After three long months at sea, Helga Heinrich and her four children sail into the thriving Indianola seaport on the Texas coast in 1853 to begin their new life. They are determined to overcome the memory and haunting legacy of Max, her husband and their papa, who drowned in a drunken leap from the dock as their ship pulled away from the German port.
Helga is anxious to b...more
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3/22 /2014 - after the first chapter I excitedly invited my husband to share this book with me. It has been a long time since I read aloud to him. The last book was "Cold Mountain". Even though reading aloud slows me down we are both enjoying the tale, the characters and the setting of this book.
3/26/2014 - This reading out loud is not working for me. ...more
The author says in her acknowledgement that t ...more
Set in the period 1853 to 1886 in the former town of Indianola on the Texas Gulf Coast, this book tells a fascinating tale of German immigrants and how they adapted to a difficult new life. They confront slavery on Day One, live through the turmoil leading up to the Civil War, suffer great losses during the war, survive reconstruction, and bravely forge new lives. That is, those who survived.
Characters are vividly presented, and their stories of struggle and trium ...more
They are correct about corn bread mixed in cold buttermilk, delicious and my favorite!
I really, really loved this book. Thanks so much, Ms. McIlvain for writing it. It was fun to see names of towns and places I have known all my life. I was born in Corpus Christi and now live close to Galveston so all this history was taking place right here where I live.
I won this book in a goodreads giveaway. I always love historical fiction so was happy to be able to read and review this book. It kept me interested from the first page. It is hard to believe how hard it was for familie ...more
Summary: A german family moves to a gulf coast town in Texas in 1853. They live through a turbulent time in history, including diseases, hurricanes, and a civil war. The family struggles through good times and bad up to the year 1886.
This book has all the sappiness of a twilight book. The characters are excessively good people with one flaw assigned to each of them, sometimes a ve...more
I really enjoyed this book..Myra Hargrave Mcilvain did a great job describing the characters and the town they lived in. Family tragedy at the beginning and the trials and tribulations of a family working very hard just to survive. Reading how lives changed and interacted with one another made this an enjoyable and sometimes sad read. If you like fictional history, you will like this book.
I would rate this 4.25 - 4.5 stars. If you enjoy historical fiction, this book is for you. The author kept a wonderful balance/blend of history & storyline. I loved her characters. Just wonderful. You really get to know everyone. Towards the end I would have liked to have read a tad less of dinner conversations and a little more about Helga's travel to San Antonio. This book was an absolute pleasure to read.
I liked the Gulf Coast setting of this story. The family that ran Stein House was likable, and the Stein House residents were all so different. I especially liked the Captain and Joseph. The characters weather Civil War, Reconstruction, financial crises, and storms. A bit too much exposition makes the dialogue sound a bit stilted at times; else I'd have rated this well researched book higher. Also, my Kindle edition was linked to Wikipedia in Arabic, which I do ...more
I'm always amazed by stories of immigrants to our country. What hardships and losses they faced! I enjoyed reading this saga of a family who were an important part of the thriving town of Indianola on the Texas coast. I could almost hear the wind howling as they endured the storms that racked the town and threatened to destroy their dreams. This book does a good job of combining fact and fiction and producing lovable characters. A fast, easy read.