From the bestselling author of The Girl From the Train, comes another compelling coming of age story of delayed love, loss, and reconciliation in WWII-era South Africa.
Lettie has always felt different from and overshadowed by the women around her– this friend is richer, that friend is more beautiful, those friends are closer. Still, she doesn’t let this hold her back. She works hard to apply her mind, trying to compensate for her perceived lack of beauty with diligent academic work and a successful career as a doctor. She learns to treasure her friendships, but she still wonders if any man will ever return her interest.
Marco’s experience in the second world war have robbed him of love and health. When winters in his native Italy prove dangerous to his health even after the war has ended, he moves to South Africa to be with his brother, husband to one of Lettie’s best friends. Marco is Lettie’s first patient, and their relationship grows as she aids him on the road back to restored health.
In the company of beloved characters from The Child of the River, Marco and Lettie find a happiness that neither of them thought possible. With that joy comes pain and loss, but Lettie learns that life—while perhaps a crooked path—is always a journey worth taking.
|Publisher:||Nelson, Thomas, Inc.|
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.20(d)|
About the Author
International bestselling author Irma Joubert was a history teacher for 35 years before she began writing. Her stories are known for their deep insight into personal relationships and rich historical detail. She’s the author of eight novels and a regular fixture on bestseller lists in The Netherlands and in her native South Africa. She is the winner of the 2010 ATKV Prize for Romance Novels. Facebook: irmajoubertpage
Read an Excerpt
What she was looking at, was definitely not what she wanted to see.
Lettie stood facing the full-length mirror in her mom's bedroom. Her heart, which had been overflowing with joy only this morning, lay heavy in her chest. From this moment, she vowed, not a single cake or dessert or sweet would cross her lips, ever again.
It was De Wet's fault, for speaking to her this morning. Or perhaps her mom was to blame, for making all those cakes and tarts. Or Annabel, for showing up when she did, flaunting her athletic figure.
Or maybe, just maybe, she herself was to blame.
Whatever the case may be, she was drawing the line.
This morning at the school fair De Wet — drop-dead handsome De Wet — had casually leaned on the table where she was working.
"Hello, Lettie. Who would have thought a smart girl like you knew how to make pancakes?"
"I'm just selling them," she said, embarrassed. He was tall, and when she looked up at him, his green eyes twinkled with mischief.
"Well, they picked the right person to look after the money. It's a lovely day, isn't it?" he made small talk. "I say, what are the chances of a flop or two for a broke fellow?"
She found him three and added a generous sprinkle of cinnamon sugar.
"Thanks, you're a pal," he said cheerfully.
As he turned to leave, Annabel fell into step beside him, chatting easily.
Lettie felt a sharp pang in the region of her heart. Then it dawned on her. Why had De Wet asked for two pancakes? Lettie and Annabel had been friends for as long as they could remember. Lettie's father was the only doctor in town, Annabel's father the only lawyer. Annabel's mother had decided early on that Lettie would be a suitable playmate for her daughter.
Lettie lived with her mom and dad in their home in Voortrekker Street. The front room was used only when the minister came to call. They spent winter evenings and Sundays in the big kitchen with the table in the center of the room and the AGA stove, where her mom was always busy. In summer, when the bushveld was dry and hot, they sat on the back porch. Wire mesh kept out the flies and mosquitoes — except when someone forgot to shut the door properly. The house always smelled delicious, because Lettie's mom liked to surprise Lettie and her dad with a treat when they came home.
Annabel lived in a big house farther up the street. It had a semicircular front veranda, with pillars and four steps, and a bell beside the heavy front door that Lettie had to ring when she went over to play. A housekeeper in a neat uniform would open the door. Inside, thick carpets lay on the polished floors. The girls' games were confined to the veranda, so they wouldn't mess up the house. Annabel's mom was a tall, thin woman with pitch-black hair. She was very strict and always carried a drink in her hand. Annabel's dad was a big man with a florid complexion, thinning hair, and spectacles. He was hardly ever home, because he worked hard at his law firm. Lettie saw him only at church.
Lettie didn't like playing at Annabel's home, so they mostly played at Lettie's home.
When they were in Form II, all the children from the surrounding farm schools came to the town school and lived in the hostel. That was how Lettie got to know Klara and Christine.
