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Reviewed by Christian Sia for Readers' Favorite
Set in two timelines, in 1918 and 1985, Under the Weeping Willow: Sheltering Trees by Jenny Knipfer is a historical Christian narrative that follows the relationship between two compelling female characters. Robin Holcomb is happily married to Willis, but then Willis leaves her and their unborn child to fight WWI. Robin suffers from post-partum depression after giving birth, barely struggling not to take her own life. In 1985, Enid Fenton uncovers an old diary as she prepares her mother’s family house for sale. Her mother’s diary entries reveal a secret she has never known and one that has been behind the strained relationship with her mother. Can she muster the courage to face her mother and make peace with her before Alzheimer’s sets in?
A gorgeous storyteller, Jenny Knipfer has the gift of blending strong imagery with vivid emotions to capture readers' hearts in this spellbinding story. The setting is well-written, the rural backdrop of Wisconsin in 1918 is beautifully rendered, and the strong hints of WWI and its effects on the characters are skillfully written. In Under the Weeping Willow: Sheltering Trees, the characters come to life, and the author is deft in exploring the emotional and the psychological conflicts, allowing readers a strong feel of the characters' psyches. As the reader follows the characters, they are anxious as they look forward to the moment of peace between daughter and mother. The suspense is intense, the drama persistent, and the conflict moves the story in unexpected directions. It is troubling and endearing at times, but it will keep any fan of Christian fiction and women’s novels reading to the end.