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
Open Preview

A Young Wife (Legend of St Dwynwen #1)

by
3.57  ·  Rating details ·  858 Ratings  ·  248 Reviews
Amsterdam, 1912.

When fifteen-year-old Minke Van Aisma travels to Amsterdam to care for the dying wife of a wealthy man, she has no idea what adventures await her. Within hours of his wife’s death, her employer proposes marriage, and within days the couple has set sail for the oil fields of Argentina. They settle in the rough coastal town of Comodoro Rivadavia, where Minke
...more
Hardcover, 289 pages
Published June 14th 2011 by Simon & Schuster
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

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
|
Filter
Kim
Jul 04, 2017 rated it liked it
3.5 stars, this was good! Pam Lewis is a good storyteller.
Karen
Jan 15, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Chelsie
Jul 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: on-my-shelves
I really enjoyed this loosely based, true story. I enjoyed reading about Argentina and what it was like coming to the USA thinking it was the land of opportunity for everyone. Well written, and it held your attention for all of what was happening within the story.
Shannon
Jul 07, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads, own
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
Jan 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
M.L.
Jun 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Sara
Jun 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Patty Marion
Jun 01, 2011 rated it liked it
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
Hira
May 19, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Kristen Scheidel
Oct 19, 2011 rated it liked it
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
Leah
Jun 07, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: free-won
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
Katie
Jun 03, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
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
May 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads-won
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.
JackyC
Feb 16, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: l-fiction
A little slow in the beginning, perhaps of the historical theme. Had to complete to find out the ending. Although fiction, learned a little about immigrating into other countries.
Colleen Turner
May 23, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: first-read
I received this book as an advanced read from goodreads.com.

Young Minke van Aisma is excited and intrigued when a strange man, apparently a distant cousin, comes to their small fishing village in The Netherlands see about Minke's sister, Fenna, going with him to Amsterdam to take care of his ailing wife. One look at Minke and Sander DeVries decides to take her instead. She instantly begins to care for Elizabeth DeVries and is enthralled by her stories of Argentina, of the gauchos and great light
...more
Niko Ramsey
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Julie Smith (Knitting and Sundries)
This review first appeared on my blog: http://www.knittingandsundries.com/20...

The inspiration for this story was the author's own grandmother, who was "hired at fifteen to tend a dying relative in the home of my then thirty-five-year old grandfather, that he took her to South America to start a store there, that their union was a scandal in the tiny town where she lived, that he ultimately abandoned her with four young daughters ...."

In this novel Sander DeVries pays a visit to the home of Mink
...more
Stephanie
Jun 12, 2011 rated it liked it
Recommended to Stephanie by: Goodreads
Shelves: first-reads
Just then came whooping sounds at a distance, and they rushed outside to see what was happening. They were met with an otherworldly sight that she would remember clearly for the rest of her life. A bright orange halo lay to the west with a more brilliant orange center. Fires. Five or six small ones and one very large – all sending out arcs and pinwheels of blazing sparks into the black sky. In all her life, she’s never seen so much fire or heard such sounds. She didn’t know if the sounds were an ...more
Heidi
May 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I was so fortunate to be selected to receive this book through Goodreads First Reads program. I received the Advanced Reader's Edition of the book. The publication date of A Young Wife will be June 14.

Minke is just fifteen years old when she is hired to care for Elisabeth van Aisma, a wealthy woman who is dying. The arrangement is made between her parents, who live in a small town in the Netherlands, and Elisabeth's husband Sander. Once naive Minke meets Sander her life will never be the same.

A
...more
Julia Reed
Jun 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
JudiAnne
Jun 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing
A Young Wife is a fascinating read from the first page to the last. The story is based on the author's grandmother's life, starting in Holland in 1912, and what an interesting life it was. Minke is a 15 year old Dutch girl who was hired by her distant cousin to nurse his wife during her last days. When she comes to their great house in Amsterdam, she finds that she has a sympathetic connection to Elizabeth, the dying wife. The wife dies and immediately Sander, Elizabeth's husband, hurriedly asks ...more
Eshita
I received this book through the Goodreads Giveaway and I'm glad I entered to win it because I honestly wouldn't have gone out of my way to find this book, which would have sucked since I loved it.

I don't want to give too much away, so here's a general overview: The book centers around Minke, a 15 girl from a poor family. She is quickly married off to a wealthy man and joins him on his journey to Argentina. There, she makes a few friends and becomes a mother. Soon after, she is forced to leave b
...more
Paul Pessolano
Jun 05, 2011 rated it really liked it
“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
Michelle
Jun 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
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
Jun 09, 2012 rated it liked it
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
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
Reanne
Jun 02, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: firstreads
Literary fiction isn't really my genre, so maybe I'm not the best person to review this. Still, it kept me fairly interested throughout, even if there was nothing about it I really loved. I didn't especially like the main character. I didn't dislike her, I felt bad for her and her situations, but there wasn't really anything about the character herself that made me like her. Cassian is a good example of a guy who's a nice guy, but not really a good guy. It was a little annoying that everyone tre ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • An African Affair
  • Well of Sorrows (Well of Sorrows, #1)
  • The Katyn Order
  • This Burns My Heart
  • Prophecy-The Fulfillment
  • Born Under a Lucky Moon
  • The Mistress's Revenge
  • The Blackberry Bush
  • Forex Frontiers "The Essentials of Currency Trading"
  • Broken Promises
  • The Sandalwood Tree
  • Dominance
  • Down from Cascom Mountain: A Novel
  • Following Polly
  • The Angel of Blythe Hall: A Historical Novel
  • The Heart Specialist
  • The Great Leap-Fraud: Social Economics of Religious Terrorism, Volume 1, Judaism and Christianity
  • Miss Hildreth Wore Brown:  Anecdotes of a Southern Belle
29 followers
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

