Just home from fighting the Nazis, Adam meets Elizabeth Baxter, the town beauty, and is instantly drawn to her. Unfortunately, Elizabeth is going steady with Nathan Roberts, Adam's high school rival, and the man who holds the mortgage on his family farm. Adam expected the war's end and his homecoming to signal a return to peace, but will anything work out the way he hopes - or will he lose the girl and the farm?
Sweet. That's the most fitting word I can think of for this story. Nelson's layering of love story over national turmoil draws you back to a time when farm boys and young marriages weren't just possible, but common. To a time when you didn't need stuff or guarantees, just love and determination. The sweet sacrifice and determination of Adam's love makes for a fairy tale kind of romance - almost.
Just as fairy tales aren't real, Adam's romance with Elizabeth isn't problem-free, and this adds a veneer of truthfulness to the story. While the ending of Nelson's book may be predictable, there are many twists and turns that add drama, interest, and reality to the story. Rarely does our first idea of anything ever turn out as we hope, and neither does Adam's dream of Elizabeth.
In fact, I really liked this 'troublesome' element to the story. At first, as Adam and Elizabeth were sharing glances, it felt as if their hearts were becoming more involved than should be after only a few chance meetings. How believable is that, really? I couldn't help but wonder, and yet as these opportunities layered and then issues were thrown in, what began as a sweet love story had leapt off the page and danced with a beautiful reality right in front of me.
A book like this one can either leave you longing for that kind of fairy tale romance or make you determined to live it out. Many people in our culture today are choosing the former and walking away from reality in search of it. For many of us, The Anniversary Waltz reminds us that we've already got our fairy tale within reach - we just have to grab hold and dance it out.
I received a free copy of The Anniversary Waltz by Darrel Nelson in exchange for an honest review.