I’m so thrilled to reveal the gorgeous cover for my next book, In a Grove of Maples, which is the first in a new series of books entitled: Sheltering Trees. The book is historical fiction with an inspirational theme and is inspired by the lives of my grandparents as Wisconsin farmers in the late 1890’s.
I don’t know much about their story, but I do know they purchased the farm I grew up on, about ten miles west of Oconto, Wisconsin in 1897. My brothers recall hearing of a log house, barn, and small outbuilding being on the property at the time of sale. I know my grandparents had French Canadian and Belgian heritage. I imagine they came from Canada to purchase the farm, but I don’t know how they met.
My grandfather went up north to a Wisconsin lumber camp in the wintertime. He had the job of being a teamster, using his own horses to help haul the felled trees, and I imagine his life at the camp may have played out in similar fashion to one of my main character’s, Edward’s. My Dad always spoke very highly of his mother, and I hope a little of her character shines forth in my character, Beryl. I did not use my grandparents’ real names but details about the town, setting, and some events are based on real locations and events. Much was left to my imagination, and I hope I created a worthy fictionalized story of what their lives may have been like.
Description and reviews of In a Grove of Maples:
“… a heartfelt tale of the struggles of married life on a nineteenth-century farm. Edward and Beryl are both relatable and sympathetic. Knipfer expertly captures the emotion and stress of their lives and relationship. It’s a touching and realistic portrayal of love, loss, and friendship.” Heather Stockard for Readers’ Favorite five-star review
A HISTORICAL NOVEL OF THE PERILS OF NEWLYWED LIFE ANDF ALL THAT COMES TO DIVIDE LOVERS
In 1897 newly married Beryl and Edward Massart travel more than one thousand miles from Quebec to farm a plot of land in Wisconsin that they bought sight-unseen. An almost magical grove of maples on their property inspires them to dream of a real home built within the grove, not the tiny log cabin they’ve come to live in.
Misunderstandings and tempers get the better of them when difficulties and troubles arise. Just months after they wed, Edward leaves pregnant Beryl in the midst of the coming winter to tend the farm and animals while he goes to be a teamster at a northern Wisconsin logging camp.
Will Beryl and Edward walk into the future together to build their house of dreams in the grove of maples, or will their plans topple like a house of sticks when the winds of misunderstanding and disaster strike?
Readers of Christian historical fiction, Historical fiction, Women’s fiction, and Christian historical romance will be endeared to this slice of late 19th century farm life.
“In a Grove of Maples presents a fascinating look at what life was like for a young couple starting out on their own and how necessary it was to have friends and neighbors that you could call on for help. Even though the book is set in the late 19th century, the struggles Edward and Beryl have in their marriage are things many people deal with today.” — Kristine Zimmerman for Readers’ Favorite five-star review
“Dramatic character development and lavish descriptive language make Knipfer’s prose shine, and carry this emotionally stirring plot from start to finish. The storytelling is casual but unmistakably aged, and the research into this particular time period is remarkable, while the variation in narrative format keeps the story engaging throughout.” — Self-Publishing Review four and a half-star review
Thanks for taking the time to read what I am up to. Blessings, J