Saturday, April 20, 2013

"A Nobel Groom" by Jody Hedlund (Review & Giveaway)

ISBN: 9780764210471
Paperback $14.99
About the book: Time and place - Michigan, 1880 
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.

GIVEAWAY: A giveaway copy has graciously been provided and will bless one of Chat With Vera's readers.  Just use the Rafflecopter entry form to enter.  Begins April 20 & ENDS May 7 @ 12:01 a.m. EDT. Open to USA mainland residents only.
a Rafflecopter giveaway  

About the Author:  Jody Hedlund is the bestselling author of The Doctor's Lady and The Preacher's Bride. She won the 2011 Inspirational Reader's Choice Award, the 2011 Award of Excellence from the Colorado Romance Writers and was a finalist for Best Debut Novel in the 2011 ACFW Carol Awards. Currently she makes her home in central Michigan, with her husband and five busy children.

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. 


  1. The Preacher's Bride, Bethany House Publishers, was Jody's first novel.

  2. Sometimes I do like to read historical fiction. I usually read more suspense, thriller, paranormal, and true crime. My mom loves to read about any kind of history, fiction or nonfiction. I'd love to win this book for her....after I read it, of course. This would be a perfect time to read it. My 3rd graders are studying immigration in Social Studies and we're having a mock immigration day in May where they reenact what it's like to be an immigrant coming into Ellis Island. It's something we do every year and it's something the kids never forget. Thanks for a chance to win!

    1. You would enjoy reading this (I think) and I found the relocation/immigration information very interesting. I learned about the felling of the great forests in the northern regions of the US by reading another book earlier this year and it inferred that farming the land left behind was nearly impossible because of all the stumps and left behind debris. This book, A Noble Groom, took me further into the historical setting. Makes me want to pursue some research.

  3. The Preacher's Bride
    Rachelle Gardner of Books & Such Literary Agency

  4. The Preacher's Bride - 2010 by Bethany House Publishers

  5. Jody's first book was The Preacher's Bride (great book!), published by Bethany House.
    Thanks for the chance to win a copy of A Noble Groom.

  6. The Preacher's Bride in 2010 at Bethany House Publishers


  7. I love Historical fiction as well as a good written "Who Done It". thank you BL

  8. "The Preacher's Bride"
    Rachelle Gardner of Books & Such Literary Agency

    thank you BL

  9. The Preacher's Bride/Bethany House Publishers

  10. The more I hear about this book the more I want to read it!

    The Preacher’s Bride (2010 Bethany House Publishers)

    Jasmine A.

  11. Thanks for the interview and the giveaway--I love the cover of A Noble Groom! Jody's first published book was The Preacher's Bride with Bethany House Publishers. danandlyndaedwards(at)msn(dot)com

  12. The Preacher's Bride-Published October 1st 2010 by Bethany House
    Thank you!

  13. 'the preacher's bride' loved it :)

    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

  14. 'The Preacher's Bride' from Bethany House. I loved the way it brought John Bunyan and his family to life!

  15. "The Preacher's Bride" was Jody's first published book and the publishing house was Bethany House Publishers. I can't wait for my classes to be over so I can read all of her books!

    Stephanie :)

  16. Preachers Bride from Bethany House... that book looks great too!


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