Customer Reviews for

A Young Wife: A Novel

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( 14 )
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  • Posted July 17, 2011

    I was sad when this book came to an end. Don't miss it!

    I have to tell you about a book I just finished. It is called A Young Wife and it is by Pam Lewis. This book I actually started about a week ago I though this is good and I had to take my time and read it in small doses( thanks to life) and I mean really small doses. Then it happened I woke up one night could not sleep. I opened the book and read about twenty pages and could not put it down. I was on a boat traveling. Pam Lewis writes so well that I could totally picture this boat (she does not over describe) and the goings on and about the boat with the passengers. I wanted to read more but the early hour of the morning caught up with me and no matter how much I willed my eyes to stay open I could not make it happen. But my dreams that night were being on that boat with Minke and Sander. I awoke thinking wow what a great story teller Pam Lewis is. That day I even looked forward to a trip with my father in law to the doctor because after all that would allow me plenty of reading time in the waiting room and as luck would have it the doctor was on time and we literally were there 15 minutes (I was so bummed I had a date with this book and when is a doctor ever on time?). I was so sad because I knew my adventure would have to wait longer. This book had its hold on me because I thought of the very young Minke (teenager) leaving her parents to go and live with another family to take care of the dying wife of Sander. My heart broke for how scared she must have been leaving all that she knew but it was a different time ( the year was 1912) and a different place (the Netherlands) and talk of war was about. The weekend was finally here and I was excited to see that it was to be another over 100 degree couple of days; what better way but to spend it but inside out of the heat reading the adventure that poured from the pages of this book? I started reading the book on Friday I went to bed a sat there thinking I wonder what happens and finally at 2am I snuck out of my room as to not awake my husband and read until 4:30am when I could not hold my eyes open again. My heart was breaking for Minke having to have a baby and have no clue as to where it came from or how it would arrive. I was sad she was far from home my heart broke that she married Sander who was much older who asked here to marry him the day his wife had passed. He was an established man with money she was poor and her family wanted it for her. In the beginning of the book the author said that she based this book loosely on her grandmother's life. I could not help but wonder just what parts was fact what parts were fiction. The doctor Minke traveled with and the one to deliver her babies he was such an odd person for his time and was a good person that offered a loyalty that is hard to come by. I wondered was this her grandma's friend or just a character I really do not want to give away the story but I will say I was sad that the book ended. I have not had one of those books in a while. This book is full of new beginnings, friendships, enemies, deceptions and victories with a little mix of history. I give this book five stars. This book was provided to me through good reads. This did not affect my review. The opinions in this review are my own.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 5, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Based on the life of Pam Lewis' grandmother

    In 1912 wealthy businessman Sander DeVries arrives in Enkhuzen, Netherlands and hires the younger of two sisters, fifteen years old Minke van Aisma over the angry objection of her sibling Fenna, to nurse his wife Elisabeth as she is dying. Sander selected her because he believed she had the quiet toughness Elisabeth will need. He escorts Minke to Amsterdam.

    A few hours after Elisabeth dies, Sander stuns Minke by proposing; he wants her to become his spouse and live with him in oil city Comodoro Rivadavia, Argentina. Although frightened, she accepts. They travel across the Atlantic as Minke grows mentally stronger and becomes buddies with her husband's friend Cassian and Pieps a ship steerage boy. In Comodoro Rivadavia, Minke gives birth to a son Zef. However, her idyllic life is dangerous as her son is abducted while she carries her second offspring. Zef forces them to flee to New York, leaving behind her kidnapped child. He underestimates the will of a mother when it comes to her cub.

    Based on the life of Pam Lewis' grandmother, A Young Wife is a superb early twentieth century thriller. Minke holds the story line together with her courage and caring. She and readers will be stunned once the truth is known as this vivid historical tale is a winning look at three continents in the first two decades of the previous century.

    Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 24, 2013

    What the hell is wrong with the covrr????


    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 17, 2013

    Extremely thought provoking!

    The author develops her story with an exciting crescendo. Reading groups looking for controversial discussion will certainly get their wishes. There is everything, exploitation of naive, innocent youth; bullying, stealth, mayhem and even murder, etc. Enjoy! A great read!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 4, 2012

    Loved It!!!!!!!!!

    This was a great read. It held my interest and I finished it in 3 days. I have never heard of the author but I will be looking for more of her books.....

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  • Posted June 10, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    ADVENTUREOUS HISTORICAL FICTION Historical fiction - approx 1912

    Historical fiction - approx 1912-. Begins in Netherlands,15 year old main character Minke van Aisme, goes to Amsterdam to nurse a dying woman. It's all an adventure from there- a fast marriage to the widower, a relocation to Argentina, trade in the morphine business, a child, friends and enemies-the kidnapping(?)of the child, another relocation to America(NYC), betrayal,in several forms. It was a fast read and did keep my attention. Loosely based on the life of the author's grandmother.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 6, 2011

    Great book

    I truly enjoyed this book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 15, 2011

    Good read.

