When fifteen-year-old Minke van Aisma travels to Amsterdam to care for the dying wife of an older, wealthy man named Sander DeVries, she has no idea what awaits her. Within hours of his wife’s death, Sander proposes marriage, and within days the couple sets sail for the burgeoning oil fields of Argentina.
But the future that seemed so bright takes a dark turn the morning their son, Zef, is kidnapped. Dire circumstances dictate that Sander immigrate to New York at once, leaving Minke little choice but to wait for their new baby’s arrival, follow Sander to America, and abandon her firstborn.
What follows is a triumphant turn-of-the-century saga of love, betrayal, and redemption that takes readers from the opulent life in Amsterdam during the 1900s to rough life on the Argentine coast to the impoverished life of a recent immigrant in New York.
An indelible portrait of one woman’s struggle to steer her own fate, A Young Wife is a powerful journey that will stay with readers long past the final page.
I’ve heard that truth is stranger than fiction, and after reading some of the things I have, I have to agree. A Young Wife is a novel loosely based on the life of the author’s grandmother. Makes me glad I have a relatively boring life.
Most of the characters were distinctly unlikable, but the story was very well-written. It’s a definite page-turner, as you follow Minke across three continents, and experience love, betrayal, and surprising friendship. I didn’t cry AND there’s a happy ending. Double-win, I’d say.
Here’s a an article about the author, where you can read an exerpt of the book and find out just how close the novel actually is to her grandmother’s story.
About the book:
Title: A Young Wife
Author: Pam Lewis
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Release date: June 14, 2011
Where I got the book: I won this in a Goodreads giveaway.