In Save the Last Dance the reader is allowed to eavesdrop on correspondence among people caught in an extraordinary situation - the sudden intrusion of long-ago love into their humdrum lives. Adam Wolf and Sarah Ross were teenage sweethearts in the late 50s and early 60's. They set a wedding date when they turned fifteen. The day came and went. For most of their lives the two were out of contact. With their 50th high school reunion approaching, Adam and Sarah reconnect. Email exchanges - after the first tentative "hi", a deluge - five, ten - by the end of the week twenty emails a day. Soon Sarah admits, "All my life I've been looking for someone who loves me as much as you did." In their late 60s now, the couple are far apart geographically, but again inseparable, at least virtually. They feel ageless. Adam dances around the house, no longer "zombie-walking to Waldheim Cemetery". The two weave from nostalgia and reminiscences to plans and possibilities. They giggle and fantasize. They trust each other with secrets never revealed before. Too soon harsh disapproval besieges the couple's dream world. Adam is married to Lola, a frustrated and hypercritical wife. His employer, Amanda, grows obsessively possessive of him. Divorced from her arrogant husband, Professor Harold Weinstein, Sarah has just entered into a relationship with Gordon, whom she once thought of as "a keeper". Can Adam and Sarah's newly-rebuilt romance withstand the pummeling from the people whose lives they've derailed.
The Kirkus review (April, 2016)
A contemporary tale focuses on two sexagenarians who reconnect via the Internet before their 50th high school reunion.
In this debut novel Joseph and Grudin have crafted a love story that is told entirely through emails. . . The protagonist, Adam Wolf, has received an invitation to his 50th high school reunion. and ponders questions of mortality. . ., themes that are prominent throughout the volume. He begins to reminisce about his high school sweetheart, Sarah Ross. A couple of months later (as evidenced by the dates on the emails), Adam works up the nerve to email Sarah . . .Very quickly, an intense email correspondence ensues. . . They fall into a near-obsessive back and forth. Adam and Sarah reveal that they have significant others in their lives as well as complicated pasts. Even so, the connection from their teens returns strongly through their correspondence. Although they live thousands of miles apart, the two grow increasingly serious, each considering risking everything for the other. Through its modern epistolary style, this book tells a poignant story about the emotional pain and physical discomfort that come with confronting old age. . .The characters, repeatedly surprised by their own experiences, are still struggling to come to grips with the fact that their youth is long gone. At one point, Sarah writes Adam: " 'Elegant' is never a term sent in my direction. My mascara runs. Every new blouse has a stain on it by lunchtime. With me, you'll be trading down. I've been cut and pasted and recombined with one botch after the other. I mean it.' " Filled with nostalgia and a kind of morbid resignation, the tale explores the ideas of reawakening and unlikely second chances.
A witty, complex love story about a late-in-life romance.
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About the Author
Eva Ungar Grudin is an art historian who taught at Williams College in Massachusetts for over forty years. In addition to her publications about art, she has written and appeared in a multi-media performance piece, Sounding to A, about inheriting the Holocaust. She is a co-founder of CounterAct, a public guerrilla performance group against racism in her native Austria.