When Henry Edison turns up in Lancaster County to survey farm women about their domestic contributions during the 1930s, the last thing Amish housewife Gloria Grabill has time for is the government agent’s unending questions. Gloria’s hands are already full with a farm to run alongside her husband, a houseful of children, and an English neighbor, Minerva Swain, who has been trying Gloria’s patience for forty years. Gloria’s oldest daughter, Polly, wants nothing more than the traditional path of an Amish farmer’s wife, but everything she does seems to push Thomas Coblentz further away. While the Great Depression shadows the country in gloom, can Amish and English neighbors in Lancaster County grasp the goodness that will sustain hope?
About the Author
Olivia Newport’s novels twist through time to find where faith and passions meet. Her husband and twentysomething children provide welcome distraction from the people stomping through her head on their way into her books. She chases joy in stunning Colorado at the foot of the Rockies, where daylilies grow as tall as she is.
Read an Excerpt
Hope in the Land
By Olivia Newport
Barbour Publishing, IncCopyright © 2016 Olivia Newport
All rights reserved.
Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, 1936
The steer resisted, but Gloria Grabill had been wresting open the mouths of livestock for twenty-five years. All she required was one spot of weakened resistance along the jawline. Her practiced fingers found it and rubbed the roof of the mouth so the animal would open wide enough for Gloria to shoot in the capsule of aloin and ginger. Immediately, she released the capsule gun and clamped the steer's mouth under one arm for the few seconds it took to be sure the steer did not spit back her efforts. This was a perfectly good bovine, and Gloria had no intention of sacrificing the meat it would supply her family because indigestion got out of hand and made the animal unwilling to feed well enough to gain weight.
Gloria released the steer and turned to her youngest daughter. "You'll learn to do that soon enough."
"Why?" Betsy's grimace lingered as she jumped down from her perch on the pasture's wooden fence.
"It's a handy skill. You can't run a farm if you can't make a capsule and give it to an animal." Gloria wiped her hands on the tattered apron she wore when she handled the animals. The steer inched away from her.
"Polly doesn't know how to do it," Betsy said.
"Polly is Polly." Gloria opened the gate and gestured for her ten-year-old to walk through. Polly shared her mother's dark hair and slender nose, Gloria's gray eyes traded for green, but her mind had mysterious ways. Gloria had every hope Betsy would learn to do what she had just witnessed. If she had realized it would be so difficult for Polly to master the task, she would have started teaching her sooner. There was still time. She was not yet betrothed.
They walked toward the house, where preparation for the midday meal awaited.
"I can't wait for school to start next week." Betsy's voice lilted at the prospect.
This year only Betsy and Nancy would be packing their lunch pails to carry to the one-room schoolhouse. Alice had finished the eighth grade in the spring and would join her three sisters and two brothers in the farmwork and housework over the winter. It was also time for Alice to master the sewing machine and cut out a garment with more precision. The snowy months ahead would give her plenty of opportunity.
"There's Daed." Betsy lifted a hand to wave.
Gloria touched her daughter's back. "Run to the house and check on dinner. It's time to mix the biscuits."
"I'll do it!"
"Ask for help."
"I'll ask Polly."
"Yes. No, wait. See if you can find Lena."
Betsy raced ahead, and Gloria paused to await her husband, who rumbled along the lane beside the fence in one of the family's three buggies. She never liked it when he visited the Swains.
When he came alongside her, Marlin reined in the horse and jumped down from the buggy seat to lead the horse on foot. Gloria raised an eyebrow and fell into step with him.
"They're coming for dinner," Marlin said.
"Who do you suppose? Ernie and Minerva."
"Surely Minerva is preparing a meal of her own."
"She's been occupied all morning," Marlin said. "They were just going to have sandwiches, so I thought they may as well join us for a real meal."
"What about their hands?" Gloria pictured her pot of stew and made mental divisions to stretch it to serve more.
"They'll have to make do with sandwiches."
Gloria let her step slacken to fall a pace behind Marlin and allow herself a controlled sigh.
Minerva Swain was coming to dinner.
* * *
The back door creaked on the hinges Ernie had been threatening to change for at least four years. In the front room, Minerva closed the latest mail-order catalog and slid it under a sofa cushion. She reached the kitchen just as Ernie opened the faucet on the sink.
Minerva moved to the icebox. "I had in mind ham for the sandwiches."
"You can set out the sandwiches for Jonesy and Collins," Ernie said.
Minerva's brows crept toward each other. "Aren't you hungry?"
Ernie had rolled up his shirtsleeves and was scrubbing his arms all the way up to the elbows. Minerva's stomach sank.
