By Jody Hedlund
Bethany House, 2013
English, 368 pgs
From the Back CoverMichigan, 1880
Annalisa Werner's hope for a fairy tale love is over. Her husband failed her in every way and now his death has left her with few options to save the family farm. She needs a plentiful harvest. That, and a husband to help bring it in. Someone strong, dependable. That'll be enough. A marriage for love...that's something she's given up on.
So her father sends a letter to his brother in the Old Country, asking him to find Annalisa a groom.
Then a man appears: Carl Richards, from their home country of Germany and a former schoolteacher--or so he says. He's looking for work and will serve on the farm until her husband arrives.
With time running out, she accepts his help, but there's more to this man than he's admitting. He's also gentle, kind, charming--unlike any man she's ever known. But even as Carl is shining light into the darkness of her heart, she knows her true groom may arrive any day.
I enjoyed this book. Like any Christian romance novel, you can figure out what's going to happen pretty easily, but this one is still fun to read.
The story is centered around a family of German immigrants and a daughter, Annalisa, whose husband dies suddenly. She has to save her farm and to do this she needs a husband. Her dad "orders" her one from his brother in Germany. However, a man shows up with a note saying that he's there to "fill in" until the real groom can raise enough money to make the voyage.
The conditions in the family were harsh. Women didn't eat with the men. Women didn't do anything their husband or father didn't say was okay. People looked the other way with abuses. I have a hard time with believing a father wouldn't stand up for his daughter. Then again, I am not a German immigrant in the 1880s so I don't know what conditions were really like back then.
The love story is sweet and gut wrenching at the same time. The description hints that Carl is hiding something and I honestly kept expecting it to surface at any minute.
Annalisa fights not only nature but a ruthless businessman to save her farm and family. She is a strong woman and it was good to see her soften as the book went on.
I received a copy of the book from Bethany House for the purpose of this review. No additional compensation has been received and I was not required to write a positive review.