By Marilyn Baron
When I visited Bermuda for the first time, I fell in love with the moon gates, which is why a moon gate is featured on the cover of my new novel from The Wild Rose Press, Under the Moon Gate, a contemporary and World War II romantic thriller/historical set in Bermuda. The words Moon Gate are also featured in the title of the book and moon gates are an integral theme throughout the story.
Legend has it that people who step through a Moon Gate, an arch, especially young lovers and honeymooners, are blessed with good luck. They are a very special tradition of Bermuda. According to the jeweler, Astwood Dickinson, where I bought my moon gate pendant, from their Bermuda collection, to celebrate the launch of my new book, it is said that when a newly married couple “steps through a moon gate,” arm in arm, they are completing the circle of life. This is supposed to bring lifelong prosperity and happiness.
The Moon Gate is considered mystical because it is believed that the design and the legend of the Moon Gate originally came to Bermuda from the Orient. The first plan for a Moon Gate in Bermuda was brought from a Chinese garden in 1860 by a local sea captain (and a sea captain is also featured in my book). He drew the design of a circular, ornamental wooden gateway to a garden or place of inner repose and, once back in Bermuda, built one of his own. It was copied. It has since been adopted by Bermuda as a national symbol. There are many Moon Gates in Bermuda. The Bermuda version is built of Bermuda stone and often, but not always, used as an entrance to a garden. The Bermuda Moon Gate is slightly different from the original Chinese design, as it is often left free-standing or attached to low wall.
No one is exactly sure when or how, but the first Moon Gate in Bermuda is believed to have been built between Par-la-Ville gardens and those of the former Bermudiana Hotel grounds. That was long before Par-la-Ville Road was built, when the former gardener of the Duke of Westminster in the United Kingdom was employed to design the formal gardens for the British shipping organization Furness Withy. That was in the 1920s and it was the first of the Bermuda Moon Gates in hotel properties. Today you will find the same design—with its enlarged keystone at the top—a decorating the entrance to many Bermuda gardens, homes, patios and pool areas.
Some of Bermuda’s most famous moon gates go nowhere, but the legend of their magical powers remains. So if you should see a mystical, magical Moon Gate while you are in Bermuda – step through it and make a wish.
Have you ever seen a Moon Gate? Where was it? I saw my first Moon Gate at the Marriott Castle Harbour Hotel (now closed) in Bermuda, one of the settings mentioned in Under the Moon Gate. I’ve stayed at this property many times.
If you would like to read Under the Moon Gate, (Kindle or print version) click this link
The prequel to Under the Moon Gate, Destiny: A Bermuda Love Story is now out on Amazon
Both books are set in Bermuda. Both are historicals. Here are the blurbs:
UNDER THE MOON GATE
Dashing sea captain Nathaniel Morgan sails into the life of prim and proper Bermuda heiress Patience Whitestone and threatens to expose her family secrets. The two are immediately at odds when Nathaniel moors his vessel in front of her estate and refuses to leave until he finds the cache of Swiss gold he’s convinced was buried somewhere on the property during World War II. Can Patience save herself and her family’s reputation when she finds herself reluctantly drawn to this determined “pirate”? Or will someone from the past make good on his threat to destroy them both? Their fate is inextricably linked to Nazi plots and to the beautiful moon gates of Bermuda in this compelling tale of love and intrigue.
DESTINY: A BERMUDA LOVE STORY
Prequel to UNDER THE MOON GATE
The relationship of star-crossed lovers Elizabeth Sutton and Edward Morgan founders off the coast of Bermuda with the shipwreck of the Sea Venture in the seventeenth century. Edward is seduced by the captain’s daughter and trapped into an unhappy marriage, but he and his new wife continue the voyage to Virginia to rescue the starving Jamestown Colony. Elizabeth, still in England and pregnant with Edward’s child, receives Edward’s letters telling of the shipwreck but knows nothing of his marriage. When her child is old enough, Elizabeth follows Edward as far as Bermuda. Will he return and will the lovers be reunited, or will their eternally entwined souls search forever to fulfill their destiny?
You can read more about my books and stories at www.marilynbaron.com.