"We're going to the Grabills' for lunch." Ernie flashed a grin.
"Did you invite yourself again?"
"It was Marlin's idea this time."
Minerva blew out her breath. "The two of you always concoct something when you get together."
"He's a good man. I enjoy his friendship."
Minerva had nothing against Marlin Grabill except that he was married to Gloria. She'd had nothing in common with Gloria for the last forty years and did not expect to discover common interests in the next forty years. Of all the men on the neighboring farms whom Ernie could befriend, why had he chosen Gloria's husband?
"Where's Rose?" Ernie asked, reaching for a towel to dry his hands.
"Out with her friends." Minerva removed ham from the icebox and laid out sliced bread. The farmhands still needed their lunch.
"Too bad," Ernie said. "I think she rather enjoys the Grabill girls."
"There are so many of them."
"That's part of the fun."
"They haven't even been to high school." Minerva slapped four sandwiches together and put a bite of ham in her mouth. The sandwiches were nothing fancy, but she would rather stay home and nibble ham and bread than sit at the Grabill table.
"Relax, Minerva," Ernie said. "It's just lunch."
She stiffened, hating it when Ernie told her to relax. The sandwiches obscured the tin plate, and Minerva filled two clean milk bottles with water. If Ernie had come in from the field, his two hands would not be far behind. She covered the sandwiches with a fresh towel and carried them to the makeshift back porch table, created by two wide planks balanced on half barrels, before inhaling a muttering breath and returning to the kitchen.
"We should go," Ernie said.
"I have to get dressed." Minerva pushed past him and crossed the kitchen.
"What's wrong with what you're wearing?" Minerva glanced at the everyday cotton print dress and kept walking. "It's ordinary."
"This is an ordinary day and an ordinary lunch."
Minerva rolled her eyes and continued into the bedroom. After a quarter of a century together, he still did not grasp that she would not leave the farm in a common day dress.
* * *
Polly winced and made a grab for the red hen. "Is this the right one?" The hen squawked and flapped out of reach.
Seventeen-year-old Sylvia finished pulling a hand rake through a layer of chicken litter. "You can't let her use her wings."
Polly knew that. Her mother had been saying the same thing since Polly was six. It was ridiculous that she still tried to pick up a chicken from underneath and leave its wings free to protest.
Sylvia abandoned the litter collection and moved toward the hen on the floor of the poultry house. "We still need to check her feet."
While Polly scratched the side of her face, Sylvia swooped toward the red hen, swiftly confined its wings, and tucked the bird between her rib and arm. Sylvia used a couple of fingers to still the feet and get a good look.
"She's just dirty." Freed once again, the hen flew up to the highest roosting bar.
This had been the only poultry shed when Polly was little. When she was ten, her mother had pushed out one wall and enlarged the shed. Two years later, Polly's father and brothers erected a second shed larger than the first, and three years after that added a third. Now the Grabills had four interconnecting sheds that opened onto a common yard where the chickens could peck at the ground in search of cracked corn and kitchen scraps.
"How many hinkel do you suppose we have now?" Sylvia asked.
Polly's calculation was swift. "Two hundred and sixteen." She did not count the three chickens she was fairly certain were destined for the Grabill supper table later in the day.
"I don't know how you do that." Sylvia mixed some clean straw into the litter beneath the roosting bars.
"I don't know how you remember which one needs to have her feet checked," Polly said.
The numbers involved in keeping poultry never challenged Polly. It was the chickens themselves that stymied her. Her mother insisted her daughters check the eyes and feet of the chickens and inspect for lice on a regular basis. But to Polly a chicken was a chicken. Sylvia and Alice were the ones who could tell them apart. Like any farmer's wife, her mother had begun keeping chickens for the eggs and meat that fed a growing family. First there had been eight children, two sons and six daughters. Cousin Lillian had arrived when Betsy was small, and then the two daughters-in-law, and then two grandsons. By then a bit of egg money on the side had become a thriving business that brought in needed cash.
The coop's wire mesh door opened, and Polly and Sylvia both rotated toward the arrival.
Lena leaned in. "Dinner is almost ready. You might want to start washing up."
"I'm famished." Sylvia darted out of the coop.
Lena cocked a head at Polly. "Everything all right?"
Polly shrugged. "As all right as it ever is."
"Dinner will help. Then maybe you'll have a breather."
Barely a year younger, Lena was the sister who knew Polly best. At twenty and nineteen, and of marriageable age, they still slept in the same double bed they had shared through their childhoods. Polly had always assumed she would be the first Grabill sister to marry. Now she was not so sure.