Christine's father was an important man. He was the Member of the Provincial Council for their constituency. But Christine wasn't important. She was just their friend.
Lettie took an immediate liking to Klara and Christine. She would have loved to be Klara's best friend, but Klara and Christine were already best friends. Lettie didn't have a best friend. She and Annabel would never be best friends.
Lettie had always been her daddy's dearest little sweetheart and her mommy's pretty little darling. Lettie's mom and dad were both short and stout and friendly. Lettie took after both her parents. She had always been a happy child.
But halfway through Form II she began to take notice of her friends' looks.
Klara was continually tucking behind her ears the unruly chestnut curls that kept escaping their plaits. She had rosy cheeks and lovely green eyes. She was athletic and had a beautiful singing voice. There wasn't an ounce of fat on her body.
Christine was small, with blonde curls and blue eyes. She always looked slightly startled — not afraid, but uncertain, rather — and she battled a little with her schoolwork. Klara often helped her. Christine was as pretty as a china doll.
Annabel was tall and slim, with shapely legs and golden skin. She was very good at sports and she was clever. She usually wore her long dark hair in a plait but, whenever possible, she would allow her shiny, silky tresses to cascade down her back. Her eyes were dark and she plucked her brows in neat arches, just like the movie stars. Her lips were full and her teeth pearly white.
Annabel was a stunning beauty, Lettie realized.
All the boys liked Annabel.
Klara's brother, De Wet, was one year ahead of them at school.
All the boys were in love with Annabel and all the girls were in love with De Wet — even the matric girls, despite the fact that he was their junior. De Wet was good at everything. He was a superb athlete and played in the first rugby team even though he was only in Form III. He was at the top of his class every year and he sang the male lead in the operetta. What was more, he was friendly to everyone, including Lettie.
He even remembered her name.
But it was that sharp pang in the region of her heart that had brought her face-to-face with herself in her mom's full-length mirror.
She was short and plump. "It's just puppy fat, you'll outgrow it," her dad always reassured her. But she was nearly fifteen.
She leaned closer to the mirror and took a critical look at her face. Her skin didn't look like Klara's, or Annabel's. "Your complexion is a bit oily," her mom said, "that's all. It means you won't have wrinkles when you're older." But at fifteen, getting older was of no concern to Lettie.
To crown it all, she wore glasses.
In front of the mirror in her mom's bedroom that particular night Lettie resolved never to eat cake or dessert or sweets again.
Her resolve didn't last long.
But the butterflies that fluttered in her tummy every time De Wet was near did not go away. The feeling was more amazing than anything she had ever felt before.
When Lettie was in Form IV, her dad dropped her at the school gate with her suitcase, her biscuit tin, and her blanket roll for Voortrekker camp.
"Here, Lettie!" Klara waved her over. She and Christine were standing next to the truck.
De Wet and his friend Braam were loading the suitcases and bags. De Wet jumped from the back and came to where she was standing. "Hello, Lettie, can I take your case?" he asked.
"I could've brought it over myself," she stuttered.
"Not on your life!" he said, laughing. His eyes sparkled, and his light-brown hair fell across his forehead.
The butterflies threatened to come fluttering out of Lettie's bright-red ears.
Annabel arrived in a uniform that was too short, and her hair wasn't tied back. She looked lovely as usual.
"De Wet! Braam!" she called out, pointing at her big suitcase and blanket roll.
Lettie pushed her glasses higher up her nose, envying Annabel's nerve.
That night they sat on the ground around the big campfire, Klara between Lettie and Christine.
Annabel crossed over to the other side of the fire. Lettie saw Annabel bend down and say something to De Wet. She saw De Wet laughing up at her and moving over to make room. She saw Annabel squeezing in between De Wet and Braam.
A dull ache lodged in her throat. The smoke from the fire stung her eyes, so she had to look away.
All weekend Annabel trailed after De Wet.
And all weekend De Wet looked like the cat who had got the cream.
During the last term of the school year, Lettie studied harder than ever. She reread all her assigned literature. She even read the newspapers so she could join in the conversation when Klara and Annabel were discussing politics.
