Blessed with an innate optimism and a magical childhood, Elisabeth Belle Sterling discovers that the path to happily-ever-after love is not as easily obtained as she had always imagined. The Camelot-like love she longs for seems like only a dream until she meets the handsome Kincaid Patterson, a West Point graduate who carries a dark secret from his past. Theirs is a passionate and unconditional love that has to confront a painful past, heart-searing separation, and the greatest of all tragedies. But the biggest obstacle is the loss of faith that threatens to undermine all that they have. Set in the South in the 1960s and ‘70s against the backdrop of the Vietnam War, “Save My Place” is a beautifully written love story of two people who search deep within their souls to save each other through their love and devotion.
This is Olivia DeBelle Byrd’s second book and first novel. “Save My Place” (Mercer University Press 2014) is a beautiful love story, commendable in its ability to portray the best of human nature amid dire circumstances. The author will be holding a “Stories and Sweets” event at McIntosh Book Shoppe from noon to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 8.
“Save My Place” is the story of Elisabeth’s meeting and marrying her beloved Kincaid, and the evolution of their married life even as difficulties arise. Elisabeth’s jaunty voice lifts us, along with herself and Kincaid, through seemingly unbearable situations. Upon meeting her, Kincaid exclaims, “You strike me as a very entertaining person.” Indeed, Elisabeth’s ability to find humor and joy amid sorrows, such as Kincaid’s deployment to fight in the Vietnam War, enlightens us about a powerful source of resiliency.
Still, Elisabeth is a realist. Though she wishes to abide in Peter Pan’s Neverland existence, and has a “magic door inside … that kept all the ills of the world at bay,” the door comes ajar. When their child is diagnosed with leukemia, Elizabeth’s indomitable spirit eventually allows her to engage in life and assist her husband in doing the same.
Olivia DeBelle Byrd has created an admiral character for readers to appreciate in “Save My Place.” Her first book of personal essays, “Miss Hilbreth Wore Brown,” was the Silver Medal winner of the 2011 Florida Publishers Association President’s Book Awards.
McIntosh Book Shoppe is located on Bay Street in downtown Beaufort. For details, call 524-1066.