The Last of the Blacksmiths

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The Last of the Blacksmiths’ story begins in Germany in 1857 and travels to Cleveland, Ohio ending in 1910. It’s an intimately detailed story in which readers viscerally feel what it was like to be alive during the late 1800s. Rich in details, readers explore the thoughts of the German-born people living during America’s western migration, early industrial era, and its pre- through post-civil war times.

The story focuses on Michael Harm, a dreamer stuck on his father’s farm in which he has no interest. Forever not quite measuring up to the family’s expectations, he doubts himself. But at fifteen he travels to America to follow his dream of becoming a blacksmith. We join in his life’s challenges as he forges his new life.

Author Claire Gebben weaves beautifully layered descriptions bringing a depth to the story. “Throughout the winding journey, I kept my eyes pasted on the countryside, the clusters of half-timbered houses tied like knots of yarn on a quilt of green velvet. How ancient this landscape seemed…” She carved the story from original letters written between families living in America and Germany as well as stories from the letter writers’ decedents. Gebben writes from the heart.

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Star Count 5/5
Format Trade
Page Count 334 pages
Publisher Coffeetown Press
Publish Date 2014-Feb-15
ISBN 9781603811828 Buy this Book
Issue March 2014
Category Historical Fiction


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