve years in the jewelry business, I finally surrendered to the muse, leaving the corporate world in order to pursue my lifelong dream of becoming a writer. I was born in Fair Lawn, New Jersey, but grew up and attended school in Florida. Eventually, work led me north, where I lived in Charleston for two years, and in Raleigh for fourteen, before eventually making my home in Dover, New Hampshire, which makes me a Yankee, turned southerner, turned Yankee. (I think.)
When I'm not writing I'm an avid reader, foodie, and lover of music, a rabid football fan, and a devoted Florida Gator. I also enjoy travel with my husband/sweetheart, (the same guy, I promise) who over the years has learned much more about publishing and the craft of writing than he ever wanted to know.
The Keeper of Happy Endings Introduction
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
May 26, 1985—Boston
It couldn’t be Sunday. Not already.
Rory smacked the snooze button and fell back onto her pillow, wishing the day away, but five minutes later the alarm shrilled again, which could mean only one thing. Somehow, another week had been swallowed whole, gone in a blur of takeout and old movies, interminable nights immersed in other people’s happy endings.
A pulpy paperback thumped to the floor as she threw back the covers and put her feet on the floor. Kathleen Woodiwiss’s A Rose in Winter, finished last night around 4:00 a.m. She stared at it, splayed open at her feet like a felled bird. She’d never been a fan of romance novels. Now she couldn’t devour them fast enough, a guilty pleasure that made her vaguely ashamed, like gambling or porn addiction.
She scooped up the novel and tossed it into a wicker basket filled with a dozen more just like it, waiting to be taken to Goodwill. There was another box by the front door and a third in her trunk. Junk food for the brain, her mother called them. But her eyes were already sliding to the stack of new titles on the nightstand. Tonight, Johanna Lindsey’s latest awaited.
She poked through the jumble of unopened mail beside the bed, including the master’s program course catalog she’d been doing her best to avoid, finally locating the steel-and-gold Rolex her mother had given her when she finished undergrad. As expected, it had stopped running, the date in the little magnifying bubble off by three days. She reset the time and slid it onto her wrist, then set her sights on a mug of strong coffee. No way was she facing today without caffeine.
In the kitchen, she eyed her surroundings with a creeping sense of overwhelm; the sink full of dishes, the brimming trash can, the remnants of last night’s takeout from Eastern Paradise still sitting on the counter. She’d meant to tidy up after dinner, but then Random Harvest came on and she hadn’t been able to tear herself away until Greer Garson and Ronald Colman were finally reunited. By the time she stopped blubbering, she’d forgotten about the kitchen. And now there wasn’t time if she was going to make it across town by eleven.
She toyed with calling to cancel as she splashed half-and-half into her mug—a sore throat or a migraine, a messy case of food poisoning—but she’d already bailed twice this month, which meant she had to do this.
In the shower, she rehearsed for the grilling she knew was coming: questions about her studies, her hobbies, her plans for the future. The questions never changed, and it was getting harder and harder to pretend she cared about any of it. The truth was, she had no hobbies to speak of, dreaded the idea of returning to school, and her plans for the future were in serious doubt. But she would put on a brave face and say the right things because that’s what was expected of her. And because the alternative—a deep dive into the black hole that had become her life—was simply too exhausting to contemplate.
She padded to the bedroom, toweling her hair as she went, doing her best to resist the familiar pull from her nightstand. It was a ritual she’d begun of late, starting each day with one or two of Hux’s letters, but there wasn’t time this morning. And yet she found herself opening the bottom drawer, lifting out the box she kept there. Forty-three envelopes addressed in his thin, sprawling script, a lifeline tethering her to him, keeping her from hitting bottom.
The first had arrived in her mailbox just five hours after his flight left Logan. He’d sent it overnight delivery, to make sure it arrived on the right day. He’d written another while sitting at the gate and one more while on the plane. They’d come nearly every day at first before leveling off to one or two a week. And then they’d simply stopped coming.
