So happy to announce that Hachette Livre will be publishing my new historical novel, A Soldier’s Wife, next year! And, even better, I will get to work again with the wonderful Bernadette Foley.
A Soldier’s Wife is the story of Ruby Hawkins during the time her husband Jimmy is away at Gallipoli, and following their struggles to adapt to the new war-driven world when he is returned to Australia with debilitating wounds.
I was inspired to write this story by my own family’s history – my grandfather was at Gallipoli, and I have used his war service as the basis for Jimmy’s experiences. When my grandfather was wounded, his sister received a series of telegrams from the Army telling her of his injury, and then keeping her informed of his very serious illness. I showed those telegrams to my son’s class in 2013 for Anzac Day, and wondered what it had been like to receive them. To wait, day after day, for the news of life or death. That was the beginning of A Soldier’s Wife, and that is why I will be dedicating it to both my grandfather, Arthur Freeman, and his sister Esther, who received the telegrams.
My grandfather wasn’t married when he went to war (he put his age up to get into the Army) but he met his future wife while he was recovering in the Repatriation Hospital at Randwick, when she came to visit some a friend who was in the same ward. Maybe I should tell that story next!