Unwanted Love Story is one man’s memoir on the life and times of growing up in Vancouver, British Columbia. Covering a span of over 80 years, Nolan shares a flurry of personal and incidental stories from the past to the present—his amazing birth, family history, growing up in the midst of economic strife and war, meeting his wife, and married life.
First-time author Herb Nolan covers a lot of ground in a small number of pages. Nolan’s first person narrative is a definite walk down memory lane. Of prime importance, Nolan shares a quick but healing story of forgiveness when he was 20 years of age. His mother emotionally confesses how she attempted to abort his life amid a difficult unmarried relationship. To her surprise, Herb miraculously entered the world nine months later. Nolan’s experience may be considered a bit shocking. Yet in truth, the economic conditions of 1930s (the time period of his birth) pressured women to be in more control of childbearing. Thus, abortions were quite common.
“It was April 1st of the year 1933…and along came an unwanted addition.”
Nolan’s writing style carries a bit of randomness to it as he suddenly reverts to backstories before moving on through his timeline—reminiscent of homey fireside chats. Yet he constantly breaks the monotony of dated events by incorporating a variety of humorous and eye-opening tales. Great examples include how his name was legally changed, playing with explosives, and how he got a job in the police force. Nonetheless, Nolan captures the essence of people and situations that obviously made an impression in his mind, over the years. While various episodes in his life undoubtedly play an important genealogical role to his immediate, blended, and extended families—a generational passing-down-of-stories, sharing what it was like living through the Great Depression and pre and post-World War II with all their unique nuances is an additional gem to the collection of living history.
Unwanted Love Story is an interesting read—one specifically earmarked for history lovers.