Monday, 18 April 2011

Anzac Day - a card regarding Finding Darcy...

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Last week a letter, re-addressed by my publishers, Black Dog Books, arrived containing a card from a lady who'd recently read Finding Darcy.
(Finding Darcy is based on a real incident, the sinking of Japanese Prisoner of War ship, the Montevideo Maru . My grandfather, Bill McLennan is listed as one of the 1056 Australians who died. The loss of the Montevideo Maru is Australia's greatest maritime disaster.)
The card, which brought tears to my eyes, started with the line 'Thank you for writing my family story...' and was written by the daughter of  another soldier listed as being on the Montevideo Maru. She outlined her family's pain and distress and how her father's death had a continuing profound effect on them, just as it had on my family and so many others.
When I wrote Finding Darcy, I was acutely aware of the need to honour these men and their families, while also recognising the pain and the impact of silence and secrets.
 I'm grateful to Helen for taking to the time to write to me, and so humbled as it seems I've been able to tell an important, painful incident in a way that is true to the men and the families. Someone who lived the story like Helen would spot a fake! Like my mum who was three when Bill died, Helen was 4 when her father died. My grandfather Bill and Helen's father were both in C Company. I wonder if they knew each other?

My grandparents and my mother, Trawool Camp. 1941


Anonymous said...

What a wonderful update and it's great to see such a remarkable true story captured so beautifully and now bringing people together!

Sue Lawson said...

Thank you for your feedback, Anon. I appreciate it. I've been overwhelmed by people's response to the story.

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