A Time to Keep
In 1909, Ben and Matthew live in England, where their tender love for each other is hidden, as exposure would guarantee their death by hanging. They survived the harsh conditions of the public workhouse but finally leave when they turn sixteen. All they dream about is a “small cottage” with its own vegetable garden and a place for a few chickens. Initially, they survive on the food that kind people offer as they traipse through the country, but their luck changes after they save a young girl from drowning. They are offered jobs and the place of their dreams. This story of their love is depicted in serene, peaceful ways, highlighting the normalcy of their relationship, with minor spats mixed in with their growth as independent, responsible workers. Then their lives are shattered by WWI. A third character, Sam, offers hope after these very hard years. Some stories depict love in its simplicity and quiet dignity. Nicely crafted historical fiction.