Ada Langton tells me she has strong links with Tasmania. Her family history goes back to her Victorian grandmother who was born in Launceston and her mother who was born in Burnie. Ada’s grandfather also served as an independent politician in Tasmania.
The connection to the state resonates with the most recent generation as Ada tells me she has introduced her children to Tasmania. Last July they visited Tasmania with a campervan trip. The freezing waters and temperatures of Mt Wellington was tempered by warming up with chocolate at the Cadbury factory.
The coldness of tragedy is warmed by love in Ada’s book’ The Art of Preserving Love’ Ada’s protagonist Eddie Cottingham is a young woman with her mind and heart full of the contemplation of love which seems to be reaching fulfilment in the love prospect of Theo Hooley, the church organist.
This steady serene life fractures for Eddie when her mother dies in childbirth leaving Edie with the task of raising her fragile baby sister Gracie. Edie begins her challenge of caring for Gracie in two minds as Gracie is a reminder of Edie’s mother’s demise but at the same time Edie feels an overwhelming love for the angelic child.
The protection of Gracie becomes so all-consuming that Eddie’s love for Theo is relegated to the back burner. Edie’s sacrifice of her love parallels the sacrifice of those joining up for the war.
Theo, before he joins up, continues to woo Edie with constant visits to her house where he romantically leaves a token of a rose each time. The romance is registered by the town’s folk who eagerly await Eddie’s reaction and hope for a romantic resolution.
The story also highlights same sex relationships as well as the devastation of post -traumatic stress disorder.
The Art of Preserving Love is out now published by Harlequin.