Douglas Cope's Trilogy: A Captivating Journey of Life and Self-Discovery
Douglas Cope, a talented writer and a man with a remarkable story to tell, has recently completed his trilogy of books entitled "Second Son of a Settler." The trilogy comprises three captivating volumes: "On the Spectrum," "The Long Road Ahead," and the final instalment, "Towards the Unknown." Each book delves into different phases of Cope's life, unravelling his experiences, challenges, and personal growth.
Cope's trilogy offers readers a multi-faceted perspective on his life, including his time in the Royal Australian Navy. From his early years on a soldier settlement block to his adventures in the navy, Cope's storytelling captivates and transports readers to different moments in history.
In "On the Spectrum," the first book of the trilogy, Cope takes readers on a poignant journey through his early years. Born in 1946 as the second son of a soldier settler, Cope's family endured hardships as they moved from place to place, seeking a better life. Settling in Robinvale, the family faced adversities related to their farming endeavours. Cope vividly recounts the struggles faced by his family and the camaraderie among the settlers, who shared farm equipment and laboured together to clear the challenging terrain.
Cope provides a glimpse into the impact of post-war trauma on the mental health of returned soldiers. Highlighting the unacknowledged struggles faced by his father and others in the community. He writes, "The poor mental health of some returned soldiers went unacknowledged, so the pub became the place to find camaraderie, coupled with the swilling of copious amounts of beer, if it could be afforded or not." This honest and raw portrayal of the hardships endured by the settlers adds depth and authenticity to Cope's narrative.
Throughout the trilogy, Cope's writing exhibits a unique blend of retrospection and vivid recollection. In his author's notes, he reflects on his childhood memories and the emotional impact they had on him. He writes, "Most of my early childhood is a blur, but I remember vividly some of the more colourful or important aspects. The story became increasingly real and thoughtful as I grew older." This introspective approach gives readers a sense of the author's personal journey and the emotional weight that accompanies the retelling of his past.
Cope's poignant reminiscences are further revealed in his author's notes. He shares his struggles with anxiety and the toll it took on his mental well-being. He confides, "Whether it was guilt or just a disturbing feeling, particularly when going through a traumatic period, these childhood memories crept up and developed into anxiety; transforming my thoughts into such an emotional web that, at times, I found it difficult to cope." This candid expression of vulnerability enhances the connection between the author and his readers, inviting them to empathise with his experiences and emotions.
Cope sheds a light on his motivations for writing his life story. He reveals his desire to bring forth the hidden aspects of his past, stating, "So much of my growing up has been hidden in the chambers of my mind that it became clear to me that I would never be completely at ease or indeed happy within myself unless I wrote of my life experiences in a book."
Douglas Cope's trilogy offers readers a compelling narrative of personal growth, resilience, and self-discovery. Cope's ability to reflect on his past, coupled with his candid storytelling, creates an intimate and profound reading experience. Through his books, he invites readers to explore the triumphs and trials of his life, delving into themes of family, mental health, and the search for identity. If you're seeking a captivating and introspective journey, Douglas Cope's trilogy is a must read.
This was a glowing review from the local news paper "The Robinvale Senital" in the Historical town of Robinvale Vic . On the mighty Murray river - A Soldier Settlement Project - following the 2nd World War .