Fiction Deals

  • Mercy Among the Children
    $14.99 $1.99
  • Darkness There: Selected Tales by Edgar Allan Poe [Kindle in Motion]
    $1.99 $0.99
  • An Empty Cup
    $3.99 $1.99
  • I Like You Just Fine When You're Not Around
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Abby's Journey
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Underground River
    $12.99 $2.99
  • The Word Game
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Fraulein M.
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Lost Girls of Camp Forevermore
    $11.99 $2.99
  • Sister of Mine
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Bury What We Cannot Take
    $5.99 $2.99
  • Chomp
    $6.99 $1.99
  • Searching for Grace Kelly
    $15.99 $1.99
  • Bricking It
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Fifth of March: A Story of the Boston Massacre (Great Episodes)
    $8.99 $2.99
  • Starfish
    $10.99 $1.99
  • Thunder and Rain
    $9.99 $2.99
  • All Grown Up
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Light of Hidden Flowers
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Olive's Ocean
    $6.99 $1.99
  • Ecstasy
    $13.99 $1.99
  • The Elephant Keeper's Daughter
    $5.99 $2.99
  • The Virtues of Oxygen
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Home to Harmony (Harmony #1)
    $11.14 $1.99
  • Dog Crazy
    $7.99 $1.99
  • The Towers of Tuscany
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Noticer: Sometimes, all a person needs is a little perspective
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Who We Were Before
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Reluctant Midwife (Hope River, #2)
    $10.49 $1.99
  • Sin No More (Reverend Curtis Black)
    $10.39 $1.99
  • The List
    $7.99 $2.99
  • Lost & Found
    $5.74 $1.99
  • A Watershed Year
    $3.99 $0.99
  • Savage
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Designer
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Novice: A Story of True Love
    $10.74 $1.99
  • Go Away Home
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Leaving of Things
    $4.49 $1.99
  • Train I Ride
    $6.99 $1.99
  • We'll Always Have Paris: Stories
    $9.99 $1.99
  • The Hidden Flower
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Greyhound
    $3.99 $0.99
  • The Heart Mender: A Story of Second Chances
    $9.99 $1.99
  • This Burns My Heart
    $10.99 $1.99
  • The Journeys of Socrates
    $10.99 $1.99
  • Annie on My Mind
    $9.99 $1.20
  • An Absent Mind
    $4.49 $1.99
  • The Book of Ruth
    $18.99 $1.99
  • Smoke
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Sisterhood of Blackberry Corner
    $7.99 $1.99
  • The Covenant
    $11.99 $2.99
  • Digging In
    $5.99 $2.99
  • The Confessions of Catherine de Medici
    $11.99 $12.99
  • The Traveling Vampire Show
    $3.99 $0.99
  • The Long Way Home
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Going Home
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Girl in the Glass
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Super Sad True Love Story
    $11.99 $2.99
  • Prayers and Lies
    $14.99 $1.99
  • Go the F**k to Sleep
    $8.99 $1.99
  • Fat Chance
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Just a Couple of Days
    $17.99 $1.99
  • The Boleyn Inheritance (The Tudor Court, #3)
    $12.99 $2.99
  • The Daughter of Union County
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Fighting Ground
    $6.49 $1.99
  • The Sugar Men
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Last Storyteller: A Novel Of Ireland
    $11.99 $1.99
  • The Sleepwalker's Guide to Dancing
    $5.99 $1.99
  • Vengeance Road
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Every Note Played
    $11.99 $3.99
  • Asymmetry
    $13.99 $3.99
  • The Rules of Magic
    $11.99 $4.99
  • Mrs. Fletcher
    $12.99 $3.99
  • The Optimist's Guide to Letting Go
    $11.99 $3.99
  • Ungifted
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Julie of the Wolves
    $6.99 $1.99
  • Mrs. Saint and the Defectives
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Stiltsville: A Novel
    $10.99 $1.99
  • To the Bright Edge of the World
    $11.99 $2.99
  • The Patriots
    $11.99 $1.99
  • The Flicker of Old Dreams
    $9.99 $1.99
  • All the Good Parts
    $3.99 $1.99
  • At Risk
    $17.99 $1.99
  • A Scattered Life
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Every Ugly Word
    $3.99 $1.99
  • A Memory of Violets: A Novel of London's Flower Sellers
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Desert God (Ancient Egypt, #5)
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Bloody Jack: Being an Account of the Curious Adventures of Mary "Jacky" Faber, Ship's Boy (Bloody Jack, #1)
    $8.99 $2.99
  • The Woman Who Breathed Two Worlds (Malayan #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • An Amish Buggy Ride
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Old Yeller
    $6.99 $1.99
  • The Secret Healer (The Secret Healer #1)
    $3.49 $0.99
  • Elizabeth Street
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Gates of Rome (Emperor, #1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Unkillable Kitty O'Kane
    $4.99 $1.99
  • It Is Well
    $4.99 $1.99
  • A Sinful Calling (Reverend Curtis Black #13)
    $9.99 $2.99
  • On a Cold Dark Sea
    $4.99 $1.99
  • My Lady Viper (Tales from the Tudor Court #1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Kings of Broken Things
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Edward Adrift
    $4.49 $1.99
  • The Restaurant Critic's Wife
    $3.99 $1.99
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »