Every New Year’s Eve since 1946, Nate Meyer has ventured alone to Times Square to listen for the ghostly church bells he and his long-lost wartime lover vowed to hear together. This year, however, his grandson Blaine is pushing Nate through the Manhattan streets, revealing his secrets to his silent, stroke-stricken grandfather.
When Blaine introduces his boyfriend to his beloved grandfather, he has no idea that Nate holds a similar secret. As they endure the chilly death of the old year, Nate is drawn back in memory to a much earlier time . . . and to Walter.
Long before, in a peace carefully crafted in the heart of wartime tumult, Nate and Walter forged a loving home in the midst of violence and chaos. But nothing in war is permanent, and now all Nate has is memories of a man his family never knew existed. And a hope that he’ll finally hear the church bells that will unite everybody—including the lovers who hid the best and most sacred parts of their hearts.
Lane (Christmas Kitsch) nearly misses the mark with this wartime romance, a touching story buried in an unfortunate framing device. The tragic story of Nathan Meyer, a gay Jewish photographer who worked for the OSS during WWII, opens with an overwrought interaction between elderly, post-stroke Nate and his grandson as they go to Times Square on New Year's Eve to listen for magical bells. The story flashes back to Nate's time in the service, when his curiosity during a spy mission compromises his position and leads to him being shot down over Moselle, France. Wounded and behind enemy lines, Nate is rescued by Walter, an escaped POW. A Florence Nightingale romance develops between the two men as they hide from Nazis and try to imagine a world where they can fight a just war and have a life together. The scenes with Nate and Walter are elegant and movingly rendered, but the book eventually collapses into summary and trite reflections on love and adjusting to life's obstacles.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Waiting to discover his destiny, to hear the bells ring!
Amy Lane’s little novel tells an unusual World War II story about a very young twenty-two year old “Manhattan Jewish boy” from New York City, Second Lt. Nathan (Nate) Selig Meyer, serving in the U.S.Army Aviation Corp Division as an Aerial ground-map Photographer - whose focus is of enemy ground coordinate installations and for ground movement activity. His “De Havilland DH.98 Mosquito” converted photo-surveillance light bomber aero plane is shot down on a mission over foreign German Nazi-air space — unable to out-run the Messerschmitt’s air chase, the bomber is shot down, crashing in a dense French forest at night.
From a farm in Idaho, a really young lean innocent freckled fair-skinned blue eyed face of a farm boy, eighteen years old, named Walter, becomes the angel to discover Nate in the wreckage of the crashed light-bomber! An Enlisted man, Corporal Walter Phillips, who had been serving in the 185th U.S.Army Battalion in Africa, had been captured by the Germans, sent to a military concentration prisoner of war camp — en-route by train, had escaped the train after a derailment accident of the train. Walter had evaded his captors, hiding out in the forest in a small abandoned two-story wood-framed summer cottage cabin.
Their awakening, their attraction to each other is the principal discovery and romance that Amy Lane depicts, as Walter nurses Nate to heal and recover from his injuries!
Initially, prepared for a happy ending, prepare for a twist in their expected reunion after the war’s end! This wonderful romance relates how a young American eighteen year old farm boy, afraid of his enlisted Corporal rank, to be involved with a ranking officer, can Walter dare to share Nate and his military future together! To be separated, when each is reunited with their units after their return to England! Prepare yourself for a bucket of tears !!!!
“The Bells of Times Square” —
A very unusual interesting scenario to NOT just disclose — nor just give away —
.... in a review ..... thank you!