The Smiles and Tears of Love

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2012-09-06
  • Publisher: Textstream
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The book is an historical romance that starts when the heroine, Mabel, receives a telegram notifying her of the death of her husband at Arras in 1916. She had very recently received a letter from him saying that he was being promoted and that he would be leaving the front to travel to England on the 16th. April. Having been worried for two years about his safety in that terrible conflict, where there were millions of fatalities, she relaxed. Unfortunately, when he was saying good bye to his troops on the 16th. April, he was killed, and she gets the dreaded telegram from the War Office. The story then travels back in time to when Mabel was born in 1872 in Tullow, a little town in Ireland. She spends the first 12 years of her life with her parents and then goes to live with her cousin in the Curragh, where she is educated by a Governess. Mabel and her cousin form a very close relationship, becoming like sisters. The story covers all the events that they share together as they start moving out into the world and their budding romances. After their schooling they even run a riding school together Mabel and her cousin come into contact with troopers from the British Army, who are based at the barracks there. Falling off her horse, which had bolted when she was out riding one day, Mabel is rescued by a Private called Frank Trent and she falls for him. As a simple Private, Frank is not considered suitable for her and she is told not to see him again. Luckily her disappointment is short lived as he is raised from the ranks and made an officer and the romance is allowed to develop. Through the life of Mabel and her cousin in their formative years you will experience what it was like for a middle class girl to grow up and blossom in Ireland at the end of the 19th Century. The novel has a strong Irish flavour and the historical references have been kept as accurate as possible to lend authenticity so as you can get a true feeling for what it was like. She marries Frank, her army officer, and then moves around with him to the various barracks where he is stationed. He goes off in 1900 to fight in the Boer War at the same time as her first son Charles is born. She has to sit at home worrying about her husband with very little communication available. Mabel really suffers from the isolation and worry of having her husband fighting a war in a faraway place and having no communication with them. Love and romance are really tested and she becomes a very independent and frustrated woman, perhaps even selfish and very 'Mabel' centred! Her husband eventually returns safe from South Africa a very changed man, having recovered from being wounded during the conflict. She now resumes her life as an officer's wife, with all that entails, commencing with a posting to Gravesend in Kent. They then move to a plumb posting in Bermuda in the West Indies for a while where Mabel has all the servants that she needs and can really get in to a fantastic social life. The next posting is in South Africa where she is stationed for about 3 years. Mabel doesn't enjoy it in Pretoria. It is hot, dusty and they are not allowed to move about because of the remaining problems with the Boers. She escapes to Cape Town, without her husband, and there she has an affair with a prominent explorer who is on his way through Cape Town preparing for an expedition to Antarctica. This affair has to cease when her husband changes his plans and unexpectedly comes to Cape Town to join her for Christmas. Whoops! Sadly the explorer is lost with his whole team during the expedition a few months later and of course Mabel is heartbroken resulting in lots of "tears". She finds that she is pregnant again and has the worry as to who the father is. Following the birth, when she has another son, she returns back to the UK before returning to the Curragh barracks in Ireland where her husband is in charge of getting the regiment ready for war. Frank goes off to France to fight in the First World War and she goes to live with her parents in Tullow, Co Carlow in Ireland. She waits every day for his letters or for the dreaded telegram. She has a feeling that this time she won't be so lucky and that fate is against her. She is starting to relax by 1916 as he has survived some of the worst battles of the war and his letters are very casual as if he is just on a fishing trip. A letter arrives from Frank saying that he is on his way out of the conflict and is going to be made up to a Brigadier and will be attending Staff College in England. Mabel is over the moon as there are two great bits of news. 1. He will now be a Brigadier so he won't be in the front line of the conflict. 2. He will be safe in England, away from the fighting, while he is at the Staff College. Her world comes crashing down around her when she receives the dreaded telegram that he has been killed and the tears take over again. With the death of her husband she not only loses Frank but she loses her whole life as an officer's wife. What a waste!

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