Lena held the coop door open. "Coming?"
"In a minute."
* * *
Henry Edison kicked at the tire on the old automobile.
Immediately he retracted his foot. The tire was not at fault — for now. Attacking it in frustration might only cause one more thing to go wrong. Even in the middle of a severe economic depression, Henry did not know anyone who drove a car as old as his. Sometimes it seemed as if he spent half his time on the side of the road trying to coax the ancient Ford into motion again. Success generally resulted from a mixture of guesswork and vague memories that he'd heard that sound or seen that color of smoke before.
Henry opened the hood and assessed his risk for getting burned or zapped if he touched anything. He couldn't afford to keep this car running. He also couldn't do his job without it.
If he could have found any other job, he wouldn't be doing this one, and he wouldn't be stuck on the side of a forsaken farm road in Lancaster County. The truth was that Henry was not doing this job either — not yet. He was on the payroll, and he'd been through two weeks of intense instruction on how to conduct interviews and keep his records organized, but he had yet to begin gathering data.
When Henry began attending college courses, he expected to finish four years later and launch into business. Weeks after his first lecture, the stock market crashed. Only by half starving himself and working three insufficient part-time jobs had he managed to hold his degree in his hands after seven years. Even once he graduated in the spring, he worked Saturdays at a drugstore fountain where people were more likely to drool over the potentialities than to actually order anything. The pay barely covered the rent for one room in a boardinghouse, while debts for everything else piled up. Finally the owner decided he couldn't afford to keep Henry on at all. Twenty million people were on relief, and college degree or not, Henry became one of them.
Henry ruled out radiator trouble. He had put enough water in before leaving Philadelphia, barely sixty-five miles away. A loose connection? He peered at the possibilities.
A woman had held this job before Henry, which did not speak well for its worth, and the wage was barely above subsistence. But it was a government job, and surely that would mean something eventually. The Depression could not last forever.
If the engine trouble was anything serious, Henry would be in trouble until his first pay caught up with him. Despite four examinations, the coins in his pocket added up to the same sum every time.
And it was lacking every time.
A truck rumbled toward him. Was it better to keep his head over the engine and look as if he knew what he was doing or to look up and appear helpless?
Henry leaned in, readjusting connections and tapping major sections of the engine. The truck passed.
Then Henry climbed in behind the wheel. For several long minutes, he held still and listened to his own breath. He arranged the levers and pressed the buttons — and the ignition caught! The clatter the engine made was far from reassuring about its performance, but the car went into gear and responded to acceleration.
According to the map he'd been given, Henry didn't have much farther to go.CHAPTER 2
Why do you have such trouble getting along with Gloria?" Ernie pressed both hands into the truck's steering wheel. "I've never understood that. She's always been more than nice to me."
Minerva turned her gaze outside the passenger window. There was no point in answering Ernie's question. She had tried many times over the years to be polite about it, yet his befuddlement persisted.
If she said she and Gloria simply had nothing in common, Ernie would point out that they were both farmwives and mothers and both grew up in Lancaster County and had known each other since the day they started school together.
If she said they were just too different because Gloria was Amish, Ernie would say that was one of the reasons he enjoyed Marlin Grabill. It made things interesting.
If she said they had never been close, even when they were in school together, Ernie would say friendship takes tending.
Minerva was not looking for friendship with Gloria Grabill. Why couldn't Ernie understand that? The competitions to get the best marks in school, to win the spelling bees, to take home the needlework ribbon from the county fair — none of that had been friendly rivalry. Minerva was never so relieved as she was on the final day of eighth grade because she knew Gloria would not continue on to high school in town and Minerva would. Freedom tasted sweet.
"The tractor is giving me trouble," Ernie said. "I'm hoping to get through the fall harvest, but we're going to have to do something before spring."
"You're so good with the machinery," Minerva said. "You'll keep it going for a long time."
Silent, Ernie shook his head as he swung the truck onto Grabill property. Minerva's stomach clenched.
Ernie reached across the bench and covered Minerva's hand with his.
"Lunch will be fine, Min. Just relax. Enjoy yourself the way you used to when we were first married."
She had never enjoyed herself when Gloria was around. Of that Minerva was certain.
"We were poor as could be in those days," she said. "Just starting out. Taking a mortgage on an abandoned farm. Thinking of the future with such hope."
"We didn't have much, but we were happy," Ernie said.
"That was a long time ago," Minerva said. "You had the boys, and you taught them everything you knew. Now we have a daughter to consider. I'm only thinking of Rose."
