The Paradise Waltz

Written by Jessica Stirling
Review by Karen Wintle

Set in rural Stirlingshire in a small gossip-ridden village between the two world wars, this book contains intriguing characters and centres around the tangled affections of two women, both for the same man – there is the well-brought up school teacher, Christine Summers, and the passionate pony-breeder Beatty McCall who have both set their sights on the lonely widower Alan Kelso.

At times poignant and more than a little sad, this is a well-written story which combines love and beautiful descriptions of a life where the wireless and the cinema were the central pastimes and the motor car is a big event. I especially liked the story line of the country school in the 1930s and the short-sighted education board who think they know better than the teachers on the ‘shop floor.’ It all manages to blend in with the central story of star-crossed love, and ‘heart warming’ as the blurb says, is for once a good description. On the whole the book is well-paced and a pleasant read.