1880. That was the year everything changed.
Annalisa wasn’t really sorry when her husband, Hans, was found dead, burning in a brush pile, his face partially melted off. There was no love between the two of them; especially since he’d taken to stealing her hidden egg and butter money to feed his gambling habit. She’d spent so much time trying to save what she could for her and her daughter.
And now the saved money and her husband were gone.
Yet, Annalisa knew it could be worse. She could have a husband like her 17-year-old sister’s husband, who beat her.
The lingering question of accident or murder didn’t need to be addressed. Saving the farm was all that mattered.
Without a husband- well, probably WITH her deadbeat husband, too- she’d never be able to pay back the loan for their land, and she’d lose her home. There was no place for a husband-less woman with a two-year old to go, and she wouldn’t be a burden to her parents.
As was typical in the immigrant, tight-knit community, her Vater would find a solution. As was also typical, that solution came in the form of a cousin from the Old Country.
But the man who came in the interim was not her cousin, and his identity would be far more dangerous not just to himself, but to Annalisa’s heart. The German immigrant community of displaced miners forced to leave and move across the ocean to Michigan had a long memory, along with long grudges.
Carl wasn’t expecting the lifeline he was thrown. It was his only chance to save his head- literally. The one covertly freeing him was the same that sentenced him to death for a crime he didn’t commit- his father.
Carl also wasn’t expecting to stay long in the immigrant community of miners-turned-farmers. He was expecting to be relieved by his manservant’s son, Dirk, who was to marry the pregnant Annalisa and take on Han’s responsibility of farm and family.
Can Carl help save the farm- and his heart- before it’s too late?
This was a complex story that had me cheering “Go, Carl, go!” and giving other direction to the characters, like, “Just tell him already!” and other words of wisdom. :lol:
Seriously, though, the intricacies of this story where not overwhelming, and certain details were based on historical fact. Character development was fantastic, and the climax was one of the best I’ve read in a while.
You have probably figured out that this title was a slam dunk for me, and gets 5 out of 5 stars, no questions asked.
I don’t know that I’ve read any of Jody Hedlund’s other books, but I’m going to do some digging and see if I have, because I thoroughly enjoyed this title.
I received this book for free from Bethany House publishers (www.bethanyhouse.com) for this review.