Thursday, April 28, 2016

5-Star Review of "Hope in the Land"

Review of Hope in the Land

by Olivia Newport 

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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 an English neighbor, 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. While the Great Depression shadows the country in gloom, can Amish and English neighbors in Lancaster County grasp the goodness that will sustain hope?

MY REVIEW:  Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, 1936, Ernie had rolled up his shirt sleeves and was scrubbing his arms all the way up to his elbows.  Minerva's stomach sank.   "We're going to the Grabills' for lunch."  Ernie flashed a grin.  "Did you invite yourself again?" "It was Marlin's idea this time."  
Minerva is the English neighbor and Gloria, the Amish homemaker, and the two have never gotten along.  The two women attended school together as youngsters and they didn't get along then and they still don't get along.   But Marlin had invited them all to dinner so Gloria would play the dutiful housewife and serve the neighbors a decent hot meal.   Times are very hard as the Great Depression is upon the country and Ernie comes along to survey the local farm wives about their domestic contributions.   Gloria again does what a good Amish housewife would do and offers Henry a place to stay in their barn.  
This book greatly saddened me in many ways as I thought of my mother and father being born during the early 1930's and I knew that times had indeed been very hard for them.  What I loved, though, was their hope in the land.....hope that the vegetables they grew in their little family gardens would sustain the family through the winter.   Minerva and her daughter, Rose, had many things they would learn from Gloria and her daughters.  The dynamics of the two families was quite interesting.  This book evoked great emotion for me.   I believe that readers will feel torn between many emotions as well as they read.   
I rated this book 5 stars and highly recommend it to readers/
I received a copy of this book from netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

About the Author:
 Olivia Newport
From goodreads' bio:

I’m imagining you. You walk past as I water my front flowerbeds and we wave. You check the time as we both stand in a long line at the grocery store. You sit in front of me in church. I’m at my table in the coffee shop and you’re at yours.

We may smile politely and move on with our separate lives. Or one of us may speak, a simple invitation to conversation, and the words flow between us.

Here the adventure begins. When we meet someone new, we never know where it might lead.

I’ve been married for over thirty years and have two twenty-something kids. We live in stunning Colorado at the foot of the Rockies, where the day lilies in my back yard grow as tall as I am. (No short jokes, please.)

Not every piece of my life is pretty, though. Some days I want to throw out whole chunks. But I am living each day looking for the grace of God to me, in me, and through me. Having your companionship along the way will help uncover a lot of great stories.

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