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The Crooked Path ~ Review

The Crooked Path
By Irma Joubert

First off I have to say Irma Joubert has a way of writing that touches the soul of the reader. Her writing is alive with the nuances of life - its joys and it pains.

Once again we are taken into a world that is at war and how this affects and shapes the lives of those who are caught up in its destructive forces. In Italy the Romanelli family is about to have all that they have known changed when Hitler's Germany makes its presence known. Military service is a requirement and two of the Romanelli brothers are pressed into service. But the eldest brother Marco hides in the mountains with the family of the woman to whom he is engaged. The years take a toll on the Romanellis and Marco's years of deprivation at the hands of Germany have cost him much. When the dry warmth of South Africa is offered as an option to the restore his precarious health Marco goes joining his younger brother Antonio in this foreign land.

Lettie Louw has always felt that she is a lesser person than her friends. She's never been quite good enough and she's known that love was never meant for her. These feelings pushed her to excel in in her studies and become a doctor. Her skills have her assistance being sought in the care of Marco Romanelli. Marco's health slowly improves under Lettie's direction. But his health will never be fully restored and it is with this understanding that Marco and Lettie open their hearts to the possibility of just what the future holds. The path that has lead them to this point was crooked and the path before them seems equal to what lay behind them.

Life is journey with no guarantees and The Crooked Path fully explores this as life moves on even as heartbreak and joy make their marks on those around them. This is also a story about the value of friends and family in being there for us at the momentous and the ordinary.

This is truly a beautiful and moving story one that will bring tears as the inhumanity of war makes itself known and bring a soft smile at the power of love to heal wounds (and create new ones). Life comes in stages and presents different options that at a different time we may or may not respond in the same manner. This book brought to mind Ecclesiastes 3:1, 6, and 8:
"To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: ...  A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;... A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace." KJV

I was provided a complimentary review copy of this book by the publisher through BookLook Bloggers with no expectations of a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own.

About the Book:
From the bestselling author of The Girl From the Train, comes another compelling coming of age story of delayed love, loss, and reconciliation in WWII-era South Africa.
Lettie has always felt different from and overshadowed by the women around her– this friend is richer, that friend is more beautiful, those friends are closer. Still, she doesn’t let this hold her back. She works hard to apply her mind, trying to compensate for her perceived lack of beauty with diligent academic work and a successful career as a doctor. She learns to treasure her friendships, but she still wonders if any man will ever return her interest.
Marco’s experience in the second world war have robbed him of love and health. When winters in his native Italy prove dangerous to his health even after the war has ended, he moves to South Africa to be with his brother, husband to one of Lettie’s best friends. Marco is Lettie’s first patient, and their relationship grows as she aids him on the road back to restored health.
In the company of beloved characters from The Child of the River, Marco and Lettie find a happiness that neither of them thought possible. With that joy comes pain and loss, but Lettie learns that life—while perhaps a crooked path—is always a journey worth taking.

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~ Blooming with Books