On the last day of term she was awarded a prize for best achievement in Form IV. But she wasn't elected a prefect, and neither was Christine. When Klara and Annabel were called to the stage, Christine moved up to sit next to her.
Klara was appointed head girl, and De Wet, who, as the outgoing head boy, was also on the stage, stepped forward, put his arm around his sister's shoulders, and congratulated her with a kiss in plain view of the entire school.
Christine sighed beside Lettie. "What other boy would kiss his sister in front of everyone? Lettie, isn't he just the most adorable boy in the whole world?"
Lettie nodded. But her heart swelled inside her body, so that there was hardly any room to breathe.
In 1938, the friends boarded a train to join in the Great Trek centenary celebrations. They were met at Pretoria station and taken by bus to the campsite where thousands had gathered.
"My legs are like jelly after the long trip. I'll stand for a while," said Annabel when they realized the bus didn't have enough seats. But when two boys moved to make room for her, she sat down between them.
And when they arrived and the girls had to carry their luggage to their tents, Annabel made no move, just stood looking around. "I'll find a few strong men to help us."
"I can carry my own case," Lettie protested.
"Never!" said Annabel. "You'll see how keen these gallant young men are to help us."
And she was right. Annabel tilted her head slightly, shrugged her shoulders despondently, and gave some boys a poor-me smile. They immediately came over. "Can we help?" one of them asked.
Annabel looked up in mock surprise. "Really? But ... these cases are terribly heavy!"
One boy stepped forward and picked up the biggest of the suitcases. "Oh, this is nothing," he said.
"Gosh," said Annabel, "you must be very strong!"
The boys fell into step beside Annabel. All the way to their tent Annabel laughed and joked with them. Christine and Klara talked between themselves in low tones. Lettie followed in awkward silence.
Inside the tent, Annabel turned to her. "See, Lettie," she said, carelessly tossing her hat onto her blanket roll, "that's how you treat boys ... men. They're a bit like goats. If you stroke their egos, they'll eat out of your hand."
The next day Klara announced a simulated battle between two groups on horseback. Her brothers, De Wet and Boelie, would take part.
De Wet would be riding his horse. Lettie drew a deep breath.
After breakfast they walked up the Lyttelton Hill to get a good view of the event.
"Gosh, we should have brought umbrellas. This sun is vicious," said Lettie. She could already feel her skin turning crimson.
"Don't be such an old lady, Lettie." Annabel sighed. "A little sun will do you good. You're as pale as a white mouse."
The event Lettie had been looking forward to suddenly seemed less enjoyable.
At exactly half past nine the order came: "Charge!"
From all around came the sounds of small arms discharging. The riders advanced, sheltering behind trees and shrubs. There was the deafening sound of exploding bombs. Here and there a rider jumped off his horse, firing as he advanced.
Christine had both hands pressed to her face. "What if they kill each other?" she asked anxiously.
"Heavens, Christine," Annabel said, "do you really think they'd use live ammunition? You'll believe anything, you know!"
Then Lettie saw him. De Wet was leaning forward, his tall figure pressed against his horse, the reins tight in both hands, charging straight at the enemy.
"Look, over there in the clearing!" Klara shouted. "Look at him go!"
Lettie kept watching until he disappeared behind a clump of trees.
Then she exhaled slowly. Surely no other man on earth could be that perfect.
"Where's Annabel?" Christine asked when they were sitting by the fire later that week.
"Oh, she's around somewhere," Klara said.
"Shouldn't we go look for her?" asked Christine.
"No, leave her," said Klara.
Someone played a few chords on an accordion and they began to sing the well-known trek songs: "Die sweep het geklap en die wawiele rol ..."
Lettie's eyes kept searching for De Wet.
The concertina joined in. "Aanstap, rooies, die pad is lank en swaar ..."
There were too many people around the campfire. She couldn't spot him among the others.
In time a delicious languor took hold of Lettie. "I'm sleepy. I think I'm going to turn in," she told the other two.
"We won't be long," said Klara. "Tomorrow it's the main event and we don't want to be tired."
Slowly Lettie found her way between the tents. She heard the voices lagging behind the accordion: "Liewe maan, jy seil so langsaam ..." In front of her the hill rose undisturbed, firmly embedded in its age-old rock foundation. Overhead the stars were bright in the firmament.
