Friday, February 1, 2013

The Little Bride

The Little Bride  By Anna Solomon       Minna,  sixteen years old, is a struggling Jewish orphan in Odessa during the late 18oo's. Her mother ran off, her father dies and she found herself work as a maid for an older woman named Galina who is out of her mind. Minna desperately wants a family, a place she can call home and a new life. She finds herself applying to become a mail order bride to a Jewish man in America. Not mature enough to think this through, Minna feels it is her only option of escape from the orphaned life she leads and the pogroms that fill the Jewish community with fear constantly. She travels to America by ship and goes to live in South Dakota to marry Max, live in a mudlike hut and act as mother to her new stepsons, close to her own age, Jacob and Samuel. Minna desperately tries to stay focused on the goal, which is to be part of a real family. Difficulties quickly surmount during brutal, suffocatingly lonely, harsh winters and an underlying attraction to the eldest son, Samuel. A unique story. For all the historical fiction I have enjoyed I did not know of Jews homesteading in the American West, the movement called Am Olam. Characters are most definitely odd but the writing is excellent, descriptive and heartfelt. I recommend this story and would be interested to read this author again.

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