The German-American experience during the Great War is one that isn't found in very many works of fiction. Even true stories don't abound in huge numbers online. So I thought I'd share the name of another work of fiction that touches on this lesser known piece of history and is a really great read, too.
Hattie Big Sky by Kirby Larson is young adult historical novel set in 1917-1918. Like Hope at Dawn it takes place during America's involvement in WWI. Hattie even has a close friend who's a soldier over there. While "proving up" by herself on her uncle's homestead in Montana, she witnesses firsthand some German-American prejudice.
Next week I'll share two of my favorite movies set during WWI - one well-known, the other much less so but fantastic at capturing a world right on the cusp of war.
Have you read Hattie Big Sky? What other books about German-Americans during the Great War have you read? Did the title of this post put that Depeche Mode song in your head, too? :)
live, laugh, love, write
Wednesday, May 14, 2014
(DANGER!!! To Pro Germans, Loyal Americans Welcome to Edison Park)
As the United States entered WWI, anything to do with Germany, or being German, suddenly became a hazard. German-sounding streets, cities and even last names were changed in order to sound more American. The German language was prohibited from being spoken in many places. In Iowa, where HOPE AT DAWN takes place, this included schools, churches, public places and on the telephone.
German-Americans were often viewed as spies for the "enemy" and threatened with violence if they didn't prove their loyalties. Some were jailed, sentenced to prison, or tarred and feathered. Others struggled to make ends meet when people refused to frequent German-owned establishments.
In the midst of this anti-German movement, Livy and Friedrick meet and fall in love in HOPE AT DAWN. Their story gives a glimpse into the private struggles of German-Americans during the Great War.
Wednesday, May 7, 2014
What It's About:
As a child, Lydia Pallas became all too familiar with uncertainty when it came to the future. Now, she's finally carved out a perfect life for herself--a life of stability and order with no changes, surprises, or chaos of any kind. She adores her apartment overlooking the bustling Boston Harbor, and her skill with languages has landed her a secure position as a translator for the U.S. Navy.
However, it is her talent for translation that brings her into contact with Alexander Banebridge, or "Bane"; a man who equally attracts and aggravates her. When Bane hires Lydia to translate a seemingly innocuous collection of European documents, she hesitantly agrees, only to discover she is in over her head.
Just as Bane's charm begins to win her over, Lydia learns he is driven by a secret campaign against some of the most dangerous criminals on the East Coast, compelled by his faith and his past. Bane forbids any involvement on Lydia's part, but when the criminals gain the upper hand, it is Lydia on whom he must depend.
There was so much I liked about this book! I loved Bane as the unlikely hero who found his match and the love of his heart in Lydia. I loved Lydia's humanness as she struggles to overcome things that weren't hers by choice. There was also plenty of intrigue to keep me turning pages, along with great moments of sweet romance and tenderness.
Readers who've read Elizabeth Camden's first book - The Lady of Bolton Hill - will recognize Bane. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know him better as one of the main characters in this book. I also loved the way Camden wove in historical details without detracting from the story.
Find it on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
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