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An Ocean Apart: A War Bride's Tale

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An Ocean Apart

A War Bride's Tale
  • by Melanie A. Ippolito
  • Merriam Press Historical Fiction Series
    • First Edition 2016
    • 1 photo
    • 264 6x9-inch pages
An Ocean Apart was inspired by the hundreds of letters the author’s parents wrote to one another during World War II. An Ocean Apart is a story of enduring love. It is a story of ambition, religious intolerance, long separations and adversities, of rationing and persistent shortages. Deeply infused in history, it is one war bride’s story out of thousands who made the journey across the Atlantic to begin a new life in America.

The citizens of Belfast, Northern Ireland were keenly aware of the war raging in Europe and elsewhere. They duly put up their blackout curtain, formed fire-watch patrols and stood patiently in endless queues with their ration booklets. But they ignored the calls to evacuate women and children from the city. They never expected that the German Luftwaffe would actually bother to attack their remote island. That complacency was shattered early in April of 1941.

After that first attack, eighteen year old Elizabeth Fleming refused to evacuate along with her two younger sisters, to the seaside town of Bangor, thirteen miles up the southern side of the Belfast Lough.

Just over a week later, Elizabeth was caught away from home during the second and most deadly attack. She was plagued with nightmares for months afterwards.

In late April of 1942, Richard Harrison, a laboratory technician with the U.S. Army Medical Corps, boarded an army transport ship in route to Northern Ireland. Six weeks later the two would meet at a dance in a Belfast ballroom.

An Ocean Apart was inspired by the hundreds of letters the author’s parents wrote to one another during World War II. These letters have been compiled and edited into a three volume set. I’ll Be Back When Summer’s in the Meadow: A World War II Chronicle, Volume I 1941-1942, Volume II 1944, and Volume III 1945-1946.

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