Family Secrets: The Inspiration behind Rosemary in Bloom
By Khristy Reibel
Every family has their share of characters—outrageous, mysterious, trouble-making, hilarious. Sometimes it isn’t what is said that is the most interesting. When I heard that my grandma wrote my grandfather a Dear John letter while he was fighting in Europe during World War II and married someone else, I had to know more! I wanted to know every detail that she could remember. After we had a few beers, she would reveal bits and pieces of her story. The more I heard, the more I wanted to know. She was fascinating. Sometimes, she would blow off my questions, feigning senility. I took those kernels that I got from her and expanded it into a novel, loosely based on her life.
The war years seems so romantic and much simpler. I wanted to show that it was neither romantic nor simple. I wanted to show the brutalities of war, fighting in Europe. I had no information about my grandfather’s experience in the war. Through the wonders of the internet, I found a book published by his infantry. When I saw his name in there listed as a Purple Heart recipient, I got goose bumps. I used this book as a guide for the movements of my grandpa in Luxembourg and Germany. I also wanted to highlight the patriotic actions of the people in my small town in Illinois. I went to the Streator Historical Society and gathered information about war bond drives, scrap metal drives, parades, the cantina at the train depot which served troops going to training. I wanted to honor the actions of my home town and remind people how they came together to fight for a common good. At its heart, this book is a love story, separated by war, pushed along by fear, and resolved through patience. I hope you enjoy the wild ride Rosemary takes you on!
Rosemary in Bloom- Inspired by a true story
When Rosemary meets Albert, it is instant chemistry. But it is also the summer of 1942, and scores of young men—Albert included—feel compelled to enlist to fight the war against Hitler. Albert wants to marry Rosemary before he leaves for Europe, but she just can’t commit. Like so many young women of her time, Rosemary finds herself left behind to work and worry, desperate for love but frightened of abandonment.
Three years later, and with Albert’s fate still unknown, Rosemary meets Harry, a charming and handsome man. Rosemary feels guilty for spending so much time with Harry, but she has lost all faith that Albert will make it home safely, especially when she receives news of her brother’s serious combat injury. Should she wait for Albert, or settle for the man in front of her?
Inspired by a true story, Rosemary in Bloom explores faith, forgiveness, enduring love against all odds, and the difficult decisions that strong, smart women on the home front had to make during World War II.
Khristy Reibel grew up in rural Illinois, the setting for most of the action in the novel. Even though she lives in Las Vegas now, she is still a Midwestern girl at heart. After graduating high school, she attended the University of Illinois, where she received a B.S. in Marketing, which enabled her to hone her writing skills by creating advertising copy for a tradeshow company. In 2008, she enrolled at UNLV and later graduated with an M.Ed. In addition to writing, she teaches high school English and German. She believes that teaching students to support their ideas in writing is the most important skill she can help them learn. This is her first novel published.