Saturday, November 11, 2006

River's Edge - Marie Bostwick


River’s Edge
Marie Bostwick
Kensington Books

Women’s Fiction – Historical

Elise Braun was born in 1925 to a proudly Prussian military family. Her father was fifth-generation military, and descended from General Yorck, a hero of the Napoleonic Wars. Her early childhood was quite orderly and content until her mother became ill. Elise cared for her mother as long as she was able, but in those days, consumption killed. Her mother’s legacy to Elise was her skill at the piano, a skill that would carry her through some very rough times.

In 1939, with Hitler gearing up for war, Elise’s father sent her to America to live with distant relatives, Reverend and Mrs. Muller. The Muller family, including five children, lived in the Connecticut River Valley near the village of Brightfield. Elise has a difficult time adjusting to life in a noisy, bustling Yankee household. When the war begins, she worries for her father, an officer in the German army. It’s not until the United States enters the war that her loyalties are truly divided. By this time, she’s come to love her new family and friends, but still feels loyalty to her country of birth and her father.

This is a lovely story of a young girl losing her mother, being uprooted from everything she knows, and finding the strength to make a new life for herself. Elise tells the story in first person, and admits that, quite often, she was childishly self-centered when larger issues surrounded her. Since the story is told from her point of view, it’s nice to watch things unfold; especially her different takes on various events as she matures. This story should appeal to readers of Christian fiction, of romantic fiction, historical fiction, and those who enjoy a well-done coming-of-age story.

Rating: 7
September 2006
ISBN# 0-7582-0991-6 (trade paperback)

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