Despite the tragedy of World War I, love can endure

Thanks to the generosity of HQ Fiction, you can read an extended extract of this title.

Early this month, we were treated to Vivienne Beddoe’s review of  The Art of Preserving Love by Ada Langton. With sincere thanks to our supporter, HQ Fiction, the following is an exclusive extract to further tempt you to read this wonderful Australian story. 

Chapter One
Early in the morning of Sunday, 5 November 1905, in Ballarat, when the sun has just woken, wiping sleep from its eyes.

Edie had a plan. She’d written it in her notebook and once something was written in her notebook, Edie knew it would happen. The letters had curved and spun on the paper as she wrote, as if they were threading themselves into the ordinary moments of life, quietly breathing their magic and putting things into place while no one was looking.

Edie’s plan wasn’t a big majestic plan that would up-end governments or bring love sweeping in like the gust of wind that roared up the wide main thoroughfare of Sturt Street to the big intersection at Doveton Street, where it would swirl like a tornado and whip women’s skirts up around their thighs, throwing them off balance and into the waiting arms of lonely miners.

Edie had made a modest plan. A carefully thought out plan. A plan for a love that would be gentle and soothing like a freshly brewed hot cup of tea first thing on an icy morning.

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The dim morning light wove its way through the trees into Edie’s room and turned the leaves of the rose-patterned carpet from olive to chartreuse, gently announcing the day.

Edie had woken before the sun and now eased herself up onto her elbow. She tugged hard at her nightdress, which was caught under her hip, and reached under her pillow. Her notebook had slept there, safely tucked under her dreams, and now as she held it in front of her the sun lit up its gold-embossed initials. She loved the feel of the leather cover and ran her fingers over her initials on the front. When she held it to her nose the warm musky smell filled her heart. Her father had given it to her on her birthday. It had a leather loop at the side to hold a small pencil. She opened it to her latest entry and read it over:

Fifth November Five

I am nineteen years old.

Plan — Marry (try to make it Theo Hooley).

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She always wrote the date out in words, it looked more permanent than numbers. Then she put the notebook on her bedside table, threw the blankets aside and jumped out of bed. She was ready to put her plan into action.


Thanks to HQ Fiction we have 5 more chapters of this book available to read free online, click here to read more.

The Art of Preserving Love, by Ada Langton is available in printed and digital editions from the publisher HQ Fiction, click here for details.