A Message For All Time
A story of patriotism and romance. A young man finds an old sealed bottle while fishing. He and his mother read a message, written by a sailor whose ship was sunk in 1942. Richard and his mother, Gloria, who live in London in 1954, are challenged to share this heart felt message, about three dying young men, with their surviving loved ones. The quest changes their lives. More
Synopsis of Novel, “A Message for All Time” By Donald C. Hancock, Augusta, Georgia.
This is a novel of 70000+ words, aimed at adults of all ages.
It begins as Richard, a seventeen year old, growing up in 1954 London, goes fishing in Brighton Beach. He finds a bottle with a rolled up piece of paper inside. He quickly bicycles to show the find to his mother. They discover a message, written by the sole survivor of a ship, sunk by a German U-boat in 1942. The last man alive in his life boat, Jim Stark, mentions that his death is close at hand. He says that he and two other men survived but that the other two have died. He gives a very moving message of his faith that freedom will eventually win out over tyranny. He names the other two men, Bob Swithers, Melvin Dorster, and mentions that he, himself, is from London.
Richard and his mother, Gloria, are moved by the message and the realization that no one close to those three men could possibly know what happened to them except that they were missing in action. They decide to do whatever they can to see that anyone close to these men, still living twelve years later, would finally know about their last hours.
They begin with a phone call to the Royal Navy and are helped by a retired officer, Sir Thomas Lawn. He looks up Jim Stark and finds a London address. They go to the address and meet Jim's cousin, Betsey,
Sir Thomas can not find a clue for Bob Swithers but found out that Melvin Dorster was on a special assignment for the navy, preparing to give the main address at the launching of a Cruiser, named after the country of Jamaica. Melvin had been a professor at a Jamaican college before coming into the Navy. Richard and Gloria determine that the college in Jamaica is the West Indian Training School in Mandeville. They tell Sir Thomas and he finds that he can arrange a flight to Kingston, Jamaica on a military flight. Richard and Gloria fly to Jamaica, after making an appointment with the brother of Melvin Dorster, Dr. Leitman Dorster, who is currently a professor at the school. On the flight, Gloria receives a message on the plane radio from Clara Woolsey, via Sir Thomas, that she has found a copy of the message that Melvin Dorster had intended to make. It came from a letter that Jim had sent to Clara. The message gave Gloria and Richard much more to give to Dr. Leitman Dorster than just the conditions of his death. It was a message of intentions to build the West Indian Training School into a four year university after the war, in honor of the young people who died in the war.
Armed with the new information, Gloria and Richard are not only welcomed to Mandeville but spend a week presenting the story of the message to groups all over Jamaica. In the process Gloria and Richard, both, fall in love with Jamaica and decide to return there after their quest is finished. Gloria also falls in love with Dr. “Leit” Dorster, who, like Gloria, had lost their first spouse to illness. They begin their flight to London after a very successful beginning to a campaign to work toward the new university.
On the way back to London their plane goes down and, after a brief time in life boats, they are picked up by a Cruise Ship going to Bermuda.
Sir Thomas provided transportation on the same military plane for Richard, Gloria, Leit, and Cassia to return to Jamaica. A wedding was planned in Mandeville and, to the surprise of Richard and Gloria, Leit set it up with Sir Thomas for everyone in London involved with the “message in the bottle” to fly in the military plane to the wedding. Sir Thomas, Jim's cousin Betsey, Clara, and many of the Swithersl family were on the plane. The whole novel ended happily and the probability of a sequel could easily be assumed by the fact that the life of Leit, Gloria, and Richard together was just beginning.
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