The lives of three strong women are depicted beginning in Berlin in 1846 to Chicago, Illinois in 1914.
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Jeannine Van Eperen, writer
Caroline lie in bed listening to the drip drop of rain as it beat against her bedroom window and as it fluttered down from the eaves. It was still dark but soon would be morning and she had yet to fall asleep. Her mind raced remembering Mama and Papa whom she would never see again. She sighed and stifled a sob. If only Papa had not died-- If only Mama had not acted like the little fool she was, I would still be able to call this room my own. But die they did, and tonight is the last night I will ever sleep in this bed, in this, my home. My life is ruined!
Later after Fraulein had helped her dress, Caroline regretfully picked up her parents' portraits and put them into her handbag. She wished her brother and sisters had not already gone. One more kiss from them would be the balm she so badly needed. But she was the last to leave. It had been decided seeing her leave would be too traumatic for the younger children, so she was the last. All the servants except for Fraulein Ritter and Herman Krause were gone too. The house usually so filled with laughter was silent, a tomb filled with memories, both happy and sad. For Caroline, today's memory was the saddest. Slowly, she turned around the room. It looked so empty now with her personal belongings packed away, but she had filed each memory of what was in a special compartment of her memory. She would never forget.
"Caroline! Caroline, come down here,” Fraulein Ritter called. "They are coming up the drive now. See the nice carriage they have rented just for you, Caroline."
"I'm coming, Fraulein,” Caroline said without enthusiasm.
"Now, now, Caroline. I know how you must feel, but you must be practical," Fraulein said. "You've nowhere else to go, and they will be good to you. My sister, Hedwig, is one of the sweetest creatures and Max Fechtnis is like my own brother. You will have a nice life, I am sure. Not the life you should have had, but none-the-less, you will have kindness--perhaps, more than your sisters and your brother."
She could not help herself. All of her pent up emotions came out as she cried, "I will not! How can I ever be happy again! I'll never see Louisa, Martha, and Henry again. You know that. I'll never see Frederick again, either, and he'll never even know where I've gone! I'll just be gone. I might as well be dead!"