Nuala Comeaux, Hero of “Love at War” by Viola Russell

Who are you?

I am Nuala Comeaux, and I appear in Viola Russell’s LOVE AT WAR, available through The novel is set during WWII, and I am the protagonist. My story begins in the summer of 1941 when I’ve turned eighteen. It is while I’m with my sister Rose on the beach that I meet Keith Roussel after a long absence.

Where do you live?

When the novel opens, I am a high school student in New Orleans. Throughout the novel, I travel to England, France, and Germany after I join the OSS.

What is your problem in the story?

The war is coming to the States, and my husband, Keith Roussel, is drafted. He deploys before our daughter Sandy is born, and then, he is captured while on a sniper mission, presumed dead or POW. As a result, I join the WAC, and later, the OSS. I am recruited by my brother Will to work undercover.

How do you see yourself?

My self-perception changes throughout the narrative. When the novel opens, I’m very much the obedient daughter and am dominated by my siblings. When Keith is killed, I become much more determined and stronger. No one can believe that timid Nuala would leave all she holds dear and join the WAC or the OSS, but I am determined to avenge Keith. My motives aren’t simply patriotism.

How do your friends see you?

My friends see me as weak, shy, and easily led. What few people see is how Keith’s love changed me and how his death hardened me.

How do your enemies see you?

To my enemies, i have to seem like a fragile, innocent person. Gen. Johann Blenk, the man I must seduce and entrap, sees me as gentle and as easily crushed as a flower.

Do you have a goal?

My goal is manifold and changes throughout my story. My first goal is to avenge my husband, and then, when I learn of the treachery surrounding his capture, I wanted to learn the truth about his supposed death. My ultimate goal, however, is to return to my child.

What are your achievements?

I can convince my enemy that I’m everything I pretend to be–even as I lie in his arms.

Do you talk about your achievements?

As a spy, I cannot discuss my achievements. Part of my achieving success means that I have to keep secrets and live a duplicitous life.

Do you have any skills?

I’m skilled with languages; in fact, Will recruits me to the OSS because we learned German from our German mother and French from our French-born paternal grandmother.

What do you want?

I want my family back; I want my country at peace; I want victory and revenge.

What do you need?

I must maintain the facade I adopt while I work because I want nothing more than revenge for the loss of the man I love.

What was your childhood like?

My childhood was spent in dignified poverty. My father was a carpenter/house painter. My mother was a war bride. My parents met when my father was a soldier in WWI, and we felt their love even though we didn’t have much money.

Who is your true love?

Keith Roussel is my true love and my first love. I wanted him even in grade school, and I knew when we first made love that I’d love him forever.

If you were stranded on a desert island, who would you rather be stranded with, a man or a woman?

If were stranded on a desert island, I would want Keith with me. No other lover has so aroused every sinew within my body or so reached the depths of my soul.

See also: Interview withViola Russell, Author of Love at War

3 Responses to “Nuala Comeaux, Hero of “Love at War” by Viola Russell”

  1. Paula Martin Says:

    Great interview – I really want to ‘meet’ this character!

  2. Rod Marsden Says:

    Could be good. Nuala reminds me a little of Nancy Wake, the white mouse.

  3. Sheila Deeth Says:

    I had a high school friend called Nuala. Nice interview

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