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At My Sweet Recall


Edward, on holiday in Paris, meets Beatriz (Bee) on June 23, 1906. An impoverished Portuguese aristocrat, she is an accomplished pianist, well versed in art, music, and literature. As she inspires the young tenor to become an opera singer, they envision a future together. "I believe in Destiny," Bee writes, speaking of their meeting, "Were we the only masters of our actions, we would never arrive at such marvelous results."

Destiny, however has a difficult time. Edward returns to New York to continue his work as a concert soloist, but his short, well meaning responses to her 20 page letters do not tell her what she longs to hear; and the arguments that follow are poignant, humorous, and tense. After the summer of 1907, their letters continue, reaching heights of eloquence and argument when Edward plays the romantic lead in the operetta, <i>The Waltz Dream.</i> Swept away by the lights of Broadway, his letters get shorter and less frequent; and Bee fears for their future plans.
A sub-plot develops as Elizabeth, living in the room next to Bee, her "four o'clock every afternoon" friend, Harry Higinbotham, and Bee's friend, Hector Marroni, become players in the "charred-letter affair."