Eight-eight year old Louise lives a quiet, happy life, surrounded by her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren in Jean Murray Munden’s I’LL REMEMBER APRIL. Of them all, she is closest to her namesake Lulu, the daughter of her youngest son. Lulu is twenty, an aspiring writer and engaged to married. She thinks she has her life all figured out. But one fine spring day she comes to visit her grandmother with a dilemma. She’s torn between two men, her bethrothed, Bruce, and a handsome photographer she met on a birdwatching trip. Although she thought she loved Bruce, Lulu was instantly drawn to the warm and friendly Denby Chalmers.
As Louise listens to Lulu’s problem she’s drawn back in her memories to her own girlhood. She once faced a similar choice. It was 1914 and she was seventeen. War loomed dark on the horizon and Louise’s brothers were eager to enlist, as was Jeremy, the young whom she loved. On her eighteenth birthday, Louise accepted his proposal. They agreed to wait to marry until the war ended, for Jeremy would be going overseas soon, and there was no guarantee he would ever return. After his departure, Louise busied herself with nursing school and waited for letters that rarely came. And then she met Johnnie, Jeremy’s cousin. They bonded over tragedy and began a correspondence that led to deepening feelings. Johnnie, a pilot, went to war too, leaving Louise to worry over two suitors and her inevitable decision. As an old woman, Louise looks back over her life with complacency. There are ghosts in her past, of course, and secrets she’ll take to her grave. But there are no regrets. She just hopes her experiences and the lessons she learned will help Lulu make the right choice.
I’LL REMEMBER APRIL does have some editing problems and some scenes felt rushed–the ending is a little too neat and tidy with neither Louise nor Lulu have to face the consequences of their actions, which would have felt more realistic to the story.
Jean Murray Munden’s I’LL REMEMBER APRIL features interesting characters and a nicely written plot, making it a touching historical drama with much more to offer than just romance.
~Heather Stockard, for IndieReader