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Albert Camus

Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.

Monday, June 1, 2015

true love really does conquer all … even death - Ghost Love by Nelli Rees

In the madcap, chaotic days when Communism crumbled in the USSR, Tonia meets and falls in love with Englishman, Peter Monroe. Despite the protests of her family and the more strenuous objections of the KGB Tonia agrees to marry Peter only for him to mysteriously disappear.

Description:

Published: January 20th, 2015
Cover Artist: Niki Browning

In the madcap, chaotic days when Communism crumbled in the USSR, Tonia meets and falls in love with Englishman, Peter Monroe. Despite the protests of her family and the more strenuous objections of the KGB Tonia agrees to marry Peter only for him to mysteriously disappear.

Twenty years later a life-toughened Toni must revisit these bitter-sweet memories when she finds herself and her daughters endangered by the consequences of that love affair.


In her despair Toni comes to realise that true love really does conquer all … even death.

GUEST POST
XX CENTURY HISTORY AND LOVE STORIES 

Privet! (That’s Russian for ‘Hi!’). 

I’m Nelli Rees and my first novel, “Ghost Love” is out now, published by Phaze, billed as a ‘romantic thriller with a flavoring of the supernatural’. “Ghost Love” has two intertwined stories set twenty years apart these following the adventures of a Russian girl, Tonia, as she discovers that true love really does conquer all … even death. 

Tonia has latent psychical abilities. The inspiration for this came from a Soviet-era romantic fantasy novel “Scarlet Sails” by Alexander Green, a neo-romantic writer and poet of the beginning of the 20th century. It is a beautiful story about a young girl, an orphan, who believes that one day the man she will marry will come to her seaside town in a boat with scarlet sails … a dream which, after many trials and adventures, comes true. Like many girls of my generation I fell in love with it. When I first began writing “Ghost Love” I intended my lead male character ‒ Peter Monroe ‒ to be called Peter Grey, just like Grey in "Scarlet Sails". You can appreciate how long “Ghost Love” was marinating in my imagination that when “Fifty Shades of Grey” was published I realized I had to do some rapid re-naming (I feel heart-broken even now!). 

Another aspect of “Ghost Love” I was keen to relate was the bitter-sweet aspect of love. Here there are echoes of “Three Comrades” by Erich Maria Remarque. In a novel set in the post-First World War Germany against the background of unemployment and poverty there develops a beautiful love story between Robert, home from the war and trying to find his place and to fit in, and Patricia, a young upper class girl who has lost everything during the war. As the novel progresses, we realise that Patricia is ill; the book ends with a heart breaking scene of her death and the despair it brings to Robert - the same despair Tonia experiences in “Ghost Love”. 

And finally, there’s “1984”, one of the greatest books of all times. It is referenced in “Ghost Love”, when Peter gives it as a secret present to Tonia (the book was banned in Soviet Russia). To suggest “1984” is a love story will be seen by some as heresy – it is, after all, the dystopian novel par excellence – but nevertheless, I would contend that the desperation and hopelessness of the relationship between Winston Smith and Julia is the central conflict in the book and the driving force behind Winston’s desire to do something about his life. It was love which made Winston Smith defy Big Brother - just as, in a way, Tonia does in “Ghost Love”. 

So they’re my three Twentieth Century love stories: “Scarlet Sails” for the fantasy of love and “Three Comrades” and “1984” for the angst. They are each masterpieces and have provided me with hours of reflective thought. And each, in their own way, is a mirror of some aspects of life and history that made the Twentieth Century so interesting. And which is your favourite 20th century love story? 

About the author:
Nelli Rees, born in Moscow, trained as a linguist and a musician. With her future husband Englishman Rod she worked and travelled around Russia, finally coming to live in England in 1998. Nelli has had several successful careers: recording a critically acclaimed nu-jazz album “Jazz Noir”, becoming an award-winning jewellery maker, writing a book “Glass Bead Jewelry Projects”, and doing all this whilst being a mother and a wife. “Ghost Love” is Nelli’s first novel and draws heavily on her own experiences as a young woman in Soviet Russia and the obstacles she and her husband-to-be faced during those difficult times.

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3 comments:

nellirees said...

Thank you for posting "Ghost Love" - it's so exciting to see it here! :)

Jan Lee said...

Not only would I love to read the book, I'd love to see some of the jewelry! :)

nellirees said...

Thank you, Jan! Best of luck in winning one of the prizes! :)