If you've read any of Francine Rivers' books you know just how hard they are put down. I read this over Thanksgiving and was fighting the urge not to read it while walking through the Detroit airport.
According to Booklist, "Swiss-born Marta Schneider was her Papa’s least favored child, and his abuse pushes her to leave home and achieve great things, first in nearby Interlaken, later in England, then Canada, and finally in California, where she and her German husband, Niclas, settle down to raise their four children in the lull between the two world wars. Niclas is a godly and trusting man with a university degree who nonetheless has a powerful desire to work the soil. So it falls to shrewd and ambitious Marta to protect them all from greedy and unscrupulous folk who would take advantage. Romance Writers of America Hall of Famer Rivers’ eagerly anticipated, first full-length Christian novel since 2003 is an emotionally rich exploration based loosely on her own family history as it follows world events through the first half of the twentieth century. The first in a two-part saga about four women, Rivers’ novel will appeal to readers who enjoy historical fiction and sweeping family sagas with exotic settings. As her compelling characters seek to do what they feel their faith demands, Rivers sets their resonant struggles against dusty streets, windswept Canadian plains, and California vineyards in vivid scenes readers will not soon forget."
Like so many of Rivers' books, I felt such a strong connection with the characters as I read about their acts of faith, relationships, attempts to do right, failure, and the redemption that can only be find through Jesus Christ. Many characters in this book were less than just, but instead of focusing on these negative elements, the story talks about love and grace.
It doesn't quite end happy, though. Thank goodness this is book one is a two-part series. I am eager to get my hands on the second one and, yet again, not be able to put it down.