Thursday, March 21, 2013

A (Very) Noble Groom

First and foremost, shall we get the drooling and swooning out of the way? Let's take a moment...

Sigh. I'll wait a moment while you wipe your chin and get control of yourself.......[insert music here]
A Noble Groom, by the wonderful, fabulous Jody Hedlund, is a book you should purchase immediately! Too bossy? Okay. Let me re-word. It would be to your advantage to purchase a copy of said book for your reading enjoyment. How's that? Better?
Welcome to Forestville, Michigan, 1880-1882 where German immigrants, who are trained miners, become farmers in a wooded region in order to survive. Stations in life and traditions, whether right or wrong, are still being followed from the old country. Women are under the thumb of any man who wants to marry and the women have no choice in the matter. Farm animals are treated better than most of the women and children.
Annalisa is a young mother and wife who gives up on fairy-tale love and accepts a loveless marriage. Her daughter and unborn child keep her sane as she tries to avoid her husband. Suddenly, Annalisa's husband dies mysteriously. A new groom from the Old Country is chosen by her father and all await his arrival.
In walks Clark. Clark is running away from his past. He has become quite efficient at running away. He has something to hide. If uncovered it will rock the world of those in Forestville, MI.
While the family waits for Annalisa's groom to arrive, Clark is asked to help Annalisa on the farm in hopes of securing the farm until the groom gets to MI. This is where it gets good. Really good. Clark is unlike any of the German immigrants, except the pastor, in Forestville. He is kind, considerate, and treats Annalisa like a lady. Clark is on the run and doesn't plan to stay forever. A friendship develops. Do you see where this is going? Mmmmm hmmmm.
Jody, you did an excellent job (again) of making the characters human...not just flat, one dimensional people in a book. I could feel the heartache. I was mad when the women and children were treated terribly. I wanted to shout a few times at Clark when he would say certain things around Annalisa making her question whether he would stay or run like the wind. I could see Clark holding the baby. I found myself needing to slow down my reading during the scenes of "action" because I started skipping over words to know if everyone was okay. Well done, Jody, once again!
Jody has written three other books (which you need to read...that's an order! Obviously I'm a little bossy today.). Preacher's Bride, The Doctor's Lady and Unending Devotion. All three focus on a person from history. Jody told me A Noble Groom is more "traditional". Even if Jody considers this "traditional", it has an underlying theme.
Like Unending Devotion, which dealt with human trafficking in the 1880's, A Noble Groom also brings to light the treatment of women and children in that era. Maybe it is because my daughter just returned from a few third world countries and saw the awfulness of human trafficking on women and children that this came to the forefront of my mind. But, as I read A Noble Groom I couldn't help ache for the treatment of the women and children when some think of them as just a piece of meat. They have no voice. They do as they are told because it could mean physical and emotional mistreatment.
Clark, to me, represented what Christ meant when He said, "Husbands, love your wife as Christ loved the church..." Ephesians 5:25  If Clark saw a husband mistreating his wife, he didn't stand by and keep quiet. He wanted the men to take note of how they were treating the women and children. He cared. He loved. Just like Christ cares for the 'least of these'. It doesn't matter if you are dirty, poor, wealthy or are born into the "right" family. God loves you.
Are you convinced yet to run, walk, drive, hail a taxi, hop over to your favorite book seller on the web and purchase this book? Good!
And...eeeeeee!!!!....Jody has Rebellious Heart coming out in September and available for pre-order!

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