1946: A True Story of Wealth, Extraordinary Success and Great Tragedy
by Diana Gillmor
PageTurner Press and Media

"It is better to put your sorrow away in a special box and take it out only now and then."

Edwina Spear Gillmor is born to wealth and privilege and then marries into more. Unfortunately, she now lives between the repressed high societies of early twentieth-century Europe and America. The same prestige that comes with receiving a consummate education from the finest European schools, mixing with the likes of Winston Churchill, or driving a shiny blue Rolls Royce will be irretrievably damaged if she strays from her expected joint roles of wife and mother. Conventions of her time limit her direct interactions with the husband and three sons she adores. Edwina is independent-minded, embracing the liberated attitudes of the Roaring Twenties and later decades. But embracing them is vastly different from living them, and a secret she keeps for 24 years could destroy the life and family Edwina treasures. Is a rash decision made one afternoon in a quest for independence enough to ruin a life of which most only dream?

This intriguing memoir chronicles the life of the author’s grandmother, whom she never knew. Her paternal grandfather revolutionized aircraft and sailing vessel navigation when his magnetic gyroscope replaced the compass. The narrative spans 46 years of her grandmother’s life and provides interesting details of her wealthy childhood and elite European education. Her experiences as a newly liberated woman during the flapper era, the Great Depression, and both world wars comprise the middle three of five sections. The author chose to write the book in the first person, as if from her grandmother’s viewpoint. Although she does not avoid them, Gillmor only discreetly addresses such matters as infidelity and suicide, just as someone from her grandmother’s era might. Far from obscuring the truth, her delicacy gives the memoir a gentler feel than a more blatant account would. The book also helpfully references historical milestones from each year chronicled in the text.

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