I Gave My Heart to Know this: A Novel

Front Cover
Random House, 2011 - Fiction - 324 pages
36 Reviews
Ellen Baker is beloved for crafting intimate domestic stories that resonate deeply with readers. In I Gave My Heart to Know This, the award-winning author returns with a sweeping multigenerational saga of the searing power of war, memory, friendship, and family.

In January 1944, Grace Anderson, Lena Maki, and Lena's mother, Violet, have joined the growing ranks of women working for the war effort. Though they find satisfaction in their jobs at a Wisconsin shipyard, it isn't enough to distract them from the anxieties of wartime, or their fears for the men they love: Lena's twin brother, Derrick, and Grace's high school sweetheart, Alex. When shattering news arrives from the front, the lives of the three women are pitched into turmoil. As one is pushed to the brink of madness, the others are forced into choices they couldn't have imagined—and their lives will never be the same.

More than five decades later, Violet's great-granddaughter, Julia, returns to the small farmhouse where Violet and Lena once lived. Listless from her own recent tragedy, Julia begins to uncover the dark secrets that shattered her family, eventually learning that redemption—and love—can be found in the most unexpected places.

Beautifully written and profoundly moving, I Gave My Heart to Know This is a riveting story of loyalties held and sacred bonds broken; crushing loss and enduring dreams; and what it takes—and what it means—to find the way home.
  

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Her research process shows in the best way. - Goodreads
Too many characters muddled the plot. - Goodreads
The ending was abrupt. - Goodreads
The ending felt forced. - Goodreads
It moved at a good pace and kept you intrigued. - LibraryThing

Review: I Gave My Heart to Know This

User Review  - Angela - Goodreads

Loved this novel! Read full review

Review: I Gave My Heart to Know This

User Review  - Carrie - Goodreads

I think it was a mistake to read this book right after having read Baker's "Keeping the House" because that book set my expectations far too high. There were too many secondary characters, too many ... Read full review

All 15 reviews »

Selected pages

Contents

I
3
II
10
III
11
IV
30
V
49
VI
63
VII
68
VIII
88
XX
217
XXI
223
XXII
227
XXIII
231
XXIV
233
XXV
239
XXVI
240
XXVII
250

IX
89
X
103
XI
114
XII
126
XIII
136
XIV
141
XV
156
XVI
157
XVII
179
XVIII
192
XIX
212
XXVIII
254
XXIX
258
XXX
265
XXXI
276
XXXII
301
XXXIII
309
XXXIV
315
XXXV
322
XXXVI
324
Copyright

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About the author (2011)

Ellen Baker is author of Keeping the House, which won the 2008 Great Lakes Book Award. She has worked as a bookseller and event coordinator at an independent bookstore. She lives in Minnesota.

Bibliographic information