Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “A Young Wife” as Want to Read:
A Young Wife
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

A Young Wife

by
3.58 of 5 stars 3.58  ·  rating details  ·  675 ratings  ·  231 reviews
When fifteen-year-old Minke van Aisma travels to Amsterdam to care for the dying wife of an older, wealthy man named Sander DeVries, she has no idea what awaits her. Within hours of his wife's death, Sander proposes marriage, and within days the couple sets sail for the burgeoning oil fields of Argentina.

But the future that seemed so bright takes a dark turn the morning t

...more
Paperback, Advanced Reader's Edition, 352 pages
Published July 2011 by Simon & Schuster (first published June 14th 2011)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about A Young Wife, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about A Young Wife

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. RowlingHarry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. RowlingHarry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. RowlingDeadly Secrets by Angel SeferTo Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Five Stars
426th out of 1,168 books — 354 voters


More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,484)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Karen
I read this for Book of the Month Club as a pre-publication read and recommend it. It's due out in 7/11, so keep an eye out for it. I was unfamiliar with this author, but plan to read her previous books. This is the tale of a 14-year-old Dutch girl who is married off to an older man, whom her family declares is a "good catch." She has no idea what she is getting into. Although the coming of age story has been told many times, Ms. Lewis introduces us to Minke and the genre feels refreshed. She gr ...more
Tara Chevrestt
I think this story has a good plot and wraps up well in the end, but I didn't like any of the characters. They were a very hard group to like. Seems everyone except the heroine, Minke, is nasty and cruel.

In the beginning, Minke is a "nurse" for an invalid, skeleton like woman addicted to morphine. The rest of the household consists of Sander, a man old enough to be her father that seems to care not a whit about his dying wife, a daughter that steals her mother's drugs and wishes her dead, and a
...more
Flash Beagle
Absorbing - well written - a story spanning 3 continents.
When 15-year-old Minke first glimpses her future husband, she knows he is older, wealthy, and that it is her older sister, not Minke, who is expecting to be hired to nurse his dying wife. However, Mr. Sander DeVries is persuasive - Minke is the one he thinks is most suitable - and in spite of her objections she ends up in a household not in harmony: the daughter is jealous of Minke and does not get along with DeVries, the brother is earnes
...more
Shannon
I received an Advance Reader’s Edition of A Young Wife, by Pam Lewis, through a Goodreads giveaway. From the moment I began reading, I was completely engrossed. While mostly a serious read, it was also a quick read and very entertaining.

Minke van Aisma, 15 years old, is chosen by an older wealthy man to travel to Amsterdam to care for his dying wife. The day his wife dies, Sander DeVries proposed marriage to Minke within days they sail to Argentina. Minke doesn’t really know her husband’s busine
...more
Caitlin
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Patty Marion
I received Pam Lewis’ novel, A Young Wife, as a First Read. Lewis writes so well and the story is engaging. I was a couple of steps ahead of the main character Minke van Aisma throughout the book –but then she was only 15 years old (and I am not). Minke, a compassionate and devoted caretaker for her employer’s dying wife, is horrified when he proposes marriage on the same day his wife dies, but she gets over it pretty quickly and is swept into what she believes will be a wonderful life with a we ...more
Leah
I really loved the story. I would give it a five, but I didn't like the raunchiness of the sex talk. It's not much and there's no real sex scene apart from the first time, but Minke's mother talks to her about it and there is talk between Sander and Minke of the beginning of their marriage. I'm not against talking about sex. I just didn't like some of the words used. Call me prude, but I am what I am.

I feel so bad for Minke. She's surrounded by such awful people. I'm surprised her husband's uncl
...more
Kristen Scheidel
This book was...pleasant. It was an easy and quick read with a satisfying ending. The book opens with a young Dutch girl, Minke, being selected to go and care for a rich distant relative. She nurses her cousin but she ultimately dies under strange circumstances, and the poor womans husband proposes to Minke immediatly after. The tail follows her adventure after their marriage.

Lewis's writing keeps you reading, painting detailed but uncomplicated settings - allowing the reader to feel the mood of
...more
Sara
This is another book that I won through the FirstReads program and definitely a great read! In the Netherlands in 1912, at the age of 15, Minke is taken from her family to work as a nurse to a wealthy older man's dying wife. After she dies, he proposes to her and after Minke marries him, they sail to Argentina, where he's talked about the two of them starting up a new life in this soon-to-be prosperous place. It's a hard life there, and only a few years later, Minke finds herself following her h ...more
Hira
I have to admit, I first picked up this book MONTHS ago to read - but the narration was kind of stiff for me, and I put it down for another day. I picked it up recently, and forced myself to allow the narrative more time to develop, and you know what? I'm really glad I did that. Because once the story picked up - it completely whisked me away.

