I received a copy from the publisher via NetGalley. All of my opinions are my own!The Peasant's Dream (Hagenheim, #11) by Melanie Dickerson
Published by Thomas Nelson on July 7, 2020
Genres: Christian, Fiction, Fantasy, Historical, Young Adult
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In this reverse Cinderella story, a poor farmer’s son, who dreams of using his talent as a woodcarver to make a better life for himself, falls in love with a duke’s daughter and must fight for a chance to win her heart.
Adela is the youngest daughter of Duke Wilhelm of Hagenheim and is never allowed outside of the castle walls. She loves her family, but she sneaks away one day to the market in the town center. There she meets a handsome young man and wonders what it might be like to fall in love with a poor farmer with a kind heart instead of marrying the man her family is suggesting for her.
Frederick earns the income for his family and defends his mother from his father’s drunken rages. He also uses his talent and creativity to carve figures, animals, and scenes into wood, and he's asked to carve these scenes into cathedral doors when his talent is noticed. Frederick is inspired by the sweet and beautiful Adela, but he has no knowledge of her true identity. When he gets swept up into a plan to kidnap the duke’s daughter, both are shaken by what they learn about the other.
With the heartbroken Adela resigned to an arranged marriage with her noble suitor, Frederick must decide what he’s willing to risk for love.
Melanie Dickerson's remixes of old fairy tales are some of my favorites. She's done it again with The Peasant's Dream. In this story, Dickerson blends a little bit of the Cinderella story with hints of Joseph's from Genesis. It is a sweet love story with some unexpected twists and turns.
This is definitely written for older teens as themes of illegitimate children, alcoholism, and abusive fathers establish the atmosphere where the peasant grows up. One thing I love about Dickerson's books however, is that she clearly leads the reader to love what is true. Frederick, the aspiring young wood carver, is a man of noble character even if he grew up under the influence of a horrible man.
On an unexpected trip to town to try selling his carvings, he meets a beautiful young lady, Adela, who has snuck out of the castle to experience life in the town as a commoner. Their common love of art draws them together, but a noble from a nearby town is there to court Adela. That's when things get tricky.
I enjoyed the sweetness of this story. While it is predictable in some places, it kinda feels like a Hallmark movie—predictable in all the good ways! This is perfect for a relaxing read with a very satisfying ending!