She was filled with happiness, with a joy too deep for words. It was a wonderful, wonderful camp, after all. She leaned against a tree, felt the hard, rough bark under her fingers. She belonged to the best people on earth. She was proud to be an Afrikaner.
She closed her eyes. Her heart was filled with warmth. She was in love, and it was ... marvelous.
She carried on, making her way between the tents in the bright moonlight.
Then she saw them. The girl was in the man's arms. The man's hands were sliding over her back, pressing her against his body. His head was lowered, his lips locked over hers.
The girl was tall, the man even taller.
It was Annabel.
And De Wet.
Time stopped. The moment froze.
Quietly Lettie turned and chose a roundabout way back to her tent.
Her heart was cold as ice and heavy as lead. She put on her nightdress and spread out her blankets.
The ice around her heart began to melt. She curled into a ball and pressed her face into her pillow.
She lay without moving, pain like a solid crust around her heart. She told herself not to cry, begged herself not to cry.
She missed her mom.
Shortly afterward she heard Christine and Klara enter.
Christine whispered, "Klara, he was kissing her. I saw it with my own eyes."
"Oh, it doesn't mean anything," Klara whispered back. "A boy will kiss any girl who throws herself at him. And you know what Annabel is like ..."
But De Wet wasn't like other boys, was he? Lettie's heart, her entire being, cried out.
She lay motionless on her small island of blankets while her two friends quietly spread their own blankets and shook out their pillows.
She thought of Christine.
She knew Christine was also in love with De Wet. The icy hand around her aching heart gripped a little harder. Pretty little Christine was also in love. And she was also in pain tonight, feeling the same agony.
After a while she heard Klara breathe deeply and evenly.
Much later, when Annabel came in noisily and prepared to go to bed, Lettie was still awake. "Are you asleep?" Annabel asked as she unrolled her blankets next to Lettie.
Lettie ignored her. She didn't want to talk about the truth, which was that Annabel was Annabel, and she was Lettie Louw, and a man like De Wet Fourie would never be hers.
unced one morning before school as the four friends walked to their classroom. "I'm going to Tukkies next year."
"A journalist?" Christine asked uncertainly.
"Yes, Christine, someone who writes in the papers, you know?" Annabel replied, rolling her eyes. She turned to Lettie and asked, "What are you going to do?"
"Study medicine," Lettie answered without hesitation. "At Wits, I suppose, where my dad was also a student."
"Wits! An English university!" Annabel exclaimed. "And medicine! I'm not sure it's a suitable career for a woman. It's so ... masculine." She shrugged. "But I suppose it's okay for you."
"I think Lettie will be a wonderful doctor," Klara said. "She's certainly clever enough, and she'll be good to her patients."
Annabel raised her eyebrows skeptically and turned to Christine. "And you, Christine, what are you going to study?"
"I don't know." Christine was quiet for a moment. "Actually, I'd like to work with sick people too, help them, you know?"
"Don't be silly," Annabel said. "You couldn't even pass the Voortrekkers' first-aid course!"
Lettie noticed Klara's hand resting briefly on Christine's shoulder. For a fleeting moment she wished that Klara could also be her best friend. She also wished she could attend Pretoria University because ... well, because De Wet was there. But her dad believed that Wits had the best medical school, and Lettie believed her dad knew best.
Excerpted from "The Crooked Path"
Copyright © 2017 Irma Joubert.
Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson.
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
Excellent story. Well written with all the pain and joy experienced in life. I highly recommend this book for those who read books encompassing WW II.
