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The Last Waltz - New Edition: A Novel of Love and War (Saga of Love and War Book 1) by [Vandagriff, G.G.]
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The Last Waltz - New Edition: A Novel of Love and War (Saga of Love and War Book 1) Kindle Edition


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Length: 480 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1623 KB
  • Print Length: 480 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Orson Whitney Press (4 Oct. 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005TMV670
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #269,030 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x94eec804) out of 5 stars 78 reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x95136a50) out of 5 stars A Sweeping Saga! 14 Jun. 2013
By Heather Moore - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
Modern teenagers of today might think people of early twentieth century Europe were a simple lot. After all, they rode in carriages, wrote letters by hand, and attended formal balls. The nobility did little else but gossip and discuss Parisian fashions. Yet, in GG Vandagriff's newest novel, pre-World War I Austria explodes with intrigue, volatile politics that would eventually bring the Austrian people under Hitler's rule, and a love story that proves that a woman's heart is as vast as the ocean.

In 1913, Amalia Faulhaber is just nineteen years old, engaged to a Baron who will secure her family's social status. Her life is predictable as she follows the pattern set by the aristocracy. Then her fiancé breaks their engagement, telling her he must follow his childhood dream and join the Prussian army. He leaves for Germany that same day. Amalia is devastated, but even worse, humiliated. She hides the break-up until she can deliver a valid explanation to her family.

Yet as she is struggling with feelings of being rejected, she meets two men. One is another Baron--an Austrian who promises to choose her over his country. The other, a Pole, who holds the same ideals as Amalia and haunts her dreams and every waking moment.

But a terrible misunderstanding drives Amalia to make a mistake that she will pay for a lifetime. Soon after, World War I breaks out, and Amalia is forced to face her ghosts and heal from tragedy. She copes by working as a nurse, becoming a witness to unspeakable horrors.

Her family loses their position in society and politics and war take over any hope of Amalia ever marrying for true love. Austria is thrown into chaos as various government ideals struggle for power. Family members are forced to choose sides. Fortunes are lost. Jews are persecuted. Amalia's only salvation is developing a relationship with the Lord. And she must learn to trust again.

Before reading this book, I'd never given too much thought to those who lived in pre-Hitler controlled Austria. Of course, I've seen the Sound of Music enough times to understand that those who did not swear allegiance to Hitler were in mortal danger. Yet, the events leading up to this historical time were fascinating. The Last Waltz was truly an epic love tale, spanning four decades of Amalia's life--following her through triumph and tragedy. She'd lost so much, yet came out so strong. And through all of her temptations she remained a virtuous woman.

If I was to nitpick one thing, I would have liked more time and attention spent on the literal last waltz that took place near the end of the book.

Yet, overall GG Vandagriff has a talent for immersing the reader in a different time and place. I was interested to read her biography and discover that she'd lived and studied in Austria. The Last Waltz is also a novel that was thirty years in the making. I'm grateful it finally made it to me.
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x94dec66c) out of 5 stars Wonderful Historical Novel 18 Mar. 2013
By Alana L. Tompkins - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The Last Waltz is one of the best historical novels I've read in a very long time. It is my opinion worthy of making into a period movie and hopefully without much change to the original story. It is set in pre-WWI Austria and follows the life of Amalia whose life is turned upside down by the men in her life, the war, her family and the doctor to whom she desires. Through all the turmoil she manages to remain strong and steadfast and keeps her head. Her one true stalwart man in her life, the one who truly understands her more than anyone else in her family is her socialist uncle to whom she can confide anything. I have read this book four times and never tire of it. I would highly recommend it to any person who enjoy's historical novels, that brings history to light and who loves a fine romance.The Last Waltz - New Edition
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x95ab987c) out of 5 stars History and Romance: Great novel! 3 April 2013
By Constant Reader - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Once I started reading this novel, I could not put it down. The author took me right into Vienna before World War I and kept me enthralled with the personality and character of Amalia. Each of the men whom she loved were men of good character, as well. It was interesting to me to see the wars from the viewpoint of the Austrians, and to see the steps they took to remain out of the clutches of Hitler and the Germans. If you're interested in history and want to read a novel with people of good character, then this one is for you.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x94be1b28) out of 5 stars A Splendid Read 1 April 2009
By Anne Bradshaw - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I'm sad to have finished G. G. Vandagriff's epic historical romance, The Last Waltz, and grateful for the splendid read. What a grand, eye-opening adventure! I feel like I've lived in Austria and Germany since Page 1 and enjoyed every minute of my visit.

This novel of love and war carries messages from which nations today could well take heed. Dangerous politics that produced World Wars I and II also brought immeasurable tragedies to individuals and families.

Along with heartbreaks come selfless heroics, and individual growth. And this to me is the theme of The Last Waltz. One piece of dialogue that stays in my mind is found on Page 206 when the main character, spunky young Amalia, asks her friend Louisa, "And what is the ultimate tragedy, then?" Louisa replies, "To become less than we were born to be."

To quote from the back cover:

"In this gripping tale of love and war, a dazzling young socialite of the old world contends with deeply contradictory notions and personal crises to become a woman who would be extraordinary in any age."

Amalia has to choose between a love so deep it refuses to die, and a different kind of love that holds her heart with loyalties born of sacrifice, devotion, and an iron will.

I highly recommend this book for everyone who enjoys soaking up history in foreign lands and at the same time getting teary-eyed over a wonderful love story. I can well imagine The Last Waltz as a breath-taking movie production that fills movie theaters worldwide.

From the publisher, Shadow Mountain: "The Last Waltz is a culminating work for the author. She started it decades ago during a study abroad in Austria and has been revising and researching it ever since. When she wasn't publishing one of the other half dozen novels she has published, she was working on this historical romance novel."
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x95066e88) out of 5 stars Stunning! 3 April 2009
By Suzanne V. Reese - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
It's not very often that a fictional character comes to feel like an old friend. But that's exactly how I feel about Amalia, the heroine of G.G. Vandagriff's `The Last Waltz'. Ever since my high school visit to Europe, where I danced around the gazebo used in `The Sound of Music' singing `I am seventeen going on eighteen' (Yes, I was one birthday too many for it to be the perfect moment), I've had a fondness for Austria and its rich history. The Last Waltz didn't disappoint in any way. It is a beautifully-written epic story of Amalia, an Austrian who seems to have a penchant for men falling in love with her. The romance portion is full of surprising twists and turns, while being grounded in the most gruesome parts of World War I and the ushering in of World War II. The true futility of war is highlighted, along with the power of love and strong character. There was a perfect balance of story-telling and description that allowed the reader to see the subtle contrasts between Austria and Germany while losing themselves in Amalia's anguish. I'm sure I'll never forget the poignant tale of this brave woman who loses everything without complaint, but perseveres--thinking only of others--to rise again to success. Vandagriff is truly a gifted writer. The amount of research put into the story is truly impressive. I highly recommend the Last Waltz to anyone, whether or not they consider themselves a history buff.
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