From the Publisher
“A return ticket to Bridges of Madison County.” People
“Get out your box of tissues, and rid yourself of all distractions because once you pick up this book, you will not put it down...Fans of The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks will enjoy this book.” Booklist (starred review)
“Pratt's debut novel, like Casablanca, tugs at the heart and brings out the hankies. Sincere, heartfelt.” Kirkus Reviews
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
On February 14, 1944, their first anniversary, Navy Lt. Neil Thomas bids his wife, Caroline, farewell at Union Station, Los Angeles. They never meet again. Before he can set eyes on the son born in his absence, Neil's fighter plane goes down in the Pacific. He is declared missing in action, but love never dies in this avowedly "inspirational" first novel from Utah executive Pratt. Each anniversary, Caroline returns to Union Station to await her husband. On their silver anniversary, two days after learning that Neil died a hero's death among Philippine partisans, she makes her final pilgrimage with supernaturally happy results. The telling of the story by Neil Jr., himself a lonely widower, to cynical reporter Susan Allison, spawns a parallel romance. Originally self-published, the novel is steeped in roses and friendly songbirds. Pieces of the puzzle fall thuddingly into place. Sentence fragments abound. The point of view shifts alarmingly. Yet the book's sincerity is palpable, and the war scenes add a little grit to its anodyne message: that love triumphs over death.
Writer Neil Thomas Jr. wants to share his parents' love story with the world, and unenthusiastic TV reporter Susan Allison is given the "fluff" assignment. Unexpectedly intrigued, both by widower Thomas and his parents' story, Allison feels compelled to learn more about Lt. Neil Thomas Sr. and his wife, Caroline. The novel moves between 1944, with Lt. Thomas stationed in the Pacific and Caroline awaiting the birth of their child in Pasadena, and present-day California, where Susan and Neil Jr. fall in love as he describes events that took place 50 years ago. While the book would have benefited from tighter editing, the story is an interesting and moving one, and readers will be eager to learn how it all ends. Only the most cynical will feel that the word love is used a little too often. This sweet, nostalgic story is recommended for most public libraries. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 10/15/97.]Elizabeth Mellett, Brookline P.L., Mass.