The Handfasting

The Handfasting

by David Burnett
4.8 15


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The Handfasting by David Burnett

Ten years had passed since they joined hands at the high altar of the old abbey church, ten years since they were handfasted, engaged to be married. It had been ten years in which Katherine had finished college, completed med school, and become a doctor. For ten years they had not seen each other, had not spoken, and had not written.
It was what they had agreed.
"I'll find you," Steven had told her. "In ten years, when we have finished school, when we are able to marry, I'll find you. Whenever you see a yellow rose, remember me - remember I love you."
For a decade, she had been waiting, hoping, and praying.
Today, on her birthday, a vase of yellow roses was waiting when she arrived home.
Although the action occurs primarily in New York City, psychologically, the story is set in a small town in Virginia. Change came slowly to the rural South in the nineteen-seventies, and attitudes toward women were most resistant to change. Women were expected to be subservient to men, to have children, to keep house. A woman was to be above reproach, and any hint of scandal was met with censure, with ostracism, with shame.
These attitudes threaten to destroy Katherine and her chance for the life for which she yearns. The Handfasting is a story of love: love renewed, a suitor spurned, a vicious attack, and a struggle for healing.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781490320878
Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date: 06/06/2013
Pages: 250
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.53(d)

About the Author

David Burnett lives in Columbia South Carolina, with his wife and their blue-eyed cat, Bonnie. The Reunion, his first novel, is set in nearby Charleston. The Handfasting is his second novel. While most of the events in the story take place in New York City, psychologically, the story is set in the rural South of the 1970's.
David enjoys traveling, photography, baking bread, and the Carolina beaches. He has photographed subjects as varied as prehistoric ruins on the islands of Scotland, star trails, sea gulls, and a Native American powwow. David and his wife have traveled widely in the United States and the United Kingdom. During one trip to Scotland, they visited Crathes Castle, the ancestral home of the Burnett family near Aberdeen.
David has graduate degrees in psychology and education and previously was Director of Research for the South Carolina Department of Education. He and his wife have two daughters.

