Book Review: Wings Like A Dove

9 Dec

Can the invisible walls that separate people ever come down?

In 1933, Anna Leibowicz is convinced that the American dream that brought her Jewish family here from Poland is nothing but an illusion. Her father has vanished. Her dreams of college can’t make it past the sweat-shop door. And when she discovers to her shame and horror that she’s with child, her mother gives her little choice but to leave her family. Deciding her best course of action is to try to find her father, she strikes out…hoping against hope to somehow redeem them both.

When Anna stumbles upon a house full of orphan boys in rural Indiana who are in desperate need of a tutor, she agrees to postpone her journey. But she knows from the moment she meets their contemplative, deep-hearted caretaker, Thomas Chandler, that she doesn’t dare risk staying too long. She can’t afford to open her heart to them, to him. She can’t risk letting her secrets out.

All too soon, the townspeople realize she’s not like them and treat her with the same disdain they give the Sisters of Mercy — the nuns who help Thomas and the boys — and Samuel, the quiet colored boy Thomas has taken in. With the Klan presence in the town growing ever stronger and the danger to this family increasing the longer she stays, Anna is torn between fleeing to keep them safe . . . and staying to fight beside them.

Oh, that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest . . .

Camille Eide writes more than a romance with her tender tales of love, faith, and family for those who enjoy inspirational romance and women’s fiction. Her novel, The Memoir of Johnny Devine, was awarded 5 Gold Stars/Top Pick, Best Inspirational Romance, & the December Seal of Excellence from RT Book Reviews, and Oregon Christian Writers’ Best Historical Fiction.

Please visit Camille’s website at http://www.camilleeide.com.

 

My Impressions:

When I learned that Camille Eide had a new book coming out, I knew I would have to read it. I read The Memoir of Johnny Devine, and loved it! It was a book that I kept thinking about long after it was finished. Well, I now have another book to ponder and to recommend to anyone who will listen. Wings Like A Dove is an historical/romance novel set in the 1930s. Eide captures the era perfectly with its hoboes on the move, tough economic times, and the persistent bigotry and suspicion that met anyone who was different. This was an America I didn’t know much about, revealing not only the evils within, but the heroic spirit that can overcome that evil. And in case you are wondering, its message is very relevant for us today. Wings Like A Dove earns a highly recommended rating.

Anna Leibowicz has many things against her — she’s an immigrant, Jewish, and an unwed mother. Facing shame and hopelessness she embarks on a journey to find her missing father. But a wrong turn lands her in small town Indiana where she finds purpose in teaching 6 children in need of mothering. But while Anna finds a home in the unusual household, she also faces extreme prejudice, intimidation, and threats. The small town of Corbin doesn’t welcome anyone who is different from them.

The 1933 setting of a small farming community in Indiana was an eye-opener to me. I am from the South where history can be a very painful thing to face. Yet, I didn’t know that extreme prejudice against others — black, immigrant, Jew, Catholic — existed across America. Ignorant or naive, I am not sure which I was, but I am glad that I read Wings Like A Dove to begin to understand the history of bigotry that existed in other regions of America. And while that aspect of the book was difficult to read, its strong message of forgiveness and redemption covers all the ugliness portrayed. Characterization is strong in the novel. The story is told in a third person narrative, and through letters from Anna to her sister back in New York. The two combined created a whole picture of what Anna felt and faced. She, along with the other characters — Thomas, young Samuel, neighbor Sarah, and the Sisters Mary — were wonderfully written. I appreciated Eide’s depiction of the antagonists as well. They were not faceless, but became real to this reader. Shame is a strong theme within the novel. Anna’s view of God and herself slowly changes as she faces grace and acceptance. And I loved the coming together of people from different faith backgrounds — Jewish, Catholic, and Baptist — in standing up for each other and what was right.

Wings Like A Dove is an emotionally charged novel, not easily read. It is, however, one you will be so happy you did. Eide provided great historical detail in the afterword and insightful discussion questions. You will be glad of that, because you will want to share your reading experience. Grab some reading friends or your book club and dig in!

Highly Recommended.

Great for Book Clubs.

Audience: adults.

(Thanks to the author for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

 

 

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