I Gave My Heart To Know This by Ellen Baker


In January 1944, Grace Anderson, Lena Maki, and Lena’s mother, Violet, have joined the growing ranks of women working for the war effort.  Though they find satisfaction in their work in a Wisconsin shipyard, it isn’t enough to distract them from the anxieties of wartime, or their fears for the men they love: Lena’s twin brother, Derrick, and Grace’s high school sweetheart, Alex.  When shattering news arrives from the front, the lives of all three women are pitched into turmoil.  As one is pushed to the brink of madness, the others are forced into choices they couldn’t have imagined – and their lives, and their friendships, will never be the same. 

            More than five decades later, Violet’s great-granddaughter Julia returns to the small farmhouse where Violet and Lena once lived.  Listless from her own recent tragedy, Julia begins to uncover the dark secrets that shattered her family, learning that redemption – and love – can be found in the most unexpected places. 

            Beautifully written and profoundly moving, I Gave My Heart to Know This is a riveting story of loyalties held and sacred bonds broken; of crushing loss and enduring dreams; and what it takes – and what it means – to find the way home.

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