Jessica Horton, widowed piano instructor at a New York academy, takes a much-needed sabbatical to revel in the quiet of Van Dalen, Washington. Retired dairyman and longtime widower Garritt Vandekamp needs stimulation now that his son has taken over the farm. His granddaughter hates piano lessons but loves her teacher. Soon Gerritt takes lessons himself and discovers a talent he never knew he had and a second chance at love he never knew he wanted. Farm troubles and health problems keep Gerritt from acting on his feelings, however. And though she's fallen in love with the town and a stubborn ex-farmer, Jessica can't stay in Van Dalen when her grown son needs her back in New York. THE DUET (4.5) plays on the heart with simplicity and grace in a pastoral setting full of unexpected undercurrents of pain, loss and hope. Robert Elmer's opus resonates with the issues of real life. (Feb., 296 pp., $12.99)
Reviewed by: 
Jill Elizabeth Nelson