Authors often talk about their "writer's journey," the path that led them to writing, the obstacles they faced along the way, the methods they used to overcome those obstacles, the self-examination that led to their works, to expressing ideas through stories.
My writer's journey began with After the War, the novel I just released through Istoria Books. Oh, it wasn't called After the War when I started it. At first, I called it The Conversion of Paula, then just Paula, then Margaret (for another main character in the book) and only after something like a dozen years did I light on After the War.
You read that right--a dozen years. I started writing this story more than a decade ago, just around the time I decided to stop denying my desire to be published and to get serious about becoming a real author.
|My dad's WWII uniform|
But if this is a story of faith, it is not a theological treatise. After the War explores faith from the perspective of the ordinary man and woman, who wrestle with questions of the injustice of the death of good people, of sin and forgiveness, and try to make sense of what is expected of them, who God really is.
So ultimately, the book became a sentimental journey exploring how all the characters' lives were shaped by the cataclysmic event of a world at war, whether they served in the military or not. As Father Al muses when thinking about his own losses, which were not from direct military actions: "That was the reach of evil. It touched the lives of far more than those who stared it down outright. It oozed as well as marched to claim its victims."
I hope all readers enjoy After the War, but I'd be particularly interested in hearing the reaction of baby boomers to its tale--whether it strikes a chord with them and takes them on a sentimental journey to that bright summer afternoon that was our youth, released from the perils our Greatest Generation parents had faced on our behalf..
After the War by Libby Sternberg
A decade after the war, its devastation still haunts them...
In the summer of 1955, a young nun awakens in Johns Hopkins Hospital after suffering an overdose, unable to remember the events that brought her there. As she recovers, she becomes the center of quiet struggles among those who surround her: her brother, a former GI still stung by betrayal during his years of service; her sister-in-law, a beautiful woman seeking love at any price; her confessor, a Jesuit priest who lost everything during the bombing of London; her nurse, a war widow whose sunny optimism leads to repeated disappointment; and her doctor, a psychiatrist beset by survival guilt and doubts about his profession's ability to heal. Suffering from unseen war wounds ten years after the fighting ended, they each find their way to a very personal peace.
"...a touching novel of faith and family...an evocative story of love lost and found, told with beautiful language and emotional clarity. A novel to savor." Christy English, author of The Queen's Pawn.