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July 1978-Andy and Beth meet before a concert of the Travelers where Andy is the lead singer, and thus begins a journey of their lives for over 20 years.
Andy loves Beth (or Bethy as he calls her) deeply but because of his fear of not being able to offer her what she deserves and his fear of hurting her, he pushes her away several times and in fact on one occasion doesn’t even have the decency to call her but rather has his manager call to say they are done. He realizes his mistake every time and begs Bethy to take him back, and she does.
“We were good, really good, Bethy. It was comfortable and that scared me, and scared led to stupid. I panicked. I ran. I screwed up.”
Beth’s insecurities play a part in a couple of their misunderstandings. She does not enjoy being scrutinized by the public and in the spotlight. She questions Andy’s faithfulness. She tires of him not giving her the attention she wants and is realizing what she is missing. She is missing her friends, family, and realizes that Andy hasn’t remembered her on holidays or her birthday. She is ready
for marriage and he never talks about it. They have worked
their way through infidelity, mental illness, and rehab but this time it’s final.Beth wants to go home. Andy still won’t give up without a fight, even when Beth calls to tell him she is moving on with her life.
“When I knew that I could commit to you, when I knew that I could go forward and be true and honest to you, it was too late.”
But sometimes fate has other plans.when Beth is faced with an illness it is Andy that she summons and he finally is able to give her the commitment that she wanted so many years ago.
“I thought years ago that I had lost her forever and then this.this horrible, horrible thing happened. And she was returned to me.”
This was a beautiful love story. I did find the beginning to be slow, but it was spent building up their relationship and to let the reader know there was so much love between Andy and Bethy. There are times throughout the story when your heart will be broken just as Beth’s and you will become emotional. This is not a story that will be gone from you after the last word and you will have difficulties moving on to find another quite as poignant.