Happily Ever After …Or Happily Nevermore?
Gisela’s childhood was filled with laughter and visits from nobles such as the duke and his young son. But since her father’s death, each day has been filled with nothing but servitude to her stepmother. So when Gisela learns the duke’s son, Valten—the boy she has daydreamed about for years—is throwing a ball in hopes of finding a wife, she vows to find a way to attend, even if it’s only for a taste of a life she’ll never have. To her surprise, she catches Valten’s eye. Though he is rough around the edges, Gisela finds Valten has completely captured her heart. But other forces are bent on keeping the two from falling further in love, putting Gisela in more danger than she ever imagined.
I read this book in a matter of hours, it had me hooked from the first page – and while it’s listed as a teen or young adult book – I thought it was a wonderful for a cold, snowy day where we were stuck inside. I thought it was a neat spin on the Cinderella story of old that it was set in the Hegenheim (spelled Hagenheim in the book) region of France and of course with the name change makes it come more to life than just a run of the mill Cinderella story. Instead of a prince we have Valten who is going to be a Lord of his father’s land but he doesn’t know he long ago captured Gisela’s heart and eye when she was but 7 .
I do admit while I enjoyed the story, I did get slightly bored with the details of the jousting tournaments, but there was enough history woven in that made even that part bearable. Taking place in the 1400’s was fun since we’ve been sort of enmeshed in that time frame in our history studies in our home school, so some of the historical notes I was familiar with. Valten and Gisela both hold a faith in Christ, that is often tested, by their surroundings and those whose lives intersect theirs – however it remains and becomes stronger toward the end of the book.
With that said, this is a romance book, Valten and Gisela do kiss but I have no problem telling my 11 year old she can read this book if she wants to. The kissing is mild and by the time they begin to kiss it’s a known fact the two will be married (sorry if that is a spoiler) so I have no problem with my oldest reading this book as there isn’t much in the way of other physical touching – and with each character having such a strong faith that comes through in how they handle their romance as well.
(c) 2013, Sarah Bailey/Growing for Christ, All Rights Reserved, Unauthorized Duplication is a Violation of Applicable Laws