A Life Apart

Written by L.Y. Marlow
Review by Erin Davies

On December 7, 1941 the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan. Stationed at Pearl Harbor, Morris Sullivan owes his survival to Robert Dobbins, a black seaman who died pulling his comrades from the water. Seeking closure, Morris is determined to thank Robert’s family for his sacrifice, but his effort to honor a fallen hero blooms into a romance that will define the man he becomes and challenge everything he believes. Spanning the better part of five decades, A Life Apart is a tedious historical novel, but underneath that it is a heartbreakingly beautiful book about prejudice, strength, forgiveness and love that defies convention. I personally found Marlow’s peppering of the story with tenuously relevant headlines from the ′40s, ′50s, ′60s and ′70s distracting, but the depth and earnestness of the love triangle she created between Morris, Beatrice and Agnes provided a powerfully moving thesis that struck me to the core.