The Graft by Isabelle Rowan
Sean and Daniel have both been married before, yet when new legislation allows same-sex couples to register their partnership, Daniel begins to question their relationship. But Sean knows they are meant to be together.
I first met this author reading her fabulous book A Note In the Margin, which by the way if you haven’t read this book—go read it now. Yes, Now. But for those that are not under a rock, this author is able to pack more emotion and depth into just a few pages than most can offer in 100 pages. This short story is part of the Dreamspinner series “To Have and To Hold” and it’s really wonderful. Coming in at only 20 pages, you’ll be sorry this story ends but at the same time, it’s a complete short story and well fitting.
Sean and Daniel have been together for a few years. There is a slight inconsistency here where the beginning states they’ve been together for five years and later Sean muses it’s been three years. So the intent is several years to at least establish their relationship and connection. Both men have been married before and each has fathered children, yet they are comfortable together without making a big deal about their orientation or sexuality. To these men it’s very simple; it feels right to be together. This calm intuition typifies the relationship between these two older men who handle a partial long distance relationship due to work.
What hallmarks the beauty of this short story is not only the wonderful prose and realistic relationship infused with warmth, love, and simmering passion, but also the reality of marriage between same sex couples. This highlights the need to offer partners the choice, the option to get married if they so choose rather than denying that celebration and recognition. Sean and Daniel don’t necessarily need or want the pomp and circumstance of a marriage, no more polyester suits thankfully, but their relationship has purpose and importance to them.
Similarly the hand fasting ceremony was really quite lovely and a parallel to the apple graft tree Sean was tending at the beginning. Like the apple tree, the parts will come together over the years creating something strong and unique. I find it impossible to read such a lovely story as this and not feel the weight and importance of possibilities for others. As a story highlighting the importance of marriage and equal rights or a beautiful romance, this short tale delights and will entice the reader.
Just go get it. You’ll be happy you did.
Get it HERE!
*A small plug for
who is doing 1 paragraph reviews of the entire series. Emily’s 1 short story a day for a month are very popular so check out her take on this series.