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Reviewed by Edith Wairimu for Readers' Favorite
Anneliese by Dee Miller is a suspenseful historical novel set in a small town in Wisconsin. It begins during World War I. Though she had a privileged upbringing, Anneliese Doyle had always wished to break free from her mother’s restrictive rules. When she learns of her fiancé’s upcoming return from fighting in France, Anneliese is hopeful that she will finally see Frank again and have the life she longs for. But Frank succumbs to the deadly Spanish flu. Without Frank, Anneliese feels lost. She decides to volunteer as an ambulance driver against her mother’s wishes. After the flu ends and now able to stand up to her mother, Anneliese is set on enjoying life with her friend Pauline. Her mother, however, intervenes. Throughout the story, Anneliese grows up and becomes wiser.
Anneliese’s life is filled with many painful, unexpected events including the death of Frank. Though she encounters many tragedies, she is brave as she fights to move forward. She is also an interesting main character. She defies the social norms of her time to do what is best for the people around her and for herself such as when she becomes an ambulance driver. Other characters in the book such as her mother and her daughter are captivating and complex. They play significant roles in Anneliese’s life. The story portrays friendship, family relationships, and marriage in a compelling way. The relationships in the book are imperfect, and they mirror real-life relationships. Anneliese by Dee Miller is a fascinating account with convincing characters and exciting events.