You know a book is great when you stay up past 1:00 am to finish despite the fact that you have to wake up a few hours later for work. This book is worth the lack of sleep.
In the year 1880, few women held on to dreams of a fairy tale life. Annalisa may tell her daughter all the stories, but she knows she'll never experience that kind of love. When her husband dies, leaving her to try to save their farm alone, Annalisa's father writes the family in their native land, asking for a husband for her. When Carl Richard arrives to help until Annalisa's intended can come (and run from his past), Annalisa comes to care for him...despite the fact he's not the man she's to marry.
Although the summary sounds like it's mainly a romance, this book offers so much more: family, the harsh farming life, murder, and family loyalty vs. love.
I enjoyed the realistic look at farm life, which included some lice scenes that made my head itch.
The relationship with Annalisa and her extended family, especially her brother Uri, was strong and more complex than it first appeared. I was certainly thrown for a loop by a twist at the end with her sweet brother...I wish that twist would have been developed a little more.
Finally, I loved the characters of Annalisa, her daughter, and Carl. They are each unique and well-developed. I liked the way the old fairy tales/folk tales were woven throughout the story.
This has been my favorite book (so far) by this author. Fans of Christian fiction will enjoy this book. Perhaps just start it early enough in the day that you can finish by bedtime.
I received this book in exchange for my review. My thoughts are my own.