Ernie glanced at her, his eyes clouding over, and withdrew his hand.
Minerva should not have mentioned the boys.
The terrain dipped and the Grabill house came into view. Bushes grew through the wire fence along the lane, making the place prettier than it deserved to be. The cluster of structures at the end of the lane marked the heart of the farm: the clapboard house, the old barn, which was now a stable just for the horses, the new barn, the silo, the haphazard additions to the poultry area.
The house itself, with the wraparound porch that made Minerva's look shabby, sprawled endlessly, but it would have to with all those children. Two married sons had homes in far corners of the farm, but they farmed the land with Marlin and took their midday meals at the big house.
Two sons who stayed home to farm with their father.
Minerva eyed her husband in her peripheral vision. Nothing would make his heart happier than if his sons were home to take their midday meals with children of their own on their knees.
Ernie stopped the truck and turned off the engine.
"Do we really have to walk the rest of the way?" Minerva made no effort to disguise her irritation.
"Automobiles are not part of their way of life," Ernie said. "It's simple enough to respect that when we come to dinner."
Ernie had left her no room to get out on the passenger side. He got out and held the driver's door open. Minerva slid past the steering wheel and straightened her hat.
Excerpted from Hope in the Land by Olivia Newport. Copyright © 2016 Olivia Newport. Excerpted by permission of Barbour Publishing, Inc.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
When I first picked up this book I had the impression that this was a good author and I would enjoy this book. As I continued it just didn't hold my interest. I think the writer has a lot of potential and perhaps the busyness of my season of life played in to my lack of enthusiasm. I wouldn't discourage anyone from trying this book but it wouldn't be on my list of recommendations.
I was SO disappointed when I finished the third book in Olivia Newport's historical Amish Turns of Time series. What a treat to discover she isn't done adding titles yet! And I think Hope in the Land was the best book so far. I must admit, I couldn't help but love Gloria and despise Minerva - there, I got that off my chest! The rest of the characters are pretty realistic with both positive and negative traits. And Lillian is too self-absorbed to be anything but comically aggravating; we all know someone like her. But I was ready to canonize Glory and condemn Min from the get-go. Newport's strength, besides her writing style that flows like butter on a warm biscuit, is historical research. I felt like I was living in 1936 myself! She (once again) blends the perspectives of both Amish and Englisch, this time centering on the Great depression. Two lifelong acquaintances (notice I DIDN'T say "friends") and their families face hard economic times on their Pennsylvania farms in the 1930s. Their very different standards and relationships are accentuated as drought and poverty tighten around them as a vise. Newport leaves us no doubt as to which system she values! Woven throughout this book are several romances with plenty of those misunderstandings young folks are so prone to. In all, this is a book I couldn't wait to get back to! Though times and fortunes may change, family love rooted in God's blessing on our homesteads always gives HOPE.
A Joy to Read! Ever since reading my first Olivia Newport book, Accidentally Amish (Valley of Choice Book 1), I realized that the author writes a very different type of story. One of the main differences is that Ms. Newport’s writing is outside of the box. None are a cookie cutter format, which maker her writing very refreshing. Her series, Amish Turns of Time, is a wonderful series, and Hope in the Land is a great addition to it. The author incorporates a history lesson into a story of hope, romance, intrigue, mystery, overcoming obstacles, forgiving, and faith,. The author combines these elements flawlessly in a way that keeps the reader enthralled up to the very end, and that is no easy feat. As a reader, I enjoy reading historical fiction from the the old west era. However, I always bypasses any other era, especially the Depression. And yet, once I began reading Hope in the Land, I didn’t put it down until I had read the very last word. That’s how much it grabbed me and sucked me in. I even learned a few things that I didn’t know had occurred during that time. So, not only did I enjoy the story immensely, I also learned a few things in the process. Part of Hope in the Land focuses on the forty year trying relationship between Amish Gloria Grabill and Englisher Minerva Swain. However, more of the story focuses on Polly Grabill, Gloria’s daughter. I really enjoyed seeing how unique Polly is and how that factored into her relationship with her family, friends, Thomas Coblentz, and Englisher Henry Edison. While all of the characters had their special place in the story, l loved Polly’s character and her uniqueness the most. It added a whole new dimension to the story. All in all, Hope in the Land is a perfectly blended story that is a joy to read and one that will keep you guessing up to the very end. ****While Hope in the Land is part of a series, it can be read as a stand alone. *****I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions and viewpoints are my own.