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The Handfasting 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
MikiHope More than 1 year ago
This is one of those books that I saw the cover and I read a chapter and I just had to read the rest of it. So, I bought it! I just love that yellow rose-don't you? This is the story of 2 people who meet in Europe and keep meeting. When they get to Scotland they decide to handfast and then after 10 years Steven promises to find Katherine. This is 1977 and believe me when I say things were different back then. Girls remained virgins until they were married-but times they were changing. There was a nemesis in Katie's life in the form of a boy she went to high school with-but never actually dated. This was a small town and it was very easy to start rumors which would spread like wildfire. It would not be pleasant. Something happens to Katie which I can't tell you about or it will spoil the book. Let's just say I was very happy at the ending when true love prevails!
Bookalicious65 More than 1 year ago
The book starts in August 1967 when the main two characters are studying in the UK. They are in Scotland in the grounds of an old abbey, where they shouldn't be as it's late at night. They kneel before the altar and pledge themselves to each other in a handfasting ritual. Move forward 10 years later to August 1977. Katherine is now in New York, sharing a house with Sara and Becky. There are expectations in her home town of Hamilton that she will marry Bill Wilson a local attorney. At least that's what he tells everyone! Meanwhile Steven had also returned to the US and was now a curator in an art gallery. Will their paths cross? Will they get married as they pledged even though they haven't seen each other for 10 years? Or will she marry Bill Wilson like everyone expects her to? I wasn't sure what to expect from this book. I had read up about handfasting and thought it might be some overly slushy romantic novel. How very wrong I was. Yes there was romance, but there was a mix of crime, heartache and despair. Once I started reading this, I just couldn't put it down. I fact I continued reading until 3am as I was hooked! I loved Katherine. She was kind hearted and had plenty of love to give, but sometimes I wanted to shake her and other times I wanted to hug her. Bill Wilson on the other hand...... Well I found him obnoxious and couldn't understand how anyone could like him, let alone love him. Steve was like most women dream about; loyal, kind, warm and loving. I got to it was as if I knew these people personally as I was so immersed into the book. I formed a real picture of them in my head and I was sad to lose them when the book finished.  It is not very often a book leaves a real imprint on me but Mr Burnett has managed to do that to me with this book. I have to admit, I even shed a tear as the book was becoming to it's conclusion. Silly I know. It was not a slushy romance. It was a great read with a powerful storyline. If the author writes more books like this, I for one will buy them
beckvalleybooks More than 1 year ago
A story of  beautiful true love that will make you smile as you read it, you will find yourself falling in love with characters of Steven and Katherine who show that true love wins throughout.  The author's soft and gentle writing was a pure pleasure to read.  The harrowing twist in the story was extremely suspenseful and every word was so easily believable due to the author's wonderful writing. The story starts as the pair initially fall in love and perform the Handfasting ceremony themselves in an abandoned church in Scotland, which gives them both time to concentrate on building their careers yet knowing that they are still there for each other, they give themselves a whole ten years.  Within the church blooms a yellow rose bush planted by one of the monks and is now a symbol of both the Church and the town. "Every time you see a yellow rose remember that I love you". Steven said to Katherine. During this time they get on with their lives but deep down they both know that nobody can compare to their true love.  Katherine becomes a doctor and Steven becomes a curator of a art museum in New York. Fast forward ten years and after a lot of searching Steven finally finds his love, Katherine, who is still just as much in love with him as he is with her.  There is just one problem, an unwanted admirer from Katherine's hometown, Bill Wilson, who is an arrogant, self centered and opinionated drunk with horrendous beliefs about woman who believes he has claimed Katherine and is set to marry her.  What happens next is horrifying. Following Katherine's plight you feel her despair and I was on tender hooks with the uncertainty of how the story was going to end, the suspense was amazing and I actually read half the book in one afternoon. A nice, light and friendly romance story with an unwanted admirer who stirs things up to the core.  An absolutely recommended read and I will certainly be reading more from this talented author.
MsDivatude More than 1 year ago
Great read!!! I did not expect to be drawn into this book as much as I was. Just when I was sure I knew where the plot was headed, it went completely to the left and drew me in completely! The topics and themes with this book based in the 70s are still relevant today. The author did a fantastic job at getting into the minds of the characters. Based in the South, I can relate to many of the customs and the culture of "making nice" for appearances sake. This was a great read and one that I'm glad to have added to my collection.
BeccaW More than 1 year ago
The Handfasting was a book that at first when I started to read it I wanted to put it down because I was scared that I would not like what was to come after the first chapter. Do not let this happen to you! The author has a purpose behind everything that is written and how throughout the whole novel. I normally don’t let things like this stop me from moving along with a novel and I am so glad that I did not let it stop me this time. I am all for stories of couples with pure and true love and this was one that captured my heart is I read more and more about Katherine and Steven. To be honest, I had no clue what the title of the book meant when I picked it up. I will save you from not knowing, even though it is explained well in the book, that a handfasting is a ritual of how two people are brought and bound together forever. Katherine and Steven have to be separated for ten years. Ten years is a long time! When they are finally reunited, the love and passion that they had for each other is still there. The romance is still there. Having to learn what each other have been up to for ten years is something that could have been trying on the couple, but their love for each other is just so strong. I wish there was more of this out in the world today. I was completely fascinated with the characters and how they were with each other. It made me want to jump in the story and take Katherine’s place and have Steven be my hubs before we got married. Imagination was running wild with this one, and that means that it was great! This is a must read for anyone who loves to feel emotion while they read and, of course, if you like a good romance. There was nothing too steamy in the novel, so there is nothing to worry about on that front. I would rate this a FIVE STAR novel. Thanks for such an amazing story David!
