Back of the book:
Annalisa Werner’s hope for the 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 Carl’s help, but there’s more to theis man than he’s admitting. He’s also gentle, kind, charming—unlike any man she’s ever known. But even as he is shining light into the darkness of Annalisa’s heart, she knows her true groom may arrive any day.
This is kind of like the mail order bride books, except with a twist. Make that a couple of twists. After Annalisa’s husband suddenly dies her father decides she needs a new husband and quickly. He takes matters into his own hands and writes a letter to a cousin to send an available male. The cousin receives the letter but sends someone else instead. The mystery man arrives just in the nick of time, but he’s got some secrets that he’s not telling.
I loved the new take on this age old tradition. Carl is such a breath of fresh air for this community. The men are very dominant and angry but Carl slowly begins to change things. It was a nice reminder that one person can make a difference.
I was struck by just how stark living conditions could be for people trying to eke out a living from the soil. No wonder tempers were short. Poverty was constantly knocking at the door. Men were designed to be providers and in this situation it is easy to see how they would feel like failures and become hardened.
The budding trust and affection between Carl and Annalisa was beautifully written. My heart broke when Carl’s secrets began to come to light. Jody Hedlund has once again put together a novel that touches on all your emotions. I think you will laugh and cry with the characters but most importantly when you close the cover for the last time you will sigh with contentment.
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