I was intrigued by the subject of this novel because it was set during the Great Depression of the thirties. My parents were raised during this time but under different circumstances. My dad's family lived in town and struggled for every morsel of food put on their table. My mom's family lived in the country and had a farm and grew their own food, like the Amish families in this book. The hardships were still there but they always had food on the table. Henry was fresh out of college, working for the government in his first job, researching the Amish and English farms in Lancaster County. He had to interview farm wives on what they produced, consumed, purchased and stored on their farms in food, livestock, chickens, etc. Henry finds help with the Grabill's daughter Polly when she injures her foot and can't help with her normal chores on her family's Amish farm. The Grabill's next door English neighbors, the Swain's, own a farm as well but the overspending of the wife, Minerva, causes financial hardship. Ever since a childhood feud, Minerva and Gloria Grabill have had a hard time getting along. Minerva has a hard time giving up her household conveniences as the need arises, and an even harder time asking for help from Gloria. But one thing was evident to me while reading, no matter the hardships, families pulled together in trying to help those falling on even harder times than themselves. Gloria was always filling bushel baskets with abundant vegetables to share at the church downtown. And besides the neighbor and community relationships learned about in this novel, you will find a good sprinkling of romance for those that enjoy reading about couples finding each other. This was definitely a different type of "Amish" story that anyone could enjoy even those that don't necessarily read much Amish fiction. I always search for why or how a book gets its title. This one was found on page 158, "Vegetables were more than food. They were hope in what the land would yield."I always search for why or how a book gets its title. This one was found on page 158, "Vegetables were more than food. They were hope in what the land would yield."
Hope in the Land by Olivia Newport is the fourth book in an Amish Turns of Time series. It is 1936 in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania (in the midst of the Great Depression). Gloria Grabill runs a busy farm (and has a husband as well as many, many children). Gloria and her husband, Marlin have many children to support as well as their cousin, Lillian (who is indeed a trial) who is currently staying with them. Then Henry Edison arrives. Henry is a new government employee with the WPA (Works Progress Administration), and they are conducting a survey (an in-depth survey). The survey is to find out the domestic contributions of farm women (vegetable gardens, canning, eggs, chickens, etc.). Gloria knows nothing about the survey. Turns out that Polly (nineteen-year-old daughter) filled it out and turned it in. Since Gloria has no time to assist, she refers Henry to Polly (who is very good at mathematics). Polly wants nothing more than to settle down and marry Thomas Coblentz. But is that really the right thing for Polly? Minerva Swain is the Grabill’s Englisch neighbor. Gloria finds Minerva a pain in her you-know-what (they went to school together and ended up living next door to each other). Minerva thinks she is better than the Grabill’s and likes the finer things in life (despite the depression). Minerva is particularly fascinated with catalogs, mail order, and COD (cash on delivery). Minerva is going down a dangerous path. What happens when her husband finds out the extent of her spending? And then there is the shed (a big shed). Minerva needs help and it looks like Gloria Grabill is the solution. Is this a chance for the two women to come together and be friends? Come join Minerva, Polly, Gloria, Henry, and more in Lancaster County to find out what happens to them. Hope in the Land was a good book. I was engaged right from the beginning. The novel contains humor, romance, friendship, life lessons, and a little mystery. I give Hope in the Land 4 out of 5 stars (I liked it). I liked seeing what farm life was like during the 1930s as well as the difference between an Amish family and an Englisch family. It is a Christian novel which added just the right touch to the story. I will definitely be reading more books by Oliva Newport. I received a complimentary copy of Hope in the Land from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Can 2 different families pull together? Hope In The Land was such an interesting story. It is only the second Amish historical that I've read – and one of only a few novels set during the Depression. One of the things I really liked about this book was the way Olivia Newport didn't idealize or romanticize the Amish or the Depression. Everything from Gloria and Minerva's 40 year competition, Polly's struggles with finding her place in life, Henry's determination to make even low paying job work in time when jobs were scarce, and the kindness of two families towards strangers in need. No huge drama, just a story about people facing hard times, and their different reactions to those difficulties. Both the title and the cover, look close and you'll see many fun little details, are a perfect match for this book. Hope In The Land is a thoughtful and sweet story and I think one of my favorites from Olivia Newport. If you are looking for a good historical about faith and family this book just might be a good choice for you. (I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my review. All opinions are my own.)
Hope in the Land was a good read. I love reading Amish fiction. This was the first Amish reading I've done that took place during the Depression. It was very interesting to see how the agent gathered info for the government. I enjoyed all the different characters & the varying relationships. I really hope there are going to be additional books to follow the characters after this one ended. I was given this book by the publisher for my honest review.
