Life in Forestville, Michigan in 1880 was filled with struggles and hardship. This was especially true for Annalisa Werner. A Noble Groom by Jody Hedlund is a historical, romance novel that transports the reader back to this time and into Annalisa’s life. Her family had immigrated to America from Germany for a number of reasons. The family bought land that was difficult to farm and if they weren’t able to produce enough to sell they could not earn enough to pay their loans. Annalisa’s marriage was loveless and disappointing. Her husband was murdered and she was left with a young child and pregnant with another. She needed a husband and fast as she cannot farm the land herself. Her father sent a request to his brother in Germany to find and send a suitable husband for Annalisa. The uncle lets the family know that a suitable man named Dirk will arrive as soon as possible.
Meanwhile, in Germany, Carl von Reichart sat in a jail cell waiting to be executed. He was the son of a Baron and he had been falsely convicted of a crime. After a daring rescue and escape he made his way to Forestville. For good reason he had been warned not to reveal his true identity. He took the name of Carl Richards. Initially upon meeting Carl, Annalisa and her family believed him to be the new groom and the wedding was to take place immediately. He manages to convince the family he is only amongst them temporarily and that he will help Annalisa with the farm until the real groom arrives. Totally lacking the knowledge, skills and experience needed for farming he tried to keep his word. His learning process proved challenging and he questioned if he would survive it. Even though he harbors a secret about his true identity he finds himself drawn to Annalisa and her daughter. She began to hope that perhaps it was possible to have a marriage based on love and kindness. However, complications arose. Tragedies struck, truths were revealed and as a result lives changed drastically.
The author’s mastery as a storyteller has created a wonderfully readable novel. Even amidst an appalling accrual of hardships and personal loss, the vividly depicted characters are inspiring. I recommend reading this book.
I received this book free of charge from Bethany Publishing and I provide this review of my own free will.