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Anne Mateer is a three-time Genesis Contest finalist who has long had a passion for history and historical fiction. She and her husband live near Dallas, Texas, and are the parents of three young adults.
Posted June 1, 2012
Wings of a Dream is an engaging story with a likable heroine and a couple of equally likable romantic prospects. But its great strength is its historical setting--the Spanish Influenza epidemic that decimated the country towards the end of WWI. The author treats this heartbreaking time with accuracy and sensitivity, weaving it deeply into the fabric of her story. A most satisfying read.
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Posted July 24, 2013
Posted December 26, 2012
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Posted October 9, 2012
Posted April 18, 2012
Posted January 3, 2012
Wings of a Dream by Anne Mateer is one of those beautifully written books that just stands out in a crowd. I loved it and can¿t recommend it highly enough. This story took me to a time in history that has not be touched all that much by Christian fiction¿the pandemic of the Spanish Flu in 1918. This novel is a delightful story of a young woman with dreams who ends up caring for a family of children while their only living parent¿their father¿is serving in the war in Europe. It is also a sweet romance that does not disappoint. But the element that stands out for me the most is the author¿s gift of characterization and the narrative¿brilliant writing that takes us through the growth of an immature 19-year-old into a warm and vibrant woman who is ready to be the life partner of a good and honorable man. Wonderful debut novel.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 6, 2011
In 1918, Rebekah Hendricks has dreams. Big dreams. Dreams to fly beyond the confines of the family farm and small town Oklahoma. Dreams of big cities, of a life of excitement and adventure.
When a visiting aviator, Arthur Samson, comes calling, she believes he¿s the man she is meant to marry, the man to carry her to the fulfillment of her dreams. But he is called to serve in the Great War.
An urgent message is received that her mother¿s sister, Ada, is very sick. Rebekah leaves small town Oklahoma for small town Texas where she finds the Spanish flu epidemic has claimed her aunt. Rebekah is faced with caring for four children who have no one else and Arthur¿s wishy-washiness about their relationship. The children win her heart and Rebekah faces a decision between her dreams of escape and adventure and the unexpected love that might change her heart.
Author Anne Mateer paints a vivid picture of life on the farms and in the small towns of Oklahoma and Texas while a violent war overseas calls on all to sacrifice and a devastating illness attacks seemingly without limit. She populates her story world with characters who are complex and flawed just like real people, characters with dreams of their own, dreams to fly on their own adventures, dreams of love and family.
In a compelling story, Rebekah faces one challenge after another from her aunt dying to the children getting sick and other childhood misadventures to the love of her life walking away. As I read the story, I asked myself, ¿What other problems can the author throw at this girl? Can she make it worse?¿ Yes, she does, piling on tension and difficulties that keep you turning pages to see what happens next and how will Rebekah handle it.
With each challenge, we see Rebekah grow and mature. Each crisis teaches Rebekah more about herself, about people and relationships, and about the God who loves her. In Rebekah, the author shows a person deal with crises beyond anything she¿s ever experienced. From death through being a single parent of four, from running a farm through a broken heart, Ms. Mateer takes us on Rebekah¿s journey to a life with more excitement and adventure than she ever dreamed possible.
Posted October 11, 2011
Rebekah is a girl who dreams big, especially for someone bound by society's expectations of women in 1918. She meets a man, Arthur, who seems to be her escape to exploration until moving to Texas to take care of her Aunt throws off her plans. There she finds a calling taking care of the children who are left behind, which split her between returning to her dreams, and settling to take care of them.
This book was an improvement in comparison to other historical romance I've recently read. Rebekah seems very strong willed, and she doesn't seem to be obsessed with men besides finding one that can travel her around the world. I won't hold her basing exploring the world on a man to supply that for her against her. I figure at the time it was hard to escape the concept of only doing something because you married into it. The characters were nicely developed, and it didn't have a lot of cheesiness that the genre usually has.
The novel does lull some, and I felt like I was reading the same thing again, and again. The action is based off someone always having the Spanish flu it seems, or being sick. Also, I was never sure who Rebekah had an interest in. It seemed she was interested in two guys, but she seems only interested in what they can provide, and never actually interested in them. She is like the "gold digger" of the early 1900s. Except she was digging for a family, or to travel, and not exactly money.
This book held my interest, but I felt there could have been more emotions from the characters. Rebekah seemed to only feel for the children. The romance was very downplayed.
