McGowan. “When Skies Have Fallen”, Beaten Track, 2015.
Love in the Time of War
Debbie McGowan’s “When Skies Have Fallen” won the Lambda Literary Award for Gay Romance. I read the book back then when it first came out and I have decided to have another look. Set in 1944, we meet
British airman Arty Clarke is no exception, a thinker and a dreamer. While dancing with his best female friend, Jen, his gaze hits upon American Technical Sergeant Jim Johnson, Arty and he dares to imagine a different dance. They meet and fall in love but that love was forbidden both by the law and by the armed forces. With the help of Jean, the two men attempt to find true love with each other, even though disaster might ensue. Jim and Arty know that it will not be easy and they manage to get through the rough times, the war and their separation. This was at a time when the world was torn asunder by the Second World War. They continued to hope when there seemed to be no hope.
When the war was over both men could not wait to get home and even thought they knew that there was a chance that they would not be accepted, they had made up their minds that they were going to live as a couple.
Debbie McGowan has written quite a book here. She explores how people deal with discrimination, their own selves and the prejudices of society. This is a story about love and it is quite an emotional read.
There are times I felt myself smiling as I read and other times that my eyes filled with tears. I became angry and I became satisfied and I loved Arty and Jim. We also are privy to the guys’ relationships with others. They are strugglers and they are survivors but above all else they stay true to each other.
We see just how far we have come as gay people but we must never forget that there will always be injustices.