The Last Waltz
A Novel of Love and War
A Letter to Readers
You are holding the Second Edition of The Last Waltz: A Novel of Love and War, a true epic that took me forty years to complete. It is my opinion that no one who has not endured extreme suffering could have written this novel.
I understood this truth when I was twenty-seven and was offered publication. At that time, the novel was merely a romance, and I knew it had the potential to become much, much more. Though I never experienced World War One and its aftermath, I suffered the loss of a fiancé in Vietnam, twenty-five years of biopolar disorder, and many more years of PTSD (which I am very happy to say, I have finally worked through). These sufferings taught me the lessons I needed to know about survival in the midst of extreme trauma.
Though the events in this book are traumatic because of the history it recounts, the life of Amalia Faulhaber is triumphant, for though she had no control over major events, she had choices to make in her own life that determined its course. Her development from a naïve debutante into an extraordinary woman of great strength arose from the reactions she chose to make to her environment.