"The Crooked Path" by Irma Joubert is a book I knew nothing about. I don't normally like books that take place around the World Wars, as I'm more of a "happily ever after" type of person and books about the Wars are often too realistic and hard to read emotionally. That being said, I was pleasantly surprised by this book! From the moment you read the first few pages, you can tell Ms. Joubert is a word smith. Her writing style is top notch and flows well, making it easy to read. The setting in this book is unique--South Africa and Italy during the World War II era. I appreciate how Ms. Joubert incorporates a lot from the cultures of the places she writes about. She obviously did a lot of research. There are a lot of great themes in this book, such as self-esteem, loss, death, chronic illness and the path we travel in life. There is some faith content, but I would have liked more. Overall, the book is a little too sad for me and some of the parts were so well written that I had to disengage so I didn't become depressed. This is not a fluffy read. I appreciate books that deal with such issues and themes, but they are not my favorite to read. Like I said before, I do truly appreciate the writing style and the lessons that are incorporated into this story! Content: I would give this book a PG rating. There is a girl asking how people get pregnant and if there's a way to not be pregnant. A guy notices a woman's curves. A guy and a girl who are not married sleep under the same blanket, but nothing happens. The word "hellhole" is used. There are harsh conditions described in concentration camps. A married couple is in bed talking without any clothes on. Babies are born out of wedlock. A character wants an abortion. Characters drink alcohol. Rating: I give this book 3.5 stars. Genre: Christian Fiction; Historical Fiction; Romance I want to thank Irma Joubert, Thomas Nelson and the Fiction Guild for the complimentary copy of this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I express in this review are my own. This is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s CFR 16, Part 255.
"Poignant" is the word that comes to mind when I pick up a title by Irma Joubert. I absolutely love the easy way she develops her characters (even the ones who don't survive to the last chapter), and intertwines their life story with rich historical and geographical details. The Crooked Path is a perfect example, and I have to admit it sent me right back to re-reading Child of the River. Many characters are in both books, and it was so interesting to hear "the rest of their stories." The phrase, "crooked path," appears many times in this book, and from the mouths of many important characters. Marco assures Rachel that "Even a crooked path has to lead somewhere." During their years of hiding from the Nazis, Rachel summarized the sameness of their days by saying "Our crooked path is going round in a circle now." Recounting those years gone by with Lettie, Marco "gripped her hand as if he were taking her along with him on the difficult path." Looking back on her years of singleness, Lettie said her mom assured her that "life sometimes leads you along a strange crooked path, but in the end it will always take you where you're supposed to be.'' That is really a wonderful summary of this book. Though Lettie's life was rarely what she expected, it was a good and fruitful life, with a wonderful ending. Like all her friends and relations, she could say, "Life certainly leads some people down strange paths. All people, actually." This story effortlessly gives its readers the authentic flavor of 20th century life in South Africa. Though it spans many years and encompasses many sorrows, I felt the characters were as young and fresh in their outlook at the end as at the beginning. As Persomi wisely said, "Love doesn't ask one's age." Read this wonderful tale and see if you don't agree. I was given a complimentary copy of this book by the publisher via The Fiction Guild, and was not required to post a review.
The Crooked Path by Irma Joubert is the sequel to Child of the River, both of which are published by Thomas Nelson and set in South Africa during the mid-1900s. This was such a beautiful book! Joubert takes us on a heartfelt, emotional journey through the lives of a group of friends growing up in South Africa during World War II, and the plot line coincides with that of Child of the River. The characters grab onto your heartstrings and won’t let go! I finished this book in just a couple of days. It felt like a short story but also a good, hearty one because there wasn’t a moment where the plot dragged or slowed. I was constantly kept guessing as to what would happen next, which is somewhat unusual in books for me. I was caught off guard several times by the plot twists, and had four or five burst-into-tears moments and one throw-the-book-across-the-room moment. The South African setting lent a unique perspective to the second World War, and the message of the book about life being a crooked path yet one worth walking on was beautifully intertwined into the story. This is a story I will want to read over and over, and tell all my friends and family about. It is, quite frankly, phenomenal. Thank you to the Thomas Nelson and Zondervan Fiction Guild for providing me with a copy of this book to read and review. All opinions are my own and were not required to be positive. *Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention/review it on my blog. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion – which I’ve done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own and I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.*
This is the 3rd book in a trilogy, and even though it took me a long time to read, for various reasons, one of which is that it dragged a bit in places, I like it. In some ways I think it is the best of the series. One reason I say that is that in the end, the main characters did not compromise on something that (in my opinion) they shouldn't have, like they did in the other 2 books. I also really liked many of the characters, including Lettie and Marco. Historically, it was interesting to learn more about WWII, as well as about polio. Overall, a good story. Thanks to the Fiction Guild for sending me this book! The opinions expressed in this review are mine alone. I was given this book in exchange for an honest review.
