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Lost Love's Return
by Alfred Nicols

Published: 2021-06-18T00:0
Paperback : 290 pages
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For fans of Nicholas Sparks, Amor Towles and Kate Quinn , comes a tale that asks one important question Can love prevail from the battlefields of WW1 Europe, to postwar Mississippi and into WWII?

In 1918, in a dramatic battlefield scene on the Western Front, young American soldier ...

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For fans of Nicholas Sparks, Amor Towles and Kate Quinn , comes a tale that asks one important question Can love prevail from the battlefields of WW1 Europe, to postwar Mississippi and into WWII?

In 1918, in a dramatic battlefield scene on the Western Front, young American soldier Peter Montgomery sustains a severe wound. He’s transported to a British hospital, where he falls hard for Elizabeth, a young English nurse, and she for him. Upon his release, they engage in an intense love affair, forever changing both of their lives.

Separated and shipped home, Peter tries desperately to reconnect with Elizabeth, but the War and the Spanish flu epidemic have the world in turmoil. Despite his every effort, desperate and in great distress, he is unable to reconnect with her. And then, suddenly, all hope is gone.

For the next twenty-seven years, Peter stoically meets many challenges in his life: finding a way to make a living during the Depression; being a devoted father to his son, born eleven months after marriage to a woman he does not love.

This debut novel from Alfred Nicols takes you from the battlefields of Europe during WWI to postwar Mississippi and into WWII and begs one question. Will true love prevail?

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Elizabeth began to play with the small patch of chest hairs she had come to love, coming out above his undershirt near her face. She felt a tension, a tension unique for her; a tension that needed something other than talk. ... view entire excerpt...

Discussion Questions

Questions from the author:

(1) When should we risk love? What happens to Peter when Hannah doesn’t work out? Why didn’t it work out?

(2) Arthur prays not to die? What is prayer? Is that a part of all religions? What is the value of prayer? What are the proper things to pray about? Are there improper ones? How do we know if our prayers are answered? Is there meaning in unanswered prayers?

(3)) Peter heard his grandfather tell his father that he was afraid Peter was going to be a sissy, not a big man in the family tradition at all. What does it take to be a man? A real man? Would Rudyard Kipling’s immortal poem If bring understanding? Did this experience later influence Peter to join the Army?

(4) What did Peter do that made Sergeant Mulholland suddenly respect him? Isn’t that all it often takes to command respect?

(5) How did a man, raised in a hunting culture, who was once so tinder- hearted he couldn’t bear to shoot a squirrel and see it suffer, later come to kill numerous other men? Did these men deserve to die?

(6) The most experienced sergeant on the Western Front couldn’t kill Bruno the Rat with a rifle, after many tries. A young private his first week in the trenches killed him with a duckboard slat. What did Bruno do that cost him his life? How does that compare to texting when driving? To going on open water without a life jacket? Can you give other examples?

(7) Peter and Elizabeth were immediately attracted to each other. Why? What is romantic love? What makes love last? Is that the same thing as what makes marriage last?

(8) Why did Elizabeth, a virgin until now, so now want to start a sexual relationship with Peter? Did her friend Agnes influence her? How much is our first voluntary sexual experience determined by the appeal of the other person vs. the pull of curiosity? Does the power of curiosity cause us to do much of what we do, often to our detriment?

(9) Elizabeth was thin and skinny, not voluptuous at all like Hannah, but was warm, genuine, supportive, and fun? Isn't that all that really matters to most men?

(10) Peter and Elizabeth’s first sex was far from perfect. She was too tense to be physically ready, and he was all too ready. Did that have any impact on their ultimate relationship? Why not?

(11) Peter suddenly realizes how blessed he is to have family ties, even to imperfect people. Why did it take Elizabeth to make him appreciative? Why does it so often take being exposed to someone who doesn’t have it to appreciate what we have?

(12) When Sergeant Duck wanted sex with a prostitute, he put in his order for the youngest one available. What is statutory rape? What is he legal age of consent? Does it matter if the victim is prostitute? What if the victim’s age is unknown? What if she’s asked and lies?

(13) Peter’s discussion with his sister goes to probably the greatest theological dilemma of all? Why does a loving God will let bad things happen to good people, like Arthur, and good things happen to bad people. Peter gives her the best answer he can. What would be your answer?

(14) Getting drunk and losing control can have life changing consequents. Drunk driving is the one that first comes to mind for most. What are others? Would regretted sex be the second most frequent?

(15) Peter’s father pressures him to marry Emma. He says he does not intend to risk losing his first grandchild to an abortion. Would he feel the same way today, if now available testing revealed the child would be born so severely handicapped it could never walk or talk, feed or dress itself, and by some twist of fate he would be responsible for those things for the duration of the child’s life. What if Evie had been abducted, raped and impregnated at thirteen? What if his beloved niece, only thirteen, was discovered pregnant by her brother, her father, or her grandfather?

(16) When Peter wants to talk Casey and Carrie out of eloping, he confronts them with the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. Why is this principle considered the essence of universal morality? Carrie explains she may be a sinner but she doesn’t want to be a hypocrite. What is a hypocrite? Peter wants to help Carrie deal with her guilt at being pregnant, thinking she has shamed her pious family. How did Peter try to do that?

(17)) Peter joined the military without being drafted, as did Casey. Casey’s driver on his mission to find Elizabeth was drafted. Should there always be a draft? What are the consequences of having no draft? Avoiding it by using substantial enlistment incentives?

(18) When Peter so desires to again have sex with Elizabeth, after twenty-seven years, he is humiliated by his impotence. Elizabeth gives him a short lecture about her belief in the power of faith. What is faith? Do you think there is power in faith? What part does faith play in our success and happiness, our ability to deal with our ultimate mortality?

Notes From the Author to the Bookclub

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  "LOST LOVE'S RETURN"by Lynnette W. (see profile) 04/23/24

Our club read this awhile ago, but it is a well written story of lost love and hopeful reunion after many misfortunes and war. There is hope in everything if we pursue our dreams.

by Anita M. (see profile) 08/31/22

Lost Love's Return kept me reading from the very start. The author was so descriptive on each character, I could picture them in detail in my mind. I immediately knew if I liked them or didn't like them... (read more)

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