The Days of War Series

With America now in the war, the lives of the Nolan family, like the country, are heading into the unknown.

March 1942. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, America is no longer on the sidelines. While the fighting is far away, Bostonians still have to suffer through blackouts, food shortages, rationing, and air raid drills. Every day there is news of local young men who have been killed in action.

After a difficult start, Abby has made it through her first semester at BU. Her brother Thomas is now patrolling the harbor as a cop, and George works nights loading military freight at the shipyard.
Even their mother, who had been hospitalized for depression, has found a new purpose by selling
war bonds.

They are all doing their part, but life on the home front is unpredictable. When Abby’s German professor is arrested, she has to find a way to get him out. Then Thomas starts having second thoughts about his fiancée because she is a foreigner. Finally, George makes a decision that shocks
the whole family.

In a global war, there’s no place to hide, and everyone is affected. And as the months go by, the Nolans discover that not all casualties happen on the battlefield.

For the Nolan family of East Boston, life on the home front is a different kind of war.

June 1941. While the news from Europe remains grim, the future of the Nolan family looks bright. Abby has been accepted to college for the fall, and her twin Thomas is waiting to get on the police force. Even their older brother George, who could never keep a job, has finally found steady work as a truck driver.

Like every summer, they go to their cottage on nearby Point Shirley, only this year feels different. The Depression has forced many residents to sell, and a lot of their friends have grown up and moved away. Beyond that, there is uneasiness in the air as the Army builds a gun battery on the backshore and fighter planes do maneuvers over the harbor.

They all try to make the best of it, but it’s an anxious time, and tensions are high. When Thomas becomes a guard at the shipyard, it puts him at odds with his father, who is a union crane operator. George’s reckless behavior finally catches up to him, causing their mother to drink too much. Abby seems the only one who will get through the summer unscathed until she finds out the guy she likes will soon be gone.

The family has always had its problems, but the world is in crisis, and people are on edge. And as the country creeps closer to war, the Nolans struggle to stay together.


I grew up in Boston and attended public schools. After a brief career as a bicycle messenger, I graduated from Boston College with a B.A. in English Literature (1995). During my twenties, I wrote two unpublished novels, taught high-school in Ireland, lived in Mexico, worked as a prison librarian, and spent a month in Kenya, Africa before finally settling down three blocks from where I grew up.

I currently live in Boston (West Roxbury) with my wife Heidi and daughter Maeve.