One of my work in progress novels has a romance/reincarnation theme. The narrative follows two time periods. This excerpt is from 1894. Gabriella was forced into a marriage with an older man, William by her father in an effort to gain social status. She falls in love with William’s younger brother, Arthur and their relationship has dire consequences. This excerpt finds William transporting his young wife to Italy.
The Twesome Loop
Chapter Eight – The Journey
A messenger arrived and was escorted to the library. In a matter of moments he was running back out of the door as William’s shouts were heard.
“We are travelling to Italy directly. Have our trunks packed for six months.”
The household was a hive of activity whilst Gabriella’s and William’s belongings were folded and laid in huge oak trunks. All the while Gabriella was not allowed to leave her rooms and could only speculate on William’s instructions.
With two carriages packed Gabriella was escorted to one whilst William rode in the other. Even when he walked past her carriage window, he did not look in or speak to her. The journey would be long but fortunately, she was allowed to have Maryann accompany her. The young woman showed such dedication to her mistress and Gabriella had grown fond of her maid during the previous months. Maryann’s experience had shown her that Gabriella’s sickness was caused by her being with child and the two women became close in the secret for a time.
Gabriella’s hand smoothed over her corseted belly her mind troubled. Whose child was it? Surely not William’s after that brutal act by the fireside. If the child was Arthur’s she would be happy to carry it but if William suspected he was not the father there was no knowing what he was capable of.
The journey was indeed long and arduous but Gabriella kept her spirits up by thinking of the moment she would see Arthur again. Maryann was as excited as she was with all the new outlooks and vistas, the different foods and the sounds of foreign tongues. After several weeks stopping at various inns at night and travelling in the heat of the day they arrived at a hilltop villa. The view indeed was spectacular and the villa itself a fine building.
“Tell your mistress she can choose her rooms from any at the back of the villa. I will reside in the fore quarters.”
“Tell your mistress I do not require her presence at my table and certainly do not want to see her during our stay here.”
Gabriella could only watch William stride toward the gardens. Deep inside she was glad he would not touch her but was concerned as to his motives. She walked with Maryann to the rear of the villa and choose rooms on the eastern side over looking an olive grove. With the unpacking done and a light supper eaten she decided to stroll in the garden. The evening air was still warm but a light breeze cooled her skin pleasantly. She had been disappointed when Arthur did not appear to greet them but maybe he would arrive in the morning.
My questions are -
a) Do you get a sense of era?
b) Did the excerpt intrigue you?
c) Would you continue to read?
d) What changes should I make?
e) Should I expand this section?