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March 19, 2010     Post-Gazette
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March 19, 2010

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POST-GAZETTE, MARCH 119, 2010 Page 5 BOOK REVIEW Hard Cover 342 In very short order I have concluded that Cardigan Bay by John Kerr is an excellent book, well written and an attention getter. He writes with integrity coupled with intrigue resulting in com- plete satisfaction. The story begins in Tobruk, Africa during WWll where the British garrison of 25,000 soldiers is about to fall to Germany's leading general, Rommel. It is here that the book's leading char- acter; Major Charles Daven- port is introduced. Daven- port is seriously injured at this failed campaign. He makes it to an army hospital outside of Lon- don. Adding to his misery is a Dear John let- ter he receives from his wife, Frances, requesting a divorce. The story becomes double- plotted. Our next leading character is Mary Katryn Kennedy who was born in Ireland but raised in Boston. Her husband David, of four I GAN BAY by John Kerr Pages Published by Corona Publishing Company Author John Kerr Author John Kerr skillfully brings these two people together through the art of letter writing, a fading art form. years was killed in an auto accident. Her one-year-old daughter died of a weak heart. This double dosed tragedy led her to return to Ireland and live in her grandparent's cottage, which was located on beautiful Car- digan Bay that faced the All the glory that was Rome ..... Pompei Bistro Beer * Wine LUCIA RISTORANTE & BAR Traditional Italian Cuisine Donato Fraffaroli 415 Hanover Street, Boston, MA 02113 617.367.2353 -- Open for Lunch and Dinner Daily -- Private dining rooms for any occasion J The Federal Trade Commission works for the consumer to prevent fraud and deception. Call 1-87"/-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357) or log on to Irish Sea. Mary felt at peace here, however, she felt uneasy with her Irish neighbors. "... who professed indiffer- ence to the plight of the hated British, Mary hated Hitler and the Nazi ..." Mary was lonely and began writ- ing letters to forlorn British servicemen. One particular soldier she was writing to suddenly stopped writing. Mary learns that the miss- ing soldier had been under the command of Major Dav- enport. She decides to visit Davenport to find out what happened, first hand, to the missing sol- dier. Although he is not located an impressive bond develops between Mary and Daven- port. At this point of the story it is be- coming abundantly clear that lovely Mary and hand- some Davenport are des- tined to be together. Davenport recovers and is dismissed from the hospital. He is assigned to a hiLghly secretive mission named, Special Planning Group B, whose main goal is to plan the cross Channel invasion of France. Davenport's mind is com- pletely engrossed in his new assignment, however, his feisty divorce from his vcife, Frances, constantly inter- feres with his miliLtary thinking. DeSpite these troubling busy times his heart and mind keep going back to Mary. Her horre in Ireland and his location out- side of London makes it near impossible for them to, see each other. Nonetheless,, let- ters that they write to each other keeps the flamqe of their increasing love brJight. Even though they may not quite believe in the eve;ntu- ality of their being a pair:, the reader will sense otherwise. Following numerous dis- cussions it became apparent that the Channel invasion was to be delayed until 1943 because of the lack of land- ing craft available. A salient point Davenport had made at earlier meetings. Davenport finally admits to himself that he is in love with Mary even though he had only seen her once. Au- thor Kerr skillfully brings these two people together through the art of letter writ- ing, a fading art form. The two lovers manage to ren- dezvous in a lovely old hotel in Wales across the waters from Cardigan Bay -- Mary's home. Here they declared their everlasting love. K err's realistic writing creates a coherent and compel[ling love affair. Surprisingly Davenport became tired of a year of constant paperwork. Hc de- cides to seek a transfer to action and join the 3 rd Irafan- theentrance to try Division, which is ap- proved. After numerous meetings and discussions the major points regarding the inva- sion of France were estab- lished. Sunrise and high tide were to be the determin- ing factors. High tide was essential to assure that the landing craft would float over the obstacles and mines strategically placed on the beach by the Germans. On the first day 150,000 men were to land on Normandy Beach and parachute troops were to be dropped behind enemy lines. To my utter surprise Kerr writes about the so-called "Artificial Harbor." Appar- ently, Churchill devised this scheme because there weren't any ports in the Normandy area, a necessary requirement to protect the assault troops and military equipment. This plan con- sisted of, "Anchoring a mas- sive breakwater to a line of ships sunk off the landing beaches." This is the first time I have heard of this scheme since the war. Ap- parently it worked. It was understood by many that the key to victory was to assure Hitler and his cronies to be- lieve the invasion would oc- cur at the Pas de Calais. In the middle of this over- whelming adventure, is frustrated Mary who cannot cross the Irish Sea because of the British government banning any travel to and from Ireland. A new charac- ter enters the scene, Eamon O'Farrell whom Mary be- friends. His mission with the help of leading German officers was to kill Hitler at a very private meeting fol- lowed by a total surrender of the German troops to the high command of the Allies. This is a true story that never succeeded. The following comment still rings in my ears, remember- ing how literally thousands upon thousands of military personnel became addicted. "As the men inched along the line to go aboard, a na- val crewman distributed car- tons of cigarettes." As Davenport and his men landed on French soil a mor- tar shell exploded in their midst leaving Davenport and some of his men injured. A closing scene, Davenport ly- ing in a London hospital with a bandaged leg amputated below the knee. Another engrossing closing scene was played out when Mary, who had returned to her small and insignificant church, was praying si- lently. Suddenly, without opening her eyes she is fully aware that Charles Daven- port is standing there. He had "come for her at last." Author Kerr deserves high praise for scripting a re- markable story. Granted that it appears to be an overrid- ing WWII event, but in real- ity it is a sensational over- whelming love story that will be remembered for a long time. A story that could eas- ily be made into a sensa- tional movie. $ $1200 Per Ounce ! 24K III We Buy Diamonds, Gold and Silver Jewelry We Buy Gold and Silver Coins AS FEATURED ON CHANNEL 5 i $10.00 OFF i iEXTRA BONUS i i 781-286-CASH ! ooooooooooooooooeooooo $ Jewelry Box 345 Broadway, Revere Serving The Community For 32 Years Hours lO-5:30 pm every day but Saturday until 3:30 pm