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  • 1 person found this review helpful

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    Wonderful heart warming story

    Annie’s parents are immigrants, who forged a new life in Ontario. Her strict father, a doctor of medicine and an ordained minister of the church, preaches fire and brimstone sermons. Her well-born mother is proud of her social position and expects Annie to live up to it. Life on the farm, with her brothers and sisters, requires never ending hard work. Annie milks cows, works in the dairy, looks after the pigs and chickens, drives into town to collect the mail and shop for her mother. All this as well as cooking and cleaning. George and his brother Peter work hard for their keep on nearby farms. They are looked orphans sent to Canada by Dr Barnardo’s, looked down on by the community, and tied to farmers, who mistreat them, with whom they must live until they are adults. In the First World War, Annie’s two older brothers and both orphans enlist in the army and are sent to France, where they endure the horror of the trenches and mustard gas. At home without her brothers’ help on the farm Annie’s workload increases, but although her parents are anxious for her to marry she doesn’t like any of the prospective bridegrooms they propose. Nevertheless, spirited Annie dreams of a happy future with the man she loves. I really enjoyed Bell’s novel, which is rich in descriptions of life in Ontario in times past, the extremes of weather and the beautiful flora and fauna. His Brother’s Bride contains heart-warming romance but no explicit sex.
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    A Sweet Romance with a Twist

    Bell's descriptions of farm life put you right in the fields and barns. The horrors of war are revealed in George's letters to Annie. Annie is a resilient character who follows her heart, even with an unexpected twist at the novel's end.
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    A page turner

    This is a tightly written story written tension, drama, and smooth transitions. Well-crafted scenes, packed with vivid descriptive details, made the story real and spring to life. Nancy Bell indeeds understands how to "show, don't tell," one of the golden rules of excellent writing.
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    A Beautifully written story of love and friendship

    War is terrible, no matter when or where it takes place. This book takes us through the last phase of the 1914-18 world war. Annie works hard on her parent’s farm near the Bonnechere River in Ontario, doing her fair share, and more, of the daily chores alongside her siblings. Her father is a puritanical man who is strict almost to the point of being cruel at times and Annie’s mother can’t accept that she is a simple farmer’s wife A friendship develops between young Annie and George, a Barnado’s orphan. Along with his only brother, Peter, he was sent to work on a neighborhood farm. To Annie’s parent’s displeasure a friendship develops between the young Annie and George and before he goes off to the battlefront, that friendship develops into love. Inevitably Annie promises to wait for him. But as happens in wartime, dreams are shattered. George exerts a promise from Annie that should he not return she take care of his brother Peter. A promise Annie must keep.
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    A SATISFYING CANADIAN-BASED WW I NOVEL

    The second book in the Canadian Historical Brides series is an engaging story of love, loss, and loyalty. While class distinctions became less important after the horrors of WW I, they were still being upheld in rural Ontario during the war years themselves, and a match between the ‘well-brought up’ daughter of the local doctor/preacher and a lowly Barnardo Boy farm hand was not to be contemplated. Except by the couple involved, and the brother who loves both of them. A good choice for fans of true to life romances.
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