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[ an original novel by Arnold B. Hodgkins ]
"Red Leaves" is an epic drama set against the backdrop of two World Wars.
We travel through two generations as the characters become intertwined in a story of passion,
family secrets, illicit love, death, hopelessness, and finally - again, hope.
This story gives the reader an infinite awareness of the absolute strength of the human spirit and the fact that we can triumph over our adversities.'Red Leaves' is a Drama/Romance/War novel and its length is approximately 150.000 words.
In this novel our protagonist, Jill, is continually grasping for happiness. So desperate is she to recapture the dream she shared with her dead love, David, that she tries to find it with his son, Danny. Seemingly forsaking all others - her husband Jack, her kindred spirit, Wils, her mother; even competing with her own daughter Susan, for Danny's love - Jill is driven to follow her heart.
The rolling, rhythmic thudding of a thousand hob-nailed boots bring the reality of War to the streets of Toronto while the omnipotent screamings of a madman echo round the world striking terror in every heart. Jack and Danny enlist, never guessing that through their desire to protect their country they will grow and learn in ways that take most people a lifetime.
Carol Smith's late father, Arnold Hodgkins, is the author of 'Red Leaves'. A World War II veteran, he wrote it in 1946 while attending the Ontario College of Art in Toronto. He was a practicing poet, writer and musician, but his prime passion was fine art.
This novel was submitted to a major Toronto publishing house in 1964 "McClelland and Stewart". It was returned to him with a few suggested changes and the comment that "it certainly warranted another reading". Carol Smith has edited the original manuscript, trying to make some of those changes.
The combination genre of drama/romance/war makes this novel appeal to a large audience, from teenagers right through to seniors. It provides a window in to history, letting the reader experience the very real terror of war and its effect on people. It also shows that no matter how imperfect we humans may show ourselves to be, there is always hope. No matter how tortured the journey, peace could dwell softly at the end of
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