BENJAMIN is a story of love and faith, wrought with all the complications and complexities thereof.
“Have you ever had one of those glasses of “really good” wine or a slice of bitter-sweet pie? When the taste first hits your mouth, you think; this is pretty good stuff… but, well, my socks aren’t knocked off by it. Then in the seconds or minutes following it hits you again. And over time you find yourself remembering that taste… that mysterious, haunting delight to your senses… and if you look down, you may discover bare feet. Because what at first blush is quite good, over time leaves you haunted and follows your senses, rides the edge of your memory, and ignites your fancy again and again. That is how I feel about Benjamin. I read it first almost a year ago, but it haunts me still. I would call that an excellent read! Thanks Kathryn, you and Benjamin, always on my mind.” ~Kathleen King
“Out of the last 100+ novels I have read, this ranks #1. I loved this book. It has all the elements I enjoy and immersed me in another world. It has love, romance, intrigue, fantasy and beautiful imagery. The quality of the writing and the story is in J.K. Rowling’s league and I’m certain if the author were already famous, this would be on the bestseller lists.”
BACK COVER REVIEWS FOR BENJAMIN
…Eldon Thompson, author of the fantasy series The Legend of Asahiel http://www.eldonthompson.com/… “Mattingly writes with an artist’s flair, richly interweaving passion and suspense in this heartfelt tale of forbidden love and its unforeseen consequences. By turns poignant and shocking, Benjamin is at once a literary romance and a contemporary thriller, rife with spiritual themes and stunning plot twists. A must for readers who delight in a dramatic situation from which there is no apparent escape…”
…Ed Goldman, columnist for the Sacramento Business Journal Ed Goldman… With “Benjamin,” Kathryn Mattingly has created a story and characters brimming with emotion, intelligence and spirituality. The book takes a number of twists and turns but never forgets to keep us grounded as we join her narrator’s journey, from her being mystified to sanctified and, ultimately, to finding fulfillment.
…Tracy Saville, publisher of Possibility Books Possibilitycompany.com Kathryn Mattingly’s prose feels steeped in a literary broth that makes reading Benjamin an experience that transcends an average genre read. You fall into the emotional hearts and minds of Mattingly’s characters, whose path of revelation feels very personal and resonant. Kudos to Winter Goose for the smart move.”
“The doves are like love would be if you could hold it… soft, warm and gentle. Their coos are the sound love would make… if love could speak. And when they fly… they are love in motion.” ~Benjamin
“Benjamin.” Sarah whispered it with finality, as if now everything would be tolerable. “I’ve missed you.” There was the hint of a smile on her face.
“I’ve missed you, too, Sarah.” He paused, carefully moving a stray hair off her forehead. “The sparrow flew away today. She’s all healed.”
Sarah’s face lit up in response.
“You should’ve seen her, Sarah. She fell for a second and then flapped her wings wildly, fighting it, fighting the fall. Then she flew up… up really high…” Benjamin glanced out the window and Sarah turned her head to follow his gaze. “…made a sharp turn and was gone.”
“I wish I could have been there,” Sarah sighed.
Benjamin put his hand on her forehead. “You need to catch your fall, Sarah. Like the sparrow. Fight it.”
“I do believe in demons and that there are angels among us… such as yourself” ~Daniel
My eyes never left the spacious and intricate altar area, watching every move made by the younger priest in black robes. I couldn’t see his facial features well enough to determine if it was Daniel or not, but the height and build seemed right, and whoever it was, he had light hair. The older priest spoke intelligently, his words weighty and measured, but I couldn’t concentrate. My mind raced uncontrollably to the past and then anxiously lingered in the present. Benjamin listened intently, his expression one of fascination, soaking up all that was happening like a sponge.
When it was time for communion my heart began pounding. I prayed for strength and took slow deep breaths as I entered the center aisle with Benjamin right in front of me. We followed the procession of worshipers until it was our turn for communion. I didn’t have the courage to lift my head and look into the faces of the priests on the way up. I felt weak and shaky, afraid if I did look at them I would surely faint.
Body of Christ, bread of heaven echoed in my ears as we approached the altar. Benjamin knelt in front of me and accepted the host into his mouth, just as everyone else had done. Blood of Christ, cup of salvation. He drank from the goblet, still mimicking other worshipers, then made the sign of the cross before circling back to our pew. I knelt and heard the words body of Christ, bread of heaven, and looked up into the face of Daniel, his cyan blue eyes showing immediate recognition. I felt a rush of warmth as he set the host on my tongue. Daniel’s face drained of color and he wavered slightly, his golden hair shimmering under the lit candles as he caught his breath. Blood of Christ, cup of salvation. I drank from the goblet and then stood to face him.
Amen… was all I could say, in barely a whisper.
Tori… emerged, weakly, from Daniel’s lips.
“He sees his love for you as a weakness to indulge, not a strength to embrace.”
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