A sweeping historical drama from the author of the bestselling The Bookshop of the Broken Hearted
World War II is over and Hiroshima lies in a heap of poisoned rubble when young Quaker Wesley Cunningham returns home to Almond Tree. He’s seen his fair share of horror as a stretcher-bearer, and now he just wants to build houses and to marry Beth Hardy, his neighbor’s daughter.
But Beth has other plans. An ardent socialist, she is convinced the Party and Stalin’s Soviet Union hold the answers to all the world’s evils. She is devoted to her cause, and she doesn’t believe in marriage. Her ideals will exact a ruinously high price. But Wes will not stop loving her.
The Bride of Almond Tree is story of Wes and Beth, and their journey through the catastrophic mid-twentieth century—from summer in Almond Tree to Moscow’s bitter winter and back again—to find a way of being together.
"A complex exploration of grief, faith, and restoration...in poignant, meditative, and stirring prose Hillman tells a heartrending and heartwarming tale of love and sacrifice.”—Booklist on The Bookshop of the Broken Hearted (starred review)
"Hillman crafts a compelling tale, toggling among Tom's, Hannah's, and Peter's perspectives, as he delineates the stripping of each heart and draws together the ties that bind them together again. A heart-wrenching tale of love enduring all things in the face of evil."—Kirkus Reviews on The Bookshop of the Broken Hearted
"An uplifting exploration of how people rise above tragedy to find joy...An impressive, riveting tale of how two disparate and well-drawn people recover from soul-wrenching grief and allow themselves to truly love again."—Publishers Weekly on The Bookshop of the Broken Hearted
"A triumphant examination of history, politics, literature, and the pall and sorrow of grief…Hillman’s vivid observations of regional details, keen perceptions of local customs, absorbing storyline, and sympathetic characters make the novel impossible to put down."—Washington Independent Review of Books on The Bookshop of the Broken Hearted
"Robert Hillman entwines, with risk and skill, different and seemingly incompatible stories…He adds heft to the distinguished fiction of rural Australia."—Australian on The Bookshop of the Broken Hearted
"It is not often that a novel is both a great read and a sobering chronicle about the painful possibilities of human behaviour…Robert Hillman’s The Bookshop of the Broken Hearted is such a one."—Sydney Morning Herald on The Bookshop of the Broken Hearted
"Hillman’s ability to conjure up the rhythms and texture of rural life is a source of joy…This is a novel about the importance of freedom as well as the redemptive qualities of love—and how facing up to the past can be the key to both freedom and love."—Saturday Paper on The Bookshop of the Broken Hearted
"Vivid and moving."—Sydney Morning Herald