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***German Enchantment

A Legacy of Customs and Devotion in Four Romantic Novellas

by Irene B. Brand, Dianne Christner, Pamela Griffin, and Gail Gaymer

Reviewed April 4, 2004.
Barbour Books, Ulrichsville, Ohio, 2002.  334 pages.
Available at Sembach Library (F GER).

Big thanks to my Grandma for recommending this book to me!

If you want nice, light and fluffy Christian romances, this book will give you four of them.  After reading gritty, heavy books this can be exactly what you need to lighten your spirit.

All of the novellas in this book are related to Germany, and all to the medieval town of Dinkelsbühl and the castle of Engelturm.  The first story is set in the time of the Thirty Years War, when the town is in danger.  The next takes place during the American Revolution, and involves a German mercenary quartered in an American home.  The third novella takes place during World War I.  This time, a wounded American soldier is helped by a German girl.  The final story takes place in present-day Germany involving two American young people with plans to help the town orphanage and restore the castle.

The book does capture some of the spirit of Germany.  A castle always makes a nice romantic setting!  There are some mistakes in the German peppered in the text, the most amusing being people greeting each other “Gross Gutt” instead of “Gruss Gott.”  (Since gross means big, maybe they were calling each other Big Gut!) 

In another instance, the modern American girl bought ingredients for S’Mores for the kids of the town orphanage.  Little did she know that you can’t buy marshmallows in Germany, unless you have access to an American commissary.  They are definitely an American food, which is why our first landlady liked us to bring them to her barbecues.  She roasted marshmallows as a child when her mom had American renters.

You could also see the American bias in the book, in that three out of the four happy couples went to America to live happily ever after.  However, I can’t fault them for that, since the book was written for Americans, after all.

All the same, this book was a refreshing break from heavier reading.  Every couple was eager to please God and had some difficult things to trust God about.  These are nice, clean romances.  It’s a special treat for those of us living in Germany.  Now I’m going to have to visit Dinkelsbühl.

Copyright © 2004 Sondra Eklund.  All rights reserved.

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