Author: Tammy Sinclair
Book: The Sentimental Journey
Genre: Historical Fiction
Today’s Welcome Wednesday author is Tammy Sinclair. In this post, she shares about the history behind her latest book, The Sentimental Journey, and some of the lessons she and her main character have learned along the way.
Learning to Trust
by Tammy Sinclair
The 1940s have always been one of my favorite times in history. I grew up watching old movies with my mom as she’d point out each of the actors and tell me their names. To this day, these films are still some of my favorite movies of all time. I also listened to Big Band music with my dad… Glen Miller, Benny Goodman, Tommy Dorsey, just to name a few. I loved this music even as a teenager.
The generations in our family are a bit spread out so my parents actually lived through the WWII era. In fact, my father tried to enlist in the war as a teenager and was rejected. His best friend, Eugene, made it in…and died in the Battle of Iwo Jima.
Though I’m connected to this era though my parents, it has always seemed far away…like a charming, elusive time in history—one I wish I could have experienced.
In The Sentimental Journey, modern-day Kara lives out this fantasy for me. Without being given a choice, she’s thrown back in time and needless to say, she’s very frightened and confused. Though she never leaves her hometown, Kara finds herself in a completely different world.
Let me introduce you to Kara and her story…
After being gifted a house at the age of twenty-one, Kara’s life is simple, unassuming…and a bit lonely. As an antique lover, she’s thrilled there’s an old trunk in her attic, just waiting to be explored. In her curious rummage through the items, she’s sent hurling back through time—and smack dab onto the home front of WWII. She realizes that her home is no longer hers—a family is residing there in 1943. However, unaware of her secret, the family takes her in under their wing. They become her surrogate family in a way, seemingly filling a vacant spot in her heart she didn’t realize she had.
When their son returns home on leave before he ships overseas, Kara discovers she’s falling in love. But he’s leaving…and through this spiral of emotions, she finds herself torn between two places in time. She knows she has to choose. More than anything, she has to learn to trust in others and eventually, in God.
Though we don’t actually plummet through time, how often do we find ourselves in places where everything seems strange and uncertain? Sometimes, it’s an actual location. Sometimes, it’s circumstances in our life we didn’t expect or choose, and we’re not sure how to navigate through them.
Kara had never known God personally, but she calls out to Him in the midst of the craziness. As events unfold, she continually has to learn to let go of what she can’t control and begin to trust in the One who created everything.
As I wrote this story, I didn’t have everything all planned out. I just kept writing to see what would happen! And as I did, I felt God speaking to me personally-—especially in the area of trust. No matter what’s going on in our lives, we can trust Him. We don’t have to constantly strive or have everything all figured out. This reality became a theme woven throughout the entire story. I truly believe God wants us to trust and rest in Him and His righteousness. Like many of us, however, it takes Kara a while to begin to grasp some of these truths.
As you read The Sentimental Journey, you may also pick up on some other minor, recurring themes sprinkled throughout the story. I won’t give them all away, because I’m curious to see if readers can find some of them! It will be obvious, though, that music plays an important part. In my “Author’s Note” I even mention that I hope some readers will look up and listen to some of the song titles they come across while they’re reading. Hopefully, it will further create the ambiance—and maybe some will even discover some wonderful songs along the way!
During the war years, many loved ones had to say good-bye to one another, never knowing if they’d ever see each other again. There was a sense of poignancy surrounding this uncertain time. Kara finds herself in the midst of this when Jerry has to leave. He’ll be across the world from her, fighting on the front lines, while she must go about her daily life…waiting. I sometimes think those left behind had it almost as hard as those fighting—just in a different way. For Kara, it is yet another way she is forced to face her fears and eventually surrender them.
Throughout this entire story, I hope readers will see the truth woven among the pages: God is in control and can be trusted. Though the concept of time travel is fantasy, God is the maker of time and space. He rules over all. And the amazing thing is that though He created the universe, He still cares about each of us personally. No matter where we find ourselves…He is there.
“If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.” Psalm 138:8-10
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