Times are hard in 1893. In the midst of an economic depression, Jacob Hirsch loses his job with the banking industry. Desperate for work, the widower rides the rails west from Chicago with his four-year-old daughter, Cassie. When their train is derailed in a flood outside Homestead, Iowa, the communal Amana Society settled there rallies around the newcomers.
Liesel, a young Amana woman, takes Cassie under her wing at the Amana Kinderschule and the Homestead elders offer Jacob work. But when the elders recognize Jacobs interest in the engaged Liesel, they ask him to leave the colony. Will Jacob choose to stay in the only place that's felt like home if it means he must give up the woman he has come to love?
I really, really liked this book.
It was so descriptive of the economic depression of the time and how difficult a time people were having. Jacob has no way of providing for his daughter and know that he has to get her out of Chicago and find a new profession.
It is heartbreaking at how sick Cassie becomes and they are forced off a train near Homestead. Liesel's connection and determination to help them is very admirable. She stays by Jacob and Cassie's side even though it mean being quarantined.
What a hard, scary time it was in our country. But the Amana's lived separately from the rest of the land and were not effected by the depression. They were self-sufficient and even produced an abundance of product to sell to the outside world. It was very, very interesting to learn about the Amana colonies.
The ending works out perfectly.
This was another "LFYI" book that left me sighing and almost wishing that I lived there. Learning about the different areas and times are what I like the most of about the "LFYI" series.