A good read! The characters come to life in the pages, and the setting takes you back to the Depression era. The interaction between Amish and English gives the story a unique twist, and you are not quite sure how it will end until you finish the book. Get a big mug of tea and curl up in your favorite chair because you are in for a relaxing time! I was given this book by the publisher in exchange for my honest review, and I was not compensated in any way.
*My Thoughts* Yay! Hope in the land was such a perfect addition to the Amish Turns of Time series. I absoultely loved how Olivia seamlessly blends Amish & English life! I found myself loving and disliking characters in every page, and I wished it would go on even longer. Her writing is superb! I've always adored learning about our country's history, both the good, and the bad. Olivia did a wonderful job blending her chapters into a beautiful story. The historical aspects were amazing and inspiring to read about, and I was caught up from the start! Such a unique storyline makes me want to devour more Newport books very, very soon! This is a part of a wonderful series, Amish turns of time, but can be read as a stand alone novel! Give it a read!! _______________________________________________________ *My Rating* I give Hope in the Land... 5 stars!! _______________________________________________ *I received this book from the publisher and the author in exchange for an honest review, which I have given. All thoughts were my own and I was not compensated in any other way.
A Unique Amish Novel I don’t often read Amish fiction, but I have thoroughly enjoyed Olivia Newport’s Amish Turns of Time series; the historical component adds depth and complexity, as does the interaction in the community between Amish and English characters. Each story is unique and set during different periods of time, helping to sustain my interest and coming back for each new book. One of the best parts about this book, and this series really, is the interaction between English and Amish characters. And Miss Newport does it in such a way that it feels natural and normal, rather than something forced or even implausible in reality. I did not know that there would be so much contact but I found myself invested in the characters from both groups and especially like how their lives intertwine despite differences in belief and lifestyle. The historical and agricultural detail is fascinating, though at some points it does become a bit overwhelming to this city girl. It heightens my respect for those who choose to live a farming lifestyle, however, and the depth of knowledge required to do so successfully. There is also a convincing picture of what life was like for people during the Depression; even at seven years in it continues to be a hardship for many individual families. While not taking the time to delve deeply into religious differences, the spiritual content is not absent, rather it chooses to focus on what we have in common. An example that comes to mind is a discussion of pride and how it causes us to hurt and misunderstand others if it is not kept in check by determination through the Holy Spirit’s help. No one is immune to the dangers posed by pride. There are also the obvious differences of technological advances being used or not, but it is shown how many families could not afford those advances as the Depression wore on—people are not so very different after all is said and done. Universal themes of love, both parental and romantic, family and hope for the future are woven throughout this novel and affect all characters alike. I would recommend this fascinating book to fans of Amish fiction and also to those who enjoy historical fiction. The mix is interesting, as are both the difference between people and the similarities during this time frame. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher to facilitate this honest review. The opinions are my own.
Contrasting Reactions to the Depression A simple story of how different families reacted and survived during the Great Depression. The characters are believable. The story progresses at a leisurely pace. It provides a good look at the struggles of both an English woman and an Amish woman. The perspective of the Minerva, a status seeker, is well developed as she realizes her actions will have to change. This is contrasted with the giving spirit an Gloria, an Amish mother, who shares what little she has with others. The contrast is well developed and the reader gains a good view of the depression and reactions to it. I enjoyed reading the book.
This was a delightful book. It's very different from what I usually pick up, but it has very warm likable characters and the author is great about decribing the farms and culture of these families. i hope there is a sequel to this book so I can see where the characters venture to in the next phases of their lives. I also enjoyed the family values and concern for their neighbors. Great read.
This is my first book that I have read by Olivia Newport. I will definitely be reading more of her books. Hope in the Land takes place in the 1930’s during the Great Depression. I really liked this Amish fictional book. This book really kept my interest! I really like how the characters are so realistic and enjoyed learning about the different Amish families. Polly was my favorite character in the book. She is a very kind, friendly girl and really smart at Math. I felt like I could relate to Polly since I remember what life was like when I was younger. Polly is an educated girl and she is trying to decide what she wants to do with her life. I highly recommend this book to others. *I received this book in exchange for a review. My opinion is my own.