She glanced at the photo beside the bed, taken at a restaurant on the cape the weekend after he’d proposed. Dr. Matthew Edward Huxley—Hux to everyone who knew him. She missed his face, his laugh, his silly jokes, and off-key singing, his love of all things trivia, and his perfect scrambled eggs.
They’d met at a charity event for Tufts’ new neonatal intensive-care wing. His smile had made her go weak at the knees, but it was who he was underneath that smile that actually sealed the deal.
The child of two special needs teachers, he had learned the value of service early on and by example. But during his freshman year at UNC, a logging truck had jumped the median on I-40 and hit his parents’ car head-on. He quit school after the funeral, rudderless and bitter, and spent a summer on the Outer Banks, playing beach bum with a pack of surfers and numbing himself with Captain Morgan.
Eventually, he’d pulled himself together, returning to UNC, then going on to medical school. His plan had been to specialize in internal medicine, but after one week of pediatric rounds, those plans had changed. When his residency was over, he had signed with Doctors Without Borders to provide care to children in South Sudan, as a way of honoring his parents’ memory.
It was one of the things she loved most about him. His story was far from perfect; no trust fund or country club upbringing for Matthew Huxley. He’d gone through some things—things that had rocked him to the core—but he’d found his footing and a way to give back. It was hard to see him off when the time came, but she was proud of the work he had committed to doing, even if his letters were difficult to read.
In one he’d admitted to taking up smoking. Everyone here smokes like a fiend. Maybe to keep their hands from shaking. We’re all so incredibly tired. In another, he’d written about a journalist named Teresa who was there doing a story for the BBC and how she kept him connected to the outside world. He wrote about the work too, about endless days in makeshift surgeries, children maimed, orphaned, terrified. It was worse than he’d ever imagined, but it was making him a better doctor—tougher but more compassionate.
The pace was grueling, the emotional trauma more than he could adequately express on paper. We’re so spoiled in the US. We can’t comprehend the sheer scope of lawlessness and barbarity, the gut-wrenching need that exists in other places. The lack of basic humanity. What we do, me, all of us, it’s a drop in the bucket when you see what’s happening here.
That was the last one.
One week, two, the third passing with her own letters unanswered. And then one day she was listening to NPR and the reason became clear. The US was confirming that a band of armed rebels had abducted three workers in an early-morning raid in South Sudan, including an American physician, a nurse from New Zealand, and a British journalist on assignment for the BBC and World magazine.
It had taken several days to confirm what she already knew—that Hux was the captured American—but there were no leads. Nothing on the truck witnesses saw driving away. No description of the men who’d forced them out of the clinic at gunpoint. And not a word from anyone claiming responsibility, which typically happened in the first forty-eight hours. They had simply vanished.
Five months later, she was still waiting. According to the State Department, every resource was being brought to bear, every lead being followed, not that there’d been many. A late-night raid had been carried out on an abandoned shack in Libya eight weeks ago after someone reported seeing a woman fitting the description of the missing journalist, but by the time they went in, the shack was empty, the occupants were long gone.
The official line from the State Department was that they were continuing to work with various humanitarian agencies to locate all personnel and secure their safe return, but the truth was that information had dried up, meaning prospects for a positive outcome were growing more and more doubtful.
Rory stared at the box, longing to lift out one or two letters and crawl back into bed, but she had somewhere to be. Two somewheres, actually, if she counted her promise to meet Lisette this afternoon at Sugar Kisses.
Twenty minutes later, she grabbed her purse and keys, checking her reflection one last time. White slacks and a sleeveless button-down in pale peach silk. Damp hair scraped into a ponytail. A single coat of mascara, another of lip gloss, and simple diamond studs. Far from up to standard, but when it came to her mother, nothing ever was.
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The Keeper Of Happy Endings PDF
|Posted on||October 1, 2021|
|Page Count||415 pages|
The Keeper of Happy Endings PDF Free - HUB PDF
The Keeper of Happy Endings is an enchanting novel about fate, second chances, and hope lost and found.Soline Roussel is well-schooled in the business of happy endings. For generations, her family has kept an exclusive bridal salon in Paris, where magic is worked with needle and thread.
Author: Barbara Davis