Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Springtime of the Spirit by Maureen Lang

Springtime of the Spirit by Maureen Lang provides a unique perspective on life after "The Great War" (better known to most of us as World War I). Set in Germany in 1918, the story focuses on the rebuilding of Germany, with various factions each fighting for a new type of government that will provide a better future for the people.

Analiese and Christophe, childhood friends, find themselves on opposite sides in this battle for freedom and rebuilding Germany. Analiese is devoted to socialism and fairness for all. While Christophe sees some of the good things in socialism, he ultimately believes that God is vital to the success of any new form of government.

I found this book to be truly thought-provoking. It was interesting to see the perspective of each character. Reading the motivation behind why they felt socialism or communism would be the system to rebuild Germany on, reading about their thoughts on how terrible capitalism was and how capitalism was to blame for Germany's involvement in the war, reading about the doubts that Christophe (a Christian) had about his involvement in a war he's not sure he truly believed in, the doctrines of fairness and equality debated between socialists and Christians. It just made me think. A lot. Obviously, the book is fictitious, but I imagine that these thoughts would have been shared by actual people living in Germany in 1918. Most of the books set in various historical periods focus on America's role in events, so this was a refreshing change and gave me a new perspective.

At times I felt like the book was a bit heavy on the speeches and the political views of the socialist party that is trying to come to power. It was a little wordy and sometimes confusing ... causing me to put the book down on more than one occasion. However, once I got further into the book, the pace picked up, and I found it to be quite thought-provoking.


This is a bit more of a "thinker" than I was prepared for, but I enjoyed the book. Additional books in the series focus on characters living in France and Belgium during the Great War.

About the Book
By the fall of 1918, the Great War has ended and the world is at peace, but there is little to celebrate in Germany. After four years of fighting for his homeland, Christophe Brecht returns to find there is little left of what he once called home. So when family friends ask him to travel to Munich to bring back their runaway daughter, Christophe agrees.

When he finally locates Annaliese Duray, he discovers she is far different from the girl he once knew. Headstrong, idealistic, and beautiful, she is on the front lines of the city’s political scene, fighting to give women and working-class citizens a voice in Germany’s new government.

As the political upheaval ignites in Munich, so does the attraction between Annaliese and Christophe. With an army from Berlin threatening to squash everything Annaliese has worked for, both she and Christophe are forced to choose between love and loyalty.

About the Author
Maureen Lang has always had a passion for writing. She wrote her first novel longhand around the age of 10, put the pages into a notebook she had covered with soft deerskin (nothing but the best!), then passed it around the neighborhood to rave reviews. It was so much fun she's been writing ever since.

She is the author of several novels, including Pieces of Silver—a 2007 Christy Award finalist—Remember Me, The Oak Leaves, On Sparrow Hill, My Sister Dilly, and most recently, the Great War series. She has won the Romance Writers of America Golden Heart award, the Inspirational Readers Choice contest, and the American Christian Fiction Writers Noble Theme award and has been a finalist for the American Christian Fiction Writers Book of the Year award and the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence. She is also the recipient of a Holt Medallion Award of Merit.

Maureen lives in the Midwest with her husband, her two sons, and their much-loved dog, Susie. Visit her Web site at www.maureenlang.com.

I received a free copy of this book from Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for my fair and honest review.

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