The day I started Jody’s latest book, A Noble Groom, I had a few bushes to uproot in our backyard and new plants to plant, along with various other tasks like weeding and watering. I indulged in the first few chapters of A Noble Groom, then set out to get the yard work done. Trudging around outside, shovel in gloved hands, I grumbled about the sticky Florida warmth as trickles of sweat raced down my brow and back.
Twenty minutes into my chores, the stubborn, spindly Hibiscus roots nearly got the best of me. Then I thought of Jody’s main characters in A Noble Groom, Annalisa and Carl, and about how much hard work goes into a family farm. Jody portrayed the rigor, joy, and literal pitfalls of farming life vibrantly in her latest book. This wonderful story also served as a reminder about my German grandparents and their farm in Ohio where my mom and my aunts grew up. Hard work was life. For many, whether fifty years ago or two hundred years ago like Jody’s characters, a farm was their only means of survival.
I told myself to suck it up and get the yard work done (mainly so I could get back inside and read more).
Jody has written four books, and the latest is another winner. From the back cover of A Noble Groom:
Annalisa Werner’s hope for a fairy-tail 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 Carl’s help, but there’s more to this man than she’s admitting. He’s also gentle, kind, charming – unlike any man she’s ever known. But even as he is shining light into the darkness of Annalisa’s heart, she knows her true groom may arrive any day.
One of the things I appreciate about Jody’s writing is the attention to detail and historical depth she brings to her novels. I want to learn as I read, fiction or non, and Jody’s books brim with history about those who came before and their fascinating, often difficult lives. Add to that her uncanny ability to pen a page-turner overflowing with a zippy plot, realistic action, and romantic tension, and I’m hooked.
In A Noble Groom, Jody also touches on the residual effect of class struggles that the German immigrants dealt with, and the fact that many women were not given the choice about whom they married. I enjoyed the way Jody worked out the plot intricacies, from the mystery of who Carl was and where he came from, to the death of Annalisa’s husband, and especially as the author deftly mined the depths of Annalisa’s heart and Carl’s choices.
A Noble Groom is an exciting, sweet read that leaves readers gratefully filled. I highly recommend all of Jody’s books, this one included.
I have an extra copy of A Noble Groom*, so I’m having a give-away! If you’d like to be entered, please leave a comment on my blog or on the Facebook post by Thursday, midnight EST. I’ll draw a name out of a hat, and announce the winner in a comment on Friday morning (and get in touch with you). I’d love to know what you’re reading right now, or about a recent great read! (Inside the continental U.S. only, please. Thanks!)
*I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.
<<THE WINNER OF THE DRAWING IS REBECCA WILLS! THANKS EVERYONE FOR STOPPING BY AND COMMENTING!>>