Monday, 6 June 2011

From the Ruins by Bronwyn Green

Cardiff Wales, 1943 - Moira Boulton never expected her instant attraction to the American she meets thousands of miles from his home. Not in her home town. Not in the midst of a war. But there's no denying the desire burning between her and the foreign soldier, David Webber.

They barely have time to explore the explosive force between them when an air raid drives them to take shelter. Alone in a dark cellar, with bombs dropping overhead, they take comfort in each other and their undeniable passion.

When David disappears without a word, Moira is left to wonder, if a passion that burned so bright was nothing more than a pleasant diversion or if they actually can salvage a relationship from the ruins.

When Moira met David at a dance hall, she didn’t realise he’d had his eye on her for three weeks. He’d wanted to meet her before now, but every time he got there she was already gone. He catches her as she’s leaving—her bus is due very soon—and after giving her an amusing chat-up line, leads her to a walkway where they plan to dance until her bus arrives. He kisses her, and there is the start of a wartime love affair.

They meet up again, both pleased to see one another, but this time a bomb goes off behind the dance hall. They run and find themselves a safe place in the cellar of what used to be a pub. There, they bond further, knowing, with the bombs close, that now isn’t the time to hold back. Their lives could be very short…

He was used to ploughing fields and mucking out stalls—not killing men. (This brought home how awful it must have been for men unused to fighting in a war. He was just your average guy, and had to go off and fight with only a few weeks’ training. Very sad and frightening.)

She’d dreamed of seeing him again—more times than she could count. (Awww. I could imagine this very well. They’d had such a great connection.)

…they’d given him comfort in the cold, muddy foxholes. (Again, this brought to mind the terrible times of war, made me imagine it very well.)

I loved the bit about the watch—I’ll say nothing more about that.

From the Ruins is a very lovely tale about a couple who find one another because of war—something they may never have done otherwise, as David comes from Michigan and Moira is British. I love tales told about the past, so this short story suited me very well. Ms. Green writes with passion and depth, and with that watch in the story…well, it just made my day!

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