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Brae MacKenzie: A Romance of Mythic Identity by Kenneth John Atchity

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Brae MacKenzie, a successful San Francisco painter, is a woman who seems to have it all but who's felt a sense of loss and longing since childhood. Her artistic passion hasn't filled that void, and with the untimely death of her charismatic husband, the old pain resurges.

Brae's father senses his daughter's pain and before she embarks for an exhibit in England he hands her a family heirloom hidden away for years...a letter: "Since you are still among the living, your heart is not broken...follow the map," Brae reads, "to Scotland."

The London exhibit, in its ultra-chic hollowness, prompts Brae into taking and advice of that bewildering letter. She hops a train for Glasgow.

When the train goes through a tunnel and emerges in an infinite forest of Scotch pines, descendants of the ancient Caledonian forest, Brae suddenly feels something. This is her stop; she just knows it.

She met at the station by Damon, a stranger, or perhaps not. He becomes her own personal tour guide to the myths and history of a past she never knew--and to a romance she never dreamed of having.

She had it all, beauty, love, wealth and fame, but her soul was empty. It wasn’t the loss of her perfect husband, her painting did not give her joy, she was empty inside, something was missing. Brae MacKenzie by Kenneth John Atchity is an almost dream-like journey of the heart and soul for one woman, lost within her inner torment she could not identify. Perhaps the exhibit she was attending in England would sooth her pain, or just maybe a family heirloom will lead her to her destiny in Scotland.

Curiosity and a feeling that she must go to Scotland sends Brae on a quest to find answers. Little did she know they would come in the form of a handsome man with a head full of stories, a heart full of legends and a soul that fits hers, perfectly.

Kenneth John Atchity has created a world of beauty and ugliness, joy and sorrow and wrapped it in the gauze of belief, belief that sometimes things are not black and white, they are not obvious, they just are. Follow a broken soul as it finds the glue to repair itself in the arms of another as love blossoms between two people that would never have met, if not for an old and cryptic letter. Not a read to rush through, but one to savor and feel each scene, each emotion, including the love between family and friends that cannot quite reach Brae’s dark inner pain. Realize the truth that not money or fame can bring the joy of true love. Although not a long read, Mr. Atchity has mastered the art of storytelling that will float through your heart.--Tome Tender, 5 stars

Goodreads Summary

I really enjoy books set in Scotland. The lush descriptions and "wild" feeling are palpable throughout the book. I mostly felt bad for Brae, a young woman who lost her husband and isn't nearly as responsive as she normally is. She searches for answers to her lack of emotion and arrives at the idea that she must go to Scotland (that would certainly give me a pick me up!). When she gets to Scotland, she meets Damon, a man with an old soul. Feeling as though they already know each other, they travel around Scotland and gradually Brae begins to feel more like herself. 

I really liked getting to know Damon. It took him much of the book to open up. I did not fully guess at what his problem was, but I was close! I liked how the romance developed more from a friendship (the best kind!). Brae's character was interesting. She wasn't the chipper, always-thinking character that I am used to and sometimes her seeming depression was a little on the annoying side, but I liked how she clearly cared for her son and had the resilience to recover from her losses.  This would be a fun read for adult readers!

4 Stars

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