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Friday, April 11, 2014




Sophie studied her toes.  She sat on the double bed in which she'd spent the night, knees drawn up beneath her white lawn nightgown. Lifting her dark head, she gazed through a nearby window at a May morning that shone upon a blooming--but sternly regimented--rose garden.  In spite of the warm breeze, she shivered.

Then, hoping it wasn't true, for the hundredth time, she looked at the other narrow bed, the one next to hers.  Upon it lay her new husband, the rich grandfatherly man who'd paid her way from Germany, a man she'd married only yesterday.

Theodore Wildbach was quite dead.  Proper, in death as in life, he was flat on his back, hands folded on his chest. He looked like the stone knights lying in the cathedral in her home town.  That was how Theodore habitually slept, and how he'd died. Pale lips gaped inside a ring of neatly trimmed salt-and-pepper beard.

She'd discovered him upon awakening. She’d come close, staring, unable to believe her eyes. It was a terrible surprise, nowhere among the thousand twists of fate she'd imagined as she'd journeyed across sea and land to German Mills, Pennsylvania...

~Juliet Waldron
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Set in Post-Civil-War Pennsylvania, this tale of an arranged marriage is as much about family as it is about finding true love. Sophie is a sensitive young woman struggling to make sense of her a difficult past and to understand the strange ways of her new homeland. Karl is not only a veteran of the Great War, but scarred by the secret violence of his childhood. How they both learn to trust--this often-tested immigrant girl and the veteran with a chip on his shoulder--is the subject of this tender, All-American story.

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