Olivia Newport continues her Amish series Amish Turns of Time with another great book. It took me a little time to get into it; maybe that’s just me. But, as I read the developing characters dealt with a lot of life’s lessons and held my interest. I liked the way the English and Amish worked together and respected each other’s values. Some people see the Amish as totally isolated, and they aren’t. They live their beliefs, yet live within a larger culture. I also enjoyed the way she captured the era. Although I wasn’t born yet I remember my parents and grandparents talking about the depression and feel this book helps the reader go back in time and experience the true struggles. Also found it interesting how the Amish seemed to weather it better because of their way of life. There are believable characters, romance, mystery, a few secrets, and, of course, hope, that makes for a good read. I particularly enjoyed Polly and her struggles with being the more intellectual, yet her place as a woman and Amish didn’t seem to allow that. The two mothers, Minerva and Gloria were also great since it isn’t unusual to hold on to old hurts and jealousies. Yet, other members of your family were great friends and oblivious to your feelings. Then, there was Henry, the young (awkward) city fellow stuck in this new world and trying to understand and do a new job. You’ll have to read it to find out all about it. I recommend this book.
Just as the title suggests, in the midst of the Depression era there is always hope in the land. This story contrasts each of the characters lives and how they live through the hard times. Gloria Grabill doesn’t fear providing for her family as she lives off the land as an Amish farmers wife. Minerva Swain has lived as an almost spoiled modern day wife with luxuries no longer afforded by her husband. These two women not only live as neighbors, but have known each other for 40 years. Ever since grade school, they’ve not gotten along very well. When hard times become even harder, can these two learn to put their differences aside to help each other? Henry & Polly’s lives intersect when his truck breaks down and he stays at the Grabill farm. As oldest daughter, she has visions of becoming an Amish farmer’s wife. Henry is happy to have a government job when so many other men have none. He hopes to just make it through his required surveys & be on his way. But does God have other plans for these two? And will they listen when their lives change paths? I enjoyed this story and could easily imagine life in the Depression by how the author portrays its hard times. I was involved in the characters lives from the start and felt I was right there beside each one. Every struggle they had & each fear they shared were mine as well. The theme I came away with in this, there’s always hope in the Lord if we but look for it. He provides in ways we couldn’t imagine or see, especially in hard times. And that sometimes, life takes a different course then we had planned. But it is God that guides our steps & things do work out for each of our good if we but trust in Him! This is one of my favorite book quotes at the end; “But she (Gloria) knew the promise of the land was the goodness of God. Hope shone as luminous as it always had in the hearts of God’s beloved.” **I was provided a complimentary copy of this by the publisher in exchange for my honest review. Thank you Barbour for a wonderful book by a new-to-me author!**
Hope During the Depression Olivai Newport's book, Hope in the Land, is a snapshot during the Depression Era of Lancaster County, PA. of two families, the Grabills (Amish) and the Swains (Englishers). Henry Edison is working for the government to complete a study on self-sufficiency of the Amish and the Non-Amish Farm Households. His first household is the Grabills who extend to him hospitality by allowing him to stay on their farm during the period of his research. During his stay he learns more than expected about the Amish and their neighbors and how they manage during this era of economic downturn. The reader also meets Polly Grabill who feels out of place among her family, her talents do not lie in baking, cooking, tending chickens or gardening. Instead, her talent is being able to calculate facts and fingures and having a keen memory which she feels is not useful for the farming life. But Polly learns her gift is useful. There is also some rivalry among Mrs. Grabill and Mrs. Swain that comes to light during the course of the story. How each will respond is a choice that must be made. Will that choice bring them together or tear them further apart? This story is based on the fact that an actual study was done during this time period examining the households of Amish and Non-Amish. A slow, thoughtful read that makes the reader feel as though he/she are part of the storyline. I received this book free to review for Barbour Publishing.
I had a bit of difficulty "getting into" this story but this seems to be the norm for me with this author's works. However, once I got into the story a bit I found it to be a well-written and very interesting read. The setting of this book is Depression-era Lancaster County and the story revolves around a study being conducted on the farm wives of the area and how they contribute to their family. I have never read a story like this and found it very interesting. It was neat to see how the families lived during this time and how things haven't changed much for both the Amish and English since then. The storyline is based on a real study conducted under President Roosevelt and I found the story a fun way to read about it. As far as characters go there are quite a few as expected in a book with an Amish family. Polly was easy to connect with and I felt sorry for her at times during the book as she felt she just didn't measure up to the rest of the children in the family. Her ability to remember things after just seeing them once was interesting to read. Minerva, the English housewife, was very easy for me to dislike and, honestly, I wondered why her husband and daughter put up with her since they seemed so down-to-earth and genial. Towards the end though Minerva is more agreeable and I found myself warming to her. Henry, the government agent, was easy to relate to and I found myself sympathizing with him throughout the book. This is the fourth book in the Amish Turns of Time series and can be read as a standalone as these characters do not appear in the previous books. This book would be a great choice for fans of Amish fiction or historical fiction. An excellent way to spend the day! Happy reading!! I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion which I have given.
