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Author: Jack Weyland
When Dave leaves on his mission, he assumes that Abbie, his high school sweetheart, will wait for him and that they'll eventually marry. But by the time he gets home, Abbie has a new boyfriend and is now living in New York. Can Dave win Abbie back? Is she the right one? Weyland fans will enjoy this new young adult novel about relationships, romance, and finding true love.
The Story Behind As Always, Dave (2007)
In March, 2006, we left on our first mission, a CES mission to Long Island, New York. We were assigned to attend the Plainview YSA Branch. We loved the branch and enjoyed attending their meetings and activities.
Since we were on a mission, I wasn’t planning on writing a novel but one morning I started writing a scene that could have come from that branch, and before I knew it I was so much involved in the story that I continued to write a little every morning (about six in the morning).
The idea was what if a young man (Dave) from Idaho comes home from his mission hoping that his high school sweetheart (Abbie) would still be waiting for him and that they would eventually get married. While he has been gone, she has taken a nanny job in Long Island. She likes the excitement of being near NYC and doesn’t want to come home. Also, she is seeing an amazing guy (Eldon) who is selling pest control services that summer. She is very impressed with him because he often talks about being the governor of Utah someday.
With financial help from both his and Abbie’s folks, Dave flies to NYC to spend time with Abbie for a few days, hoping his presence will be enough to charm her into going home with him so they can get married.
His mom and dad are encouraging Dave to get married before they leave on their mission to they won’t have the expense of leaving the mission field to attend his wedding.
After Dave arrives, Abbie tells him about Eldon and asks if it would be okay for him to pretend he’s her cousin. He reluctantly agrees.
Failing in his attempt to talk Abbie to come back with him to Idaho, Dave decides to leave. Eldon offers to take him to the airport. In the car, Eldon says he himself is waiting for a missionary(Elizabeth) who is returning from her mission in a couple of months. Dave decides to stay just to see if Abbie might end up coming back to him. He gets a job in a hardware store. There, he meets Hannah, a coworker. He takes her to a family ward and she loves it. After she’s baptized, he begins to fall in love with her.
Dave also meets a recently arrived nanny who is extremely beautiful While taking a walk with her one night, he ends up kissing her. She feels that this is true love. So now he has three girls he can imagine marrying. This from Dave: “You know how people are always talking about true love? With me the whole thing seemed to be about ranking. Like with baseball teams.”
- Here are the things that were the same in the book and in reality:
- At that time in the summer, young men from the west came to Long Island to sell pest control. They were enthusiastically welcomed in the branch, which had more young women than guys.
- This branch had activities all the time: volleyball, beach parties, family home evenings, and many other fun activities.
- The only time a guy and a girl would sit together in sacrament meeting is if they were engaged.
- This branch had an amazing branch president and counselors. What a great example they were of what a branch presidency or bishopric can do to bless the members of their branch or ward!
- I enjoyed listening to how people talk on Long Island and have tried to incorporate some of their accents in my writing ever since then.
- We learned a lot about the good and bad things about being a nanny. With the right family, it’s a great job. However, we helped one nanny leave because of a bad situation that she found herself in.
- Sister Weyland and I attended two bi-lingual branches the latter part of our mission. We grew to love these people. That experience eventually led to another novel called “The Samaritan Bueno.” I’ll write about this novel next time.