Customer Reviews for

I Gave My Heart to Know This

Average Rating 4.5
( 33 )
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5 Star

(19)

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(5)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

Very Good

"I Gave My Heart To Know This" is a very thought provoking story of women and how deeply they love, but also what they loose of themselves. This is a family saga with great historical detail, transporting you to Wisconsin during WWII. Baker does a great job with chara...
"I Gave My Heart To Know This" is a very thought provoking story of women and how deeply they love, but also what they loose of themselves. This is a family saga with great historical detail, transporting you to Wisconsin during WWII. Baker does a great job with character development along with at few twists and turns that keep you devoted to turning the page.

I truly enjoyed Ellen Bakers's first novel as well, "Keeping House", and look forward to her future novels.

posted by VirtuousWomanKF on August 15, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

If you like twists of fate, you'll love this book, but I didn't.........

A dead fiance', a mysterious trunk, old letters that were never destroyed, a mysterious photograph, an abandoned tree stand, random conversations with people who have the answers to questions about the past, chance meetings and reunions, long lost mothers, fathers, sons...
A dead fiance', a mysterious trunk, old letters that were never destroyed, a mysterious photograph, an abandoned tree stand, random conversations with people who have the answers to questions about the past, chance meetings and reunions, long lost mothers, fathers, sons, daughters and grandmothers, an empty ring box, an unfinished letter found in a wallet, women working dangerous jobs on the home front during WWII, union activities in a mine, a mentally unbalanced character, a possible mass murder, meeting Ingrid Bergman and Lana Turner and dancing with Judy Garland, a wife attempting to poison her husband, gambling and losing everything, wives leaving husbands and husbands leaving wives, mothers leaving daughters and fathers leaving sons.................................... and more! An unbelievable story that attempts to tie a family's past to the present without leaving any loose ends.

posted by nmtmp on August 7, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 7, 2011

    If you like twists of fate, you'll love this book, but I didn't.........

    A dead fiance', a mysterious trunk, old letters that were never destroyed, a mysterious photograph, an abandoned tree stand, random conversations with people who have the answers to questions about the past, chance meetings and reunions, long lost mothers, fathers, sons, daughters and grandmothers, an empty ring box, an unfinished letter found in a wallet, women working dangerous jobs on the home front during WWII, union activities in a mine, a mentally unbalanced character, a possible mass murder, meeting Ingrid Bergman and Lana Turner and dancing with Judy Garland, a wife attempting to poison her husband, gambling and losing everything, wives leaving husbands and husbands leaving wives, mothers leaving daughters and fathers leaving sons.................................... and more! An unbelievable story that attempts to tie a family's past to the present without leaving any loose ends.

    3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 15, 2011

    Very Good

    "I Gave My Heart To Know This" is a very thought provoking story of women and how deeply they love, but also what they loose of themselves. This is a family saga with great historical detail, transporting you to Wisconsin during WWII. Baker does a great job with character development along with at few twists and turns that keep you devoted to turning the page.

    I truly enjoyed Ellen Bakers's first novel as well, "Keeping House", and look forward to her future novels.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 8, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    Poignant and sweet!!

    This was a brilliant read. I truly enjoyed it! Kudos to the author for such a fantastic read - with good characters and interesting situations. I loved it! I will tell all my friends to buy this book. Five stars! I also recommend THE CHATEAU by CD SWANSON - LOVED IT! Great plot, great characters, good action, romance and situations that had me biting my nails and trying to figure out "what was happening?" FIVE STARS!!! It held my attention and I read it in one day! Brilliant and unusual, and intricate - loved the main characters!!! Five stars!!! I will tell all my friends about this book too!!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 7, 2011

    Did Not Disappoint

    A fan of Baker's first effort Keeping the House, I anxiously awaited the release of her second and I Gave My Heart to Know This did not disappoint. Rich characters and well-researched historical detail nuanced into flowing prose, describing a perfect sense of place, and paced with a growing momentum to reach the finish, kept me turning the pages - all the while savoring each word and not wanting it to end. I enjoyed Baker's return to familiar themes: the pull of an old family home and being drawn into the secrets it keeps, the effects of war and loss on those left behind, and the familial generational connections needed to uncover the past and make things right. However, ultimately I found this a great read all on its own and highly recommend it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 19, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    MY HEART - LOVED IT -

    I do not read nearly as much as I'd like to - so I'm choosy about what I do pick up - and this is a novel I could not put down. Thank you Ms. Baker!

