One forbidden love. Two broken hearts. Three little things.
Hattie Waltz should forget the troubled neighbor leaving for boot camp in 1917. He forgot about her ages ago. It had always been the Waltzs verses the Kregers, his family pitted against hers. When she hands him a farewell gift, a chemistry lesson unfolds. The good kind.
Arno Kreger can’t leave Iowa or his old man fast enough. He’s eager to prove his worth on the battlefield and stop blaming himself for his brother’s death. Before entering the train, he bumps into Hattie. He’s loved her forever, always from the sidelines, because nobody crosses Hattie’s pa.
One innocent letter soon morphs into many. Arno and Hattie share three little secrets in each letter and grow closer together. But he’s on his way to a war across the ocean, and she’s still in her father’s house. