Title: The Peasant’s Dream
Author: Melanie Dickerson
Series: Hagenheim (Book 11)
Page Length: 320
Publication Date: July 7, 2020
Publisher: Thomas Nelson Publishers
Synopsis: In this reverse Cinderella story, a poor farmer’s son, who dreams of using his talent as a woodcarver to make a better life for himself, falls in love with a duke’s daughter and must fight for a chance to win her heart.
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.
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In The Peasant’s Dream, the last book in the Hagenheim series, Fredrick, a farmer, and Adela, a duke’s daughter, both long for more. Fredrick is a talented woodcarver whose farm-life doesn’t offer much opportunity to fulfill his dreams. Adela’s sequestered life revolves around finding a suitable marriage. However, one chance encounter changes both of their lives.
On the day that Adele sneaks out of the castle dressed in her maid’s clothes, she meets Fredrick selling his wares. As Fredrick and Adele fall in love, secrets, lies, and even more unsavory actions make them question all that they know about each other. Frederick learns that Adele is a duke’s daughter, and he is crushed by her lies. However, when an attempted kidnapping wrongfully implicates Frederick, and he is thrown in the dungeons, Frederick must now prove his innocence. Will the relationship between these two people from very different social circles survive? Is their love strong enough to weather the difficult problems they face?
Adele and Fredrick are likable characters from very different backgrounds who suffer from similar problems. They both long to be free from the constraints inflicted upon them by family and society. As the youngest daughter of a wealthy Duke, Adele is not allowed to leave the confines of her home without guards. Fredrick is so bogged down with farm work and protecting his mother and sisters from his drunk father that he rarely has time for his own pursuits. This desire to be free and to follow one’s own heart is what initially propels the plot.
Fredrick and Adele are also both undiscovered artists with an amazing amount of talent. I think this connection bonds them in a unique and interesting way, and I love how their relationship develops from their shared interest in art. It is very natural and progresses sweetly. That is until their mistruths and secrets are exposed. Then, they have to decide if their relationship is worth fighting for.
This is a well-paced and interesting if a bit predictable story with strong Christian undertones. Though this is the eleventh book in the series, it can easily be read as a stand-alone. That being said, readers of the series will love that a ton of the characters from the previous books make an appearance in this one!
Thanks to Netgalley and Thomas Nelson Fiction for a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
- The romance, of course!
- The themes of freedom, love, and following one’s dreams.
This is a quick and easy read with religious undertones and a Cinderella-esque love story. I would recommend this to teens and adults who enjoy sweet historical romances.