Minke is merely fifteen years old, and she goes to Amsterdam to take care of a sick woman, the spouse of a wealthy businessman. When the woman dies, much
...more
Katie
Now, this is a book that really had just about everything that you could want in a novel: murder, adultery, drugs, gambling, three different continents, love, marriage – and yet it is based on a true story. I really hope that 90% of what unfolds in the book actually didn’t happen. If they did – the woman the main character is based on must have been one tough woman.

There are very few novels that make me want to call in sick to work in order to finish, and "A Young Wife" was one of them. I actua
...more
Eric Wright
A Young Wife is a well written book that takes in into the early decade of the twentieth century in Holland, Argentina and New York. For that alone it is worth reading. The story follows a young woman, Minke, sent to Amsterdam to care for the dying wife of a relative. Upon her death the husband, Sander, proposes to her through her parents and within one day or two sails for a booming frontier town in the pampas of Argentina.

Why the sudden departure? What is Sander realling selling? How does opi
...more
Carly Thompson
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Trish
Won from first reads. Enjoyed reading the book. It was a little slow in the middle due to not being able to connect with the characters. They did not seem as developed as the characters in the first part and the last part of the book. Minke van Aisma was able to grow as a character through her journey with marriage and loss. She discovers what real love is and the story takes place in three different countries.
Sarah
I won an advanced reader's copy of this book from a Goodreads giveaway. I was intrigued with this story upon reading the synopsis of it here on Goodreads.
A Young Wife is the story of Minke who leaves her home to become the live-in caretaker of the terminally ill wife of the wealthy Sander De Vries. Upon the demise of his wife, Sander asks for Minke's hand in marriage and whisks her away to Argentina. As Minke settles into married life in a new country she begins to understand that her new husba
...more
Elizabeth
This novel starts off with the main character, Minke, leaving her parents to be the nurse of a dying distant relative. Once she has died, the woman's widower proposes marriage, and asks her to accompany him to Argentina. There she experiences the south america version of the United States "Wild West" and struggles with a new life and new family, notably the birth of her son.

What I enjoyed about this novel was the obvious joy and wonderment in life found in the main character Minke. She thorough
...more
Wendy
4 star book here. There was some heartwrenching parts, keep me on the edge of my seat parts, and then the could not go to bed until I knew how it all ended - part. I won this book and am very glad that I did, not knowing if this is a book that my library will purchase. The book itself has a lot of whirlwind action, all taking place within about three years. Minke is summoned to nurse a sick distant relative - who dies not long after. Within days she is married to her boss (the husband of the dec ...more
Susan Highland
Jun 05, 2011 Susan Highland rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes triumph over hardship.
I love this book! The cover is amazing! I took it with me to a doctor's appointment, and the receptionist said she wants to decorate a room around it! It's embossed, and quite expensive looking for a paperback!

Now for the inside! So far, it's a book you don't want to stop reading! I've been busy lately, and I've had to set it aside, but I'll resume today and tomorrow. The style of writing is easy to read, and the author has woven a mix of interesting characters together.

I couldn't put it down! I
...more
Susan Highland
Jun 04, 2011 Susan Highland rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes triumph over hardship.
Recommended to Susan by: I won this book on Goodreads!
I love this book! The cover is amazing! I took it with me to a doctor's appointment, and the receptionist said she wants to decorate a room around it! It's embossed, and quite expensive looking for a paperback!

Now for the inside! So far, it's a book you don't want to stop reading! I've been busy lately, and I've had to set it aside, but I'll resume today and tomorrow. The style of writing is easy to read, and the author has woven a mix of interesting characters together.

Stay tuned!

OK! I couldn't
...more
Paul Pessolano
“A Young Wife” by Pam Lewis, published by Simon and Schuster.

Category – Fiction/Literature

Pam Lewis has written two splendid mysteries, “Speak Softly, She Can Hear” and “Perfect Family”. For “A Young Wife” she has loosely based the story on the life of her maternal grandmother.

The story begins in the Netherlands, and a young girl, Minke van Aism, is chosen over her sister, Fenna, by Sander DeVries to be a nurse to his dying wife Elizabeth.