    Loved this book and you will too if you enjoy gripping intense drama comingled with love, longing and believable, endearing characters. In fact, the character development was so absolute, ending a chapter felt like saying goodbye to a dear friend, knowing someday you'd pick up right where you left off - yet sad to see each other part ways.

    As an added bonus, I learned more about the work of a woman welding in the WWII shipyards, and the atrocities of the turn of the century mining camps than I ever did in a history class - perhaps because of the beautiful way Baker carefully weaves our nation's empowering, heroic and often tragic snapshots in time into her work.

    Pick up the book - take a few days to relax and do nothing but read and relish this delicious new novel from Ellen Baker!

    -Kim P.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 14, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A winner

    During WW II as the need for manufacturing support to the war effort grows, the male labor pool shrinks. As such women took over the jobs that historically were male only. By January 1944, Grace Anderson and mother and daughter Violet and Lena Maki work as welders in a Wisconsin shipyard.

    The ladies also know that part of their job on the home front is writing upbeat letters to the boys at the front. Grace agrees to Lena's request by sending encouraging letters to her twin brother Derrick. However, she has an understanding with her high school sweetheart Alex the marine and is attracted to railroad worker Joe, sent home with rheumatic fever.

    In Wisconsin, Lena's granddaughter Julia lives on her family farm while grieving a death. She reads letters and looks at photos from WW II while wanting desperately to end the estrangement with her sibling Danny as she probes the tragedy decades ago that destroyed her family.

    This is a super historical thriller that focuses on women who took over male jobs while the men fought. These females proved a woman can do a man's job in the workplace and they became mentors for the reform movements of the 1960s. The ensemble cast is solid especially the WWII crew as Ellen Baker provides a deep look at the great leap that led to "you've come a long way baby" with her not so quiet on the Lake Superior front.

    Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 6, 2011

    Beautiful historical novel--captures heart and soul of Midwest

    When it comes to historical fiction, Ellen Baker knows her stuff. Like her brilliant first novel KEEPING THE HOUSE, I GAVE MY HEART TO KNOW THIS is packed full of details that made me almost certain that the author had jumped in a time machine to visit northern Wisconsin during WWII. If you like engaging characters, creative story, family saga, historical intrigue, and amazing historical tidbits, you'll LOVE Baker's sophomore novel I GAVE MY HEART TO KNOW THIS.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 30, 2013

    Dadrezlaas



    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 10, 2012

    I felt it lacked depth.

    I didn't think the characters were developed enough to share their deep experiences.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2012

    I miss them...

    I didn't expect to like this book. Thought it would be a quick and easy read for a day of travel. Found myself hating my Nook for the first time ever when I was told to turn it off during take off and landing.
    I fell in love with these women. The good, the bad and the crazy!,
    I wasn't ready to say goodbye, I wasn't ready for their story to end. Is there really anything better at the end of a book then that??

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  • Posted October 18, 2011

    I enjoyed this....

    Kind of a girl's book, but well done. It was a good read.

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  • Posted September 18, 2011

    Very hard to put down.

    This was a very good book - I really didn't want to stop reading or put it down. The author gives you bits and pieces of the story from the prospective of different characters and then you have to keep reading to put it all together. It was very good and very moving.

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  • Posted August 25, 2011

    One of the best books I've read!

    This was such a good book. Such a good story about how the women worked hard during WWII, love, sadness, all emotions. I hated for it to end. A must read as far as I'm concerned.

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  • Posted August 7, 2011

    Couldn't put it down

    I rarely write reviews on books and I rarely stay up all night to read a book as I always end up falling asleep. This book on the other hand I couldn't put down. I really enjoyed the story line and the way the author described all the characters and surroundings. I felt like I was a fly on the wall watching the story unfold. I enjoyed the local history and what these woman did for work during WWII. The story unfolded nicely and wrapped up in a way that left you feeling satisfied. I can't wait to read her other book now.

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    Posted September 12, 2011

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    Posted August 18, 2011

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    Posted January 12, 2012

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    Posted March 8, 2012

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    Posted August 17, 2011

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    Posted February 8, 2013

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