By Brenda Edde
May 19, 2004 - 1:42:00 PM

Dr. Bridget O'Keefe looks around her new clinic in the small town of Lacrimas, North Carolina, her position as physician in charge of Kurt Walker's new spaceport currently under construction is her escape from the corporate infighting at her old job at Duke Medical Center.  The tip about her new job that came from her friend Debbie seemed a godsend, one she intended to take full advantage of for the three years she is contracted.. Shortly after arriving in Lacrimas, Bridget meets Lilith who brings her a present of a Bouvier Des Flanders dog, named Shelley. Kurt just 'happens' to be around and the meeting she witnesses between Lilith and Kurt is subtly antagonistic, yet she can see the attraction between them, one that Lilith is obviously resisting.  Months later when a flood occurs and Bridget is drawn further into the complicated entanglements of the locals, Kurt and the Harker family, she is reminded of her plan to just do her job then return to her true love, pure research in human genetics.

Time rolls on, the repercussions from the flood draw the Harker family and Bridget even closer, Shiloh's rescue of a very distant cousin has resulted in a night of passion and Maellan's pregnancy.  Bridget begins her pre-natal care, learns more of Harker history and in order to provide complete care, she sends to Duke a blood sample from Shiloh, triggering a chain reaction that will bring the Harker's and Bridget to the attention of those who have only greed on their minds.


As Lilith, Shiloh and Nathaniel grow closer to Bridget their empathic abilities begin to merge, the bonds between them go to a deeper level; Lilith and Bridget become oath-sisters, Nathaniel and Shiloh begin a courtship they hope will bring her into the family on a permanent basis.  A courtship that is interrupted when Bridget and Uncle Percy are kidnapped, the Harker family and their allies in town race to save them, will the bonds formed be strong enough to help.


COVENANTS is a complicated story of a family whose genetic differences drove them to isolate themselves almost into extinction and their attempt to forge new bonds in order to survive.  Ms. Karmazin's saga is revealed layer by layer and isn't a story that can be read in one sitting.  A pen and paper nearby could be helpful as the connections are made one by one told in true Southern style, handed down generation to generation.   As you work your way through the story, the Harker family confronts natural disaster, betrayed love and death, yet survive to bring their family into the 21st century, finding the courage to believe in the inherent goodness of people and to love once again.  Covenants builds to a climatic ending with a surprise twist and leaves room for another story sure to come.

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