Alan and Donna, in their early twenties, fall in love in Washington, D.C., as World War II draws to a close. Alan is intent upon writing a novel that will expose his stepfather as his father's murderer. Donna hopes to marry him and escape her dysfunctional home. Despite Alan's slow recovery from a war wound and conflicts arising from prior involvements, they pursue an intense affair. Social changes and Alan's meager income as a musician strain the relationship. Donna's longing to marry him intensifies, but he cannot yet consider wedlock. She reaches a critical decision. Then Alan takes a more direct approach to avenging his father's death.Unforeseen events, as well as latent depths of character, drive the surprising conclusion. The Burden of Matter is not a 'romance'. Vibrant with suspense and drama of the war years, it is a realistic, graphic story of two lovers' worst and best days during a turbulent time in America.