Thursday, August 20, 2015

A Fireproof Home for the Bride

A Fireproof Home for the Bride
by Amy Scheibe

Genre: Historical Fiction

Synopsis:  Emmaline Nelson and her sister Birdie grow up in the hard, cold rural Lutheran world of strict parents, strict milking times, and strict morals.  Marriage is preordained, the groom practically predestined.  Though it's 1958, southern Minnesota did not see changing roles for women on the horizon.  Caught in a time bubble between a world war and the ferment of the 1960s, Emmy doesn't see  that she has any say in her life, any choices at all.  Only when Emmy's fiance shows his true colors and forces himself on her does she find the courage to act-falling instead of a forbidden Catholic boy, a boy whose family seems warm and encouraging after the sere Nelson farm life.  Not only moving to town and breaking free from her engagement but getting a job on the local newspaper begins to open Emmy's eyes.  She discovers that the KKK is not only active in the Midwest but that her family is involved, and her sense of the firm rules she grew up under-and their effect-changes completely.
from the ebook

Review:  At first I thought I was reading a book that was set in the late 1800s vs. a book set in 1958 based on Emmy's life. It wasn't until about 50 pages in that the setting seemed more realistic.  I really wanted to abandon this book because the characters were so strict and unloving and it didn't make me like them.  Having characters that you don't care anything about makes it difficult to read the book.  But something kept me reading.  After a while the action picked up a bit but it was still slow going.  Emmy does turn into a somewhat more likable person and we do meet a few characters who seem decent.  This book just has too much in it-religion, restrictive families, rape, the KKK, murder, discovering yourself, immigrant issues, race issues, etc and it just got to be too much in one story and seemed forced.  I got through the book but just barely.

Rating: 2 stars

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