The Last Waltz
THE LAST WALTZ is the northern French war novel that grew out of THE DAWN. This novel is a love story between a Frenchwoman and a British Army captain during the last months of World War II in Europe.
The town of Saint-Hubert, France is the setting for this tale of Sophia Dolliver Charpentier and Charles MacNeill Granville. They meet in Bastogne during the summer of 1944, fall in love, and wed. In September, Charles, Captain Granville of the British Army, leaves his wife to return to active duty.
The weeks and months that follow are ones of immense uncertainty for Sophia. Pregnant with the child of her beloved, she is largely alone in her house, une maison de maître, Maison Charpentier. Her life, and the life of her unborn child, become endangered by the sudden arrival of a former amour who is, as usual, up to no good.
Her neighbor down the lane is Monsieur Cubré, a Great War veteran with a sorrowful but ennobling past. As the winter of 1944 approaches, this man faces those somber shadows of his past in order to be of assistance to Sophia.
The final military operations of World War II transpire, placing the life of Captain Granville in jeopardy. Sophia must fight her fears as she places faith in the future, in her unborn baby, and in the will of God.
Combat in the northern European theater of operations accelerates toward the final but unexpected battle: The Nazi offensive known as the Battle of the Bulge was the desperate and horrific surprise attack on the Allies by Adolf Hitler in the Ardennes. Sophia does not know if her beloved husband will return to her, but she does know that faith is vital in bringing life to the future.
Sophia Dolliver Charpentier — Bride, expectant mother, and seamstress
Charles MacNeill Granville — Combat engineer of the British Army
Robert Neil Adair — Professor of medieval literature, first amour of Sophia
Robert Paul Cubré — Elderly friend who provides comfort and calm during her time of “confinement”; veteran of the Great War
Armand Huvé — Architect, graduate of École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux Arts
Marielle — Friend who lives in Occupied Paris
Francesca Dolliver — The mother of Sophia, who married . . .
Martens Charpentier — The father of Sophia
Antoine — the Normand hound that belongs to Monsieur Cubré
The Newborn Baby