A Young Wife
When fifteen-year-old Minke van Aisma travels to Amsterdam to care for the dying wife of an older, wealthy man named Sander DeVries, she has no idea what awaits her. Within hours of his wife’s death, Sander proposes marriage, and within days the couple sets sail for the burgeoning oil fields of Argentina. But the future that seemed so bright takes a dark turn the morning their son, Zef, is kidnapped. Dire circumstances dictate that Sander immigrate to New York at once, leaving Minke little choice but to wait for their new baby’s arrival, follow Sander to America, and abandon her firstborn. What follows is a triumphant turn-of-the-century story of faith, betrayal, and redemption, an indelible portrait of one woman’s struggle to steer her own fate.
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A Young Wife
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Reading Group Guide
Amsterdam, 1912. When fifteen-year-old Minke Van Aisma travels to Amsterdam to care for the dying wife of a wealthy man, she has no idea what journey lies ahead. Only hours after his wife’s death, her employer, Sander DeVries, proposes marriage. Within days the couple has set sail for the oil fields of Argentina. They settle in the rough coastal town of Comodoro Rivadavia, where Minke eventually learns that her husband is not a successful trader, but a morphine producer. The future that seemed so bright takes an even darker turn the morning their toddler son, Zef, is kidnapped. Sander seeks murderous revenge for the kidnapping, and he must flee Comodoro and start over in another country. Already pregnant with their second child, Minke has little choice but to wait for the new baby’s arrival, then follow Sander to America, leaving their firstborn behind forever. But when she arrives in New York and discovers that Sander has betrayed her, she leaves him, finds works as a seamstress, and vows to find her son, no matter how lo see more