I’ve never had this happen to me. Let me explain. As I finished reading Jody Hedlund’s new novel, A Noble Groom, I wanted to start over and read it again. Don’t get me wrong, there have been many books that I’ve loved and after a year or so I might pick one up and read it again, but NEVER have I wanted to read a book again right after I finished it. Never.
And here’s the deal, as I started A Noble Groom I thought this is good, but as I continued to read I fell in love with the characters. I fell in love with the plot. And I fell in love Hedlund’s style of writing.
The characters . . .
Right from the start empathy builds for Annalisa Werner. She’s a woman who has been trapped in a loveless marriage and finds that her creep of a husband stole the meager savings she’d put away. The only good thing in her life is her little girl, Gretchen. Things rapidly grow from back to worse when Annalisa finds her husband dead on the ground. She now has no money and no man, which in those days was a scary proposition.
The only person in a worse situation than Annalisa is Gottfried Charles von Reichart the Third, who is half-a-world away in Essen, Germany. He’s about to be executed for a bomb that exploded and killed a servant and injured others. Because materials from his lab had been used to make the bomb, it had been assumed that he had done it. Not even his father, the Baron, can save him. Yet, a faithful manservant comes to his aid and helps him narrowly escape.
Right from the start empathy builds for both characters. That empathy grows into hope and love as you become even more involved in their lives. I only gave you a tiny peek of what they go through.
The plot . . .
I like to pride myself in being able to figure out how a story will end. My children hate to go to the movies with me because I’m always spoiling the ending by telling them what might happen. I'm wrong sometimes, but what can I say? I’m a writer and I’m watching for certain earmarks in the plot. Everything has a purpose and reason for being there. As I read A Noble Groom, I marveled how the plot grew and grew and how just when I thought it would go one way it would turn in a completely different direction. I LOVE THAT!
Some may think the plot is episodic in nature because one crisis after another happens, however, the main thrust of the story carries you through each incident. I also trust the author, and I knew that the events in the novel were probably based on occurrences that really happen. And guess what? In the back of the book Jody explains that the events really did happen.
The writing style . . .
Some authors write very dense prose, some write very thin. For me, Hedlund’s style is just right. She is able to capture imagery with words and present it in a way that is very reader friendly. She never gets bogged down with descriptions or back story. She places you in the scene. There were times I could smell the maple syrup, feel the heat of the drought, and nearly taste Annalisa’s apple pie. But what I’m very jealous of is her ability to write very emotional love scenes that appeal to your heart and not go into graphic detail. You can trust her. Jody’s inspirational historical romance is just that . . . inspiring on many levels.
As you may have noticed, I don’t do a lot of book reviews any more. I don’t have time, but I made time for this one, and I’m glad I did.
You can learn more about Jody Hedlund and her other novels on her website.
I was given a copy of the book from the publisher, but I reviewed it because I liked it.