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WHEN WE MEET AGAIN

BY KRISTIN HARMEL
REVIEWED BY 
LINDA WICKLUND

This is an historical novel about a time during World War II in which there were POW internment camps around our country for German soldiers. In fact, we had camps right here in MN.  The prisoners were assigned jobs working in the fields to help with the shortage of manpower due to the war. It was a pretty well kept secret since the government didn't want to scare our citizens with the enemy right in our own back yards.

But, it's also the story of a young journalist, Emily Emerson, who is in a very bad place.  She's just been laid off from her job, she's depressed just thinking about her dysfunctional family and most of all she can't shake her guilt over giving her baby daughter up for adoption 18 years ago.

The story begins with Emily receiving a mysterious package from Munich, Germany. The package contains a painting of a beautiful young woman standing at the edge of a sugarcane field in a red dress.  The only message that accompanied the painting was a cryptic note:  Your grandfather never stopped loving her.  Margaret was the love of his life.  Emily is totally shocked because "the man had vanished before my father was even born." Her grandmother would never speak of him.

It's at this point that you go back in time to 1944, when you learn about the POW camp in south FL near Lake Okeechobee and the prisoners who work there. It's where Peter first sees Margaret.  A beautiful young woman with long, brown hair in a red cotton dress.

The novel then weaves the past with the present as Emily trys to discover who her grandmother really was and who was her grandfather? As a journalist, she uses every resource she can think of and at times it seems hopeless. As the Author notes, "when one is living with a broken heart, it's too hard to give voice to the stories that hurt the most."

This is a story of forever love, abandonment both real and imagined, long kept secrets and finally learning to forgive others as well as yourself. 

 Happy reading! 



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