Thursday, January 28, 2010

Review of Tomaree - A WWII Love Story by Debbie Robson

Peggy Lockwood, who left her home in New South Wales as a war bride in the 1940s to move to the United States, returns a quarter of a century later contemplating divorce from the only man who has ever been a part of her life. The reasons for her return are an act of infidelity by her husband, Tom, and her mother’s death in Australia. Both events start her on a journey of personal exploration. Although she has left her husband in Wyoming, the landscape of the American West is now as much a part of her as her childhood view of the Pacific had once been. The drastically different landscapes are an important part of Tomaree because they provide the backdrop for the journey she must make to heal new and old wounds.

Tomaree is a gentle story about a woman trying to put together the pieces of a puzzle, so that she might better understand her “prickly” mother. Through letters and shared experiences with her mother’s friends and a new-found aunt, Peggy learns of the painful events that were the source of the tension in their relationship. In re-examining her own life, she recalls the early days of her romance with Lt. Tom Lockwood, an American liaison officer serving in the Joint Overseas Operational Training School, and she must decide if this one act of betrayal is sufficient reason to end a marriage of 26 years that produced a beautiful daughter, whom they both love dearly.

Debbie Robson has a gift for conveying a sense of place with elegant, but simple, language. She deftly weaves back and forth between the stories of an 18-year old girl experiencing love for the first time and a mature woman who is forced to re-examine her marriage. Tomaree is a finely crafted story which will appeal to anyone who has had an event in their life so jarring that it causes them to question everything. By looking back to the war years when Tom and she were so deeply in love, she is able to refocus and begin to heal, and a source of that healing can be found in a view of the Pacific Ocean from atop a hill called Tomaree.

About the Author:  I was born in the Mater Hospital in Sydney and grew up on the Northern Beaches. Unlike most writers I didn't start writing until my early twenties. I have variously given birth to a son in South Wales, a daughter in New South Wales, run an internet dating agency, made dreamcatchers and tested telephone lines. My poems and stories have been published here and overseas. I now live in Lake Macquarie and work in Newcastle. Debbie's Website

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