pellerini More than 1 year ago
Filled with a mix of emotions, The Handfasting is a book that will keep your attention, for sure!  I feel that David Burnett did a great job of bringing me into the era and really made me understand and feel for Katherine and all that she and Steven went through.  There were a few times I had to put the book down and come back to it later on - that is how evoking some of the situations were; very realistic.  I would recommend this - I felt it was a smooth read and worth the "aggravation" LOL.  I received a copy of this ebook for reviewing purposes from the author for Beck Valley Books.  The opinions are 100% my own!  
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I received an ARC of this book from the author in exchange for my honest opinion. All opinions are completely my own. The Handfasting is the story of Katherine and Steven and of young love, true love, and forever love. I had no clue what a Handfasting was when I started reading this book, but quickly learned a lot about the ritual and how it binds two people together forever. Promises are made and Steven says he will find Katherine in 10 years. Through fate a little work, Katherine and Steven are reunited 10 years later and the love is still there. They have a sweet romance and true love for each other. They have to learn about each other, again, after so many years apart. The emotions that they share pull you into the story and keep you there. I will tell you that there is a part in this book where I had to actually stop reading and put the book down because I was overwhelmed with emotion. I was able to come back to the book a little while later and finish reading, but to this day I can still see the scenes in this book that caused me to feel that way. Katherine is such a strong woman and it was interesting to see how she reacted to the different situations that were thrown her way. Both good and bad, she has amazing strength. The love between Steven and Katherine cannot be broken and it is a true romance story. This is definitely a must read book, with heart-tugging storylines that will keep you on the edge of your seat.
ruthhill74 More than 1 year ago
First of all, do not judge the book by the title. I was not looking forward to this book when I started it this morning (that's right--I read it one day). I expected it to be really strange because I couldn't remember the synopsis. All I can say is that if you like clean romances, I think I may have found a book that you will adore! Yes, I feel quite confident in calling this a clean romance. Why? The profanity is incredibly minimal--almost not even profanity. No misuse of God's name and nothing hardcore. There are also no bedroom scenes. In fact, the main characters don't sleep together before marriage! Wow! I was completely dumbfounded that this book has the most incredible romance formula, and this will be an author I would read any time! In fact, I believe I would set aside everything I am currently reading and give priority to his books.  Secondly, I want to say that when men write an outstanding romance novel, I am always blown away. I realize that sounds really sexist, but permit me this leeway. When I consider romance novels, I always think of women. I tend to associate men with thrillers, mystery, and often an inordinate amount of profanity. David Burnett writes a romance story with dynamic characters and a storyline that will keep you guessing. The story was never sappy, and it was one of the easiest books I have read in a while. I never lost interest in the story, and I struggled to put the book down. I was so immersed in the story that I genuinely cared about what happened to the characters. I love it when an author can get me so emotionally invested in the characters so that it will be truly memorable to me. This will be a book I can highly recommend, and I will not forget it any time soon. One note of warning--this does deal with the issue of rape, and it is a wonderful treatment of the topic. I appreciate the honesty and truth the author brought to this topic. I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I was not financially compensated, and all opinions are 100 percent mine.
ReadRateandReview More than 1 year ago
First of all I need to THANK BECK VALLEY BOOKS for yet another amazing book tour opportunity! They have yet to send me a book that I haven't loved and this one was no different! The author, David Burnett, absolutely grabbed me from page one. I was intrigued by the handfasting "ceremony" that was occurring and then after all of that the very first chapter threw me for a loop! Don't let that happen to you. To be honest I was so confused the first 10 pages or so of the book that I almost put it down for good but like I said I was intrigued and kept going back to it. Boy am I glad I did y'all! I seriously read this book from page 11 to the end in less than 12 hours! I couldn't put it down! The above summary tells you quite a bit so I don't really feel like it's necessary for me to go into the actual story but I will talk about the characters. Dr. Katherine "Katie" Jackson reminded me of the girl who is absolutely gorgeous and has no clue at all. She isn't one of those overly confident women who look at men and think "yeah I could have him" on the contrary, she is more reserved and just sweet in general. My favorite scene with her (aside from the last one) was in the very beginning when she was out with her friends celebrating her birthday and a young man comes up to her and asks her to dance. She immediately looked at his friends and realized that this man was asking her on a dare and made it a point to accept his offer to dance and seemed to really enjoy doing it. That is the type of person she was. Dr. Steven Richardson....hmmm I am not sure how to put this but in my head he is hot hot hot and I want him to have a british accent so very bad even though I am sure he doesn't since he was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia. When he originally reaches out to Katherine with the yellow roses, and then gives her the necklace as a birthday present, I fell for him myself! I wanted to "remember the yellow roses" too and I will say this much, I don't think I will ever look at a yellow rose the same after reading this book. Now on to my character I loved to hate. Bill WIlson. I can't stand him. I hate him. I really have nothing nice to say about him. Seriously Bravo Mr. Burnett for invoking such a crazy emotional response! Go get this book now! It's currently on sale for $3.99 at the time of this review and that is a ridiculously good deal! :) Perfect summer or vacation read!
