THE PEASANT’S DREAM, by Melanie Dickerson, Thomas Nelson, July 7, 2020, Hardcover, $18.99 (young adult)
Melanie Dickerson is known for her Fairy Tale Romance series that featured retellings of fairy tales ranging from Sleeping Beauty (The Healer’s Apprentice) to Beauty and the Beast (The Merchant’s Daughter). Her latest novel, The Peasant’s Dream is one of two books I’m reviewing today with a Cinderella twist.
Adela is the youngest daughter of Duke Wilhelm of Hagenheim and is never allowed outside of the castle walls. She loves her family, but she sneaks away one day to the market in the town center. There she meets a handsome young man and wonders what it might be like to fall in love with a poor farmer with a kind heart instead of marrying the man her family is suggesting for her.
Frederick earns the income for his family and defends his mother from his father’s drunken rages. He also uses his talent and creativity to carve figures, animals, and scenes into wood, and he’s asked to carve these scenes into cathedral doors when his talent is noticed. Frederick is inspired by the sweet and beautiful Adela, but he has no knowledge of her true identity. When he gets swept up into a plan to kidnap the duke’s daughter, both are shaken by what they learn about the other.
With the heartbroken Adela resigned to an arranged marriage with her noble suitor, Frederick must decide what he’s willing to risk for love. —Synopsis provided by Thomas Nelson
The Peasant’s Dream is the 11th book in Melanie Dickerson’s Fairy Tale Romance/Hagenheim series. So, if you’ve already read any of the prior books, you’ve already got a sense of how this one plays out. If not, you won’t be at a disadvantage. While all the books play out in the same world and have overlapping characters, they can stand alone.
The Peasant’s Dream takes place in Middle Ages Germany. The writing, however, has a more contemporary feel to it, especially the very American Christian undertones. There’s a reason it’s currently ranked No. 1 on Amazon’s Teen & Young Adult Clean & Wholesome Romance category. However, if you look past the less historical elements and take the book at face value, it’s not an issue.
I’ve read a number of Dickerson’s books, and The Peasant’s Dream is in keeping with her conversational and warm writing style. The story’s outcome is fairly predictable, but there are a number of nice twists that add depth to the story.
The Peasant’s Dream is a fast read — I finished it in one afternoon — that offers a bit of escapism.
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