A Moment Forever by Cat Gardiner, which was on tour with Poetic Book Tours last month, is the first in the Liberty Victory series of books, and it is epic! Elizabeth and Lillian Renner are the daughters of a railroad magnate bent on more power and prestige, but their father holds his cards close to the vest in 1940s Long Island, New York. Even as Lillian becomes a disappointment by working with the American Red Cross, rather than acting the debutante she is, Elizabeth is his shining jewel, one he hopes to marry off to the highest bidder. Her life is easy, but her perceptions of the glistening world she lives in soon become tainted after she meets a dreamy flyboy, William Martel.
When America decided to enter WWII after Pearl Harbor, many men joined up to fight Hitler’s aggression and that of the Axis powers. This left many gaps in American society, with women eagerly filling empty roles. The Renner family, however, remained traditional in its expectations of its female members. Lillian, one of five sisters, consciously decided to embark on her own adventures, while Lizzy tries to straddle two worlds. The Renner fortune protected them and plans to unite the family with the neighboring elite, the owners of Robertson Aviation, would secure their position further.
Fast forward to 1992 when Juliana Martel is gifted Primrose, a home in Brooklyn owned by a great-uncle she never knew. The house is a time capsule, a shrine to true love, devotion, and loyalty. Her great-uncle, who disappeared in 1950, loved his “Pistol”, but the farther Juliana digs through the cobwebs of the past, the more she is sure that they were separated against their wishes. Her role as a journalist has given her the best instincts to uncover the past, and as she untangles the strands of his history, she becomes enchanted herself.
Gardiner has re-created the past in the dress, manner, and speech of her characters, and while loosely in homage to Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice, this WWII epic romance spans five decades. The heartbreak, the love, the devotion, and the regret leap from these pages. Did Lillian’s independence from the Renners leave her blind to her sisters’ dilemmas? Did Kitty, the younger sister plagued by polio, let emotion overtake her better judgement? Did Lizzy act too rashly when Will was shipped overseas? Readers should be prepared with their tissues. I have not cried this much since the epic read, Galway Bay by Mary Pat Kelly.
How would you pay homage to those you love? How far would you go to make reparations for the past and to make amends? When should you let the past lie where it is and move on? A Moment Forever by Cat Gardiner is like the smooth sounds of Doris Day singing “Again”. It pulls you into Gardiner’s world page by page, and it wraps you up in the passionate notes of Vera Lynn’s “Yours”. I cannot wait for the second book in this series.
(You can listen to the music.)
About the Author:
Born and bred in New York City, Cat Gardiner is a girl in love with the romance of an era once known as the Silent Generation, now referred to as the Greatest Generation. A member of the National League of American Pen Women, Romance Writers of America, and Tampa Area Romance Authors, she and her husband adore exploring the 1940s Home Front experience as living historians, wishing for a time machine to transport them back seventy years.
She loves to pull out her vintage frocks and attend U.S.O dances, swing clubs, and re-enactment camps as part of her research, believing that everyone should have an understanding of The 1940s Experience™. Inspired by those everyday young adults who changed the fate of the world, she writes about them, taking the reader on a romantic journey. Cat’s WWII-era novels always begin in her beloved Big Apple and surround you with the sights and sounds of a generation.
She is also the author of four Jane Austen-inspired contemporary novels, however, her greatest love is writing 20th Century Historical Fiction, WWII-era Romance. A Moment Forever is her debut novel in that genre.