I enjoyed the story line of this book. It starts out with the story of Lettie thru school and college. Lettie suffers from low esteem but knows what she wants to do. She wants to be a doctor and take over her father's practice. Then we jump the the story of Marco during his life and the war. He falls in love with a Jewish lady and during the war time he hides with her family in the mountains during the war. Will they survive the war in the mountains? Will they have enough food to survive? Then they are discovered and captured. Will they survive the rest of the war in Birkenou? After the war Marco goes to South Africa to live and hopefully recover his health. Lettie is his doctor. Will she be able to help him recover his health? Read about how their lives intertwine and their friends lives.
The Crooked Path by Irma Joubert Irma Joubert writes a hopeful story of love, loss, and second chances in the World War 2 era, set both in Italy and South Africa. Her characters are very real. The story flows well despite taking place over long periods of time. She portrays a slice of life that many American readers will find eye-opening. I fell in love with the characters and loved the fact that I had met some of them in a previous book, Child of the River. Lettie is someone many women will find familiar. She works hard to prove herself and learns to accept herself. She blossoms through time. The story covers many years, through both dark and bright times. The plot moves along quickly enough so that it keeps the reader interested. Joubert brings to light the hardships that many people faced during World War 2. She paints a grim reality but uses a broad brush and allows readers to fill in the details. I would love to read another of her books. Her characters wrap themselves around your heart. I found myself wondering what was happening to Lettie after the book ended. Readers of historical fiction will especially enjoy this story. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review, which I have given.
I received this book from The Fiction Guild. I was not required to give a favorable review. This is another wonderful book from Irma. I have read 2 other of her books and I find that her writing draws such great pictures of each of the characters and the areas that they are in. I would recommend each of Irma's books if you want a book with a bit of history, a personal side and wonderful characters.
The Crooked Path chronicles the life of Lettie, her friends and family in Europe and South Africa during and post WWII. It is also about Marco, an Italian left with serious health issues after his experiences in WWII. Lettie has insecurities about her looks and uses academics to become a doctor form her life. Marco moves to South Africa to be with his brother and hopefully recover his health. It is a story of love found in unexpected places and times. Along with the love and joy comes unbelievable pain and loss. The secondary characters are memorable. (Read Joubet's The Child of the River first. That will enrich reading this book.) There is lots of history intertwined in the story. You may know about Europe during that time, but probably not as much about South Africa. A quote from the book summarized it perfectly: "Years ago my mom told me life sometimes leads you along a strange crooked path, but in the end it will always take you where you’re supposed to be…"
THE CROOKED PATH. By Irma Joubert The setting is WW II in South Africa. thinking she is no beauty, excels at learning. Will love come, she doubts it. Inside look at a women of a different era, and maturity to realized that life is in love and losing and moving forward readers will enjoy reading about Lettie as she takes this journey . Received from Thomas Nelson Publisher for an ARC for my honest opinion and voluntary review.
This author’s books are different that most things you will read on the American market, I would say. The language style is very different to begin with, but it is intriguing and pulls you into the story immediately. I opened this book and didn’t want to put it down. I ended up staying up late reading, which is something that has not happened for awhile as I am generally too exhausted to push through. While this book breaks a lot of the rules when it comes to writing, it has a quality about it that makes you enjoy it. The history, the culture of South Africa, Italy and the characters from the previous book make this story one you will be thinking about after you put it down. Romantic? No, not really. While there is more real life romance spoken of throughout the story, the pain that comes with real life romance is also present. Don’t read this book for romance. The journey of discovery of the meaning of life and love is more incredible as well as the history of the polio vaccine as well. I obtained this book through NetGalley. The opinions expressed herein are my own. If you do buy a copy, I recommend buying the previous book to read first. The characters from the first book are mentioned as the timelines coincide.
