Audrey Fahlberg’s Triumphant Love tells the story of a young family uprooted by World War II. Her chronicle of life and love during wartime offers readers a unique view of the challenges the war imposed at home.
Fahlberg notes in the book’s early pages that she and her husband were married 73 years before he died. “I have a hole in my heart…I wasn’t’ ready for my love to leave me,” she writes. In the remainder of the book, she looks back to the early years of her marriage.
She and her husband have a young child and another on the way when he’s drafted into the service. They’re forced to give up a nice home in Riverside, Illinois, and sell most everything so Audrey can move closer to Will’s first posting in Abilene, Texas. Will eventually becomes a combat medic with the Tenth Mountain Division of ski troopers.
Fahlberg moves several more times over the course of the war, adapting to her growing family’s needs. These changes are related in a matter-of-fact tone—yes, it’s a hardship and frightening, but we’d best be getting on with things—that make her easy to like and root for.
Triumphant Love is a pleasure to read, despite the difficult circumstances that shape it. Fahlberg can find something to be grateful for in any circumstance. A wholesome upbringing where the strongest drug she knew of “was Vicks VapoRub” shaped her character well. With each move, she packed the family’s few belongings with care and drew the kids into the excitement of unpacking them on arrival. Moving closer to her family enables her to work nights in a battery factory and be part of the war effort.
The war may have been the greatest test their young marriage faced, but Triumphant Love chronicles this uneasy time as a series of victories, small and large, won through persistence. It’s an ode to resilience and a fine story.
Also available in hardcover and ebook.