Having never read a book by this author before, I really didn’t know quite what to expect. The description of the book made it sound truly great though (for starters, it’s set in my home state of Michigan, and it’s about German immigrants, which my father’s side all were), and I was very excited when it arrived! This book was really fantastic and made it impossible to put it down until I had the read the whole thing.
It’s all about Annalisa Werner, whose gambling and money-thieving husband died (you find out who was responsible for that until much later in the book, and it will definitely be a surprise!), who is at risk of losing her 40-acre farm, who is being threatened by the man who wants her land, and whose family thinks they can tell her what to do and who to marry. She may have listened to them at one point, but after enduring a miserable first marriage, she isn’t nearly as inclined to get herself into another bad situation. The more you read about her life and the struggles she’s had, the more you can completely understand! Annalisa has a daughter, Gretchen, and realizes she’s pregnant again around the time her husband dies. Her children are extremely important to her, and you can feel the love they share through the entire book.
The other major player in the story (apart from Annalisa’s family and her pastor and his wife) was Carl Richards, who came from their home country (Germany) and was supposed to be the temporary worker until the man who had been promised that he’d be able to marry her came. He has a “complicated” past, isn’t exactly who he says he is, and becomes very involved in every aspect of Annalisa’s life as the months pass without her groom to be arriving. Their love story develops slowly, and is very realistic. While reading this book, you really feel like you’re reading the story of someone who was actually alive and going through these things at this time.
Faith in God is a huge part of this story, although it’s not presented in a way that’s “preachy”, it’s just part of their lives. I appreciated the way that it felt like you were reading a story about believers and their challenges, but you weren’t left feeling like the book was trying to get you to convert. It just talked openly about life for the people in the book, and a big part of their life was their faith.
The only “negative” about this book was how many German words and phrases are in it. I’ve always liked books that were about the Amish, so have learned quite a bit of the German words and phrases that are in those books, but I noticed that this book didn’t explain any of the words. It used a lot of them, so if you didn’t already know what they meant, you’d be stuck trying to look them up on google to figure out what was happening. Some could be guessed from context, but some are quite a bit harder. Again, if you haven’t read those words in German before, you’d feel a little bit lost. Apart from that, I thought the book was amazing and truly a fantastic book. I’m excited about reading more by this author in the future!
I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I was not in any way required to write a positive review. The thoughts and opinions expressed here are completely my own.