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Where the headlines are …
Luke Elliott and Claudia Marsden have fallen in love at a perilous time. The Second World War is raging in the Pacific, barbed wire and gun emplacements are strung along the northern beaches in preparation for invasion. As the war moves closer, their ‘sextet’ of loyal school friends is splintering as individual career dreams are pursued. Luke yearns to be a journalist but a start in newspapers is proving challenging. The war’s end unexpectedly provides Luke’s big break, but the pursuit of his dream will keep him away from Australia and Claudia, with surprising consequences for them both.
Above the Fold was the first work of historical fiction to be published by For Pity Sake. As the Second World War wages in the pacific, Luke Elliott and Claudia Marsden and their sextet of loyal friends find their lives changed forever.
Ita – April 5, 2016:
It started as a sort of romance novel and I didn’t really like it, but I am glad I kept reading as it is a terrific story about Australia’s recent history. Very interesting and entertaining, I am pleased I met Peter at an author talk at Tuggerah Library otherwise I would not have discovered this author.
Spencer – April 5, 2016:
This is a book with a big conscience, from the atomic bombs in Japan, cover ups in Australia and the appalling attitude and treatment of Aboriginal Australians. It was very well written and despite the heavy content it was an entertaining and enjoyable book to read.
Mary – April 5, 2016:
Although the hero of this novel, Luke Elliott, is a fictional character, the author explains in the end notes that the character is based loosely on his own life and experiences as an investigative journalist and author. Certainly there is an ‘authentic’ feel to the story lines which adds credibility to the narrative.
Commencing in the later stages of the Second World War, the story opens in Sydney with the blossoming of neighbourhood friends, Luke, Barry, Helen, Steve, Rachel and Claudia, who are in the process of leaving school and finding their way in the wider world as budding adults. Luke declines the opportunity for further formal education and gets a job with a local radio station as a messenger boy. It is not long before his talents as a writer become apparent, and his career as a journalist and author is launched.
As Luke’s professional life takes off, so too does his personal relationship with the beautiful and sensitive Claudia. Their passionate affair is interrupted by the opportunity for Luke to work as a radio journalist for two years with the occupation forces in Japan, in the wake of WW2. Being in the right place at the right time gives Luke access to controversial issues which become the foundation of top quality pieces of journalism, which are noticed in press circles around the world. In particular, his visit to devastated Hiroshima and his encounter with victims of radiation sickness prompt him to write with passion about the terrible consequences of atomic warfare. It is not long before he is being offered the chance to work with the world’s leading media outlets. His career as a foreign correspondent and investigative journalist of distinction takes him to many and varied places, and it is several years before he returns to Australia.
Meantime, back home, Claudia’s life inevitably moves in different directions and they become estranged. Despite the years and distance, Luke holds his love for her deep in his heart. The opportunity to investigate rumours of misdeeds by the British and Australian governments over secret nuclear tests at Maralinga brings Luke back to his country of birth for an extended period. His bravery in theatres of war, and in the subsequent Cold War, has been proven indisputably. But can Luke dig deep enough inside himself to generate the courage to meet Claudia after so many years of silence?
Above the Fold is a sweeping chronicle spanning many decades of post-WW2 history, which explores a number of issues dear to the heart of its author Peter Yeldham. Luke’s burgeoning career allows the author to string together a series of escalating sub-plots which delve into sinister episodes in recent Australian history that our government would prefer were kept secret. The story flows easily with Yeldham’s fluent writing style. I found it to be an entertaining and thought-provoking read. 4★s
Not that bad