The Crooked Path
by Irma Joubert
Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson (November 7, 2017)
From the bestselling author of The Girl From the Train, comes another compelling coming of age story of delayed love, loss, and reconciliation in WWII-era South Africa.
Lettie has always felt different from and overshadowed by the women around her– this friend is richer, that friend is more beautiful, those friends are closer. Still, she doesn’t let this hold her back. She works hard to apply her mind, trying to compensate for her perceived lack of beauty with diligent academic work and a successful career as a doctor. She learns to treasure her friendships, but she still wonders if any man will ever return her interest.
Marco’s experiences in the second world war have robbed him of love and health. When winters in his native Italy prove dangerous to his health even after the war has ended, he moves to South Africa to be with his brother, husband to one of Lettie’s best friends. Marco is Lettie’s first patient, and their relationship grows as she aids him on the road back to restored health.
In the company of beloved characters from The Child of the River, Marco and Lettie find a happiness that neither of them thought possible. With that joy comes pain and loss, but Lettie learns that life—while perhaps a crooked path—is always a journey worth taking.
Annabel turned to her. “See, Lettie,” she said, carelessly tossing her hat onto her blanket roll, “that’s how you treat boys . . . men. They’re a bit like goats. If you stroke their egos, they’ll eat out of your hand.”
She was a tall, thin woman with hair piled high on her head and a nose like a quarter pound of cheese.
I love you like I’ve never loved anyone before and never will again.” His words flooded her brain, washed over her body, and entered the chambers of her heart where they were anchored, to be remembered and cherished in years to come.
You understand . . . with a deeper understanding than words can convey.”
Years ago my mom told me life sometimes leads you along a strange crooked path, but in the end it will always take you where you’re supposed to be…
The Crooked Path bore no similarity to my expectations, and I couldn’t be happier. The premise was entertaining and the writing and storylines were captivating, well-crafted, and smartly paced. The book was highly engaging, eventful, well researched, and encompassed a shattering and traumatic period of history that was told through the inspiring, contrasting, and heartbreaking personal experiences and sacrifices of highly endearing characters on separate continents and of different cultures. The story was poignant, emotive, and thoughtfully written without being overly melodramatic. Sweet story threads, humorous descriptions, amusing observations, and thoughtful insights into the characters’ life-altering transitions were generously woven throughout to balance the tragedy and traumas that befell them. I reveled in the entertaining nuances of the various characters and customs, all of which were unfamiliar and intriguing to me. Ms. Joubert often tucked in amusing and mind-snagging Easter egg details such as the hairdresser “producing a comb from her ample bosom…” and a little later, “delved into her bosom again and produced a pair of scissors.” She was also rather gifted in stinging my eyes and burning my throat with her moving and heartrending narratives. I was captivated and engaged from the very beginning to the pleasantly satisfying end. I was provided with a review copy of this fascinating book by TLC Book Tours.
International bestselling author Irma Joubert was a history teacher for 35 years before she began writing. Her stories are known for their deep insight into personal relationships and rich historical detail. She’s the author of eight novels and a regular fixture on bestseller lists in The Netherlands and in her native South Africa. She is the winner of the 2010 ATKV Prize for Romance Novels.
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