This was a delightful, as well as, educational read. This book is set in Lancaster County, PA, during the Great Depression era. It was interesting to learn what all people would do to survive during this time. This was such a hard time in the history of our nation. Both the Amish and the English struggled to make ends meet. This book centers on the Grabill family, who are Amish, and the English Swain family. Gloria Grabill and Minerva Swain grew up together as children and are now neighbors. Their daughters, Polly Grabill and Rose Swain play significant roles in the book. One of the government programs during the depression sent Agent Henry Edison to Lancaster County to survey the farm women to learn about their part in maintaining their farms, such as how much food they grow on the farm and can for their families. Henry, Polly, Rose and Polly’s romantic interest, Thomas Coblentz, along with several other characters in the book, make an entertaining read. Most of all, we learn what they learn about hope. I would highly recommend this book. I received a copy from Shiloh Run Press for my honest review.
In Lancaster County, it is the time of the Depression during the Thirties. Hope in The Land by Olivia Newport is mainly about two Amish families: the Grabills and the Swains. The Grabills are the biggest family of the two. What makes the novel interesting is the relationship between Minerva Swain and Gloria Grabill, how people lived through the Depression and the values of the Amish in their community. Growing up, I lived only a couple hours from Lancaster County. So I felt a bit homesick remembering my father's visits to the farmer's market when the Amish came to town. In the novel, it's surprising to see two women acting out against one another especially since one woman is Amish. Gloria is Amish. Minerva is English. They have known and disliked each other since school age. Still, it is hard for each to come together in one room together. I felt that Minerva came across as the coldest and the grumpiest and the one who seemed very sensitive. Gloria seemed more easy going. I felt this portrayal was unfair. I suppose when there are relationship problems one person is worse than the other person? I couldn't help but think that Olivia Newport might have prejudicial feelings towards Gloria's character. Because Gloria is Amish and Minerva is English. . Ironically, the daughters of these two women, Rose and Polly get along fine together. Every decision Minerva makes seems wrong. She seems sneaky and cantankerous. I think Minerva deserved some understanding. No one is totally made up of a bad attitude. I especially enjoyed reading about the neighborliness in the Amish community. For one dinner night, there are about eighteen people at the table. Henry, a guy who is going to ask the farmer wives questions, is included in the meal. He has just met the family and Gloria says their is plenty of room. All the neighbors and family need to do is scooch over. I laughed. There is a willingness to help one another when problems happen. When Polly hurts her foot in the field and Sylvia becomes ill, Rose offers to help with the farm work. While thinking of Sylvia, I would have liked to know more about the fever. I felt very sad to learn about how farmers suffered during the Depression. Family names are posted in store windows and other areas. To let the farmers know they had indeed lost their land. There is always plenty going on with these people whom we only see as horse and buggy riders.Their desires and relationships are not much different from ours. However, we do like electricity.olivianewport.com/about-me/ (Barbour Publishing)
The time of this book is the 1930’s and takes place in Lancaster Pennsylvania, but it could be anywhere in the U.S., it is depression time, and the also a sever drought, dust bowl. College educated Henry Edison has secured one of President Roosevelt’s WPA jobs, and glad to work. His car dies as he arrives at the Grabill Amish home, and they open their doors to him. The family takes him under their wing, and especially Polly helps him with his fact finding. We also meet the Swains, the Grabill’s English neighbors, and particularly Minerva, who was a nemesis to Gloria when they grew up. So I instantly didn’t like her, but some things are deceiving and I am quick to judge, or was I? Polly is a good friend with the Swain’s daughter Rose, and we find that they both have big hearts. Again Minerva gets on my nerves with how she wants to rein in Rose, but Rose will have none to do with it, and shares her gifts with all. This is a time when good people end up stealing to survive, and we find lunch pails, and pies and canned goods going missing. Was a bit surprised that Polly’s friend, or was it Lena? Is going around with wagonloads of food, or canned goods? What is going on? There is also a bit of romance for Henry, but can it last with him in Lancaster and his girl in Philadelphia? Or will he find someone right under his eyes, sometimes people are very blind, and is this person someone that is even available to him? People seem to be struggling to survive everywhere, and lots of people are on the move, and it seems those that ended up here, even for a little while were better off. Come and get a glimpse at a hard time in our country, an interesting read. I received this book through Net Galley and Barbour Publishing, and was not required to give a positive review.