Times are hard in 1894. Desperate for work, former banker Jacob Hirsch rides the rails west from Chicago with his four-year-old daughter, Cassie. When a life-threatening illness strands the pair in Homestead, Iowa, the local Amana villagers welcome the father and daughter into their peaceful society. Liesel, a young Amana woman, nurses Cassie back to health, and the Homestead elders offer Jacob work. But Jacob’s growing interest in Liesel complicates his position in the Amanas. Will he fight to stay in the only place that feels like home, even if it means giving up the woman he loves? Or will Liesel leave her beloved community to face the outside world with Jacob and Cassie at her side?
To be completely honest, I’d read anything by Melanie Dobson without a moment’s hesitation. She truly has a gift. So it was no real surprise to me that Homestead, Iowa, was a beautifully woven story with unique characters. But there was a few surprises with Homestead.
The romance in this story is softer, more subtle. The character’s interactions are limited by circumstance and society. But it all works together so beautifully, it nearly redefines the genre in a way.
This book (and the Silent Order) won ACFW Carol (Book of the Year) Awards this past week, and it is every bit deserving of the honor. Rich with history and memorable secondary characters, this is a book where a unique era comes to life. This is a story of a heart torn between two choices – home and love. How many of us can relate to that pull between what we desire and duty?
This book had a different feel to it, but was still every bit as satisfying and enjoyable as other Melanie Dobson books.
Add this to your collection. Those who love history, stirring romance and beautiful writing won’t be disappointed.