“Hope at Dawn" by Stacie Henry, is the first book in the series “Of Love and War”. I very much enjoyed the book because of the subject matter and because of the way it was written.
This story takes place during the Great War – World War I – in the fictional town of Hilden, Iowa. The story was set in Iowa because it was one of the first states to outlaw the use of any foreign language, especially German. Those who broke the law were suspected of treason or of being a German spy. Those of German descent were “encouraged” to buy bonds and to speak only English. Those who failed to comply were often physically abused or worse. It was not an easy time to be of German heritage in the United States at this time.
Livy Campbell and Friedrick Wagner are thrown together by way of their jobs in Hilden, Iowa. Livy is the school teacher for the mostly German-American students in her district and Friedrick is a German-American farmer whose siblings attend the school and who is the school caretaker. Through a series of events, their very lives are at stake because of the prejudice against anything German during this time. I loved this book. It is one of the few that I’ve read where the storyline takes place during 1918 and our time of involvement in the war in Europe. It is very well written and even though it is a work of fiction, I can see that these events probably took place in our country at this time and in other manners at other times in our history.
IN A TIME OF WAR, LOVE IS THE INSPIRATION.
With her brothers away fighting the Great War overseas, Livy Campbell desperately wants to help her family. Her chance comes when she meets a handsome stranger who lands her a job as a teacher in a place far from her parents' farm. But the war casts a long shadow over the German-American town that Livy now calls home-and the darkness will test everything she thought she knew about family and love . . .
More than anything, Friedrick Wagner wants to be part of his adopted country's struggle for peace. But when the bitter animosity between Germans and Americans soon turns citizens against newcomers, friend against friend, he will do whatever it takes to protect Livy from the hysteria that grips their town. As tragedy-and dark secrets from the past-threaten their future, Friedrick and Livy have one chance to stand up for what's right . . . and one chance to fight for their love.