Our Fine Romance

Book Cover


20th Century (multiple decades)

Maureen and Michael Harbott

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Our Fine Romance is a true story or two young people growing up separately during the London Blitz of 1940 and their subsequent evacuation into the English countryside. Following their unusual meeting , courtship and marriage they emigrated to 'Apartheid ' South Africa. Three years and two children later, for financial reasons, they made the risky decision to move to Northern Rhodesia, close to the war ravaged Congo. During their life there in the 1960's, the "Wind of Change" was sweeping through the Colonial African States. Many British territories became independent during this time and, after another child and ten years in Africa, they decided to start a new life on the west coast of Canada. With the addition of a third child and successful careers in their adopted country, Maureen and Michael are both now retired and living in Vancouver, British Columbia. However, a recent turn of events ( Alzheimer's disease) has lead to their biggest challenge yet.


Romance, War, Action, Adventure, Biographical, Drama, Family, Memoir, Young Adult,,Action,Adventure,Biographical,Drama,Family,Memoir,Political,War

Short Summary

Our Fine Romance chronicles the lives of two young people experiencing the horrors of war time Britain, then enduring the joys and disappointments of emigrating to the vast African continent, with its many racial and political problems.


London, South Africa, Northern Rhodesia (Zambia) and Canada

Based on a True Story


Plot - Premise

,Historical/geographical biography

Plot - Other Elements

Coming of Age, Meaningful Message,,Meaningful Message

Mature Audience Themes

Information not completed

Main Character Details

Name: Maureen

Age: Birth - 80years

Gender: Female

Role: Emotional

Key Traits: Empathetic, Romantic, Faithful, Selfless, Perseverance, Strong Moral Code, Adventurous, Aspiring, Educated, Modest, Beautiful, Charming, Confident, Honorable,Adventurous,Confident,Decisive,Faithful,Educated,Honorable,Sexy,Romantic,Charming

Additional Character Details

Name: Michael

Age: 1-80 years

Gender: Male

Role: Mentor

Key Traits: Adventurous,Engaging,Faithful,Romantic,Masculine,Charming,Empathetic,Educated

Additional Character Details

The author has not yet written this

Additional Character Details

The author has not yet written this

About The Author

Authors’ Biography Maureen and Michael grew up from humble beginnings on the east side of London, England. At the age of five, both experienced the German Blitz of the city and were evacuated into the English countryside. They met in their late teens on a foggy night when Michael asked Maureen to accompany her home from their Cycling Club. They subsequently married and very soon thereafter, emigrated to South Africa. In Cape Town, they had two children but little money so, a subsequent emigration was made to Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia.) Ten years later and with another child in tow, they removed themselves from the political turmoil in southern Africa and moved to the beautiful city of Vancouver, on Canada’s west coast. Here they had successful careers, a fourth child and a beautiful life. Their retirement years have not been easy as Maureen has developed a life-changing medical condition, but with the support of family and friends, they try to maintain a positive attitude and enjoy life with all its challenges.

Target Audiences

Age: 55+,35-54

Target Gender: Universal

Group Specific

Information not completed

Publishing Details

Status: Yes: self-published

Publisher: Self published

Year Published: 2015

Hard Copy Available







Maureen and Michael grow up during WWII as British citizens. After a chance meeting that turns into marriage, the two head out for Africa. Michael begins an illustrious career there, but after having kids and the growing tension of the Rhodesian War, the pair move their family to Canada. Blissful decades are spent raising their family, and they pair even enjoy an early retirement until Maureen starts to lose her memory and eyesight.

Overall Rating


Point of View


Narrative Elements

Authors Writing Style: GOOD

Characterization: FAIR

Commerciality: FAIR

Franchise Potential: FAIR

Pace: FAIR

Premise: GOOD

Structure: FAIR

Theme: FAIR

Accuracy of Book Profile

The book profile talks about how the couple experiences the horrors of war in WWII as well as in Africa, but in the novel, while they are present for these experiences, the horror is never expanded upon rather in the narrative the focus is on how they tried to make life feel normal in spite of the circumstances. Either making space for the horrors to be focused on or explaining the frame story of trying to get the wife to remember their happy memories rather than the horrors, this will better match the tone of the narrative.

Draw of Story

Maureen's newfound life in the country to escape the air raids has potential to be compelling in that she is a fish out of water only to start forgetting her real life and her mother. This forgetting is briefly touched upon but parallels her fears in her later years of forgetting forever the life that she had shared with Michael. The couple's decision to go on holidays especially with Michael's elderly mother while former Rhodesia was on the brink of war has nerve-wracking potential as well. Living through two wars is no easy feat especially when raising kids.

Possible Drawbacks

There is so much room for potential tension such as the looming threats of the Luftwaffe to the daughter's blood cancer, but too much hindsight that everything ends up survivable undermines the tension to never last more than a paragraph or two. The scope is so large that is is hard to gauge character personalities and with very little dialogue, many characters are left as static reflections rather than three dimensional memories.

Use of Special Effects


Primary Hook of Story

The hook is that the couple created a beautiful privileged life together over three continents, but the early retirement they set out to enjoy is ended with the diagnosis of Maureen's Alzheimer's diagnosis.

Fanbase Potential

Depending on the genre and the focus of which conflict the couple endured, this could have a medium to large size audience for a drama due to its historical events and exotic locations.

Awards Potential

Without sustained tension and an expansion on the character's emotions, this is hard to gauge what the range is for actors to gain nominations or create awards potential.

Envisioned Budget


Similar Films/TV Series


What’s New About the Story

The couple's lives as children surviving the London bombings of WWII and as colonial expats during the Rhodesian war are uncommon. Allowing tension to be sustained and focus for moments and showing the range of emotions in these moments could help create memorable sequences. Focusing on remembering everything creates an emotional disconnect from these intriguing moments of conflict.

Lead Characters

Maureen is hardy in that she survive two wars with grace and class. Michael is steadfast and responsible. Both seem good hearted and adaptable to any situations due to the their even-headed and positive outlook.

Uniqueness of Story

The focus is placed on Maureen's Alzheimer's as the main conflict, but this is just a frame story and there is so much potential other conflicts unique to the story that is glossed over to manage the large scope of dual lives.

Possible Formats

Film - Studio, Film - Streaming, Film - Indie, TV Series - Limited Run / Mini-Series

Analyst Recommendation



While the story has many positive points, it has room for improvement (see possible paths below). If you can't change the story at this point, my suggestion is using your notes as a guide to highlight the best aspects of it when taking the next steps, either putting a pitch page together, a treatment, or a presentation.

Tips for Improvement

Deciding on a main conflict and consistently showing the rising actions throughout the memories would help create a cohesive and easier to follow emotional arc. The chronological order of their entire lives causes events filled with tension to be quickly resolved, so taking moments within the pacing to pause, expand and reflect will help show the impact of the tension. The characters rarely have dialogue and thus are all within the prism of reflection, but allowing the characters to speak for themselves it will help create dynamic interpretations rather than a static memory.