WE THAT ARE LEFT
A novel exploring the anguish of love in wartime and the pain of those left behind, forever broken.
Melbourne, 1940. Headstrong young Mae meets and falls head over heels in love with Harry Parker, a dashing naval engineer. After a whirlwind courtship they marry and Mae is heavily pregnant when Harry receives his dream posting to HMAS Sydney. Bereft but determined, Harry leaves, promising to return to Mae and their child safely. Just after Mae becomes a mother, she learns Harry’s ship is missing.
Meanwhile, Grace Fowler is battling prejudice to become a reporter on the afternoon daily newspaper, The Tribune. She also faces uncertainty, waiting for word on whether her journalist boyfriend Phil Taylor, captured during the fall of Singapore, is still alive.
These women and the men they love are yet to face their hardest challenges. On 19 November 1941 the cruiser HMAS Sydney, the ship carrying Mae’s husband, is lost in action with the German auxiliary cruiser Kormoran off the Western Australian coast. When Mae’s neighbour and Grace’s boss Sam Barton hears a rumour that the Japanese have towed the damaged ship to Singapore and taken the crew prisoner, Mae’s life is changed forever as she focuses her efforts on willing her husband home.
Surrounded by their friends and families, Mae and Grace struggle to keep hope alive in the face of hardship and despondency. We That Are Left is a moving novel about love and war, the terrifying thin line between happiness and tragedy, hope and despair, and how it wasn’t just the men on board whose lives were lost when the HMAS Sydney went down.
LISA BIGELOW has been an avid story-teller her whole life. She works in Melbourne as a journalist and communications manager. This is her debut novel.
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