Built on Sand
Elsie has two feet in the 20th century. Smith has one foot in the 19th. Their marriage, founded on physical attraction, is built on sand as all around them the earth of Europe also starts to quake. Prised apart by emotional conflict and the loss of two children they are flung apart by the most violent physical conflict in human history. The question is whether they can survive, together or at all.
To be published later in 2023. If you would like to review it in advance, please contact me and I will arrange something, possibly even for free. I am particularly looking for someone who is willing to provide a quote for the back cover.
Back cover image: Zeppelin over Danville Street
Elsie is based on a character from a short story I wrote a few years back for Joe Stepped Off the Train. I needed her husband to go off to war, but didn't want to do the usual horror of the trenches stuff. Instead I drew on the true story of Eric Needham of the Sherwood Foresters transcribed by Sheffielder, Joan Smith in Grandad’s Book. I am indebted to her and her family for their consent in my mining of Grandad’s Book. Some of that mining is plagiarism, I freely admit, but I’d rather call it respect for a testimony I could not improve upon in a fictional telling. It is a remarkable piece of writing and all the more valuable for being a first-hand account from an ordinary soldier. It is a historically important telling of life in the prisoner of war camps – in some ways the forerunners of the later concentration camps.