As the clouds of world war gather yet again, Alan Ashley knows only peace with Lenore and their cherished adopted daughter Annie. A savvy young woman of her time, Annie Ashley finishes college and begins a career which she knows will ultimately lead to filling Alan’s position as head of Ashley Enterprises. Then she meets David Levinson, as schooled in the art of manly persuasion as she is unprepared to counter it. He persuades her to marry him just ten days before he’s sent overseas.
She believes her life—in the distant past and on the home front—is hidden from him, but an angry letter from somewhere in Europe tells her she’s made a huge mistake. Before she can beg his forgiveness, he’s listed MIA. Alan tries to prepare her for David’s return—if he returns—as a different man. But Annie realizes she didn’t even know the man she married, and their eventual reunion doesn’t bode well for their marriage.
Denying her own Jewish roots, Annie refuses to go to Europe with David to hunt for whatever of his family might have survived Hitler’s concentration camps, driving yet another wedge between them. When he goes on to Jerusalem to work for the birth of the new Jewish state of Israel, she can’t be part of that either, even on a superficial level.
A tentative reconciliation is stalled by tragedy which shatters Annie’s soul. Despite her determination to end their marriage, David returns once again, this time bringing with him the stark evidence of what he’s fighting for—and the dangerous key to Annie’s denied past.
Targeted Age Group:: Adult
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
I didn’t feel the story of Alan and Lenore–or Annie–had ended, and I like to tie up loose ends. This sequel to Where Is Papa’s Shining Star? was the opportunity to explain why Annie’s father had made the difficult choice to give her up forever. It also provided a continued spotlight on the relationship between Alan and Lenore–their love for and devotion to each other as they lived and worked together for a lifetime.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
I wanted to pursue how Annie’s (Bobbie”s) early life had affected her decisions as an adult–e.g. a hasty marriage, lack of commitment and trust, inability to let go of anger at the circumstances surrounding her. David, a new character, had his own issues, but in the end he provided the strength Annie needed to pull up her bootstraps and move on.
He stopped and looked away from her, then back. “I wasn’t sure you’d wait for me.”
She felt her face flame. “I’m your wife, David.”
“We didn’t have much of a marriage. Ten days, and from what I remember, we spent most of that time in bed. We can’t spend the rest of our lives there.”
“I always wondered if that’s why you married me,” she said before she thought. “Because you couldn’t get me any other way.”
“Is that what you thought?”
“Well, you said. . .”
“I know what I said, but you had a choice, didn’t you?”
“I guess so. Yes.”
“Well assuming that I married you because I wanted you, why did you marry me?”
Her mind raced frantically for some kind of answer that would be honest but not heartless. David would know if she was lying. Taking a deep breath and expelling it slowly to buy time, she said, “I don’t know, David.”
“I didn’t think you did. Do you want a divorce?”
“You haven’t been home but a few hours. I don’t think this is the time to discuss anything so. . .so final.”
“When do you think it will be time?”
“What do you want, David?”
“You, Annie. Just you. I was in love with you. I still am.”
“We hardly knew each other.”
“I remember telling you once that love can’t be explained. It just happens.”
“I think we’re both overwhelmed right now.”
David shook his head. “I’m not. I spent two years just trying to stay alive, and I made it. The fact doesn’t overwhelm me, just gives me a great satisfaction that I beat those monsters. I’m not going to waste a minute of the rest of my life, not after what I’ve been through.”
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