Friday, June 23, 2017
For the Love of Tom
At the outbreak of the 1914-1918 war, Bryan found himself torn away from his simple country life to find himself deep in the mud and rain soaked trenches in the depths of France. Life suddenly became cheap as his comrades fell dead in front of his eyes. The relentless shelling and bombardment never seemed to end. Soldiers huddled and flinched as they searched for cover. It was during one of the most horrific and terrifying bombardments that Bryan found himself in the protective arms of Tom, an unknown soldier to him up until that first clutching embrace. Once the sheling had ceased, the two soldiers remained in their huddled position, only to find themselves staring into each others eyes as if to find reassurance that they were still alive. Little did either realise that this was to be the beginning of a new life of love and friendship between them.
The war continued endlessly, and the two soldiers found that they gained some solace from being near each other daily. One bombardment brought horror into their shattered lives. A shell exploded into the trench. Bryan was flung into the the knee deep muddy water. When he regained consciousness, he was in a field hospital behind the lines.His injuries where found to be less serious than expected at first. His mental state was to be a worrying factor by the doctors attending him. How could he explain that this was mainly due to the fact that he was desperately trying to find out what had happened to Tom, and his love for him.
The authorities seemed unable to reassure him beyond the fact that Tom was still alive, but his whereabouts unknown.The war ends, and Bryan returns home to his mothers care. As he regains strength and his health improves, he sets out to try and trace Tom, for he knows he will never really recover without having his love to share.How can he retain this secret from his mother and two sisters? For he was living in an age where homosexuality was a sin,and a crime, punishable by law. His desperate atempts to trace Tom are rewarded.
Tom, now recovered from his injuries follows up the invitation to spend time with Bryan and his mother in Cambridge.They find that they share their feelings for each other, and a whole new world becomes alive again after the tragic times they shared during the war. How do they even start to express their love for each other in a world so new and exciting for them both? How do they find the courage to inform their parents and family? Bryan was born into a family with simple ideals and understanding of life, whereas Tom came from a family full of rich surrounds and standards hard for him to live up to.
The author takes readers of 'For the Love of Tom' through the emotions of both male lovers as they try to come to an understanding of what is happening to them, both mentaly and physically. The story is also about the acceptance of their relationship by both families in an age before same sex love was accepted and understood as we know it today.