Select one of the keywords
The Recital    by Robert Elmer order for
by Robert Elmer
Order:  USA  Can
WaterBrook Press, 2006 (2006)
* *   Reviewed by Melissa Parcel

Gerrit and Joan (who first appeared in The Duet) have discovered the joy of finding a second person to love in their lives. The widow and widower fell in love in Gerrit's small home town in Washington State. Now the retired dairy farmer and well-known piano professor are getting married. They have come to an understanding about the differences in their styles of worship, knowing that they agree on the basics of Christianity.

An opportunity comes up for Joan to move to Chicago to teach at a renowned music school, and Gerrit decides that he can leave his comfortable, familiar life to help his new bride pursue her dreams. Chicago isn't what Gerrit expects, and although he tries to make the best of things, he doesn't feel like he fits in. Joan is excelling in her career, but tries to understand Gerrit's emotions. It will take a dairy barn, a student from China, and a lot of prayer to find the balance they both need in their lives.

The Recital is a sweet sequel to The Duet. Readers will want to read the first book in order to understand the deeper emotions of the sequel. Gerrit's character now seems more settled and less stodgy than before. I truly enjoyed getting to know both of them and liked how they worked out their differences. Gerrit does grate on me at times, as his views are definitely old-fashioned and his mannerisms reflect his age. Younger readers may have a difficult time identifying with the characters, but conversely, many older readers will appreciate having protagonists to whom they can relate.

The gut-wrenching conclusion of The Recital caught me unprepared. Be aware that an emotion-packed ending is in store and keep the tissues handy. The poignant love story is touching and the mature development of a later-in-life relationship will bring hope to even the most jaded reader.

Note: Opinions expressed in reviews and articles on this site are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of BookLoons.

Find more Contemporary books on our Shelves or in our book Reviews