The Lilac Cadillac, an epic love story at a time of war by Jane Harvey-Berrick
“Amazingly beautiful and powerful”
“Heart-wrenching and poignant”
“I have no words to tell you how beautifully this is written. You give the whole war new meaning for those who didn’t live through it. This story is epic.”
“Better tell readers to get that box of tissues out ready”
Two women, two lives, divided by an ocean – and a secret hidden for 75 years.
London, 1939, Sylvia marries her sweetheart, Harry, in the days before he’s sent to war. It will be four, long years before she sees him again.
In 2019, Fiona McCloud is struggling to make ends meet in her small Iowa town but has big dreams of a more glamorous life. In private, the plus-size woman fantasizes about being Marilyn Monroe. In reality, she’s a part-time hairdresser and beautician at the Cedars Retirement Village.
Fiona’s favorite resident is 97 year-old Dolly. The world thinks Dolly is disgraceful, with her octogenarian lover and addiction to fast cars.
And then there’s Joe Fox, the sulky and sensual gardener, a Native American with flowing black hair and wary eyes.
When Dolly decides to take a road trip to Las Vegas, she persuades Fiona and Joe to come with her. They don’t know that Dolly has an ulterior motive, or that this journey will change their lives forever.
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© 2021 Jane Harvey-Berrick
All rights reserved.
Life is a journey. That’s what they say, isn’t it? We’re all traveling toward some unknown destination, not knowing when or where we’ll stop, when we’ll pick up passengers or wave goodbye to others.
We grow up, we grow older, and the direction of the journey changes. Sometimes we choose our path and sometimes our path chooses us. But sometimes, just occasionally, someone else picks a different path for us, and we’re traveling down it before we even realize.
What happened to me is a combination of all these things: two very special people who changed the course of my life. And a large, ugly and uncomfortable car, a lilac-colored Cadillac.
It really was ugly. But I ended up loving it, because … well, it’s a long story.
Why I wrote this story
In part, this book was inspired by the incredible stories my late mother told me about her time working for Britain’s Air Ministry during the Second World War, and my late father’s experiences in the Fleet Air Arm. Not only that, but when my mother went to live in a nursing home, I met many other nonagenarians who had done amazing things in their youth. And it made me sad to think how often those stories disappear when they’re gone. I heard heartbreaking and inspiring stories about lives lived during terrible times.
But I also wanted to show how incredible these lives were, and yet how my mother was happy to live in the moment and enjoy every day. As the character Dolly says to Fiona,
“You can’t be careful all your life – what would be the point of living?”