This book was provided by Bethany House Publishers in exchange for a review.
Posted October 11, 2011
This is the first book I've read by Anne Mateer and you can be sure I'm planning to read more. When a telegram asking for help arrives from her mother's estranged sister, Rebekah Hendricks is sent from Oklahoma to Texas to care for her ailing aunt. This, Rebekah believes, is a gift from God as it puts her closer to the dashing airman she believes she is meant to marry.
Upon her arrival, she finds that she has received far more responsibility than she bargained for. Her aunt battles the Spanish Influenza and Rebekah is faced with caring for four small children while trying to find a way to slip away from the farm life she's always sworn she would leave.
Anne Mateer draws her characters well and fully and, more than many other authors, fills her books with authentic details of daily life in 1918. If I have a quibble with the story, it is that the some of the description is a bit vague. I was very pleased with her handling of the social conventions of the time. Often I read histocial fiction and find myself saying, "They wouldn't have done that in 1920 (or whenever.)"
With the rainy season upon us in Oregon, this book makes a lovely way to spend an afternoon. Brew up a cup of tea, pull up a quilt and take flight on the "Wings of a Dream."
This book was provided to me by Bethany House for review.
Posted October 10, 2011
Most people dream of goals out of their reach. They dream of goals where they have to work to get to them. Rebekah Hendricks dreams of adventure in the big city and one man who will provide her that adventure, Arthur Samson. All Rebekah must do is wait for the Great War to end and for him to return to her.
Rebekah's Aunt gets ill and Rebekah travels to Texas to care for her. She expects for a great adventure to arise for her in Texas, but the Spanish flu epidemic strikes Texas and Rebeka must make some very hard choices. She must choose between a life that she always dreamed of or the life that she has always lived.
Posted October 8, 2011
Ms. Mateer jumps right into the life of young Rebekah Hendricks and doesn't stop until the last page turns. Rebekah seems to be just a typical farm girl in rural Oklahoma but under that work dress and family atmosphere, you quickly learn that Rebekah has a mind and will of her own. She wants more in life, much more. She has big dreams of big places and big things and she thinks she has met the man who will take her there.
Before the first few chapters have slipped by, Rebekah's world has taken an unexpected spin that she thinks will give her the opportunity to get away from the farm life and somehow make it to the city to become her dream mans wife. As life will, things don't go as she expects and she soon finds herself taking the place of her now deceased estranged aunt in the lives of 4 young children who have been orphaned in a way by the death of their mother and their fathers work overseas. With no other options and no real desire to go home, Rebekah steps in and does what she has to do. Milking cows, mending boo boos and making a home for 4 children who have seen so much loss at the hands of the war and the Spanish Influenza that has hit the south by storm.
Rebekah at age 19, is forced to do some growing up as she faces a winter alone in a strange place caring for a family she doesn't really know. Her instincts and her mama's training kick in and she surprises herself at how easily she adapts and how quickly she falls in love with this family that God has put in her path. What had started as a way to get closer to her dream man, now has her questioning what God's path really is for her life. When her dreams go south, she realizes maybe some dreams are best left in slumber and not realized. Yet still, faced with choices and uncertainty about her life's partner, Rebekah keeps you turning pages until the very end to know what her choice will be and with whom her heart will stay.
I give this book 5 stars. Although not a deep novel by any means, it is an excellent book for the library to sit back and just relax reading on a cool or rainy day. I love books like this that draw you in with lovable and real characters. By the end of the book you have fallen in love with these people and want to read more about them. I don't know if there is a sequel to this book as it has a good sound ending, but if so, I will definitely be picking it up. Anne Mateer is an excellent story teller and I look forward to seeing more of her work in the future.
Posted October 5, 2011
Wings of a Dream is a sweet story. It held my interest from the beginning.
I loved how it brought out; When you leave your own desires behind and wait on God's desires for you, they are much more than you could have ever dreamed or asked for.
I loved the book.
