In the thick of World War I, Kathleen Ward, a city girl from Portsmouth, England meets Jack Kell, a farm boy from Cookstown, Canada, over a cup of tea. Long after Jack has sailed off, and is just about to go far north as a Methodist missionary, they begin writing to each other. The correspondence is a life raft of purity, innocence and hope after the trauma of the war. They vow always to be best friends, have a fitful courtship, fall in love, get married and plunge into preposterous adventures on a northern Manitoba aboriginal reservation. Margaret weaves a masterful story out of letters, journals and photos left in her mother's keepsake box. She then gives a vivid account of the other-worldly expectations put on a preacher's kid in her growing-up years. This book of love is wrapped in the theme of ancient monks who copied and illuminated the holy scriptures. Similarly, generations of this devout family with the same name strove to illustrate the gospels by the way they lived their daily lives.
About the Author
Margaret Kell Virany is the child of a World War I Canadian sailor and his British warbride. She is one of the pioneer generation of ministers' children in the United Church of Canada, formed by a union of Methodists, Presbyterians and Congregationalists in 1925. A student of Professor Northrop Frye, she received a B.A. in English Language & Literature at Victoria College, University of Toronto in 1955. Her employment life included serving as Media Relations Officer for the Metropolitan Toronto YMCA and National Council of YMCAs, and as editor of the Aylmer (Québec) Bulletin. She has written two books and edited a third.