1. Vinegar Hill: A Novel by A. Manette Ansay (1994)
Length: 240 pages
Genre: Historical Fiction
Started: 31 December 2015
Finished: 2 January 2016
Where did it come from? From a Library Book Sale
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 23 December 2015
Why do I have it? I like historical fiction and A. Manette Ansay is a new author for me.
As a young girl, Ellen Grier had always believed that marriage was meant to be between two people who loved each other deeply. She and her husband James may have had a marriage of convenience, but that didn’t necessarily mean that they couldn’t come to love each other over time. Despite their initial differences, Ellen was determined to be a good wife for James – as dutiful and as proper a wife as either of their strict German Catholic families could possibly want.
Thirteen years pass, and it is now 1972. Circumstance has carried Ellen Grier and her family back to her and James’ hometown of Holly’s Field, Wisconsin. Dutifully accompanying her recently unemployed husband, Ellen has brought their two children – their daughter Amy, and their son Herbert – into the home of her in-laws on Vinegar Hill. This family of four now lives with James’ parents – his domineering and abusive father Fritz and smotheringly attentive mother Mary-Margaret – and Ellen has begun to find their new living situation increasingly intolerable.
The house on Vinegar Hill is a loveless home – suffused with the settling dust of bitterness and mired in the harshness of routine. A home where calculated cruelty is a way of life, preserved and perpetuated in the service of an uncompromising, punitive and angry God. Behind this facade of false piety, there are sins and secrets in this place that have the strength to crush a vibrant young woman’s passionate spirit. And it is here that Ellen must find the strength to endure, change, and grow in the pervasive darkness and bleakness of spirit that threatens to destroy everything she is and everyone she loves.
First of all, let me say that despite this being such a tragically heart-wrenching story, I really enjoyed reading the book. So many characters really resonated with me, that I avidly wanted to know what would happen to them next. I would definitely give this book an A!
A! – (90-95%)
Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight