Sarah Sundin's debut novel A Distant Melody immersed readers in the 1940s and the drama of World War II. A Memory Between Us takes us back to a time of fear, desperation, courage and hope.
Enjoy this insight into Jack & Ruth. Over to you, Sarah:~
Maj. Jack Novak is too good-looking for his own good. He’s tall and broad-shouldered, has blue eyes, wavy black hair, and a mustache. He’s never failed to achieve any goal he’s put his mind to.
Lt. Ruth Doherty is beautiful, which has never caused her anything but trouble. She has auburn hair and blue eyes.
Maureen O’Hara reminds me of Ruth, as does the woman in the poster below — especially appropriate because Ruth is an Army nurse. Jack looks a bit like a young Clark Gable—more from It Happened One Night than Gone With the Wind, but without Gable’s dimples and ears.
Strengths and weaknesses
Jack is driven, outgoing, and a natural leader. People are drawn to him because of his looks and personality, but admire him because of his character. However, pride is a problem for him. He’s never really failed, so he trusts himself more than he trusts God. He also tends to manipulate people.
Ruth is fiercely loyal to her family—an orphan, she feels responsible for her six younger siblings. She’s sharp, resourceful, independent, and determined. However, she’s burdened by shame and keeps people at arm’s length.
Quirk (if any)
Jack is not a quirky sort of man, but he does have a phobia that he’s careful not to let anyone know about.
Ruth has a strong aversion to sausage. There’s a good reason for that, and this aversion pops up in some interesting ways in the book to show what’s going on with Ruth.
Your inspiration for the character
My inspiration for Ruth Doherty came from an idea I had about a poor girl who makes a shameful decision to feed her family. I wondered what kind of girl would make such a decision, what consequences she would face, and what she’d be like when she grew up. And there was Ruth—strong, confident, clever, independent, prickly—but vulnerable inside.
Jack’s career is based on that of my great-uncle, Roderick Stewart (the original Rod Stewart), who was in the squadron of B-17s entering Pearl Harbor during the attack, then served as a squadron commander with the 94th Bomb Group based in England. However, everything else about Jack, especially his personality, is his own. He was originally just meant to be the annoyingly perfect older brother for Walt (the hero of Wings of Glory Book 1, A Distant Melody), but when the character for Ruth came to me, Jack kind of raised his hand and said, “She’s mine.” When they met, sparks flew, and I knew I had a book.
Background to the story
Major Jack Novak has never failed to meet a challenge—until he meets army nurse Lieutenant Ruth Doherty. When Jack lands in the army hospital after a plane crash, he makes winning Ruth's heart a top-priority mission. But he has his work cut out for him. Not only is Ruth focused on her work in order to support her orphaned siblings back home, she also is determined not to give her heart to any man.
As the danger and tension of World War II rise to a fever pitch, Jack and Ruth will need each other more than ever. Can Jack break down her defenses? Or are they destined to go their separate ways?
From the English countryside to the perilous skies over France, A Memory Between Us takes you on a journey through love, forgiveness, and sacrifice.
Thanks for sharing Jack & Ruth with us, Sarah :) Looking forward to reading their story!
On Monday the spotlight shines on Don Reid's J.D. & Karlie Wickham from One Lane Bridge
Relz Reviewz Extras
Review of A Distant Melody
Character spotlight on Allie & Walt
Enter Sarah's fabulous contest