The Peasant’s Dream by Melanie Dickerson

The Peasant's Dream

The Peasant’s Dream by Melanie Dickerson (Hagenheim #11)
English | 2020| Children/Young Adult| ePUB | 2.9 MB

Melanie Dickerson is a New York Times bestselling author, a two-time Christy Award finalist, two-time Maggie Award winner, Carol Award winner, two-time winner of the Christian Retailing’s Best award, and her book, The Healer’s Apprentice, won the National Readers Choice Award for Best First Book. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and Romance Writers of America (RWA). Melanie earned a bachelors degree in special education of the hearing impaired from The University of Alabama and has worked as a teacher in Georgia, Tennessee, and Ukraine. She lives with her husband and two children in Huntsville, Alabama.

In this reverse Cinderella story, a poor farmer’s son, who dreams of using his talent as a woodcarver to make a better life for himself, falls in love with a duke’s daughter and must fight for a chance to win her heart.

Adela is the youngest daughter of Duke Wilhelm of Hagenheim and is never allowed outside of the castle walls. She loves her family, but she sneaks away one day to the market in the town center. There she meets a handsome young man and wonders what it might be like to fall in love with a poor farmer with a kind heart instead of marrying the man her family is suggesting for her.

Frederick earns the income for his family and defends his mother from his father’s drunken rages. He also uses his talent and creativity to carve figures, animals, and scenes into wood, and he’s asked to carve these scenes into cathedral doors when his talent is noticed. Frederick is inspired by the sweet and beautiful Adela, but he has no knowledge of her true identity. When he gets swept up into a plan to kidnap the duke’s daughter, both are shaken by what they learn about the other.

With the heartbroken Adela resigned to an arranged marriage with her noble suitor, Frederick must decide what he’s willing to risk for love.

“Let me take care of it.” Frederick rushed down the narrow hallway to his bedroom. Thankfully, he had not built a fire this morning, so he reached barehanded into the back of the fireplace and pulled out the loose brick. He dug the leather pouch out of the hiding place he’d made, took out some coins, and shoved the pouch back in. He carefully replaced the brick, then ran out of the house and headed for the stable.

His father had not moved from where he’d last seen him, now whittling a stick with his knife. He looked up as Frederick entered the stable, grabbed his saddle, and readied his horse. Frederick mounted his steed inside and ducked low as he rode out through the stable door, urging his horse to a fast trot before he was even on the road.

Was that his father calling to him? He didn’t look back.

As his horse increased his speed, Frederick gave him his head and leaned forward, the wind blowing his hair into his eyes—perhaps it was time for a haircut. He said a prayer that the sick baby would not die.

His horse was fast and loved to gallop. His hooves ate up the road to Hagenheim. Frederick slowed him down at the town gate so as not to look suspicious and to let the horse rest. The animal still had to carry him all the way back, and Frederick was not a small man, being both tall and muscular from all the work he’d been doing on the farm since he was a small child.

Did he look like the rough farmworker that he was? It didn’t matter. He needed to get to the healer and help save Christa and Johannes’s baby.

Thank goodness he’d cleaned up after the birth of the calf.

He rode at a fast trot through the cobblestone streets. Hagenheim Castle rose above the town on a hill surrounded by another wall, the gate guarded by Duke Wilhelm’s men. Frederick had once thought if he ever became desperate for work—or desperate to get away from home—he could offer himself as a soldier. The duke needed guards who were large and could fight. Frederick fit that description well.

As he walked his horse up to the castle gate, a man stepped out of the guardhouse and held up a hand.

“Halt. What is your business?”

“I need the healer. That is, my neighbor’s baby is sick, and I’ve come to fetch the healer.”

The guard exchanged a look with the soldier next to him. Had he said something wrong?

“Frau Lena is the healer, and she will perhaps give you a remedy, but a person does not ‘fetch’ Frau Lena.”

“Very well. May I pass?”

“Go to that tower there.” The guard pointed to the castle tower closest to the gate, then stepped out of Frederick’s way.

Frederick hurried forward, dismounted when he reached the door of the tower, and went in.

A young woman about his own age was talking to a woman of forty or fifty, who looked up at Frederick.

“May I help you?” The older woman’s hair was a pale rust red streaked with white.

“My neighbor’s baby is very sick. He can barely breathe.”

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