Book: Scion of Gethsemane by B. A. Braxtoncategories: Book, Contemporary Fiction, True Life, Love, Friendships, Physical Abuse, Friendship Between Women, Art, Painting, Paraplegia, Wheelchair Bound, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Literary Fiction
B. A. Braxtonabout this book: I was inspired to write a story centering around a beautiful woman's attraction to an average-looking man in a wheelchair, because I was tired of reading stories about the perfect woman getting together with the perfect man and then having a perfect life with him. Now that's fiction! It's my hope that people will begin to see past society's idea of what is beautiful and what is handsome, and begin to admire people for who they are inside. No obsessions over physicality allowed here. If couples could meet one another with blindfolds on and just sit down together and talk for awhile, I think we would all be so much happier.
I like to write realistic stories, and although some of my stories have pleasant and even happy endings, the path the characters take to get to that wonderful place in their lives is usually quite bumpy. In my opinion, realism, above all else, is what makes a story believable. And fictional stories need to be believable, or people just won't bother to read them.
It took years for me to come up with the title Scion of Gethsemane. As a matter of fact, I wrote this story back in 1991 and since that time, it has undergone at least five title changes. But none of the titles ever felt right until now. A good title is a thing of beauty, and in some ways even more difficult to come up with than the story itself. Just as a great poem is a thing of beauty and can only be mastered as a result of a lot of blood, sweat, and thought, a great title also requires a tremendous effort. It's wonderful when you finally come up with a title that really touches your heart. I've been writing for over forty years now, and in all that time I have only come up with two titles that really bring me a lot of satisfaction and joy.
The word scion has two meanings, and I wanted to incorporate both of its meanings into my title. First of all, a scion is a descendant, and in this case I'm referring to a descendant of the Dru family. A scion is also a detached shoot from a plant that has been grafted onto a rootstock. Throughout the story I play on the concepts of family and plants, suggesting the similarities to a family tree, if you will. Paige Barhydt's love for family and friends and her love of plants are intentional, recurrent themes. It was also my intention to take these themes to the point of blurring the line between them, hopefully to the point of making the two one and the same.
Gethsemane is a place of great suffering, so called because of the agony and suffering that Jesus had experienced in the garden of Gethsemane before being betrayed by Judas. In my story, the Drus' inner city row house is a self-described Gethsemane for Jasmine Dru because her life there is so difficult. And although Paige is the woman pictured on the cover of the book and at times endures more than her fair share of suffering during the story, Jasmine Dru is the actual scion of Gethsemane to which the title refers. (The cover image is only a detail of the complete sketch, which includes both Jasmine and Paige with the trunk of an olive tree between them.) And the big question throughout the story is a simple one: will Jasmine live long enough to escape her own personal Gethsemane, or will she be destined to live in that hell forever? Or, worse yet, will she succumb to the evil found there just as Jesus had so long ago?
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