Twice in a Lifetime by Dorothy Garlock
Hachette Book Group
Publication Date: July 7, 2015
Clara Sinclair has learned to live one lonely day at a time. It was the only way she managed to survive her husband's death in World War II and raise their young son alone. But now she's at a loss as to how to handle the defiant teenager he has become, even as she struggles to keep her family financially afloat. She's fresh out of ways to turn her luck around-until a daring stranger's unexpected kindness sparks hope she hasn't felt in a long time . . ..
Drake McCoy lives for risk, speed, and putting his incredible drag racing skills to the test. One night in this quiet rural town is all he needs to win a big score and be on his way . . . until he meets Clara. Drawn in by her quiet strength and her beauty, Drake is tempted to become someone he never imagined-a family man.
But a vicious and unseen enemy is closing in fast, throwing Drake and Clara's fragile future into a dangerous tailspin. Can their love survive?
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Over and over, he had written that he loved her.
“Private Sinclair died in service to his country,” the military man continued. “It was a sacrifice that will never be forgotten.”
But Clara was no longer listening. Her thoughts reeled, assaulted by memories: the moment she had first noticed Joe standing outside Bob Herring’s grocery store; how nervous she’d been when he asked her to go with him to the movies; the way his lips felt against hers when he kissed her later that night. From those early, magical days, their life had spooled out just like the spools of film they’d watched, giving her a marriage, a home, and a child, all of it bound by love.
It had been perfect, a dream come true, but then the Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor and everything had changed.
Like the other young men in Sunset, Joe had enlisted and gone off to war; after training, he’d sailed across the Pacific to fight against Hirohito and his army. At first, Clara had been bursting with pride; her husband was fighting for freedom, to say nothing of how handsome he looked in his uniform. But as time passed, the constant fear and worry threatened to overwhelm her. Many nights, she cried herself to sleep. Still, she managed to keep up a strong front, mostly for Tommy’s sake. She clung tightly to the hope she found in her husband’s letters and tried to share in his unshakeable belief that he would soon be home.
But now Joe was dead and Clara felt it in her heart, a sudden emptiness, as if it was her own life that had ended.
Clara blinked; both men were looking at her. “I’m . . . I’m sorry . . .” she managed, her head spinning.
“That’s quite all right. I was just offering my condolences,”Captain Coulson explained; he appeared uncomfortable, his eyes flickering away, as if he was still ill at ease with the responsibility that he had been given. “In times like this, it’s been my experience that some measure of comfort can be found from a higher source.” He looked
toward his companion.
“My child,” the chaplain began, “I know this is hard, but you must remember that the Lord works in mysterious ways. No matter what pain he would leave behind, the time had come for Joseph to return to His Kingdom, to make the journey home.” His voice was soft and comforting; maybe under different circumstances, it might have been able to provide Clara with the solace she so desperately needed. “Let us read His words.” Opening his Bible, the chaplain began to flip through the pages, looking for a particular line of scripture.
But Clara had already begun to walk away. Her rejection of the chaplain wasn’t because she had no place in her heart for God, but rather because her pain was too great to fix. She was like a wounded animal, slowly but surely dying; all she wanted was to get away, to be alone.
About the Author
Dorothy Garlock is the author of over 50 novels that have sold over 15 million copies and are published in 15 languages. She lives in Iowa.