Jeremiah Mackenzie and Marjorie Wakefield fell madly in love and married young, but then World War II broke out. Jerry volunteered to become a Spitfire pilot, while Marjorie kept the home fires burning. Shortly after welcoming their son, Roger, into the world, Jerry is approached by MI6 agent Frank Randall, who wants him to fly a reconnaissance mission to photograph labor camps in Poland. Jerry agrees and after one more night with his family, he flies out on his fateful mission, where he is shot down. After crashing his plane near a group of standing stones, the disoriented Jerry steps through the stones and into another era. Lost and alone in this strange place, Jerry is eventually saved by two mysterious strangers who know about the powers the stones possess and try to help him get back home to his family.
"A Leaf on the Wind of All Hallows" is a short novella in Diana Gabaldon's Outlander world that tells the story of Roger Mackenzie's parents, Jerry and Dolly. Orphaned during WWII and raised by his great-uncle, the Reverend Reginald Wakefield, Roger thought that his mother died during the Blitz and his father was killed when his plane was shot down during a combat mission. However, through a series of unexpected events in Written in My Own Heart's Blood, Roger discovered that what he'd always believed wasn't entirely true, and this story details what really happened.
Jeremiah "Jerry" Mackenzie and his beloved wife, Majorie "Dolly" Wakefield married young and have just welcomed their son, Roger, when Jerry, who is a Spitfire pilot in the war meets MI6 agent Frank Randall. Frank tasks him with going on a reconnaissance mission to take photos of labor camps in Poland to have evidence to bring the full story to the public. Jerry agrees and after spending one more night with his wife and son, he heads out on this sensitive mission. But along the way, his plane is shot down and crashes near a cluster of standing stones. Disoriented, Jerry stumbles through the stones into another time, where after many days of trying to survive and figure out what happened to him, he meets two mysterious men who know about the secrets the stones hold and try to help him get back to his family. Back at home, Dolly has been informed that Jerry is presumed dead, even though his body was never recovered, but a part of her has never quite given up on him being found alive.
I enjoyed this peek into the lives of Roger's parents. Jerry and Dolly clearly adored one another and would have done anything to be together. In the short time they got to spend with Roger, they were great parents, too. Theirs is a bittersweet story, because while the circumstances of their deaths weren't entirely what Roger always believed, the true events are still sad and tragic. I was glad that Roger got a chance to meet his father in Written in My Own Heart's Blood. It was a poignant moment that is recounted in this novella, only this time from Jerry's perspective. We also get a few appearances by Frank Randall as the MI6 agent who sent Jerry on his fateful mission and who informed Dolly of his demise. While I did enjoy meeting Roger's parents and finding out how Jerry ended up in the past where Roger met him, this story wasn't quite as engaging as the main Outlander books. However, the one thing I really liked is the time travel conundrum of Roger essentially playing a part in saving his own life once again. I just love the twisty turns that the time travel parts of this series can often take. It never fails to twist my brain up in knots but in a good way that's a lot of fun to think about. So overall, this was another enjoyable story in the series. "A Leaf on the Wind of All Hallows" was originally published in the Outlander anthology, A Trail of Fire, and as a stand-alone novella in eBook and audio format. It's most recent publication is in the single-author anthology, Seven Stones to Stand or Fall, along with several other Outlander related novellas.
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