Waiting for Walter
“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 were made but in the aftermath of WW2 and the Holocaust, Martin’s father’s prejudice was immutable and Martin faced an impossible decision. Unable to stand up to his father and bridge the deep-rooted cultural divide, he makes a promise to each that he could not 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.
Read Alan’s article in the Guardian family section, published on 18th February 2017.
Read Alan’s article in the Sunday Post family section, published on 23rd February 2017.
A review of a talk given at West London Synagogue Seymour Group.
Future talks on the art of saying goodbye (from lost toys to lost love), a theme in Alan’s novel (please use the contact form for more information):
Book Club, Belmont Synagogue
101 Vernon Drive, Stanmore HA7 2BW
Liberal Synagogue, Northwood
Bnai Brith Lodge, Pinner Synagogue
1 Cecil Park, Pinner, Middlesex HA5 5HJ
Utterly Stunning! I rarely write reviews – but I did! I rarely she’d real tears at the end of a book – but I did! This beautiful love story is not only full of historical and geographical facts and immersed in literary and musical culture, but is seeped in emotion. Did I like this book? No. Did I love it – I did..”
by Mrs Janet Hardman (via Amazon).
“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.
Past Member: National Union of Journalists.
An intriguing story, a true story, remarkably told with immense sensitivity.. So different because it is a sequel to the vast array of 2nd World War stories,and reveals how the experiences of those who lived through it transcend to the next and future generations. Compelling and captivating.”
by Lionel Barnett.
A moving love story ringing with a true voice. Heartfelt and uplifting. Gripping from start to finish..”
by Maria Neves.
I had been intrigued by the blurb, when I saw the title among the offers at my e-book club and had it shelved for a few weeks. Yesterday I remembered and begun to read and was immidiately seduced by the exquisite language and subject matter. I deeply felt the struggles and doubts, convictions and the love the characters share and I enjoyed the psychological insights. A mature novel, wonderfully conceived and executed. I could not put it down..”
by Victoria Zlotkowski.
A poignant but uplifting story of lovers born into the wrong time and place, and their attempts over 40 years not to lose that love despite the circumstances that held them apart. Beautifully told with honesty, humour and great sensitivity..”
by Terry Bloom, March 2017.
A truly captivating interfaith love story where honour is concealed in the lies, love in the struggle, and elegance and courage in a totally unexpected ending. The characters are real, the insights intriguing and the last goodbye left me staring at the page.“
by J.P. Levene (via Amazon).
Beautiful story. A very moving story told beautifully. Moved me to tears..”
by Barbara (via Amazon).
This book started out slow for me but I did enjoy reading it and I esp liked the ending. Most of the book is told in flashback. Martin and Leni are in love but history and prejudices keep them apart. Through the years they keep saying goodbye unsuccessfully until the ending. Enjoy their never ending love story..”
by Bookwomen37 (via Amazon).
I found this a charming and poignant love story of Leni and Martin, and the 1950’s. I can definitely recommend this book..”
by Monica Yarry (via Amazon).
* * *: I enjoyed this book which I won from Goodreads. Absorbing and poetical..”
by Susan, May 19 (Goodreads).
* * * * *: Yes – a fantastic book; should be more widely known..”
by lindiana, April 10 (Amazon).
* * *: A moving novel- detailing a young Jewish man’s romance with a German girl – which caused friction in his family and left him with difficult decisions – decisions that took him a lifetime to work through. It touches on the secrets we all carry – secrets of love and longing-real life is seldom as exciting as what might have been, or what needed to remain a secret. The story kept me engaged right through to an unexpected but realistic conclusion- only the author knows how much was fiction….”
by Nuala, May 5.
* * * *: Really liked it..”
by T. Bloom, March 4 (Goodreads)).
* * * *: Really liked it..”
by M. Bloom, March 7 (Goodreads)).
* * * *: It was amazing..”
by Di Knight, February 27 (Goodreads)).
* * * *: Really liked it..”
by Victoria, April 17 (Goodreads)).
* * * *: A thoroughly enjoyable read. I felt the book was well written and would appeal to different age groups. A lovely bittersweet story of unrequited love..”
by T. Linda, June 1(Goodreads)).
I have finally had a bit of time to read your book Alan. I can see what a journey it must have been for you to create such personal reflections in your book. I really loved the interwoven and poignant parts, e.g. the wedding music – description of different cultures coming together- and the use of music and literature throughout. Thank you for the book – you really have a talent for sensitively attending to detail and for finding the right words. A very good read indeed!.”
by Jacqui Edwards.
I have just finished reading your book Alan and I wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed it and how impressed I am. It tells a moving and absorbing story which gradually drew me in to the world you created. I really cared about Lani and Martin and their enduring love. You have connected your personal history with the painful repercussions of the Holcaust. You have touched on religion, philosophy and literature. And bringing the novel into the present day you showed how people could reconcile their religious differences and move forward with their lives. I do think that your novel would translate really well into a screenplay and I wish you luck with it in the future. With admiration and warmest wishes.”