Annalisa Werner's hope for a 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 his help, but there's more to this man than he's admitting. He's also gentle, kind, charming-unlike any man she's ever known. But even as Carl is shining light into the darkness of her heart, she knows her true groom may arrive any day.
My thoughts: This was an interesting read giving insight into the plight of immigrants to the United States in 1880. Noble Groom specifically involves German immigrants seeking a new and better life free from the overlords and virtual enslavement of 1880 Germany and Europe. They initially came to work in the mines, but when that did not work out, they took advantage of the opportunity to establish farms on cheap land from which trees had been harvested. The land was filled with debris and tree stumps which made clearing the land and farming it formidable.
Determined to make this opportunity work and live as free men who owned their own land, they banded together into "communities." In our story, the heroine is left by the death of her husband to make her land pay so the debt can be paid off within the allotted time. She is expecting a baby. The community leaders meet and determine that a groom will be sent from Germany to marry her, further clear and farm the land, and pay off the debt with earnings from the land. She has no voice in her plight.
Indicative of the culture of the time, women were simply helpers and breeders. Their life was hard. Most were unloved; or if loved, the love was not expressed in any comforting way.
At the same time that the "selected groom" is suppose to arrive from Germany, another man of gentle, noble ways arrives. Carl is not hardened by life nor is his body hardened to hard, manual labor. He protests when a marriage to Annalisa is immediately initiated upon his arrival by community leaders. After making the mistaken identity known to the community, he does, however, agree to work the farm for her in exchange for his room and board.
This is an interesting read from a historical standpoint as well as relaxing and enjoyable. I found the characters believable and well developed and the story line easy to follow. The sweet romance was another plus and was presented in a wholesome way. I was again delighted to read another of Jody Hedlund's books and look forward to future works by her.
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DISCLOSURE: I was provided a complimentary copy in exchange for my honest review. Litfuse Publicity Group provided the copy on behalf of the publisher, Bethany House a division of Baker Publishing Group, and the author, Jody Hedlund.