“Go Away Home” by Carol Bodensteiner reminds me of the old adage: “You can take the girl off the farm, but you can’t take the farm out of the girl.” This book is written about a farm girl in Iowa in 1913 when the United States was on the cusp of entering the First World War.
Liddie can’t wait to leave the farm and travel to see new sights and find new opportunities. She is ready to go to town and become a seamstress which she thinks will open many doors for her future. In spite of some serious events occurring within her family, she gets the opportunity she’s been looking for and beyond. She meets a photographer and learns about his trade. He wants her to go to Paris with him to take pictures of the war as his bride, although reading between the lines he just wants an assistant. During her stay in town, she has kept up a correspondence with a former hired hand from her family’s farm, who has gone to Canada to homestead. She needs to choose which life she would rather lead, that of a farm wife, or that of a world traveler. In the life she chooses, she finds that there is happiness, good times, bad times and times which are almost impossible to endure. In the end, the skills and character that she develops in growing up on a farm stand her in good stead for the rest of her life.
I thought that the author did a wonderful job of portraying farm life as it would have been in that time period. Life was hard, yet rewarding and the lessons learned during the growing-up years followed a person throughout life. I enjoyed reading this simple yet complex story of one girl’s journey to happiness. NetGalley.com and Lake Union Publishers provided me with a complimentary Kindle copy of this book.