Beth M. Caruso
GENRE: Historical Fiction
Marie du Trieux, a tavern keeper with a salty tongue and a heart of gold, struggles as she navigates love and loss, Native wars, and possible banishment by authorities in the unruly trading port of New Amsterdam, an outpost of the Dutch West India Company.
In New England, John Tinker, merchant and assistant to a renowned alchemist and eventual leader of Connecticut Colony, must come to terms with a family tragedy of dark proportions, all the while supporting his mentor’s secret quest to find the Northwest Passage, a desired trading route purported to mystically unite the East with the West.
As the lives of Marie and John become intertwined through friendship and trade, a search for justice of a Dutch woman accused of witchcraft in Hartford puts them on a collision course affecting not only their own destinies but also the fate of colonial America.
One day, a much older man came to visit Papa at his little farm. His name was Cornelis Volckertsen Viele. I had known him since he first came to New Amsterdam. He had been friends with Papa from the early days of Manhattan. Now a widower, he started hanging around our farm and seemed more interested in visiting me than Papa.
When he saw me again after many months, he commented about my condition.
“Marie, I see you have gotten into a little trouble since you became a woman. Ah, but the baby, she is a beautiful child,” he added and winked, touching my shoulder with a familiar pat.
I sulked and pulled back.
“Now, now, Marie. Don’t take me seriously. I heard what happened. The whole town knows of your escapade with that knave of a young man, Pieter. Count your blessings that it did not work out. Had I been your father though, I don’t think young Pieter would be as unscathed. It will be fine, my dear. You mustn’t worry. Your future can still be bright,“ he smiled.
And so, that was how Cornelis, a man thirty-three years my senior, inserted himself into my life. Many years a trader and the owner of the great ship Fortune, he helped me to form a thousand paintings in my mind of his adventures in faraway places.
From time to time, he would say. “Marie, I am a solitary widower. What I long for more than anything are the kindnesses and the companionship of a warm-hearted young woman,” he pleaded.
“Cornelis, I will sit with you as long as you tell me your stories, your splendid stories of places I can only imagine,” I’d reply. I was at ease with him but in no rush to be the bride of an old trader. His patience, his kind- heartedness, and the fact that he was half French made our relationship a comfortable one.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Award-winning author, Beth M. Caruso, is passionate to discover and convey important and interesting stories of women from earlier times. She recently won the literary prize in Genre Fiction (2020) from IPNE (Independent Publishers of New England) for her most recent novel The Salty Rose: Alchemists, Witches & A Tapper In New Amsterdam (2019). The Salty Rose is Beth’s second historical novel and explores alchemy in early colonial times, an insider’s view of the takeover of the Dutch colony of New Netherland, and the Hartford Witch Panic with information she gathered from previous and ongoing research. Beth’s first historical novel is One of Windsor: The Untold Story of America’s First Witch Hanging (2015), a novel that tells the tale of Alice ‘Alse’ Young and the beginnings of the colonial witch trials. She based the story on original research she did by exploring early primary sources such as early Windsor land records, vital statistics, and other documents. She lives in Connecticut with her family. Beth kayaks and gardens to unwind.
dates can be found here