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The Crooked Path

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  510 ratings  ·  137 reviews
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
Paperback, 398 pages
Published November 7th 2017 by Thomas Nelson (first published August 15th 2011)
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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 an
Suzanne Leopold
Lettie Low grew up in South Africa feeling inferior to her girlfriends. She didn’t possess their beauty or their slim figures. She had many crushes on boys but was always overlooked and left heartbroken. Being the daughter of the town’s only doctor, she threw herself into her studies and joined his practice after college. She had given up on new relationships until she met a patient from Italy named Marco Romanelli.

Marco Romanelli is plagued with bouts of pneumonia which he acquired during the
Deanne Patterson
I haven't read a book this amazing in a long time! Beautifully described historically by author Irma Joubert I could feel all the historical research she has put into the delightful details. This was my total reading pleasure. The book really comes full circle from beginning to end. Lettie is a shy and awkward young woman with not a lot of confidence in her appearance. One thing she does have confidence in is her doctoring skills as she works with only the best, her father who teaches her how to ...more
Apr 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This author has a gift for being able to touch the deepest places of your heart though her stories. This is the third book I've read by Joubert and I've felt the same with each one. There are many things to love about this book. The two things that stood out the most were the Italian cultural aspects and the human relationships. I love reading about the Italian culture. The food and history are fascinating. The Italian men are more emotional and affectionate. The visit to Italy was a literary tr ...more
Jun 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
About the Book

As retired physician Lettie Louw looks back upon her life, she recounts her coming of age in WWII-era South Africa in this compelling story of delayed love, loss, and reconciliation.

Lettie Louw is the daughter of the town physician in their South African village. She spends her childhood in the warm African days playing with her friends and being adored by her doting parents. When she becomes a teenager, she experiences her first taste of unrequited romantic love in the form of her
Mar 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2017
This the third novel by South African Author Irma Joubert translated from Afrikaans into English. As with the first two novels, The Crooked Path spans many years and is full of historical detail.

In particular it was interesting to learn about the origin of contact lenses and the term paparazzi. Main character Lettie is in the medical field and readers learn about the beginnings of penicillin and the spread of polio.

My favorite part of the novel occurred during the first third of the novel. I ad
Katy (Katyslibrary)
Nov 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Thank you so much TLC Book Tours and Thomas Nelson publishing for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review and for having me on this book tour!

A beautiful and inspiring story that left me in tears, I won't soon forget the love between an Italian teacher and his South African doctor nor the crooked path that led them to each other.  I rate this story 4 our of 5 stars!

" sometimes leads you along a strange crooked path, but in the end it will always take you where you'
DJ Sakata
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
Dec 19, 2017 rated it liked it
"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 wordsmith. Her writing style is top notch and flows well, making it easy to read. The setting in this
Kerry Johnson
Dec 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I treasured yet another touching story by author Irma Joubert. Her storytelling and characters always leave a mark on my heart--they're not perfect but their lives and journeys are difficult and beautiful. And the rich historical details makes me feel like I'm right there with the characters.

The Girl From the Train is still my favorite, but The Crooked Path--particularly the relationship between Lettie & Marco--was a lovely reading experience.

4.5 stars. I highly recommend this author and h
Nov 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
This is Irma Joubert at her finest! Emotionally raw and compelling. This author is able to draw a story that goes through many years of the characters lives and make you believe you truly lived each step of the way with them.
Annastasia Etheredge
Apr 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
It was a good book overall. I loved how the book told the entire story of their lives. But on flip side there were so many characters it was hard to keep them all straight in my head. Also at the beginning where it tells you the list of characters it gives the story away telling you the ones that had kids together, that was very disappointing.
Feb 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book was so amazing. I cried which I never have in all my 16 years! Irma Joubert is now one of my all-time favourite writers!
Fiction Aficionado
I’ve been wanting to read one of Irma Joubert’s books for some time now, so when I was given the opportunity to review The Crooked Path, I snapped it up. I’ll admit it took me a couple of chapters to get into the story, because it begins with a lot of narrative that provides a summary of Lettie’s childhood through to attending university during WWII. It may have been partly the fact that this novel is translated to English from the original language (Dutch or Afrikaans—I’m not sure which), but t ...more
Apr 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Vir my die mooiste (en die hartseerste met tye) boek van die trilogie. Irma Joubert toor met woorde.
Feb 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
Sometimes life leads you along a strange crooked path, but in the end it will always take you where you're supposed to be.

A delightful character driven book that begins before World War II. Where hope and promise is all that you cling to. Lettie Louw is surrounded by good friends, she is studious and loyal but does not see love in her future. She practices medicine with her father in South Africa. Her life takes a turn when Marco Romanelli comes to South Africa after the war. He suffers from we
Oct 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved, loved this book. Everything from the location of South Africa to the storyline, and the characters. The author found the magic touch striking the right balance with all of these elements. A treasured read!

