ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Melanie Dobson is the award-winning author of The Black Cloister; Love Finds You in Liberty, Indiana; and Together for Good, and she has now authored nine contemporary and historical novels including Love Finds You in Nazareth, Pennsylvania which releases in November 2011.
Prior to launching Dobson Media Group in 1999, Melanie was the corporate publicity manager at Focus on the Family where she was responsible for the publicity of events, products, films, and TV specials. Melanie received her undergraduate degree in journalism from Liberty University and her master's degree in communication from Regent University. She has worked in the fields of publicity and journalism for fifteen years including two years as a publicist for The Family Channel.
Melanie and her husband, Jon, met in Colorado Springs in 1997 at Vanguard Church. Jon works in the field of computer animation. Since they've been married, the Dobsons have relocated numerous times including stints in Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina, Colorado, Berlin, and Southern California. These days they are enjoying their new home in the Pacific Northwest.
Jon and Melanie have adopted their two daughters —Karly (6) and Kinzel (5). When Melanie isn't writing or entertaining their girls, she enjoys exploring ghost towns and dusty back roads, traveling, hiking, line dancing, and reading inspirational fiction.
ABOUT THE BOOK
With a backdrop of the community of The Amana Colonies, the Civil War, and a great love story, Melanie Dobson’s new historical fiction title LOVE FINDS YOU IN AMANA, IOWA both enlightening and entertaining.
The novel is set in the United States during the turmoil of the 1860s. As the rest of the nation is embroiled in the Civil War, the Amana Colonies have remained at peace with a strong faith in God and pursuit of community, intertwined with hard work, family life and the building of their colony.
Amalie Wiese is travelling to the newly built village of Amana in 1863. When she arrives in the colonies she finds that her fiancée, Friedrich has left to fight with the Union Army. Amalie fears for his safety as she also struggles with his decision to abandon the colony’s beliefs. Matthias, Frederick’s friend, stays back in Amana to work in the colonies. But there is something wrong with Matthias; he always seems angry at Amalie when there is no simple explanation for him to act that way.
The goods that colonies manufacture are much needed supplies for the war effort and Matthias decides to deliver the goods to the soldiers. When he leaves, Amalie realizes that her fear for Matthias’s safety is equally as strong. What will become of Friedrich, will Matthias return safely, and will Amalie marry Friedrich? LOVE FINDS YOU IN AMANA, IOWA is a richly told story of life in the Amana Society and the people who live and love there.
If you would like to read the first chapter of Love Finds You in Amana, Iowa, go HERE.
“Love Finds You in Amana, Iowa” is a love story (ha! that might be obvious ;-), a story of courage and triumph and a story of overcoming life’s obstacles, some of which we tend to create.
The book starts off from the viewpoint of three characters, the heroine and what seems to be two heroes. This always throws me a little bit, because I’m unsure which one the heroine is going to “go with”, but I also love this plot twist and I personally think it makes the ending more unpredictable.
The story included one of my favorite eras of American history, the Civil War. I loved the scenes from the viewpoint of Friedrich as he fights in the Union army and his struggles of coming from the peace loving Amanas to a bloody war.
There is great tension between Amalie and Matthias, though it can prove to be frustrating at times as they work through struggles they allowed to crop their way.
Though the story was good, I found there were times my mind would wander. Not for long and I would quickly come back to the story, but it wasn’t quite the “escape” I search for in a book.
But I still think this is a good book. It has a great setting, unique character background and a sweet love story that fits well into the “Love Finds You” line.
This review is my honest opinion. Thanks to the publishers through CFBA for my copy to review.