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Saturday, 12 May 2012

An extract from my historical novel - to celebrate Liberation Day

'We are free' proclaimed the headlines all over Guernsey this week as the island celebrated the 67th anniversary of the liberation of the Channel Islands from the horror of German rule. My own grandparents lived through the Occupation and  spoke of the appalling cruelty of the enemy ( as well as  rare, unwanted, acts of kindness) the memories of which have stayed with me always.

Here is an extract from my as yet unpublished novel, set in the Occupation of Guernsey, where we find the female protagonist,  Lydia Le Page, joining the crowds on the island's first day of freedom.

It seemed as  if every islander had come out that day to celebrate , their faces scrubbed   and boots polished  (though heaven knows what with.) Dressed in their 'Sunday Best' they hugged each other, tears flowing unashamedly down their cheeks 
    Just then Sophie Romerill stepped out of the crowd, waving a Union Jack in the air. 'My dear, dear Lydia,' she said. ' How are you? Isn't this wonderful? I wouldn't be alive today if it wasn't for you.'
    Impulsively, Lydia kissed her on the cheek. 'I'm just  so happy to see you.'  Thank goodness the doctors had kept the poor woman in the asylum away from the Jerries. Other Jews, it seemed, had suffered a far worse fate.
    'They're putting up flags all along the Esplanade.' Sophie was still talking. 'It's all over, isn't it?' 
    'Yes,'Lydia smiled, 'it really is finally over.' 
    The old woman walked away, nodding happily to everyone in sight. Lydia lifted her eyes to the sky, just  as a cloud passed over the sun. It would all be so perfect if only Martin was  here beside her. 
   Snapping out of her reverie, she made her way back down the Pollet;she had more pressing issues to worry about right now. Maggie's baby was due any day and the poor girl was terrified that Kurt would be sent away. To make matters worse, the Galliennes had still not come to terms with their daughter's  plight. 
    Maggie had tried  her best to make them understand. Other unwed mothers, she reasoned, had survived the social disgrace. She was right, of course. But then this was different. This was a German baby.



anotherguernseygirl said...

Great to read a section from your novel,itjustmakes me want to read more.cant wait to read the whole book.well done you deserve to do well with it good luck.

Elaineyross said...

Ahhh it may well be 'as yet unpublished' - but not for long my girl! Keep going and never give up. It's a wonderful love story based on real life events. I'm certain that your day will come.