Focusing on the German immigrants who made their way to Michigan in the 1880s, Hedlund paints a fascinating picture of what it was like to adjust to a different culture, life and what it was like for women in those families. Which was, spoiler alert, LAME. It’s hard for me to understand the mentality that valued sons more than daughters, but that was the way things were back then and A Noble Groom does such a great job portraying that reality.
Recently widowed Annalisa Werner has the feeling her husband was murdered but can’t prove it. Alone with her young daughter in 1881 Michigan, she has six months left to finish raising the money needed to pay back the land contract her husband purchased, and the land is difficult to toil by herself. She needs a husband. With unmarried men scarce, her father sends a letter to his brother in the Old Country, asking him to find Annalisa a groom.
For nobleman Carl von Reichart, the blade of the guillotine is his fate. He’s been accused and convicted of a serious crime he didn’t commit, and his only escape is to flee to a small German community in Michigan where he’ll be safe. He secures a job on Annalisa’s farm but bumbles through learning about farming and manual labor.
Annalisa senses that Carl is harboring a secret about his past, yet she finds herself drawn to him anyway. He’s gentle, kind, and romantic–unlike any of the men she’s ever known. He begins to restore her faith in the ability to love–but her true groom is still on his way. And time is running out on them all.
This was also a great story about family. I wished everything turned out great for each one of the characters, but just like real life, it didn’t. I loved Annalisa’s character, especially the love she has for her daughter. She’ll do whatever it takes for her little girl. And her little girl kinda reminded me of my Gabs, so I was smitten :). And Carl, sweet Carl. You’ll love him too.
Another reason Hedlund is quickly become one of my favorites, is her heart behind her writing. Here’s a tidbit she shared after the novel:
“As you close the pages of this book, I pray you will find the story of the immigrants inspiring as you persevere through the challenges in your life. May their courage give you fresh determination and help.
And most of all may you know God does indeed care for you. Even when He seems busy with more important matters, I hope you’ll have a new awakening of His nearness, Especially during your darkest moments of pain.”
I love that!
(I was given a copy for my honest review by Bethany House Publishing)
For those who have read this one, what did you think? I have so much more to say, but don’t want to spoil it in the post, so maybe I will in the comments!