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Reviewed by Heather Stockard for Readers' Favorite
The year is 1897. Newlyweds Beryl and Edward Massart journey from civilized Quebec to a small farm in Wisconsin to begin their lives together. Despite her sadness at leaving her family, possibly forever, Beryl is charmed by her new home and very much in love with her husband. They are happy and hopeful, but as the weeks pass and reality sets in, their optimism fades. The young couple finds marriage more difficult than they expected. Edward has a temper and they both have trouble communicating. With a baby on the way and winter closing in, Beryl is anxious, especially when her husband takes a job at a logging company to make ends meet and leaves for the winter. Over the next few months, their marriage will be tested by separation, tragedy, and temptation, and Beryl will have to rely on her friends and faith in God to see her through.
In a Grove of Maples: Sheltering Trees by Jenny Knipfer is a heartfelt tale of the struggles of married life on a nineteenth-century farm. Edward and Beryl are both relatable and sympathetic. Knipfer expertly captures the emotion and stress of their lives and relationship. It’s a touching and realistic portrayal of love, loss, and friendship. The story is told through both diary entries and flashbacks in the past, which add suspense and keep the reader turning pages. Beryl’s faith and her integrity make her a strong female character. This book is a must-read for anyone interested in historical romance.