Another beautiful and moving work from Irma Joubert... The Crooked Path By Irma Joubert First off I have to say Irma Joubert has a way of writing that touches the soul of the reader. Her writing is alive with the nuances of life - its joys and it pains. Once again we are taken into a world that is at war and how this affects and shapes the lives of those who are caught up in its destructive forces. In Italy the Romanelli family is about to have all that they have known changed when Hitler's Germany makes its presence known. Military service is a requirement and two of the Romanelli brothers are pressed into service. But the eldest brother Marco hides in the mountains with the family of the woman to whom he is engaged. The years take a toll on the Romanellis and Marco's years of deprivation at the hands of Germany have cost him much. When the dry warmth of South Africa is offered as an option to the restore his precarious health Marco goes joining his younger brother Antonio in this foreign land. Lettie Louw has always felt that she is a lesser person than her friends. She's never been quite good enough and she's known that love was never meant for her. These feelings pushed her to excel in in her studies and become a doctor. Her skills have her assistance being sought in the care of Marco Romanelli. Marco's health slowly improves under Lettie's direction. But his health will never be fully restored and it is with this understanding that Marco and Lettie open their hearts to the possibility of just what the future holds. The path that has lead them to this point was crooked and the path before them seems equal to what lay behind them. Life is journey with no guarantees and The Crooked Path fully explores this as life moves on even as heartbreak and joy make their marks on those around them. This is also a story about the value of friends and family in being there for us at the momentous and the ordinary. This is truly a beautiful and moving story one that will bring tears as the inhumanity of war makes itself known and bring a soft smile at the power of love to heal wounds (and create new ones). Life comes in stages and presents different options that at a different time we may or may not respond in the same manner. This book brought to mind Ecclesiastes 3:1, 6, and 8: "To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: ... A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;... A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace." KJV I was provided a complimentary review copy of this book by the publisher through BookLook Bloggers with no expectations of a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own.
The Crooked Path is a great read. I found the story to be well written. I was captivated from page one and did not want to put it down until I read the last page. The author perfectly knows how to play with the reader's emotions. I felt like I was right there and was transported back in time. I would most definitely recommend this book. It is so so good. One of the best I have read in 2017. Five stars. I received this book from the publisher, but was not required to write a review. This review is 100% my own honest opinion.
Crooked Path is a magical story. It is about Leftie who has grown up in South Africa with her father happen to be the town's Doctor. She falls for De Wit. But he falls For someone else – because of that she goes to Johannesburg – to get her doctor's degree . She is there during World War II during college – De Wit married one of her friends and breaks her heart a beautiful thing happens she meets Marco goes and falls in love and something special – very special – everything happen because of what happens to the environment . What happens? What do they do? You have to read this book. I received a copy of this book from the Publisher and Netgalley;all the opinions expressed in this review are all my own.
Favorite Quotes: Annabel turned to her. “See, Lettie,” she said, carelessly tossing her hat onto her blanket roll, “that’s how you treat boys . . . men. They’re a bit like goats. If you stroke their egos, they’ll eat out of your hand.” She was a tall, thin woman with hair piled high on her head and a nose like a quarter pound of cheese. I love you like I’ve never loved anyone before and never will again.” His words flooded her brain, washed over her body, and entered the chambers of her heart where they were anchored, to be remembered and cherished in years to come. You understand . . . with a deeper understanding than words can convey.” Years ago my mom told me life sometimes leads you along a strange crooked path, but in the end it will always take you where you’re supposed to be… My Review: The Crooked Path bore no similarity to my expectations, and I couldn’t be happier. The premise was entertaining and the writing and storylines were captivating, well-crafted, and smartly paced. The book was highly engaging, eventful, well researched, and encompassed a shattering and traumatic period of history that was told through the inspiring, contrasting, and heartbreaking personal experiences and sacrifices of highly endearing characters on separate continents and of different cultures. The story was poignant, emotive, and thoughtfully written without being overly melodramatic. Sweet story threads, humorous descriptions, amusing observations, and thoughtful insights into the characters’ life-altering transitions were generously woven throughout to balance the tragedy and traumas that befell them. I reveled in the entertaining nuances of the various characters and customs, all of which were unfamiliar and intriguing to me. Ms. Joubert often tucked in amusing and mind-snagging Easter egg details such as the hairdresser “producing a comb from her ample bosom…” and a little later, “delved into her bosom again and produced a pair of scissors.” She was also rather gifted in stinging my eyes and burning my throat with her moving and heartrending narratives. I was captivated and engaged from the very beginning to the pleasantly satisfying end.