Published: 28/01/2017
ISBN: 9781788036375
Format: Hardback

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Waiting for Walter
by A. S. Balfour

“That night he dreamt she ran towards him across a vast graveyard under a moonlit sky calling his name. He reached out to her but as fast as she ran she couldn’t close the distance. Then as if out of nowhere, she grasped his hand.”

Set partly in late 1950’s London, Waiting for Walter follows the fortunes of two people over a forty-year time span, crisscrossing between countries. Days before his son’s marriage to an Asian girl, Martin is obsessed by a chance sighting of a familiar young woman on the other side of the street. Whilst wading through old love letters in his attic, a dried up ginkgo leaf falls to the floor and he is transported back to his romantic past to the girl who waited.

In 1958, Martin, a Jewish boy, met Leni, a young German au pair, at The Moulin Rouge club in London. After a tempestuous start, they fell passionately in love. Secret plans to marry are made but in the aftermath of WW2 and the Holocaust, the forces of prejudice are against them. Martin’s father is unmovable. Unable to bridge the deep-rooted cultural divide, Martin cannot walk away from either his father or the girl he loves. He makes a promise to each that he cannot keep.

Now in their sixties, and after years of sworn silence, Martin and Leni arrange to meet once more in Heidelberg. There, a single act of beauty and courage finally re-unites them in an unexpected farewell, leaving Martin with a heartbreaking dilemma...

Waiting for Walter is a unique and powerfully moving love story with a historical setting and a strong sense of jeopardy. It will appeal to fans of Julian Barnes, David Nichols, and Colm Tóibín.

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Waiting for Walter is first and foremost a ‘good read’! It is a gem among love stories.
It is an interfaith story with a twist.
The characters are real and the outcome became important - not just to Martin and Leni, but to me too.
Sometimes disturbing, sometimes exciting, but always intriguing and challenging

by Jack Lynes, Chairman: Harrow Interfaith. Past Chairman: Bereavement Care

A moving and thoroughly absorbing love story that fascinated and tantalized me from first page to last. The author deftly builds a character portrait of Martin as we follow his evolving relationship with the beautiful Leni over many years. I particularly enjoyed the background detail of time, culture and places against which their affair is set. A highly enjoyable and recommended read.

by Mike Levy


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