Richard is about to embark on his lifelong ambition of sailing across an ocean; in this case the mighty Atlantic - not knowing this is to become his nightmare. The reader is taken on this action-packed, fateful voyage and through a twist of fate is transported back to WW2, where Richard's father is a naval rating on a Motor Torpedo Boat. His own exploits when he is captured by the enemy is a story of survival and friendship against all odds. It contrasts with his son Richard's own life and leads Richard to begin his much needed recovery and understand, life is for the living and must go on.
Based on a true incident, this powerfully emotive tale of passion and love across two generations in the parallel settings of modern day action and the horrors of war makes an utterly compelling read. It has a very different approach to subjects that are usually the preserve of male authors.
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This is an action adventure story that also can be labelled as historical fiction as it is set during WW2 as well as the present. The main characters are father and son, Richard and Billy. The female counterparts are Sorrel (American) Penny, Connie and Miranda - a good assortment of different characters to keep any love interest aflame!
The two main male characters are completely different from each other and yet, when Richard sets out to discover just what happened to Billy during the war there are parallel events that are almost identical in their occurrences and their own personal reactions to them.
After Richard has experienced his own nightmare he meets an American girl who, with her patience and understanding helps guide him back towards finding happiness. It is she, who first introduces him to the beginnings of recovery, and at first Richard is unaware of what his feelings towards her are. Despite being a successful businessman, Richard is quite hopeless when it comes to assessing the opposite sex - unlike his father who enjoys his girls with an unbridled passion!
During this time an old flame of Richard's reappears, completely upsets things and Richard becomes even more confused towards the women in his life.
The novel is separated into three different books, each book is set during a different time period. Underlying this, is a theme that concerns a copy of The Bible. This theme weaves around both the book's males and their own stories, and eventually brings them together.
Throughout the book, the reader is taken on a fast pacey ride that is packed out with action; both wartime and in the present. This is mixed in with love and passion, jealousy and revenge, heartache and happiness.
Needless to say, everything has a place. BUT, it is not until the final pages that Richard comes to terms with just what and who he wants.
Richard knew he had no choice. It had to be now. He'd never get another chance. Taking a deep breath he pushed off the heaving wet deck of his yacht and with sheer determination dived for the net. He hit the water, his lower torso disappearing into the black froth that fiercely clawed and clutched at him. Somehow he managed to stretch out and grab the net with one arm, feeling it tangle around him. The ship lurched and this time he was fully immersed in deep water. He broke the surface, coughing and choking, the salt stinging his eyes. He clamped his other hand to the netting and clung to it like a limpet. The water roared and hissed around his ears, terrifyingly black. He knew he must climb the net fast as his energy was rapidly ebbing away and conditions were not going to get any better...
As he took a look around him he was aware of the others.
Shaking the salt from his eyes he asked hoarsly,'Where's Connie? Where's my wife?'
There was an eerie silence.
She held out a hand to him and without thinking he took it.
'Please close the door,' she said.'please stay. I have been so lonely. For almost a year I have always known that Dieter would never return. Please. I need you to stay...Please sleep with me. I just want you to hold me. I'm not asking you to make love to me. Just hold and comfort me. Make believe that my Dieter is here with me one last time. Is that too much to ask Billy, before you go?'
The blood roared in Billy's ears. He went to the open door and quietly closed it. He then walked over to her bed and sat down upon it. He removed his books, socks and shirt. Elsa closed her eyes as she felt the bed move under his weight. She felt the warmth of his body as it lay down the lngth of hers. The masculine smell of it. Murmuring a little cry she turned towards him and his arms encircled her tightly.
It was later. They lay drowsily curled together; arms and legs entwined in the darkened cockpit. The tall shadowy willow trees gently swayed their pale fronds in a slight evening breeze. The river continued on its long way to the sea.
Richard opened his eyes and traced a finger down the curve of her cheek. 'That was beautiful. You are a beautiful darling girl.' he said and tenderly kissed her brow.
She opened her own eyes and squinted up at him trying to read his face in the dark.
'Mmmm it was,' she turned towards him snuggling deeper into the comfort of his arms and after a pause quietly asked.'It wasn't totally unexpected, was it?'