The Locket
by Lisa Arnold

"He was torn between the wife waiting in the States and the erotic temptress he had formed a deep bond with in Jakarta."

The mistress knows about the wife, but the wife doesn't know about the mistress. The husband and lover they share is an American soldier stationed overseas in Indonesia during World War II. He fathers children with both women and supports them all back in his home state of Georgia after the war. The story chronicles the emotional and familial tumult of the subsequent twenty years. Secrets fester, confusion mounts, and the toll of sin and silence makes its indelible mark on all unfortunate parties involved. Wrapped inside this sorrowful story of betrayal and disappointment is a third love story that offers a possible second chance for characters whose obstacles have been significant and whose need for salvation is strong.

This is a sad book that explores the long-term impacts and aftermath of decisions made during the unnaturally stressed circumstances of war and displacement. Heinous acts otherwise unthinkable to civilized, loving people become the lifelong crosses these characters bear, as guilt and regret muddle their capacities and deliver many of them into futures doomed—in some cases, well before they arrive. The writing offers a balanced presentation of the lead characters' experiences and perceptions at various times through the passing of years. The story also offers its own brands of justice, as those who cause the most pain to others ultimately inflict the worst suffering on themselves. War is not an overt character in this novel. No scenes of armed conflict or violence cross its pages. Yet it is, by all means, a war story of human victims and accomplices, of timing and mistakes, and the limited paths to redemption that follow the vast upheavals of war.

Return to USR Home