“An Unplanned Encounter” by Jonathan Husband is the story of one man’s father and mother. During the Battle of Britain and World War II, many young women worked among civilian and military men. Sometimes this led to fraternization among them or in this case, an assault with repercussions that changed the lives of two people and their families. Jon was the result of this assault. His mother was harangued by her parents to put the baby up for adoption, but she wanted to keep her child. There was also the idea of abortion, but at that time, this was against the law and not a viable option. The father conveniently made himself scarce.
I read this story with a sense of anguish on the part of Jon’s mother and anger for his father. This story represents actions during the war that were not battlefield actions, but those which had devastating consequences for the persons involved.
This novel gives an insight into some consequences of war that are not readily recognized by historians or militarists, but nonetheless, are devastating to those involved. Their lives will never be the same and their dreams and ambitions are abandoned in order that they live up to their responsibilities. This was a hard book to read because my emotions became so involved. I thought that the author did a remarkable job of writing his story and was able to revere his mother for her sacrifice and to bring to the forefront his father’s total disregard for her and for his son. He paid for this transgression throughout his life, but I was unable to feel the least sorrow for him. I’m not sure that is what the author intended me to think and feel, but that’s how I felt throughout reading this novel. I thought it was well written in that the author jumps from mother to father in subsequent chapters. I was able to follow this very well.
I was sent a free kindle copy of this book by NetGalley.com in return for my honest review. For more information, go to the author’s website at http://jonathanhusband.com.