HOPE IN THE LAND
When Henry Edison turns up in Lancaster County to survey farm women about their domestic contributions during the 1930s, the last thing Amish housewife Gloria Grabill has time for is the government agent's unending questions. Gloria's hands are already full with a farm to run alongside her husband, a houseful of children and extended family, and an English neighbour, Minerva Swain, who has been trying Gloria's patience for forty years. Gloria's oldest daughter, Polly, wants nothing more than the traditional path of an Amish farmer's wife, but everything she does seems to push Thomas Coblentz further away. As their lives entangle, Gloria digs deep to find the grace to see past Minerva's irritating habits to her unspoken fears, while Polly and Henry brave unforeseen shifts in their dream.
While the Great Depression shadows the country in gloom, can Amish and English neighbours in Lancaster County grasp the goodness that will sustain hope?
This is one of those subtle kinds of stories that creeps into your heart. A hope-filled respite that left me longing for simpler days. Gloria is at the centre of it all, dispensing compassion and wisdom (most of the time) as she nurtures her brood and looks beyond the needs of her own family. Her one nemesis is Minerva and, frankly, I can totally see why! (insert the sound of nails scratching on a blackboard -- the woman is that annoying!)
I've always been fascinated by the Depression era as a historical setting though it isn't the most popular time periods for novels. The title, Hope in the Land, aptly describes how Gloria approaches life during these trying times and somehow she manages to spread that hope to those around her. And I love her counsel! "Find the calm in the storm. If you try to talk in the wind, you only end up shouting at yourself." (p.129)
Then there's Polly with her dreams of marriage though she isn't great farmwife material. City-slicker Henry, a fish out of water when he arrives in rural Lancaster County. And Minerva, the annoying English neighbor who puts on airs. Gloria touches all their lives in different ways. A gentle story of simple faith and endless hope.
If you would like an opportunity to win a copy of Hope in the Land please leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. If you post a comment and add your email address, please use AT and DOT instead of @ and . in the address to protect yourself from spammers. If you enter the draw via email please remember to put the title in the subject line so that it's easy for me to spot your entry. Draw will be held and winner announced on Sunday July 31 2016. Offer open to international readers. Good luck!