"A touching exploration of relationships between mothers & daughters over several generations."
Reviewed by Viki Ferrell
Posted February 13, 2010
Saga | Inspirational Inspirational
As this story opens in Switzerland in 1901, Marta Schneider
is suffering from an abusive father and a very submissive
mother who will not stand up to her husband. Marta
struggles with life until she is given the opportunity to
go to housekeeping school for training. Her father says she
will never be anything but a servant, but Marta has dreams,
hopes and higher aspirations. She also worries about her
sister, Elise, who is coddled far too much by her mother
and is never made to face reality.
Marta's mother tells her to "fly" as she leaves home for
the last time. And "fly" she does. Her hopes and dreams
take her to England and then across the Atlantic to
Montreal. There she opens a boarding house and meets the
man who becomes her husband. He takes her to the frozen
northern part of Canada where they farm for four years and
then move on to Murietta, California, where they finally
settle on another farm, this one their own. Here Marta and
Niclas raise their four children.
Hildemara, their oldest daughter, is very much like Marta's
sister and Marta worries that her fate will be just as
dreadful as Elise's. Marta cannot bear to see that happen.
She is very hard on Hildi and does not openly show her the
same love and approval she does her other children. Hildi
feels she will have to make it on her own if she is to ever
make anything of her life. Nursing school takes her to
Oakland where she is happier than she has ever been in her
Hildi meets and marries a young college student studying to
be a doctor. She has never been a very healthy person and
develops tuberculosis. She survives this and gives birth to
two healthy children. However, again she succumbs to
tuberculosis and has to be put back in the sanatorium. When
her husband needs help with the housework and children and
wants to call on Hildi's mama, Hildi doesn't think she will
come. Their relationship has never been a strong one and
Hildi just doesn't think her mother really cares about her.
Follow this epic story over 46 years, two continents and
two wars. Will Marta have the opportunity to show Hildemara
that she really loves and cares deeply for her? Francine
Rivers has certainly done her research on this
inspirational novel, including historical details of the
life and times of the early 1900s. This is a great read!
The first in an epic two-book saga by beloved author
Francine Rivers, this sweeping story explores the
complicated relationships between mothers and daughters over
Near the turn of the 20th century, fiery Marta leaves
Switzerland determined to find life on her own terms. Her
journey takes her through Europe and finally lands her with
children and husband in tow in the central valley of
California. Marta’s experiences convince her that only the
Hildie, Marta’s oldest daughter, has a heart to serve
others, and her calling as a nurse gives her independence,
if not the respect of her mother. Amid the drama of WWII,
Hildie marries and begins a family of her own. She wants her
daughter never to doubt her love—but the challenges of life
conspire against her vow.
Each woman is forced to confront her faulty but well-meaning
desire to help her daughter find her God-given place in the
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