Posted September 28, 2011
As I read Wings of a Dream, I couldn't help but notice how much it reminded me of Catherine Marshall's Christy. Told in a similar style, with fisrt person narrative about a young girl full of ideas and dreams who is thrust into a reality that is not at all what she expects, Wings of a Dream took me on a wonderful journey. Anne Mateer captured the voice of the 19-year-old Rebekah with expert precision and allowed me to experience the maturing process with her as she grew from a young girl wanting looking for greener pastures to a woman of faith who could appreciate the Lord's blessings wherever she found herself. I would classify this story as more of an historical novel with romantic elements than a true historical romance, but (as in Christy) I enjoyed the tension of not knowing which young man Rebekah would ultimately choose until the very end of the book. Readers who enjoyed Catherine Marshall's Christy will enjoy Wings of a Dream as well.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 27, 2011
Wings of a Dream is the debut novel from Anne Mateer. It is written in first person point of view. Rebekah Hendricks is the viewpoint character. The entire story comes to the reader through her eyes. Ms. Mateer makes good use of this limited scope. Rebekah has a few men vying for her hand. With the first person point of view, the reader is as uncertain as she is what course she will take. Wings of a Dream is a romantic story, but it is so much more. It is the story of a young woman's coming of age at a time in history when life held all the uncertainty of war and disease. When tradition was tested and sometimes discarded for new and flashy. Anne Mateer gives us a character willing to hold herself to God's standards. I received my copy of Wings of a Dream complimentary from the publisher. I have not been compensated, and all the above remarks are truly my own opinions.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 12, 2011
Rebekah Grace has a deep longing to get away from the small town of Downington, Oklahoma and she feels that Arthur Samson is just the ticket. Just before he is scheduled to leave town and begin to learn how to fly, he proposes an idea to her, that he will return once his is done. With that promise sealed between them, Rebekah agrees to wait.
However finding things to do to keep busy is hard to do, especially when her mother insists on bringing around other suitors. Her sound advice to Rebekah, "I know you're pining after Mr. Samson, but my advice to finding a man is the same as for baking a cake: it's best to have the ingredients on hand for two, in case the first one falls flat."
She begins to question whether Arthur's offer was really and truly a proposal after all. Once the war ended, what if he wasn't interested in returning for her after all?
I received the novel, Wings of Dreams by Anne Mateer compliments of Christian Fiction Blog Alliance for my honest review and LOVED it. What girl doesn't have dreams of romance and being whisked away to happiness and forever afters? This one does not disappoint and keeps the reader's thoughts in the clouds along with Rebekah's from the first chapter. I love Rebekah's character even though she tries hard to conform to what society and her mother deems appropriate, she still longs for excitement and adventure. I give this one a 5 out of 5 stars.
Posted September 4, 2011
Wings of a Dream captivated me from the beginning. It is a powerful story about obligations and selflessness. Rebekah begins the story longing for something better for her life, but throughout the book, she keeps putting her own desires aside to help others. It's encouraging to see Rebekah grow as the story progresses. She starts out a bit selfish and naive, and ends the story a mature, selfless woman with different dreams.
This book is set during the influenza epidemic that occurred in Texas near the end of WWI, and the author swept me away to a different time and world with the little details she included in her novel. You could almost hear the floorboards creak beneath Rebekah's feet and taste the Texas dust in her mouth.
If you enjoy tender stories full with rich details, then you won't regret reading Wings of a Dream. It's a book I won't soon forget.
Posted August 25, 2011
When Rebekah Hendricks' suitor leaves Oklahoma for aviator training in Dallas, the months ahead of her look bleak. Struggling against the uncertainties of World War I, Rebekah dreams of the day when Arthur will return and she can start her real life with him. In the meantime, she goes to help her widowed aunt in Texas with the hope that her sweetheart will visit from his training base nearby.
Rebekah arrives at her aunt's to find the town devastated by the Spanish flu epidemic. Not only is Aunt Adabelle deathly ill, but Rebekah discovers that Aunt Adabelle is the sole caregiver of four motherless children and until their father returns from the war Rebekah is the only one able to care for them.
Frustrated at times by her inability to escape, Rebekah shoulders the burden and waits for Arthur to make good on his promises to whisk her away, but the longer he delays the more she feels bound to remain with the children until their father comes home.
This story has a gentle pace that contrasts with the hardship and desperation that Rebekah faces. Mateer's description of a town under the ravages of the Flu Epidemic of 1918 is chilling, but tempered by warm neighbors and the bonds that grow between Rebekah and the children. Isolated by fear and a scarcity of healthy adults, readers will sympathize with Rebekah's difficulties and cheer her determination. And even after the passing of the epidemic and the end of the war, Mateer doesn't let the story sag, but introduces the best complication in the form of a war-weary father who isn't sure what to do with the young woman who has earned his children's love.
Excellent read. I highly recommend it.