How Do You Survive Quadruple Losses Even If You’re Mentally Balanced, Talented, And Busy?
Displacement, Anne Stormont’s romance plus, featured quadruple losses. Authors often weigh their characters down with problems. But real people may be overcome trying to cope with multiple tragedies, too.
Brenda, married to her third husband, turned fifty-six the year her ten-year-old daughter drown in the river that ran through the local park. Her cancer which had been in remission for five years returned. Her older daughter, Toni, battled with drugs and her marriage hung by threads. When Brenda’s brother Ted died the next year, she couldn’t cry. “This doesn’t seem real. I don’t have any tears left in me to cry,” she told her friend.
Displacement, Anne Stormont’s Romance Plus
Hopefully, you have not had to experience this much sorrow in your life.
Brenda looked like she had lost touch with reality. During a church field trip to Crystal Cave in Sequoia National Park Brenda walked out of the cave so slowly that her teenaged son looped her three times during the mile walk. He thought he would have to carry her up the path. She acted eighty years old.
No one at church could identify with Brenda and her problems. There was no solace. The sermons didn’t help. The parishioners brought food, but Brenda couldn’t eat. She couldn’t control her four children, some of them still in school. She could not work. Women in the church were busy. No one had or took the time to sit with her.
What do you do when tragedy piles sorrow and responsibility onto your shoulders? Do you accept unsubstantiated blame when family members accuse you?
In Displacement, Ann Stormont allows her heroine, Rachael Campbell, to suffer from multiple losses and traces her slow but steady progress of emotional healing.
Life Deals Unbearable Woes That Time Won’t Heal
Research shows that stresses in life compound over time resulting in symptoms like depression, memory loss, weight changes, tears, sleeplessness, and grouchiness. Unlike one popular belief, time does not heal all human woes.
The character, Rachael Campbell, lost her husband to another woman, her son to war. On top of that, her daughter blamed her for everything and refused to talk to her. When her mother died, she became agoraphobic. She would have lost her grip on life and drown saving one of her sheep. However, her dog Bonnie alerted her new neighbor in time to rescue her.
Is Rachel Campbell a Total Nutcase?
As you read Displacement, you identify with the heroine’s emotions and how she reacts to her situations. Her new neighbor, Jack described her to his daughter as a nutcase at the beginning of the book. She’s reclusive, tearful and short-tempered with even her best friend.
But slowly Jack as wins her trust he discovers an accomplished woman weighted down with sorrow and began to fall in love with her. After her near-death experience, Rachael’s brother and her close friends convince her to get help. She realizes with the help of a counselor that she is not coping with her losses and moving forward with her life.
Over the course of the book, you watch how Rachael reaches out to life and responds to the people around her. You notice how she interacts with Jack’s granddaughter, who recognizes her as an author. A Palestinian innkeeper advises her in the middle of a sleepless night. Eitan, a rogue Israeli artist friend of her brother, helps her move slowly out of her stagnated grief. As Rachel starts healing from multiple life stresses, her new friendships with Jack and Eitan add meaning to her life.
Displacement, Anne Stormont’s Romance Plus Is More Than a Love Story
However, if you start reading Displacement, Anne Stormont’s romance plus as a frothy romance, you may get stuck. At 352 pages it is longer tha n the average chick book, with multiple complex characters and situations. The heroine, Rachael, works as an author-illustrator of children’s books as well as a crofter in the Hebrides of Scotland.
Rachael connected with her brother, Jonathan after twenty years, when their mother died. He had followed his Jewish ancestry and established a life in Israel. Their mother, a Holocaust survivor, had not been pleased about the move, and never wanted Rachael even to visit. With her mother gone, Rachael decided to find out if her new life included immigrating to Israel.
Light-hearted American readers might not enjoy the geographical and historical background information that Stormont includes in this “romance plus” written primarily about Rachael’s recovery from multiple losses. Those who enjoy learning as they read will love Displacement.
For example, a croft, as Rachael owns, is a small unit of agricultural land including any houses, agricultural buildings, and fences. “Crofting is a traditional social system in Scotland defined by small-scale food production.” Wikipedia Over 19,000 crofts exist in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. A large estate owner may rent out several crofts on his property.
Middle-Aged Romances Are Complicated with Families, Jobs, and Other Baggage.
After her marriage ended, Rachael had moved back to her family’s croft where she had grown up, to help her father with his sheep. Like most crofters, she continued working in her profession. As a children’s author, Rachael incorporated crofting and caring for sheep in her stories.
After her father passed, she remained on the croft to care for her aging mother. But when her mother died, she felt adrift. She no longer knew whether she wanted to continue crofting, writing or even living in Scotland.
Like her brother, she decided to investigate her Jewish heritage. Against objections from her ex-husband and estranged daughter, she made plans to take a break from her routines and visit Israel. Meanwhile, her new friend, Jack stays behind to help neighbors care for Rachael’s croft while she travels.
In a relationship with a married woman, Jack begins to take account of his life. He needs to care for his pregnant daughter and granddaughter while building a new home in the Scottish Hebrides.
It Is Not Easy To Talk About Mental Health Issues.
People talk more about mental health issues than they used to. For many, it is difficult to recognize or admit when there is a problem.
Sorrow over a loss is universal. However, when the depression or obsession doesn’t go away, it may be time to reach out for professional help. Rachael finally admits that five years has not changed the way she feels about her ex-husband, her daughter or her son.
If you are going through tragedy, Reading Displacement might help you. Those who have experienced overwhelming disasters will recognize the stages of Rachael’s healing.
Four Star Rating
There were a disappointing number of reviews on Amazon for Displacement, Anne Stormont’s Romance Plus. Not much prevented it from being a five-star book in my opinion.
Throughout the book, there were some grammar errors. Even if the mistakes were unintentional, they did not detract from the heart of the story. However, they were frequent enough that you might notice them.
Anne does a fabulous job of telling Rachael’s and Jack’s love story. Displacement has the potential to be much more than a romance between a middle-aged couple with problems. Anne defines her writing as “Romance Plus.” Read it and see if you agree. You will want a sequel.
Amazon Best Seller’s Rank
Anne Stormont is a Scot and lives in the Scottish Hebrides. She is a wife, mother, and grandmother. For thirty-six years she taught primary school but has now left teaching to write full-time.
Anne has written since she could first make squiggles on paper. She also enjoys gardening, hiking and riding pillion on her husband’s motor-bike.
Even though she can be a subversive old bat, she maintains a kind heart.
Her books portray her belief that there is life after fifty and she writes thoughtful, grown-up, romantic fiction where the main characters are older but no wiser. Anne thinks of her genre as Romance Plus. Plus what? Plus intelligence, insight, and grit.
Anne has also published a children’s novel for nine-to-twelve-year-olds called ‘The Silver Locket’ under her other writing name of Anne McAlpine, and it is also available as e-book and paperback on Amazon.
She also he contributes to the online magazine for writers, ‘Words with Jam’.
You can find out more about Anne by visiting her blog at https://putitinwriting.me
What Are You Waiting For?
What could be better than to support a great cause while you do what you love – reading? If you would enjoy this book, click on any of the links to order. Your orders support the Always Write Virtual Assistant Program through the Key Club at Woodlake High School.
If you’d like to review or write a guest post for Always Write, contact me on Twitter, FB, LinkedIn or by email.