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Over the Top: A Love Story

Over the Top: A Love Story
by Grace Wilkinson

Publisher: Potlatch Publications
Genre: biography & memoirs
Format: trade paperback; photographs; 150 pages
Price: $20.00

Editor: Valerie Nielsen, granddaughter of the author


Over The Top: A Love Story is a fascinating memoir, termed “a novel” by its writer Grace Wilkinson, depicting family life in England early in the twentieth century, climaxing with the onset of the First World War. The author had been inspired by her son Charles, while visiting his family in Hamilton, Ontario, to write a few memories of her marriage to Ted, a dedicated career soldier, and of being the mother of three young sons.

Grace and Ted meet at a British Army dance close to Buckingham Palace, where Ted is stationed. There a stormy courtship begins, resulting in an equally stormy marriage, but one loaded with love. During an interval in Ted’s military career, they both take employment at a boys’ school, in the shadow of the famous Malvern Hills northwest of London. There they raise three sons, during which time the First World War begins, and Ted rejoins the Army as an officer. Home on leave, the young lieutenant leads his family uphill to a picnic on the Worcester Beacon, the highest peak in the Malverns. Soon thereafter, he finds himself in France, in a trench on the Western Front. 

Grace lived long enough to see her sons grow up and prosper, with families of their own. Charles brought his to Canada, where he enjoyed a long career as an editor at The Hamilton Spectator.  


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