This is the story of two brothers, Jonathon and Joseph White, who are caught up in the excitement of the new war in Europe in 1914 and enlist to fight the Hun. And In The Morning is not just a war novel. Amidst the horror of the battlefields a love story begins. Rose is a volunteer in the Nurses Corps and risks her life close to the fighting working among the wounded and the dying. Meeting Jonathon makes Rose realise that life is bittersweet–time is precious and falling in love may be only a hopeless and painful experience. Surely no one could survive the killing in the trenches? Surely she won’t survive herself “the war to end all wars”?
From the first landings on 25th April 1915 to the battlefields of France and Armistice Day 1918, And In The Morning is a uniquely Australian novel of war, love and courage. It’s been described as “giving the soldiers of Gallipoli and the Great War a haunting voice. It is a story that should never be forgotten.”
There was a period in my writing career when I had some spare time. It was just the way things panned out–and my literary agent told me to take the opportunity to “write something I loved”. She meant something I really wanted to do, even if there was no chance of it being ever published. I’ve been a great admirer of authors like John Masters (his Loss of Eden trilogy), Derek Robinson’s brilliant novels of the RAF in both world wars, and of course Sebastian Faulk’s excellent Birdsong. Forever inspired, I wanted to write something like these and my efforts resulted in And In The Morning. No, it was never expected to be published, but a publisher bought the rights after reading just the first few chapters and later And In The Morning was licensed to Readers Digest in two countries, Australia and the Netherlands. There’s something to be said for writing fiction about a subject close to your heart. I’m very proud of this book. I’m also very proud of the Australian history it tells.