Beyond the Shadow of War
The World War II Trilogy: Book 2
When the war finally ended in May of 1945, Lieutenant Danny McClain made good on his promise to come back for Anya in Holland. He expected her to put up a fight, but instead found her exhausted and utterly broken. Maybe it was unfair, asking her to marry him when she was so vulnerable. But this much he knew: he would spend a lifetime helping to make her whole again.
The war had taken everything from Anya—her family, her friends, her home, her faith. She clung to the walls she’d fortressed around her heart, but what future did she have apart from Danny? At least she wouldn’t be alone anymore.
Or so she thought. When the American troops demobilize, Danny is sent home, forced to leave Anya behind in England. There she must wait with the other 70,000 war brides for passage to America. As England picks up the pieces of war’s debris in the months that follow, Anya shares a flat with three other war brides in London and rediscovers the healing bond of friendships.
Once again, Danny and Anya find themselves oceans apart, their marriage confined to little more than the handwritten pages of their letters while wondering if the shadow of war will ever diminish.
In Loving Memory of Joan Van Spyker
As I began my research for this book, I remembered a dear friend in Florida who had come to America as a war bride. Over the past few months, I enjoyed many long hours on the phone with Joan, loving every moment as she reminisced in her beautiful English accent. Much of Joan’s story wove its way into the characters of my story’s war brides.
Joan was just thirteen years old when the war started in the skies over England in 1940. Four years later, In 1944, Joan and her very own GI Joe fell in love and married when she was just seventeen. After a lengthy wait with thousands of other war brides, Joan and their baby daughter came to America on the Queen Mary in March of 1946.
Twice widowed, Joan found love again when she met Bernie Van Spyker. They married in 1981 and shared 34 wonderful years together before she passed quietly into the presence of God on November 23, 2015. And as she did, I have no doubt whatsoever that she heard Him say, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.”
Joan, with the fondest of memories and gratitude,
I dedicate this book to your memory.
Oh, how we miss you, love.
Front row: Jocelyn, Tommy, Betsy
Back row: Lydia, Fliss, and Steve
In August of 2014, Dad and I took a trip to England to visit our new friends who still live on the land where the 390th Bomb Group was based during WWII. [You can read more about that trip HERE.] What a pleasure to meet this sweet family! While on that trip, I knew the time had come to write a sequel and continue Danny and Anya's story.
Lydia was a tremendous help on the project, and I couldn't have done it without her. She also gave me permission to borrow the name of the newest addition to their family, Jocelyn Rose, for a baby in my story. Thanks, Lydia!
And a special thanks to the Kirks