lifeasleels More than 1 year ago
I didn’t think there was going to be much to this book. The main characters – Stephen and Katherine – were handfasted right away. The title of the book is The Handfasting so I figured there wasn’t much more to it. Until you realize that you then jump forward 10 years and that Stephen promised Katherine to find her 10 years later. I thoroughly enjoyed this book – it invoked several emotions. Katherine came from a small town that is very different than anything I personally would be able to survive in, but I understand that life, so the things that Katherine goes through, I can completely understand her points. Katherine’s other suitor, Bill Wilson, invokes all kinds of emotions on his own. And of course, Stephen himself invokes his own emotions as well. I really, really enjoyed this book. It was a great, interesting read that held my attention. I couldn’t read it fast enough! I definitely recommend The Handfasting to anyone and everyone who enjoys a good read! Disclosure: I received a free ebook copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are 100% my own.
k-koira More than 1 year ago
On the surface, I thought the Handfasting would be another sappy romance book. Once I started reading it, though, it was so much more. Yes, it has its share of sappy romance scenes. But it also manages to touch on some serious social issues.  The main character, Katherine, is very likable. It is easy to be drawn in and want her to succeed and be happy, and it is heartbreaking when anything bad happens to her. Steven is a realistic, strong male counterpoint in the story, a kind and decent person, and you really are hoping for them to be together, and happy.  I don't want this to be a spoiler review, so there isn't a whole lot more I can say. Except that some traumatic issues come up, which results in some seriously hard choices for both Steven and Katherine. Overall, I very much enjoyed this book. I plan on reading it again in the future.
AdriLisa More than 1 year ago
Exceptionally well written. Razzle-Dazzle! The Handfasting by David Burnett has to be a truly amazing story. It captures the reader’s desire to just want to settle some scores. What happened to that Southern Gallantry? Bill really has no idea that it exists and Katherine had to suffer through it all. After all said and done, Bill wants to marry Katie and that angered me.  Then, tears rolled from my eyes as Katherine closes the door of her bedroom leaving Stephen wondering what was going on. It was around Thanksgiving. I kept on reading and found some romantic parts to all this, after ten years of separation love between Katherine and Stephen still remained. In conclusion, love does exist. The Handfasting is a book I recommend for people who enjoy stories that can sound real and also that can make you visualize what love must endure to remain
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Amazing how a title grabs you and the story doesn't let you go! This is a romance where you want the last chapter as happy as the first, but life isn't that way. Power gets in the way, tries to set itself up as the ruler of reputations and life in general, attempting to ruin love by quashing it. But in the end it's hope that gives our heroine the strength to stand up and say ENOUGH. There aren't enough of these kind of stories in our dystopian world. Well worth the read
LenPhelps7 More than 1 year ago
The Handfasting by David Burnett is an excellent read with a beautiful love story. It had my attention from beginning all the way to the end.  Katherine Jackson is a beautiful young woman who graduated from college. She now lives in New York with two of her best friends and works at the local hospital. A few days before her birthday, she receives a surprise present. She read the card and is very surprised to find out the person that sent it. Hmmm! What can it be? Who is this mystery person? Her best friends want to know who it is, so Katherine tells them the story of the time when she met the mystery person…  In August 1967, after graduating high school, she went on a trip to England that summer before starting college and that is when she met Steven, a handsome young college man, for the very first time. They had a lot of the same interest in common so they hung out together until they went their separate ways to go see different islands. Not long after, Steven and Katherine had met up again on the main land and from then on they were always together. During that time they fell in love with each other.  Katherine and Steven end up in a little town near Edinburgh. That following day she is going there to meet up with her parents. On their last night together, they decide to visit the old abbey church and they do The Handfasting. What does it mean? The next day, Katherine and Steven go their separate ways. Their journey begins in August 1977, ten years later when Katherine meets up with Steven on the day of her birthday. They have a lot of catching up to do. She finds out that Steven has been living and working in New York for a few months. What will happen next? Is their love for each other still there? Where will their relationship go from here? After being together for a while, something traumatic happens to Katherine. Will she be able to get through her ordeal? Will their relationship be able to survive?  While I was reading, I can feel the love that Katherine and Steven have for each other and all the pain and hurt that Katherine had to deal with.  David Burnett has done an amazing job writing this beautiful love story. It is well written. The story line has love and tragedy all in one. I love it when a book has a happy ending. I definitely recommend my friends to read this awesome book. 
tiffany31 More than 1 year ago
Handfasting was a great love story. It all starts back in 1967 where Katie and Steven meet and fall in love with each other. They do a handfasting ceremony to get engaged but then decided to meet up with each other 10 yrs later after they finish college. Well after 10 yrs they both still think of each other and it was faith that those 2 belong together. Then you have Bill who wants to marry Katie and of course he is a prick through out the story would love to be in that book just to beat him myself. Overall this story is worth the read you have your happy moments and even some sad moments. Don't forget you will get angry as well but so worth it.