The Anniversary Waltz
Adam Carlson returns to Montana after serving in World War II, where he is welcomed by his mother but not his father. Hector still resents Adam’s enlistment, because farmers were not required to serve, and Adam left him with no help. At a town celebration, Adam meets Elizabeth Baxter, who is going steady with banker Nathan Roberts. Adam and Elizabeth feel a spark of attraction nevertheless and get further acquainted on a hay ride. Then Adam finds out that Nathan’s bank is going to foreclose on his parents’ farm, and Adam is largely the cause, since his father couldn’t harvest enough alone during the war to pay the mortgage. Can Adam stop Nathan foreclosing on the Carlson farm? Will Elizabeth act on her feelings for Adam?
Nelson based the story on incidents in his family’s past, according to his author’s note. It’s a sweet romance, with a moderate religious element compared to others in the genre. Adam and Elizabeth are warm characters; their romance comes across as genuine. Adam’s readjustment to civilian life has realistic bumps in the road. Nicholas Sparks fans who are looking for similar books by other authors will enjoy Nelson’s debut novel.