My memoir, Reunion, La Réunion, Finding Gilbert, chronicles how my father’s stories of his time in France during World War II, especially about Gilbert, a French orphan boy he tried unsuccessfully to adopt, influenced and shaped my life.

Fifty years after the war, I set out to find the man who could have become my brother. What happened is a testament to the power of love and kindness and to the way that our dreams can guide us to our destinies.

Reunion, La Réunion, Finding Gilbert

Reunion, Finding Gilbert Cover Click this button to go to Click here to buy the book on Amazon read our reviews, write a review, or order the book.
old-fashioned radioKQED: Perspectives – June 6, 2014
For the D-Day Anniversary – Finding Gilbert
Read the article and listen to the commentary as Diane recalls how her father came to regard a young French boy as his own.
KVMR Radio interview about Reunion June 18, 2014
Mike Bissell, host
KNCO Radio interview about Reunion May 1, 2014
Diane Covington Carter D-Day Anniversary Touching the Heart of D-Day
Diane Covington-Carter Relates Her Father’s Unique Experience of Normandy in 1944
The entire magazine article has been made available as a downloadable PDF courtesy of France Today (France Media Group). Click here for PDF download (1.2mb).

REVIEWS for Reunion, La Réunion, Finding Gilbert

22nd Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards
Judge’s commentary on Reunion, La Réunion, Finding Gilbert
Reunion is not only a memoir, it is a mystery. It is also a multi-layered story: through looking for Gilbert, the author also finds, in many ways, herself and her family.
The story is told well, in the author’s straightforward and honest voice, and the reader feels a part of her journey. And it’s satisfying that the book doesn’t end when Gilbert is found; that happens just a little more than halfway through the story. The story continues with her life and Gilbert’s and his family’s life.
The book has poignant moments; for instance, when Gilbert tells her that his father promised to come back for him. The author does a nice job of not layering these with a lot of sentiment, but letting the story speak for itself. She also weaves in background information, including family history and world history, without bogging (the reader) down in unneeded exposition. Her choice to use narrative form is a good one; the story is believable and she makes dialogue and events that she obviously was not there for work.

Writer’s Digest E-book Awards
Judge’s commentary on Reunion, La Réunion, Finding Gilbert
Reunion, La Réunion: Finding Gilbert is a testament to how even the most seemingly unrelated happenings can have long-term consequences. During the 1944 invasion of Normandy, the author’s father, Donald Kenneth Johnson, took Gilbert, a seven-year-old French orphan under his wing.
Although he attempted to adopt the boy, the capriciousness of fate tore them apart and Gilbert remained in France while Johnson went back to his home in California.
Author Diane Covington-Carter grew up on her Dad’s stories of Gilbert, feeling as though he was the brother she’d never had a chance to know. She made a pilgrimage to Normandy in the early 1990s, a few years after her father’s death, setting into motion a far-reaching sequence of events that impacted several generations.
Part memoir, part detective story, this book is a testament to both persistence and the enduring power of love. The author faithfully recounts misunderstandings, bumps in the road and rewards as the two families’ fates begin to intertwine and they populate each other’s lives. This makes for compelling reading.
The power of a book whose underlying theme is at the end, ‘it’s all about who you love and letting them know’ is undeniable.