Minke becomes an integral part of the DeVries household a
...more
Kasia Hubbard
*I won this on Goodreads* WOW! What an incredible story. I simply could not put this book down. I find it amazing that this is (loosely) based on Pam Lewis's grandmother's life. What a journey. The story starts out with Minke, a fifteen year old girl, who is supposed to stay hidden as a wealthy gentleman comes to her home to hire her older sister to care for his ailing wife. Curiosity overcomes Minke as she tries to spy on the meeting. Sander spots her and calls her out of hiding, picking Minke ...more
Niko Ramsey
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kelsey
Minke, the protagonist of this novel, is from a small fishing village in Holland, and she marries a man from Amsterdam and moves to Argentina. That's basically all I can say about her. I don't know her likes or dislikes, her strange quirks, or much of anything else about her. I can't guess how she would react to a situation. Because she didn't feel human to me, I didn't really care what happened to her. Because of that, and because the language was nothing special that I could lose myself in, I ...more
Samara
I was very fortunate in receiving a first reads copy of this book that I would describe as raw, descriptive and unbridled. I LOVE an author that has the audacity to say what they will with no worries. This book seemed uncensored to me and it was great.
I loved that this story spanned across multiple countries and that our heroine is so genuine to the time period she is set in. I've seen many historicals lately that have characters that are, well, out of character. I also love that we see so much
...more
Stephanie
A Young Wife is about Minke, a fifteen year old Dutch girl who is chosen to look after Sandor's dying wife Elisabeth. Elisabeth passes away under mysterious circumstances, and suddenly Minke finds herself married to Sandor who is old enough to be her father and on a ship bound to South America. She knows very little about Sandor but knows that he has a way of making her feel incredible. But Sandor is not all he seems, and soon Minke finds her life being torn apart piece by piece, starting with t ...more
Julia Reed
I could not put this book down, the story was too intense! You'll want to keep going until the final page.

A Young Wife, loosely based (very loosely) on the life of the author's grandmother, is the story of Minke van Aisma, a young Dutch girl who in 1912 is sent by her parents to work in the household of a distant relation in Amsterdam. Her job is to nurse the master's wife, who is dying of some cancer-like illness, surrounded by her indifferent children and her seemingly loving, but mysterious
...more
Shannon
The premise of the story sounds great and the fact that is based on the author's grandmother adds extra interest at first. Then you meet the main character, Minke, and you continue to find out about her and then you realize, not only is she a young wife, but she is also pretty damn gullible and willfully naive.
For me, the beginning of the book held the most promise but then it felt as if everything was wrapped up nicely at the end with only a minimal amount of struggle. There are several place
...more
Michelle
I received an advance reader's edition of "A Young Wife" by Pam Lewis for free through Goodreads First Reads.

It's the early 1900s and fifteen year old Minke van Aisma travels with the wealthy Sander DeVries to Amsterdam to care for his dying wife. Sander, considerably older than Minke, proposes to Minke within hours of his wife's death. The couple boards a ship sailing to Argentina to start a new, prosperous life. But what Minke faces is much heartache starting with the kidnapping of their beau
...more
Kristin
I liked the book well enough, but it didn't quite live up to my expectations. The summary leads leads one to expect this great saga, and this story is not a saga. The main characters, yes, visit three different continents, but I wouldn't say that they are in each of the continents for any great period of time, and the stories told in each place are not complicated or developed enough to in any way suggest a "saga". In Amsterdam we're talking a number of weeks. In Argentina a year, and similarly ...more
Courtney
This book has it all - betrayal, love, murder, sex, drugs, greed, good guys, bad guys, world travel, and even gauchos - in just 300 pages. I was drawn in to the story early on and enjoyed it through the very last page. Minke endures so much during these three years of her young life and her age and small-town simplicity add much to the story. Many times I became frustrated with her and her actions, I had to keep reminding myself she is only 16 years old!

My reason for 4 instead of 5 stars is I f
...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 82 83 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Broken Promises: A Novel of the Civil War
  • Born Under a Lucky Moon: A Novel
  • The Blackberry Bush
  • Freedom's Sword
  • Madame Bovary's Daughter
  • The Sandalwood Tree
  • Dominance
  • The Mistress's Revenge
  • Following Polly
  • An African Affair: A Novel
  • Well of Sorrows (Well of Sorrows, #1)
  • Before Versailles: A Novel of Louis XIV
  • The Great Leap-Fraud: Social Economics of Religious Terrorism, Volume 1, Judaism and Christianity
  • A Love by Any Measure
  • The Dolphin People
  • This Burns My Heart
  • Prophecy-The Fulfillment
  • The Companion (Lizzie Martin, #1)
45876
I was a city girl, born in Burbank California to a pair of ambitious parents who moved the family every few years as my father sought greater responsibilities in the then-bourgeoning aviation industry. We finally settled in New York City long enough for me to attend high school. I was shy, too tall too soon, and only excelled at school when I finally set my sights on Stanford University and squeak ...more
More about Pam Lewis...
Speak Softly, She Can Hear Perfect Family Spreek zacht Making a Wildflower Meadow: The Definitive Guide to Grassland Gardening

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »