Cameron Hayes never expected to fall in love, but she did. As a journalist during WWII in Russia, she made the mistake of falling in love with a Russian. At the very end of WWII, they married, but to be honorable, Alex returned to his unit and country, hoping that freedom would win out and the Russian people would be granted more liberty in the wake of the war. Agents of the American government rope Alex into acting as a spy, holding exit papers and visas as the carrot in front of him. He's captured and thrown into prison where he faces deprivation, dehumanization, and torture in the form of drug addiction to heroin. After a hard fight, Cameron makes it into Russia, but she's still got a long way to go to find her husband and rescue him. She receives unlikely help from a police agent named Anatoly, an old friend of Alex who still feels indebited to him.
Blair and Gary struggle with boredom so they jump at the chance for Gary to work in Russia. Blair still struggles with her hatred of the Japanese people for the torture and death she was subjected to during WWII in the Philipines.
Jacki Okuida is still reeling from losing her husband during the war. She still faces backlash for having married a Japanese American. She joins her sisters in Russia to give moral support to Cameron and to help locate their long-lost, half brother, the son of their mother whom she bore before any of them were born.
The Hayes sisters, all now married, find themselves in Russia trying to help Cameron's husband. It is Cameron and Alex' old friend, Yuri, and the agent Anatoly who do the brunt of the planning and rescuing of Alex from prison. Cameron poses as a nurse and tries to help her husband beat the drug addiction his captors so ruthlessly subjected him to. Through much prayer and forgiveness, Cameron and Alex beat back the drug addiction together and then leave Russia separately to that they can reunite in Stockholm.
Cecilia Hayes finally gets to meet her long-lost son and at least tell him that she loves him. The story then ends with a nice family dinner where for once peace reigns in the tumultuous house.
This report prepared by Julie Gilbert
Bethany House, 2004, 13.99, 460 pp.
By 1946, the euphoria felt by World War II ending has changed to dread as a Cold War has gripped the globe. Churchill describes it quite well with his Iron Curtain speech splitting Europe between western democracies and communism. People deal with the aftermath of the global conflict and the new confrontation in different ways.
American Cameron sits in a restaurant in Nuremberg, Germany while her beloved husband Alex does likewise in Moscow pretending that they are dining together. The US Embassy has served as an intermediary, but soon afterward Alex is imprisoned in a Soviet prison.
Her sister Jackie raises her three and a half years old daughter Emi by herself as her Japanese spouse died during the war. Friends and even family have cut off Jackie and Emi because of the Japanese connection that remains raw.
The third sibling Blaine cannot cope with a half-Japanese niece as Emi reminds her of being tortured in the Philippines leading to a miscarriage. However, the three sisters band together with the common goal of freeing Alex from his Soviet prison.
HOMEWARD MY HEART is a look at the beginning of the Cold War and the aftermath of World War II on an American family.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner