The Cherry Harvest by Lucy Sanna

I’m so glad to have read this book. It reminded me a little bit of Kristin Hannah’s The Nightingale, which is also a beautiful WWII story that I have reviewed previously. I had no idea that during WWII, German prisoners of war were used for farm labor in the states, while many of the American farmers and their sons were fighting in the war. The Cherry Harvest takes place in Door County, Wisconsin, home to many cherry orchards. The Christiansen family’s young son Ben is away at war, leaving a teenager Kate, mother Charlotte, and father Thomas to work the orchard without any workers available, as in years past. Because of the war, food and many common luxuries (such as coffee and scented soap) are scarce and if the orchard isn’t harvested and tended, the Christiansen family might not be able to keep their farm running. They decide to allow German POW’s to work on the farm, against the wishes of many of the other townspeople. Thomas befriends one of the POW’s named Karl, a teacher who is well versed in English and appreciative of the Christiansen family allowing him to live and work on the property. As Karl tutors young Kate and becomes closer to Thomas and Charlotte, decisions are made that will forever impact the family. Meanwhile, young Kate starts a secretive relationship with a rich son of a political figure. When the family receive news of the long awaited return of their son Ben from war, the story unfolds quickly and sadly. Be prepared for a heart-wrenching ending. Even with the ending being sad, I really got lost in this story. The writing was beautiful. The author described the cherries and all the things on the orchard in vivid detail, making it seem like the reader was there seeing everything in person. The story has just the right amount of romance, humor, suspense, and heartbreak. You won’t be sorry for reading it!

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