Willow Vale by Alethea Williams
Willow Vale a historical fiction novel by Alethea Williams
From opposite sides of an ocean, two people wounded by the Great War are fated to meet and try to rebuild their lives.
First a war bride.
Francesca Sittoni was brought against her will to America by the husband she never loved. Now she finds herself alone — widowed, pregnant, and with a small daughter to support. Terrified of being deported back to the impoverished Tyrolean mountain region of her birth, Francesca answers an ad placed by Wyoming rancher and former doughboy Kent Reed.
Then a mail-order bride?
As their contracted year together passes, Francesca begins to ask if she is cook and housekeeper to Kent…or a secretly sought mail-order wife as her sly old neighbor insists. Only Kent Reed, burned by mustard gas and his spoiled former wife’s desertion, knows his heart’s true desire when it comes to the beautiful immigrant woman now living in the uncomfortably close quarters of his small ranch house.
Willow Vale was a Wyoming State Historical Society Publications Award winner. Alethea Williams’ orphan train story Walls for the Wind, her second novel, was a WILLA Literary Award finalist, a gold Will Rogers Medallion winner, and placed first at the Laramie Awards in the Prairie Fiction category. Her latest historical novel, Náápiikoan Winter, is a sweeping epic of cultural turmoil on the North American continent at the dawn of the nineteenth century.
(Willow Vale 2nd edition)
A Word from the Author
When Francesca Sittoni reaches America after surviving the horrifying experience of her high mountain pass home being squeezed between opposing forces in World War One, she soon finds that she is ill-equipped to handle sudden widowhood in a strange new land. With her little girl in tow, she answers a newspaper ad for housekeeper to an injured veteran and Wyoming rancher. Echoing the beloved homesteader tales of Elinore Pruitt Stewart, Willow Vale is the sweet story of a Tyrolean immigrant discovering love and learning to hope again as her adopted homeland of America enters the postwar modern age. A Wyoming State Historical Society Publications Award winner, Willow Vale is so true to life that readers are disappointed to find that the story is a fictional account.
(Alethea Williams, August 2016)
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