Christmastime 1941: A Love Story, Book Two, opens two days after Pearl Harbor has been attacked. War has just been declared, and New York City is in a state of chaos and panic as it tries to prepare for possible attacks. Following the same characters established in Book One, and introducing a few new ones, it tells of the power of old loves, new loves, and friendship.
It continues the love story of Lillian and Charles, the adventures of Tommy and Gabriel, and depicts two bittersweet romances: that of Izzy and her fiancé Red, and that of the office manager at Drooms Accounting, sixty-year old Mrs. Murphy, and her Brendan.
Linda Mahkovec is the author of 8 works of fiction that celebrate the season, love, family, and home. Her main character is often a female with an artistic sensibility – a painter, a gardener, or simply someone who lives creatively and seeks out a life of beauty and meaning.
Another thread in Mahkovec’s work, no doubt rooted in her Midwestern sensibility, is the celebration of the seasons: the thrill of the first flowers of spring, barefoot summer nights, the nostalgic beauty of fall, and delight in the first snowfall.
Mahkovec was born and raised in a small town in Illinois. She then spent several years in the San Francisco Bay area and Seattle, and for the past thirty years has lived in New York City. She has a PhD in English, specializing in Victorian literature.
Memories of summer occasionally surface in my WWII Christmastime series, where most of the action is set in the cold and snow of December.
Summer memories of a gentler and safer time soften the harsh realities of war-time living.
One memory in particular evokes the beauty and longing of late summer. In Christmastime 1941, Charles takes Lillian and her two sons to visit his sister Kate, who lives on a farm in Illinois. Lillian and Kate sit on the farmhouse porch in the late afternoon.
Christmastime 1941: A Love Story
Lillian helped Kate finish the laundry, and then sat with her on the front porch, shucking corn for dinner. A beautiful August day surrounded them in all its fullness and simple charm. A gentle breeze rustled the leaves high in the pin oaks, and fluttered the laundry on the clothes line, causing the white billowing sheets to snap softly now and then. The wide porch surrounded them with views of the corn and soybean fields stretching to the horizon. To the east stood a cluster of tall trees, their leaves a dark, dusty, late-summer green, with some leaves already edged in brown. And before them, Kate’s flowers along the lane – a tall tangle of orange, yellow, white, and blues – tiger lilies and daisies, cornflowe