SYNOPSIS: “The Hidden Path” - By Rosalie Ross
A Christian Romance of 136,770 words
1970. A quiet roadside near the remote Tananeach Inn in the Scottish Highlands. ALEXANDER GRANT rests to pray to “The Boss” (God). He is a 38 year old Christian and a partially disabled, retired Army bomb disposal expert. An unknown young woman, YVONNE WILLIAMS, walks past. The Boss tells him that he will marry her. However, Yvonne, aged 27, has no particular faith and she has been unable to commit to any relationship or place for the past ten years. Knowing that she is emotionally damaged, she has recently made a firm decision to simplify her life by having as little to do with men as possible.
The couple’s path crosses again when he rescues her after she believes herself to be trapped in a telephone box by RABBIE, a semi-domesticated stag. Soon after, she is “volunteered” to assist Alex with the refurbishment of Braegarroch Manor, a Christian temporary rest and convalescent home for military personnel. They become increasingly attracted to each other, something which she fights hard against, but to which, after some initial reluctance, he willingly surrenders.
Yvonne’s other problem comes in the form of NIALL TURVEY, the Inn’s volatile chef, who has been treating her with hostility since her arrival. Through deception, he persuades her to leave, thus creating a position for his supposedly pregnant fiancé. Later he is exposed as a liar and sacked.
Although relieved that her job is now secure, Yvonne becomes concerned about her growing feelings for Alex, who she admires as a person as well as for his faith. She determines to ascertain his intentions towards her, saddened that she would inevitably bring him only unhappiness if he is serious. They argue and she tells him about her decision.
The snow arrives, and although the Inn becomes isolated, life for those inside does not stand still. Yvonne and Alex share their first passionate kiss and discuss her decision in more depth. He tries to persuade her to have some counselling and gives her a Bible. Although drawn to the claims of Jesus, she realises that she has a problem with being unable to forgive her father.
The thaw begins and Rabbie’s slaughtered, decomposing body is discovered; Niall is thought to be the culprit. Yvonne and Alex start to meet regularly. She tells him that she loves him but is unable to control her inner fears. He understands her dilemma and tries to reassure her that all will be well, but does not reveal what The Boss told him that day in the heather.
Braegarroch Manor opens. Yvonne begins to have counselling and is dismayed when she is still unable to forgive her father. Unwilling to be a hypocrite, she resists the urge to become a Christian, and therefore, a suitable partner for Alex.
Alex discovers that her father is living in Wales and encourages her to confront him. The night before the meeting, and knowing that God loves her just as she is, she finally surrenders to His love and becomes a Christian. She meets her father again, and strengthened by the indwelling presence of her new Heavenly Father, is prepared and unaffected when her human father verbally attacks her. He reveals his reasons for his rejection of her, and although not entirely convinced by his story, she nevertheless recognises that he is an extremely unhappy and bitter individual, and is therefore able to forgive him.
Alex and Yvonne return to Scotland. Soon after, they visit one of the Hebridean islands and spend a few gloriously busy and happy days enjoying all that it has to offer. It is here that Alex finally reveals his secret, and assures her that he would have loved her with or without The Boss’s influence. They become engaged. As they approach the Inn on their return, Yvonne knows that she has been guided along the right path - and feels truly settled at last, knowing Who her Companion (God) along that path will always be.