By Julian Silva
The Gunnysack Castle is principally the story of Vince Woods, and Anglicized Portuguese who rises from the ashes of his childhood dreams to become one of San Oriel’s wealthiest and most powerful citizens. A man of strong lusts and inflexible will, he attempts to manipulate the members of his family just as he does everyone else in the town who comes under his influence. The dynasty he longs to found ends in bitterness with his own demise.
Concurrent with his story is that of Belle Bettencourt, his equally willful, though touchingly powerless sister-in-law, whose open defiance of both family and convention ostracizes her from the community and leads her into a life as publicly scandalous as it is privately innocent.
Julian Silva’s family roots run deep in the San Francisco Bay area, having first been transplanted there from the Azores in the 1870s. He was born some four generations later in San Lorenzo, which has served loosely as the model for the fictional San Oriel. A study for the character of Belle Bettencourt was published by Cosmopolitan Magazine. Other stories have appeared in the University of Colorado’s Writer’s Forum number 6 and 7.
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