Waiting for Walter – Alan Balfour

“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.“ – J.P. Levene

Waiting for Walter cover

“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….” – Nuala

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.

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“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.” – Jack Lynes, Chairman: Harrow Interfaith.  Past Chairman: Bereavement Care.  Past Member: National Union of Journalists

About the Author

Alan Balfour

A.S. Balfour has been writing stage plays since the 1960s. His play Markus Rex won an art council grant and was performed at The Centre for the Arts in Birmingham in 1977.

The Hokey Cokey Man was his last play, based on the life, loves and times of his grandfather, Al Tabor, a society bandleader who wrote ‘The Hokey Cokey’ during the war.

More recently, A.S. Balfour has written a number of short stories concerned with the art of saying goodbye.

Waiting for Walter is his first novel and is inspired by his own experience of being a Jewish lad who fell in love with a German girl at the end of the Second World War.

Read The Guardian newspaper article about the true story behind Waiting for Walter here.

Author web site

Click here to contact us to obtain a review copy of Waiting for Walter
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“Utterly Stunning! I rarely write reviews – but I did! I rarely shed 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.” – Mrs Janet Hardman