In case it was not evident from my previous reviews, my most recent reads have been historical novels set during wartime, specifically World War II. Which is why I wanted to read We Must Be Brave, by Frances Liardet.
Growing up, my family moved a lot. Throughout the upheaval, the one constant in my life was my sisters. Each time we went to a new school, in a new town, in a new state, they were there with me, lending their support. We knew that, no matter what, we were in it together.
Because I have been blessed with such special siblings, I wanted to read a historical novel about two sisters whose bond sustained them through adversity.
On 4 August 1914, England declared war on Germany, and the War to End All Wars commenced. Patriotism pervaded the country, prompted by fife and drum corps marching through the city streets. Between 4 August and 12 September, the military held massive voluntary recruitment efforts. A total of 478,893 men joined the army during those two months. It is during one of these patriotic parades that the novel, A Stitch in Time, by Beryl Kingston, begins.
Occasionally, I read something so poignant and so profound that it speaks to my soul. Mandy Robotham’s debut novel, The German Midwife, is such a story. Set in Germany during the final years of World War II, this first-person narrative tells the tale of a midwife named Anke Hoff.
In the early 16th century, religious reformation swept through Europe. The schism between the Catholic Church and those protesting its overreach and corruption gave birth to Protestantism. Because of differences of opinion and interpretation of scripture, several Protestant sects emerged. One group was the Anabaptists, who believe that to be baptized, a person must first confess his/her faith in Christ. (For this reason, Anabaptists do not believe in christening infants.) From these Anabaptists came three “plain” communities: Amish, Mennonites, and Brethren with Amish being the most conservative.
Starting in the early 1700s, many Anabaptists immigrated to the Americas. In both my and my spouse’s family trees are individuals who practiced (or still practice) these Anabaptist faiths. It is because of my ancestral connection to these religions that I decided to venture beyond my historical fiction “comfort zone” and explore a new genre: contemporary Amish fiction.