From Publishers Weekly
Romance Hall of Famer Rivers (Redeeming Love
) returns with her first full-length novel since 2003 with this two-generation saga of a mother and daughter, the first of two parts. Ambitious, strong-willed Marta Schneider leaves her home in rural Switzerland at the beginning of the 20th century. She's determined to flee her abusive father, loving but weak mother, and the constraints placed on women. Meeting interesting characters all along her journey, she works her way to Canada. There she buys a boardinghouse and meets her match in Niclas Waltert, a German engineer with a farmer's heart. Through Marta's sharp elbows and the sweat of Niclas's brow, the family eventually arrives at an increasingly comfortable life in California's Central Valley. The second half of the story, told from the point of view of constitutionally timid daughter Hildemara Rose, is less deeply imagined. So many events happen as history rapidly unrolls in the background that the narrative feels too much like an outline for a Lifetime TV offering about a couple buffeted by the winds of WWII. Writers like Rivers are why people buy Christian fiction: it's dramatic, engaging, and acknowledges the bedroom without going inside. This well-told tale will have readers eagerly awaiting the story's resolution. (Mar.)
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*Starred Review* Swiss-born Marta Schneider was her Papa’s least favored child, and his abuse pushes her to leave home and achieve great things, first in nearby Interlaken, later in England, then Canada, and finally in California, where she and her German husband, Niclas, settle down to raise their four children in the lull between the two world wars. Niclas is a godly and trusting man with a university degree who nonetheless has a powerful desire to work the soil. So it falls to shrewd and ambitious Marta to protect them all from greedy and unscrupulous folk who would take advantage. Romance Writers of America Hall of Famer Rivers’ eagerly anticipated, first full-length Christian novel since 2003 is an emotionally rich exploration based loosely on her own family history as it follows world events through the first half of the twentieth century. The first in a two-part saga about four women, Rivers’ novel will appeal to readers who enjoy historical fiction and sweeping family sagas with exotic settings. As her compelling characters seek to do what they feel their faith demands, Rivers sets their resonant struggles against dusty streets, windswept Canadian plains, and California vineyards in vivid scenes readers will not soon forget. --Lynne Welch