    I found the characters interesting although I was frustrated at their actions or lack there of but I found myself caring about what happened to them and that's what makes for a good read in my book.

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  • Posted August 1, 2011

    You Will Definitely Want To Read!!

    When you first read the blurb for A Young Wife, you might think it is just another story, even though you are told it is based on the author's grandmother's past. And then you start reading. Even knowing that life was very different in other countries, it was still hard to comprehend that she was forced to leave home, to go to an unknown family and city, to care for a dying woman. I kept coming back to the fact that Minke was only 15 when she was experiencing these things. The surprises kept coming as the story unfolded. I think we are defined by how we handle ourselves when faced with difficult situations. The manner in which Minke faced issues of deceit, disloyalty, and infidelity, along with the other hardships, enabled her to grow into an exceptionally strong and loving woman. I found it difficult to put the book down because I wanted to see what would happen next, and there were a few twists. I liked that those who were disloyal or did bad things to Minke received their just desserts. I really liked this book. I was so proud of Minke for her accomplishments, I just wanted to applaud at the end. I found A Young Wife to be a very well written and enjoyable story. This is one I will read again.

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  • Posted June 16, 2011

    Interesting Read

    This was a pretty interesting book. It says it is loosely based on a true story, and I'm curious just how loose it is. A lot of bad stuff happened, and I'm interested in how much of it was real. The book tells the story of a 15 year old Dutch girl who marries an older man she hardly knows. She is then whisked away to Argentina. The city in Argentina is a new world on several levels. Minke has to adjust to her new married life and to an entirely new way of life in Argentina. Through a series of events, Minke ends up immigrating to the United States. There, even more new things await her.

    The action proceeds at a fairly quick pace. In fact, there is so much going on, I didn't ever really get a feel for the characters. I like to know what's going on in their heads, and you don't really get any of that in this book. I never really understood why Minke married her husband in the first place. However, that was a pretty minor problem for me. I got engrossed in the book. I found that I had read half of it in one sitting without realizing it. I didn't want to stop without finding out what happened next.

    Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I think it will serve people well who just want a quick, interesting read. If you really like to get into the characters' heads, you may not enjoy this book that much. It certainly kept my interest, and I felt compelled to keep reading until the end.

    Galley provided by publisher for review.

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  • Posted June 14, 2011


    I recieved this book through a goodreads giveaway.
    This book defnitely has some interesting qualities about it. The story line was unique though the "twists" were not. Even though I felt I was ahead of Minke through most of her adventures I found myself reading this book rather intently. I connected well with Minke, she is around tha same age as me. however I don't think that was why I liked her so much I think it was due to the lack of other likable characters in the story. I felt like I was supposed to like the doctor, but I never really did. Overall the story has really good charater development (even though most of the characters are cruel. While the plot was easily guessed, the connection to the characters had me crying even though I knew everything turned out fine in the end.

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  • Posted April 1, 2011

    A Wonderful Story, Don't Miss It!

    "A Young Wife" is a beautifully crafted novel by a very talented and gifted writer, Pam Lewis. I enjoyed the storyline which is quite original. The book is about fifteen-year-old Minke, a Dutch girl who nurses a dying woman and after her death marries the husband, Sander, who is much older than herself and unfortunately turns out to be a gambler and unfaithful sort. There are many twists and turns that occur in Minke's life and I don't want to give the plot away, as it is really a page-turner, but i will say that the author captures the feelings of this young girl in such an authentic way. Minke's husband Sander and her sister Fenna are both instrumental in changing this woman's life by their conniving behavior and disloyalty. Minke and Sander leave Holland for Commodoro, the oil fields of Argentina. The descriptions of the boat ride, the immigration process, and their adjustment to life in this barely civilized area of Argentina are skillfully elaborated by the author, capturing the reader's imagination. We learn what drives someone like Sander, what motivates a young woman like Minke to follow a man like her husband, and ultimately what drives her to leave him. Minke's experiences meeting people in Argentina, giving birth and nuturing her children and surviving the anxst created by living in a mostly male environment are fascinating. It is when Minke leaves Argentina and arrives in New York City that her true grit is revealed and the pace of the novel moves even faster. Many things happen to the central character in this novel and the reader will be invested in Minke's outcome and that of her children as well. I've read this author's other novels "Speak Softly, She Can Hear" and "Perfect Family" and enjoyed both of them. However, this newest book I found to be her best so far as it is filled with drama, turbulence, passion and purpose dynamically creating a tapestry of emotion that travels brilliantly from one chapter to the next. Don't miss out on this wonderful new book by a remarkable author.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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