THE TEST OF TIME is a human tale about a fictional woman possessing no less emotion than a real-life person living through the decades of the 30s to the 70s.

    This faux biography follows the literary tradition of extracting the essence—the charm and drama, the historical and philosophical meaning—of the character’s life. Four themes weave through this work:

War—Three generations of a family are caught up in the philosophical arguments for and against The Great War, World War II and Vietnam. 

	Marriage—Under the duress of wartime, Betty’s father and then Betty jump into hasty marriages only to witness the moral decay of their respective spouses.

	Birth—Betty’s real mother gives her up to the socially-prominent wife of her father. Repeating this birth-mother role for her English lover, Betty feels torn between a perceived obligation to her aging father and her own moral obligation. 
		 
	Money—Betty’s father’s inventiveness and her deportment challenge the envelope of business ethics. 

    The protagonist Betty Tillerman joins the WACS in World War II, has a hasty wartime marriage, becomes a post-war mother, pursues a business career of raising horses and has a love affair at the age of 50. Add to that storyline an intriguing plot that prods the politically correct family image.

A Faux Biography More Gripping than a Who’s Who

After reviewing The Landscape of Time by Lois Foyt and Jon Foyt, I searched for their previous six novels. The Test of Time caught my reading eye and my initiation into their fan club. 

The Test of Time is a poignant story about a woman living through the decades of the 30s to the 70s. The novel chronicles the life of a Cleveland socialite named Betty Tillerman, who at the age of 21 drops out of Oberlin College and joins the WACs in 1942, becomes an officer and goes into North Africa with her anti-aircraft team as part of Patton’s Army and then into France with her battalion of women soldiers right after D-Day. In an impulsive moment she has secretly married her anti-aircraft captain-instructor during her training at Fort Knox. He goes off to the Pacific and spends the war in a Japanese POW Camp, returning mentally wounded, complicating her post-war life until her powerful father takes matters into his own hands. 

The authors have a past association with Dan Wakefield, the author whose novels found their way to Hollywood—Starting Over with Burt Reynolds and Going All The Way with Ben Affleck. The Foyts attended the same high school in Indianapolis and that’s why I liken their writing to Wakefield’s style. It’s crisp, insightful and well researched. 

Re-reading The Test of Time because I didn’t want to overlook the symbolism, the nuances and the irony, I wanted my colleagues at Millennium News to read the novel so that together we could discuss, debate and delight in the ideas presented by Lois Foyt and Jon Foyt. 

Reviewed by Stanley Wiseman, Millennium News Service
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