We all have a mother. Some of us, have complicated relationships with the person who gave birth to us. The older I get, the more I realise that we are many, many daughters who have felt we don’t quite live up to expectations when it comes to our mamas. I loved my mother – dearly. I know she loved me. But no one can hurt you quite as much as your mother can, and there were periods in my life when the relationship with my mother was on ice. Very, very cold ice. That may be why I found the premise of Jenny Knipfer’s novel interesting – and I do hope the daughter (Enid) finds some closure before it is too late. In my case, we made up, my mother and I and during the last few days of her life I spent many hours at her bedside, singing the songs she had taught me. I think she liked that, even if she was beyond doing much more than squeeze my hand.
Right: enough of wallowing. Let us instead leap straight into Under the Willows – at present on tour with The Coffee Pot Book Club!
A novel about a mother and daughter and the secret shaping of their rocky relationship.
1918: Just as Robin Holcomb settles into married life with her husband, Willis, on his aunt and uncle’s farm in Wisconsin, WWI calls Willis away. With an unknown future and a child on the way, Robin makes the best of life among people she barely knows.
After the birth of her child, Robin struggles with depression and battles to overcome her inner demons before despair and hopelessness drive her to attempt to take her own life. Will Robin survive her dive into postpartum depression, let alone see Willis again?
1983: Enid Fenton clears out her Mother’s house and puts the family farm up for sale, trying to not be consumed by guilt for installing her mother into the county nursing home.
Reading through some of her mother’s diary entries, Enid uncovers a secret that helps her make sense of the unnamed point of division that has always soured their relationship.
Can Enid reconcile with her mother before the ravages of Alzheimer’s claim her?
Readers of historical fiction, Christian historical fiction, literary fiction, and women’s fiction will be moved as this novel takes them from the depths of a person’s psyche and grief to the pinnacle of long-hoped-for peace.
Robin pushed against the wall and slid down until her bottom met the floor. She kept her knees crunched to her chest and proceeded to sob. The fight had gone out of her, and now she gave in to the fear.
Just then, something her mother had said came to her.
“‘Do not fear’ is one of the most repeated phrases in the Bible. Do you know why?”
Robin had shaken her head and looked up at her mother with a question on her face. “Why?”
“Because He knew we would need to hear it. Above all, we mortals are prone to fear.”
Robin dried her tears on her sleeve. She had no idea where her hankie was, and she didn’t want to search for one. Her mother’s words helped her dam up the flood of heartbreak.
She was afraid. Robin knew that. Who wouldn’t be? But she had forgotten that God understood her fear and had compassion for her weakness. She would have to choose to place her trust in someone larger than her fear over Willis being killed.
“Help me, God,” she prayed.
Robin bowed her head to her knees and poured out her fear to someone who could beat it for her.
“Knipfer has created a story that crosses many genres and will appeal to those who love poignant epics about complex characters, engrossing plots, relatable situations, and a satisfying ending.” Tammy Ruggles for Readers’ Favorite, five-star review
“A sensitive and well-crafted drama unpacking issues of mental health, layers of grief, societal expectations, and the instability of memory, this novel is touching on the surface, but subtly and profoundly layered with meaning.” Self-Publishing Review ★★★★★
“A heart-rending, emotionally packed love story between a mother and daughter, Under the Weeping Willow is a journey of loss and brokenness coupled with forgiveness and healing. This time-split novel captured my heart and didn’t release it until the final page. Beautiful and haunting, Robin and Enid’s story swept me to another era. These characters lived, and I loved watching them find their way to each other. Keep the tissues handy. You don’t want to miss this story!” ~Candace West, Selah award finalist and author of the Valley Creek Redemption series
Trigger Warnings: Postpartum depression, attempted suicide, Alzheimer’s
Available on #KindleUnlimited
Author Bio: Jenny lives in Wisconsin with her husband, Ken, and their pet Yorkie, Ruby. She is also a mom and loves being a grandma. She enjoys many creative pursuits but finds writing the most fulfilling.
Spending many years as a librarian in a local public library, Jenny recently switched to using her skills as a floral designer in a retail flower shop. She is now retired from work due to disability. Her education background stems from psychology, music, and cultural missions.
All of Jenny’s books have earned five-star reviews from Readers’ Favorite, a book review and award contest company. She holds membership in the: Midwest Independent Booksellers Association, Wisconsin Writers Association, Christian Indie Publishing Association, and Independent Book Publishers Association.
Jenny’s favorite place to relax is by the western shore of Lake Superior, where her novel series, By The Light of the Moon, is set. She deems a cup of tea and a good book an essential part of every day. When not writing, Jenny can be found reading, tending to her many houseplants, or piecing quilt blocks at her sewing machine.
Her new historical fiction, four-part series entitled, Sheltering Trees, is set in the area Jenny grew up in, where she currently lives, and places along Minnesota’s Northern Shore, where she loves to visit. She is currently writing a four-part novella series entitled: Botanical Seasons.
Keep current with Jenny by visiting her website (see below for link) or by following her on social media.
Social Media Links:
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Jenny-Knipfer/e/B07QV9HPH4%253F