Heather Wilson, a successful architect, needed time off from work and a chance to recover from a relationship gone sour. The poster of a 12th century castle helped her decide to make a trip to Germany and visit this castle. On the drawbridge to the castle she meets Hans Hess, a retired American businessman who lives nearby. As they discuss the castle, their hands touch an ancient stone and they are briefly catapulted back in time. As Heather explores the castle she finds a note but can't translate it and asks Hans for assistance. The translation provides a clue that leads them to other nearby castles in search of additional clues to solve a mystery. Heather is not aware that Hans is married and that his wife is in a comatose state and therefore cannot understand his resistance to falling in love. As they discover more about the characters in the 12th century romance, they learn more about their own feelings and its association with the past and they succumb to its passion. When Hans's wife recovers from her illness it creates a heart-rending dilemma. Heather returns to her world without informing Hans that she is pregnant. Years later, an aged Hans learns about his daughter when she leads a group of students to explore the castle and Hans is requested to act as tour guide.
Abe gives an overview of the book:
The orange tinge of scattered clouds seemed to encircle the castle like a halo. Built in the 1200's, the castle was now mostly ruins but the silhouette of this once majestic structure had an eerie sense of foreboding. The deep crevices and shadows surrounding this structure held mysteries longing to be told. A lone hawk circled overhead in the quiet of dusk and suddenly dove after its prey. A loud shriek was heard by the victim of this attack before succumbing to a quick death. Survival was the instinct that propelled this force of nature.
Ivan awoke with a start. The recurring dream of the castle lying in ruins was something he could not discuss with anyone. He brushed it aside and prepared for the day. He knew he could never lay claim to the title of nobility even though his father was a nobleman. He was simply a bastard. It made him angry that his mother had to suffer the humiliation of bearing a son by her Lord. When the time was right, he would try to force his Lord to acknowledge him if he could ever hope to marry the girl he loved. At the moment he was simply a farmer whose owner was a nobleman. He would have to work the fields of his Lord for several more years before he could have his own plot. His athletic prowess gave him much recognition and it was at one of the games that he had first seen Lucile. Their eyes met and the attraction was immediate. She attended every game in which he participated and eventually he had the courage as well as the opportunity to speak with her. It was not easy since she was always in the company of guardians for young maidens with rank of nobility, however love knew no bounds.
Early in the 16th century, the laws regarding ownership and inheritance in many regions and cities had become explosive. Many cities all over Germany experienced civil unrest. When the peasants took up their arms in 1524, things were different. Although the peasants were poorly armed and inexperienced, they posed a serious challenge. They assembled in Hordes and forced local knights to lead them. Initially they were able to inflict damage by burning down a few castles, but they were no match for disciplined armies of noble cavalier. The Hordes were dispersed and the ringleaders publicly executed. The peasants' war was over in 1525.
The love between Lucile and Ivan had many obstacles yet Lucile devised a plan to be with her beloved Ivan. The bonds of requited love sets the stage for this Journey into the Past.
I'm a retired international business consultant and author, living near Landau, Germany with my wife Gisela. For relaxation, I enjoy hiking in the nearby mountains exploring the mideval castles, walking the local vineyards and singing in regional choirs. My career has taken...
Terrorism frightens people because it operates outside the traditional rules of war. It's hard to combat because the attacks are no longer limited to people wearing military uniforms at well-formed battle...