In 1860, Serena Farrar wants nothing more than to be a writer. Her home is in Brunswick, Massachusetts. Her aspirations to work on a newspaper in Springfield are foiled when her father makes a deal with Brant Parnell, a sea captain, to marry his daughter. Serena, a woman ahead of her time, is an independent and feisty young woman who balks at the proposition. She doesn’t even like the arrogant and self-serving seaman. When she learns the marriage will aid her father’s failing business, she follows her duty. Fortunately for Serena, the marriage entails a move to New Bedford, which allows her to work as a writer for the New Bedford Mercury. Serena and Brant are stubbornly recalcitrant, and as the drama plays out, their pride and egos will engage the reader in their battling, precarious romance. Brant runs away to sea, and Serena moves to New Bern, North Carolina to be with her sister. They realize early on that their marriage is a sham, and each time they are reunited, they are combative and often hurtful. A lingering sense of remorse remains.
Daheim places the characters of Serena and Brant, both Yankees, in North Carolina, a Confederate state, an interesting slant in this historical novel. Serena starts up a newspaper called the Leader. She is determined to provide objective and news articles of high standard for the local citizens. The Civil War is the backdrop for Reunion, but it is not an essential setting. A quintessential romantic novel with historical elements that will provide dramatic, engaging appeal, and a fun and whimsical read.