“If you happened to look up happiness in the dictionary…” What a great start to a fascinating tale, as happy Staff Sergeant Harold Hobbs returns to finally meet his newborn child. But his old friend Peter seems worried, distracted, uncertain even. And Gloria seems determined to let it be known that she knows a secret. Still, Harold’s going to see his child, and Harold is happy, until…
Readers might guess the cause of the betrayal, but betrayal there surely must have been, and Harold ceases to know anything even close to happiness. Some assumptions are just so obvious, why would one choose to question them? And some things are just plain wrong.
Harold’s convinced Peter’s actions were just plain wrong, and perhaps they were. Or perhaps fate played a cruel trick on him. In the end, all our deeds and misdeeds have consequences, happy or otherwise, and the reader has to hope Harold still might find some happiness someday. The Secret Branch is a short tale that pulls readers in, turns them around, and turns assumptions on their head. Wise and neat with very genuine characters and emotion, it’s an enjoyable read.
Disclosure: I learned this was free, loved the cover, and immediately “bought” a copy.