American Romantic

American Romantic Cover

American Romantic

By Ward S. Just

Houghton Mifflin, Hardcover, 9780544196377, 265pp.

Publication Date: April 1, 2014

Description
Harry Sanders is a young foreign service officer in 1960s Indochina when a dangerous and clandestine meeting with insurgents ending in quiet disaster and a brief but passionate encounter with Sieglinde, a young German woman, alter the course of his life.

Absorbing the impact of his misstep, Harry returns briefly to Washington before eventual assignments in Africa, Scandinavia, and the Mediterranean. He marries the captivating May, who is fleeing her own family disappointments in worn-out upper New England and looking for an escape into Harry's diplomatic life. On the surface, they are a handsome, successful couple but the memory of Sieglinde persists in Harry's thoughts, and May has her own secrets too. As Harry navigates the increasingly treacherous waters of diplomacy in an age of interminable conflict, he also tries to bridge the distances between himself and the two alluring women who have chosen to love him.

Ward Just, returning to his trademark territory of "Forgetfulness" and "The Weather in Berlin," delivers an utterly compelling story of Americans trying to run the world, yet failing to master their lives.

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