Monday, April 4, 2016
Hope in the Land by Olivia Newport
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?
About The Author
Olivia Newport’s novels twist through time to discover where faith and passions meet. Her husband and two adult children provide welcome distraction from the people stomping through her head on their way into her books. She chases joy in stunning Colorado at the foot of the Rockies, where daylilies grow as tall as she is.
The time of this book is the 1930’s and takes place in Lancaster Pennsylvania, but it could be anywhere in the U.S., it is depression time, and the also a sever drought, dust bowl.
College educated Henry Edison has secured one of President Roosevelt’s WPA jobs, and glad to work. His car dies as he arrives at the Grabill Amish home, and they open their doors to him. The family takes him under their wing, and especially Polly helps him with his fact finding.
We also meet the Swains, the Grabill’s English neighbors, and particularly Minerva, who was a nemesis to Gloria when they grew up. So I instantly didn’t like her, but some things are deceiving and I am quick to judge, or was I?
Polly is a good friend with the Swain’s daughter Rose, and we find that they both have big hearts. Again Minerva gets on my nerves with how she wants to rein in Rose, but Rose will have none to do with it, and shares her gifts with all.
This is a time when good people end up stealing to survive, and we find lunch pails, and pies and canned goods going missing. Was a bit surprised that Polly’s friend, or was it Lena? Is going around with wagonloads of food, or canned goods? What is going on?
There is also a bit of romance for Henry, but can it last with him in Lancaster and his girl in Philadelphia? Or will he find someone right under his eyes, sometimes people are very blind, and is this person someone that is even available to him?
People seem to be struggling to survive everywhere, and lots of people are on the move, and it seems those that ended up here, even for a little while were better off.
Come and get a glimpse at a hard time in our country, an interesting read.
I received this book through Net Galley and Barbour Publishing, and was not required to give a positive review.