An Unplanned Encounter: Two Lives Forever Changed ($38.34) is an unforgettable heart-rending novel set against the backdrop of World War II England. The main characters are involved in a fifteen-minute unintended sexual event that has lasting ramifications in their lives for the next thirty years.
Jonathan Husband, a first-time author, has written a touching, intense, complex story that is all the more striking because it is based on real events. He perceptively describes people dealing with emotions that have spiraled out of control and consumed their ordinary lives. Readers may very well imagine what their reactions might be if they found themselves in similar circumstances to the protagonists.
Within the main story are other spin-off stories, ranging from a Jewish family fleeing to Shanghai to escape the Nazis, to the San Francisco hippie scene in the 1960s complete with a graphic description of an acid trip, and insight into a mental hospital’s treatment of suicidal patients.
Mary Louise, the 20-year-old girl at the heart of the story, struggles to keep her illegitimate baby and support him in the face of her family’s disapproval. Jock is the father of the son he does not acknowledge, support, or have any involvement with. The third main character is Michael, an American who worked at an airfield in England with Jock during the War, and who, years later, connects the lives of Mary Louise and Jock.
Simultaneously tragic and uplifting, An Unplanned Encounter is an unforgettable story about relationships, acceptance, determination, sacrifice, and generosity.