cover image The Bells of Times Square

The Bells of Times Square

Amy Lane. Riptide, $16.99 trade paper (204p) ISBN 978-1-62649-186-1

Lane (Christmas Kitsch) nearly misses the mark with this wartime romance, a touching story buried in an unfortunate framing device. The tragic story of Nathan Meyer, a gay Jewish photographer who worked for the OSS during WWII, opens with an overwrought interaction between elderly, post-stroke Nate and his grandson as they go to Times Square on New Year’s Eve to listen for magical bells. The story flashes back to Nate’s time in the service, when his curiosity during a spy mission compromises his position and leads to him being shot down over Moselle, France. Wounded and behind enemy lines, Nate is rescued by Walter, an escaped POW. A Florence Nightingale romance develops between the two men as they hide from Nazis and try to imagine a world where they can fight a just war and have a life together. The scenes with Nate and Walter are elegant and movingly rendered, but the book eventually collapses into summary and trite reflections on love and adjusting to life’s obstacles. (Dec.)