When 16-year-old Minna Losk journeys from Odessa to America as a mail-order bride, she dreams of a young, wealthy husband, a handsome townhouse, and freedom from physical labor and pogroms. But her husband Max turns out to be twice her age, rigidly Orthodox, and living in a one-room sod hut in South Dakota with his two teenage sons. The country is desolate, the work treacherous. Most troubling, Minna finds herself increasingly attracted to her older stepson. As a brutal winter closes in, the family’s limits are tested, and Minna, drawing on strengths she barely knows she has, is forced to confront her despair, as well as her desire.
Review: The Little Bride is the emotional story of 16 year old Minna Losk who agrees to be a mail order bride to an unknown man in America. She endures hardship after hardship. Despite all the misery she encounters at such a young age, including her mother’s desertion, her infant brother dying and her father’s death along with her aunts kicking her out of her home afterward, she has dreams of a better life.
Minna has dreams and visions of a wonderful husband and a fancy home with servants but reality sets in when she finds instead a barren, desolate prairie land in South Dakota and a 40 year old man with 2 teenage sons whose first wife deserted them. Life is very rough for Minna. It is obvious she is unhappy and lonely. Instead of trying to strike up a conversation with Minna to get to know her, Max and the boys do all their talking after she has gone to bed.
The author has an interesting writing style which is at first I found confusing, distracting and a bit hard to decipher which led to me to go back and re-read paragraphs and pages. After about the first 60 pages however, I was able to adapt and followed along much more easily from that point on.
This story takes an emotional toll on a person. The author does a good job making the reader feel the range of emotions Minna experiences. Unfortunately she has a very rough life and it is a bit disheartening to read about. It is a well-written story and the author portrays Minna’s life very well however I found it difficult to stay interested.