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Wings of a Dream Paperback – September 1, 2011

4.7 out of 5 stars 342 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Rebekah Hendricks dreams of a life far beyond her family's farm in Oklahoma, and when dashing aviator Arthur Samson promises adventure in the big city, she is quick to believe he's the man she's meant to marry.

While she waits for the end of the Great War and Arthur's return, her mother's sister falls ill. Rebekah seizes the opportunity to travel to Texas to care for Aunt Adabelle, sure that her glamorous and exciting life is about to start.

But the Spanish flu epidemic changes everything. Faced with her aunt's sickness, Arthur's indecisiveness, and four children who have no one else to care for them, Rebekah discovers she must choose between her desire to escape the type of life she's always led and the unexpected love that just might change the dream of her heart.

About the Author

Anne Mateer is a three-time Genesis Contest finalist who has long had a passion for history and historical fiction. She and her husband live near Dallas, Texas, and are the parents of three young adults.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 319 pages
  • Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (September 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764209035
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764209031
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.5 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (342 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,189,285 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Susan K. Edwards on March 11, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was a hard book for me as it where I love historical and Amish Christian books so very, very much. With this I realize there is most often a degree of heartbreak in a book, that I understand as life itself has more than its share of ups and downs. What I have trouble with is when there is so much unhappiness in a book that you have to look for the degree of happiness ... I read for enjoyment and when it is all or mostly unhappiness ... it loses something for me. This book I felt had just too much unhappiness for me. I realize that this was a time that there was a lot of unhappiness but I sure would have like to have seen it mixed with more happiness .. even her romance wasn't very happy ... and if that had been I know that would have in my mind made this book so much more enjoyable.As I realize that the Spanish Flu was a horrible time and so many lives were lost ... understandably that was a period of time of real hardship and heartbreak ... but if Rebekah could have had a happier life somewhere thoughout this book ... that is all this needed.

Rebekah was unhappy with her life with her Mother, all her suitors, and life itself ... so many disappointments ... all while struggling with the losses of so many during this horrible flu ... too much of a downer for me. Frank, was actually too much on the sidelines for much of the book ... I wish he could have been a bit more involved and enjoyable. On the other hand .... the way Rebekah took it upon herself to raise these precious little ones and did fall in love with them ... that is why "I liked" the book ... the relationshps she developed with the children carried the book for me otherwise ... I would have given this book a much lower rating.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
When Rebekah Hendricks' suitor leaves Oklahoma for aviator training in Dallas, the months ahead of her look bleak. Struggling against the uncertainties of World War I, Rebekah dreams of the day when Arthur will return and she can start her real life with him. In the meantime, she goes to help her widowed aunt in Texas with the hope that her sweetheart will visit from his training base nearby.

Rebekah arrives at her aunt's to find the town devastated by the Spanish flu epidemic. Not only is Aunt Adabelle deathly ill, but Rebekah discovers that Aunt Adabelle is the sole caregiver of four motherless children and until their father returns from the war Rebekah is the only one able to care for them.

Frustrated at times by her inability to escape, Rebekah shoulders the burden and waits for Arthur to make good on his promises to whisk her away, but the longer he delays the more she feels bound to remain with the children until their father comes home.

This story has a gentle pace that contrasts with the hardship and desperation that Rebekah faces. Mateer's description of a town under the ravages of the Flu Epidemic of 1918 is chilling, but tempered by warm neighbors and the bonds that grow between Rebekah and the children. Isolated by fear and a scarcity of healthy adults, readers will sympathize with Rebekah's difficulties and cheer her determination. And even after the passing of the epidemic and the end of the war, Mateer doesn't let the story sag, but introduces the best complication in the form of a war-weary father who isn't sure what to do with the young woman who has earned his children's love.

Excellent read. I highly recommend it.
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Format: Paperback
Wings of a Dream is a novel that hearkens back to simpler times, when faith and family and being neighbourly was the norm. Anne Mateer writes in an easy to read manner, and succeeded at bringing to life interesting historical details, such as the the tragedy of the Spanish Influenza as it so greatly impacted her characters lives. Scenes that are focused on the children and their sorrows and their joys were especially well-done, and tugged on my heart strings.

However, I must admit that I found the book to be less enjoyable than I'd hoped, largely because of the character of Rebekah. While I realize that generally authors are trying to portray growth in their characters over the course of a story, I found her to be so immature and selfish at times that I grew quite annoyed with her. One scene that especially bothered me is one where she arrives home feeling emotional and is so focused on reading a letter that she leaves the 9-yr-old to make herself and her 3 siblings supper and then also put them to bed, including the 9-month old baby. Such a scene made her seem so selfish that I struggled to like her after that, and there were numerous other such scenes. I also found that she went back and further from being self-less one moment to being incredibly self-centred the next, and this impacted my ability to enjoy the story.

Overall, I am confident that readers who enjoy historical fiction, especially those written by authors like Janette Oke or Kim Vogel Sawyer, will likely enjoy this debut novel as it upholds ideals of sacrifice and love and provides a heartwarming read. I mildly recommend this novel and give it 3.5 out of 5 stars (reflected on Amazon.com as 3 stars as 1/2 stars are not an option).

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
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