Wedding Tales continues the magic of the inspirational love story told in Mary Sullivan Esseff's previous book, The Butterfly & The Snail. On January 29, 1966, as Rebecca Butler and Khalil Khoury exchange vows, an unexpected blizzard piles up snow so deep that it shuts down the East Coast for a week. Snowed in family members pass the time by sharing tales of why their ancestors emigrated to America. Wedding Tales, Book One: Love's Journey contains stories of Rebecca's German and Khalil's Lebanese ancestors who underwent religious persecution, murder, and treachery that forced them to leave their homelands.
Wedding Tales, Book One: Love’s Journey provides stories of Rebecca and Khalil’s ancestors who overcome great hardships while they display courage and fortitude in the face of horrific events. In the late 1800s, Rebecca’s German ancestors experience murder and attempted rape by the son of a wealthy German nobleman. Khalil’s Lebanese forbears face massacre resulting from marauding renegade soldiers during the last years of the Ottoman Empire.
Despite how terribly they are injured, we learn how both sets of ancestors forgive those who wronged them. The ability to forgive their enemies seems almost miraculous. Is it this forgiveness that enables their ancestors’ to survive and grow as they face the inevitable hardships in their new lives in North America?
The account does not end here. In the sequel, Wedding Tales, Book Two: Honeymoon Caper resumes the suspense-building saga of Rebecca and Khalil on their honeymoon as well as the ongoing journeys of their predecessors’ journey to America. In Wedding Tales, Rebecca and Khalil display the strength and resiliency of their ancestors.
Although these events took place over a hundred years ago, the same issues are evident in the world today: the plight of immigrants fleeing from terror in their homelands, facing cultural differences in the new world, overcoming prejudice and intolerance, finding employment that pays a living wage, and more. Anyone who experiences intolerance or prejudice, whether as an immigrant or a native-born citizen, will identify with the struggles of Rebecca and Khalil and their ancestors. Readers are sure to gain invaluable insights from how the characters resolve and overcome adversities.
A tenor’s voice, passionate and pure, draws shy Rebecca Butler into the Studentenheim’s crowded social room. Finished singing, Khalil Khoury notices her sitting alone, joins her, then notices no one else. Georgetown University’s 1964 summer program opens; Salzburg’s magic begins.
The Butterfly & The Snail interweaves several heartfelt encounters, creating a fabric of love and intimacy that transforms their lives forever. On one outing, Rebecca loses her footing and tumbles down Untersberg Mountain. Khalil risks his life-and almost loses it-to save Rebecca from falling off the peak. Two days later, Rebecca discovers a newborn butterfly and then spies a snail picking its way up the path. These creatures come to symbolize this couple’s extraordinary relationship. Relaxing on Gaisberg’s hillside, Rebecca reveals the turmoil she’s had to overcome to gain inner peace. Yet, she confesses, her heart’s desire-love-has eluded her. When Khalil reacts with sympathy and compassion, she desires that powerful, mystical love radiating from within him. She asks, “How can I love like you?” His answer binds them together forever.
Six weeks later, the program ends. As Rebecca says good-bye, Khalil hands her an envelope: “Not to be opened until out of Salzburg.” Is this his auf Wiedersehen or the beginning of a deeper relationship? Discover if their magic continues beyond Salzburg.