The story starts out with Marco fleeing with his love and her family. They barely survive to be captured by the Germans. Once freed, Marco is the only one to be alive. He travels to South Africa to be with his brother. In this opening section of the story, I got to meet Marc
“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, she replied.”
-Lettie Romanelli

Irma Joubert’s latest tale once again draws the reader to the complex life of South Africa during WWII. Readers of her previous novel, Child of the River, will find many of the same characters in this book along with many new ones. The story begins in Italy in 1939 and revolves around Marco Romanelli and the Rozenfeld
April Jones
Apr 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This author has a wonderful way of drawing you into the characters' lives and making you feel attached to them. It was an emotional journey of love, loss, and new love, friendship and family. I am impressed by how this story intertwines with Child of the River, yet Lettie's story is entirely different from that of Persomi. I want to go back and read both books again.
Nov 11, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another day, and this time a book about Italian prisoners of war meeting South African doctors. This book was an interesting read: set in a part of the world that we perhaps don’t think about when it comes to the Second World War, or its aftermath. The result is a book that can be, at times, heartbreaking.
The Crooked Path is mainly about two people: Marco Romanelli and Lettie Louw, two people who grow up on the opposite sides of the world- though characters from Joubert’s other novels also pop u
This and other reviews can be found at

Thank you to TLC Tours for the opportunity to be part of this blog tour. Irma Joubert is a new author to me. I have seen her books around but have never read anything before and was anxious to read The Crooked Path.

The book opened up with Lettie where we learn of her early years in South Africa, I have to admit I was not drawn in right away, I found her character and the writing a bit stilted and I had a hard time liking her. Then the
Nora St Laurent
Jan 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
I was mesmerized, engaged and surprised by this authors’ compelling novel titled, “The Girl From the Train.” I couldn’t wait to read another book by her. This book showed a different look at the persecution of the Jews that took place in Italy during WWII. The author says, “All my historical novels are based on true stories people have told me.” Knowing this makes the story an even more compelling read.

This book was set up differently than most books I’ve read. The author first lists a cast of c
Christian Fiction Addiction
From a young age, Lettie has felt like she doesn't measure up to those around her. Though she finds some success in her life by becoming a doctor, she is convinced that when it comes to matters of the heart, that romance is always going to pass her by. Marco is a survivor of the horrors of World War II, barely making it through the war with his life intact. When Marco moves to South Africa for the benefits of the temperate climate for his fragile health, he becomes Lettie's first patient after s ...more
Andrea Guy
I've been in the mood for emotional reads. It didn't take very long to know that The Crooked Path is definitely one of those books. I cried my way through this one.

As you are introduced to Lettie, you really feel her inadequacy, even though she is a very smart woman. Her friends are always making her feel that she isn't up to snuff because she's not as beautiful or wealthy or popular as her other friends. It doesn't help that she has a crush on a guy that would never look at her in the way that
Lydia (Overweight Bookshelf)
I had hit a stalemate in my quest for an inspirational historical romance that would digress from the tried and true and push me out my comfort zone in terms of setting and character arc. The Crooked Path found its way on to my bookshelf and immediately enticed me with its promise of new landscapes and the scope of time covered.

A story of unrequited love, crisis of identity and worth, tragedy and loss all set against the backdrop of pre- to post-WWII, The Crooked Path grounds itself in human exp
Analeigh Eiser
Jan 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I adored this book! It was super emotional which I figured out from the beginning. It was an emotional roller coaster and I was spot on. My favorite story within the book was Lettie and Marco’s. There love for one another went deeper than any other relationship they had in their lives. It was a beautiful love. They understood one another without having to say a word to each other. It’s hard for me at times when reading a book to go from a time in life, to the next. I get emotionally invested in ...more
Jackie Lane
Dec 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I truly enjoyed this book and the setting of it as well.

Lettie longed for someone she couldn't have, she felt inferior to all of her friends, but worked twice as hard to compensate. She studies hard and becomes a doctor, following in her father's footsteps.

Marco, having spent a majority of the war in the hills, has diminished health and his lungs are not strong. He moves to South Africa for a better climate, where he meets Lettie.

(view spoiler)
Dee/ bookworm
Jul 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.

This book was hauntingly beautiful. Such anguish and such happiness. What a journey!!
Apr 01, 2018 rated it it was ok
While it had some good historical aspects and I liked that it has a lot of the same characters as The Child from the River, this was a rough read for me...pretty heavy and so sad at times, though hopeful.
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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.