Sunday, June 26, 2011

Love Finds You in Amana, Iowa-Melanie Dobson

Love Finds You in Amana, Iowa
Melanie Dobson
Summerside, Jun 1 2011, $12.99
ISBN: 9781609361358

As the Civil War devastates the nation, the seven Amana Colonies villages constructed less than a decade ago in Iowa remain out of the deadly fray for the most part. Twenty-four year old hard working Amalie Wiese arrives from the Inspirationists' original Kolony, Ebenezer, New York at the Amana village to meet her betrothed Friedrich Vinzenz who has joined the Union Army after meeting an escaped slave.

Being a great cook; Mr. Faust believes the best ever on the trail; Amalie opens up a communal kitchen to keep her mind off her concerns over Friedrich’s safety. While waiting and praying for his return, she turns to Friedrich’s friends who she knew back in Ebenezer. However, her fiancĂ©’s most trusted confidante Matthias is cold to her though she knows not why. He conceals behind his icy demeanor his love for his best friend’s woman.

Melanie Dobson escorts her readers back to the Amana Colonies (see Love Finds You In Homestead, Iowa) with an engaging Civil War drama. The story line digs deep into the personal conflict facing conscientious objectors opposed to the war on religious grounds as being “unholy” yet the Union argument of eliminating the evil of slavery is powerful and surely supported by God. Amalie and Matthias are strong antagonists who fall in love while the man in each of their hearts risks his life at the front. Friedrich knew his commune would buy him from serving after he was conscripted by the Union Army draft, but he felt slavery is unholier than the war. He brings the moral conscience to a powerful romantic triangle as love and war finds you in Amana.

Harriet Klausner

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