Jenny Knipfer–Author

Best-selling Christian historical fiction author, Jenny Knipfer, shares her books, inspiration, thoughts on life and writing, and book reviews. Purchase Jenny's books, read her blog, or listen to encouraging podcasts, highlighting the life of a writer.

ISBN: 978 -1-7333202- 7-6 

In a Grove of Maples: a historical novel of the perils of newlywed life and all that comes to divide lovers

Rating: 5 out of 5.

… 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

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

“Readers of women’s fiction and Christian historical romance will find In a Grove of Maples an engrossing story of 19th century rural life that examines matters of heart, ethics, morality, and belief as Beryl faces a new world with few resources other than her faith and love. It concludes with an unexpected twist that comes full circle to leave the door open for more.” — D.Donavon for Midwest Book Review

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Reviews:

Readers’ Favorite:

“In a Grove of Maples: Sheltering Trees by Jenny Knipfer is 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. The story is told through both diary entries and flashbacks in the past, which add suspense and keep the reader turning pages. Beryl’s faith and her integrity make her a strong female character. This book is a must-read for anyone interested in historical romance.” Heather Stockard

Knipfer has created fully realized characters and made the town of Maple Grove come to life. I enjoyed the descriptions of life on a small farm and all the challenging and rewarding tasks that come with running it. It was easy to get wrapped up in the lives of the Massarts and their neighbors and friends. 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. In a Grove of Maples is the first book in the series Sheltering Trees. I look forward to the next book in this delightful, Christian historical fiction series.” Kristine Zimmerman

Self-publishing review:

“Jenny Knipfer transports readers a century into the past with In a Grove of Maples, immersing the reader in an age of honor and struggle, resilience and religion, and survival in the face of impossible odds. Devoted lovers who are on the edge of a new life must battle forces both within and without to persevere in the brutal Wisconsin frontier. 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, except for a few anachronistic moments in the dialogue, and the research into this particular time period is remarkable, while the variation in narrative format keeps the story engaging throughout.”

Midwest Book Review

“Historical novel readers who choose In a Grove of Maples for its pioneer roots will find this first book in the Sheltering Trees series holds a compelling series of insights that go beyond the usual exploration of a husband and wife’s new frontier home in the late 1800s.

“Readers of women’s fiction and Christian historical romance will find In a Grove of Maples an engrossing story of 19th century rural life that examines matters of heart, ethics, morality, and belief as Beryl faces a new world with few resources other than her faith and love. It concludes with an unexpected twist that comes full circle to leave the door open for more.” D. Donavan

Joan Bauer for Wisconsin Writers Association:

“Grief can be hard to portray in fiction; too often, it devolves into posturing. I don’t know where Knipfer had to look to find the grief of a young mother over the loss of her first child.  But it appears to flow from the riches of her own wise heart.”

BookBub:

“Author Jenny Knipfer creates such a beautiful cast of characters and a story that leaves you wondering how strong, and brave these early settlers were and all that the endured. A story that will tug you at your heart with all the emotions that these characters bring out to show how it was back then. The true friendships that Beryl makes along the way with neighbors and people in the small town, and the love that withstands everything insight, proves to a young couple that together as one team they can move forward.” Whisperocky 

“This is perhaps one of my favorite books that I’ve read, I didn’t want it to end. I loved how relatable the characters were and how the author captured true human feelings. Growing up in the rural farmland of Wisconsin I felt a true connection to the story, picturing what my ancestors must have felt settling in Wisconsin beginning to farm. The author did wonderful with historical accuracy; including running a small dairy farm, town life, social life and even down to traditional meals that folks from Wisconsin are familiar with. 

“I loved how the story wasn’t a fairytale, because unfortunately that isn’t life. There are bumps, rough patches and heartache along the way. The settlers that came to these areas they tried to tame the wilderness, dealt with loneliness and feeling secluded but also enjoyed the good times with family and friends in a close knit community; that is the way it was and the author clearly shows that throughout the story. I also appreciated the true human feelings throughout the book, how many times we just don’t say how we feel and we assume which leads us to problems. This story is a blend of heartache, feelings of longing, the challenges faced by settlers and most of all the enduring quality of love.” Farmgirl 

Goodreads:

“Five stars for this sweet and wonderful read! I believe that this is Knipfer’s best yet! I think the best thing about this is story is that it offers hope to us readers that we can really get through the toughest times in our lives. Such wonderful inspirational messages!

“This book seems so realistic to me because I have some of the same problems that Beryl and Edward do. I must admit that I had to snicker at their thoughts on certain things. I could relate to half or most of what Beryl does. She’s like my twin! She has backbone that’s what I admired about her. I hope there’s more to their story soon! I will add this to my list of 2021 faves.” Lori Parish

“What a wonderful heart wrenching story. I can honestly say I’ve never read a story like this one. I personally loved the diary entries. This story is a reminder that one never knows what’s going to happen in life, just keep faith, gain lifelong friends and hold onto love.” Dawn Legros

“What an incredible story of life in rural Wisconsin in the late 1800s. Immigrants, newly weds, and the struggles they face as they build their life and home in a grove of Maples.” Mary Maccauley 

“Knipfer did an awesome job portraying the challenges of a newly married couple trying to make a living on the frontier. This story was heartbreaking at times, but it is a true picture of what can happen to a marriage during times of great stress. Ultimately, this novel had a message of hope which makes it well worth the read. Other wonderful things about this novel are Knipfer’s creative use of chronology, her characterization, and her descriptions of frontier life.” Amy Walsh

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