I have been a fan of the Elm Creek Series since a fellow book reader alerted me to the series about 7 years ago. So, as soon as I saw this book was available to review I enthusiastically raised my hand and awaited for the book to cross the Atlantic.
Initially, I could not see how this fitted with the theme of Elm Creek, but a few pages in and I recognised a name from an earlier book. This latest addition to the series is set as Prohibition rages; this book delves deeper than just a great storyline. It brings to life events and hardships that would have happened. The struggle for survival by those who lives were turned upset down by the impact of Prohibition.
It is also the story of the relationships.
Firstly between the main character Rosa and her brute and bully of a husband. I could feel Rosa’s fear, not just for herself but for her children and the circumstances that she finds herself in and how she copes with those circumstances. It is also the story of her husband John, who struggles and fails with acceptance that he is second best for Rosa’s love. John has tried to isolate Rosa. He tried hard to restrict her relationship with her parents and when her mother dies, Rosa is devastated. Later Rose contemplates if John is responsible.
The second relationship is between Rosa and her first love, Lars, who is the father of two of four children. The characters are bought to life as we delve within the pages and it is very easy to get caught up with their lives. To feel their anguish, fear, worry, despair and love.
Rosa should have left her husband long ago. The final straw is that he returns and sees her with a female friend. He is insistent that Lars is hiding and goes looking for him. Before he leaves he severely beats Rosa and hurts her friend. The friend drives off to warn Lars and Rosa gathers her children and some basic belongings and leaves. Just before she leaves one of her daughters tells her mother that there is something hidden in the barn. A quick explore and Rosa discovers that there is a stash of money hidden in the barn. Rosa takes some of the cash and subsequently takes the strong box with the deeds for the farm so that John can not sell it from under her. I applauded her quick thinking.
Rosa takes her children and hides in a local cave; wrapping the children for warmth in the heirloom quilts made by her mother. Lars arrives and rescues her and the children, and they are fearful that John will catch up with them. John does not; he is arrested for his part in a bootlegging organisation.
Rosa and Lars do get away. They take the children and Rosa to a local hospital. Although Rosa has four children, she has also had four children who have passed away. She is desperate to ensure that that two of her children, who are poorly are treated and to establish what is wrong with them.
Rosa and Lars with the children have a new start, although it is not without it’s problems and worries, but I do believe that they are as happy as they deserve to be. Perhaps the lives of Rosa and Lars will feature in a future book?
This was another fabulous book in the Elm Creek series. The characters are rich in description and emotion, which is a theme carried across the entire series. The storyline was interesting and it is clear to see that the author has done lots of research to explore the wider issues around Prohibition and the medical issues involving the children. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and look forward to reading the next instalment in the series.
Disclaimer – I received a copy of this book from the publisher. I was not paid for my review and the review is my genuine opinion of the book.
The author’s website is HERE
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