Maria leaves Germany in 1903 for a one year adventure in America. Her fiancé expects them to be reunited before the end of the following summer. More than seven decades later, Eva, Maria’s great-granddaughter, leaves the US for a new job and a new life in Australia. Her boyfriend plans to follow within months.
Both Maria and Eva find their lives changing in ways they couldn’t foresee as their old loves fade and new, sometimes ill-fated loves arrive. The choices they make lead them in directions they hadn’t planned, bring them joys at a price they aren’t sure they want to pay, and eventually force them into the decision that it is never too late to start over.
Maria stood unmoving as she absorbed the fact that she was now a legal immigrant into America. She hadn’t realized how much she had worried that her dream could have been crushed at the last minute.
One of the men at the desk snapped something to her in English that brought her out of her reverie. She grabbed her bags and moved towards the ferry.
A short boat ride later had Maria stepping onto Manhattan Island. She blinked, still fearing it was a dream that would vanish. But she didn’t wake up. Or rather, she was already wide awake. She’d never been more awake in her life. And nothing had ever felt as real as this street in New York.
Reviewed by Stephanie Rollins for BookreviewsRus.com
This story starts in both 1896 and 1975. There are two tales woven together in this breezy book.
The story of Maria
One is of Maria. She has taken a valuable place as a chamber maid to the Kraft family. In this position, she is seen as more than just a maid; she is seen as family. She moves with the Kraft family to America, which is a culture shock.
Maria did not realize it, but Arno had designated himself as her boyfriend. He proposed to her—if you want to call it that. One could also call it harassment. I could not help but to wonder if Maria agreed to move to America to escape him.
She finds herself in quite a difficult situation….. Then, there is an accident….
The story of Eva
Eva is a hard-working college student. She works extra hard to graduate from college early, and she lands a full-time job in Australia.
In the meantime, her fiance has taken his time with his college courses. He tells her to go ahead with her move to Australia. He tells her that he will move there when he finishes his course work.
She ends up in the same difficult situation Maria found herself in. Their relationship unravels. It was rather obvious that it was one-sided in the beginning, but loves is blinding.
Both are relatively independent women; however, what does that mean for each of them? What is independence for a woman in the late 1800’s and in the 1970’s? What mistakes has this independence led them to? Has women’s liberation really kept us from making the same stupid mistakes over and over and over….? Are the stupid mistakes women make a slap in the face of those who fought for women’s rights?
Mind of Fog Reviews
Starting Over By Laura Rittenhouse
In “Starting Over “by Laura Rittenhouse we read the story about the lives of Maria and her great-great granddaughter Eva. Watch as the two girls grow as independent women who live vaguely similar lives but really do have different lives.
I thought this was a wonderful book that had me wondering what was similar between my great-grandmother and me. I definitely will recommend the book to family and friends that love fiction.
Carol Langstroth, Manger
Mind Fog Reviews