The One is a journey into the power of second chances and the startling discovery of life’s purpose when a Wellesley professor, unlucky in love, is lured to a famed New England Inn where a mysterious woman awaits with heart-stopping news that will alter his life forever.
Robert Butterfield struggles with oncoming middle age, specifically with the kind of man he is versus the one he’d once wanted to be. His words and thoughts are often infused with fragments of incandescent poetry even as he is hounded by a pain-filled past. The son of a renowned conductor, Robert’s dreams are pierced with the darkness of his father’s nature and his own failure to develop into the poet he’d dreamed of becoming as a youth. Possessed of the neurological, often inherited, condition of synesthesia (a condition shared, researchers say, by one in seven artists) his dreams, writing, and emotion often take on conflicting and mind-boggling color. Jamie Pryce is the enigmatic woman whose subterfuge has brought Robert to the Von Trapp mountain in Vermont where, as a child, he’d come to know an elderly Sound of Music Maria (based on the author’s true-life relationship as a boy). Driven by demons of her past, Jamie is a charismatic spirit whose spontaneity and hunger for purpose push Robert to face the restricted boundaries under which he has labored. Clear-eyed and pragmatic (As she proclaims, “There are no fairytales. I was always more interested in what happens after midnight.”) she hurtles towards regaining something lost in her past while facing a portentous decision that awaits. When forces outside the mountain enclave press in, Robert and Jamie are thrust into desperate action, catapulting their relationship (and that of a singular mystery character) onto a path of danger with an impossible, life-changing promise of redemption.
The celebrated Trapp Family gave me unrivaled access to their property and past for which I am deeply grateful to Johannes, Maria’s son, and her grandson, Sam. My hope is to turn this novel into an interactive experience, connecting it to the myriad of stunning trails and secret havens in and around the Trapp Lodge in Vermont’s Green Mountains, allowing readers to both sample the physical terrain and join the characters in the exciting mix of poetry, dark secrets, and unbridled passion.