The Circle Unbroken, by Nancy Massand

An impulsive choice, an untimely death, a shattered family. Can love survive even this?

Shy, tongue-tied Mavis Powell spins out of control when she first sets eyes on Harris Brown, her cousin’s street-smart best friend. The turbulent early sixties underscores challenging obstacles as they navigate the fine line between Mavis’ religious family and Harris’ roots in the Harlem clubs. Having lost her parents in a tragic Mississippi church bombing, Mavis turns to Harris for comfort despite the misgivings of her aunt and uncle, who feel she’s too vulnerable to handle his killer smile.

Eloping with Harris at sixteen is the least of Mavis’ problems.  Shunned by her adopted family when they blame Harris for their son’s death, Mavis makes the transition from sheltered preacher’s daughter to wisecracking waitress in a local Harlem lunch joint. Harris’ parents are separated, hard-drinking and resentful of each other. Although grateful for their acceptance, Mavis longs for her two families to be united, especially now that she is pregnant. Her family flatly refuses. Their rejection, on top of the financial struggles and the challenges of marrying young, puts a terrible strain on Mavis and Harris. Their first year together threatens to be their last. What does it take to heal a broken family? How do you save a love that’s pulled so tight it’s ready to snap?