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The Duet

Random House, Inc / 2004 / Paperback

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Product Description

When widower Gerrit Appledoorn takes his granddaughter to piano lessons one day, he finds himself drawn to her music teacher, a woman unlike he has known. It's an unlikely attraction. He's a retired dairyman with mud on his boots.Joan Horton is a world traveler and former piano instructor at New York's most prestigious academy of music. Each has their own challenges to face. Will they ever overcome the obstacles they face and find the music of second chances?

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 304
Vendor: Random House, Inc
Publication Date: 2004
Dimensions: 8.25 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 1578567408
ISBN-13: 9781578567409
Availability: In Stock
Series: Reardon Valley

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Author/Artist Review

Author: Robert Elmer
Submitted: February 07, 2004

    What was your motivation behind this project?  There’s a special kind of harmony only God can bring out of loss and love. Most of us just wouldn’t expect to hear that kind of tune in the middle of a milking parlor. But that’s the idea behind my new novel, The Duet, from WaterBrook Press. It’s a feel-good story of how a big-city piano teacher on sabbatical helps a widowed dairy farmer discover the music of love, faith, and second chances. I like the marketing title they put on the back cover: “Four hands, two hearts, one song.” It’s not my first novel, just my first for the “over-14” crowd. (You might already be familiar with my youth fiction.) I got the idea for the story several years back, when I was sitting with my wife, enjoying our daughter’s piano recital. Looking around the audience at the parents and grandparents, I started to wonder: What if the roles were reversed, and a grandpa was up there performing his first solo? And what would it be like for an older farmer to take piano lessons? Or what if he fell in love with the teacher, who had also lost her spouse? Before long, I had sketched out a general premise for what would become The Duet. I hope you enjoy The Duet as much as I enjoyed writing it. My prayer is that the story will encourage you—and the people you know. That’s my motivation as I write.

    What do you hope folks will gain from this project?  The Duet is the story of how a big-city piano teacher on sabbatical helps a widowed dairy farmer discover the music of love, faith and second chances. Not quite “beauty and the beast,” but close. And it's not like anything I’ve written before. So although I continue to write and enjoy fiction for younger readers, this book is a new direction for me. My hope and prayer is that it will reach the hearts of a whole new audience of readers with its gentle message of reconciliation. I’m praying that believers will look again at the common ground we share in Christ. As a recent review in “CBA Marketplace” magazine notes, the farmer (Gerrit Appeldoorn) “is forced to examine his own beliefs and come to terms with God’s plan for his life. Elmer manages to bring the predestination vs. choice debate, denominational prejudice, depression and suicide, parent/adult child relationships, and even the changing face of rural America into one seamlessly woven story that will leave readers with more than just a happy ending.”

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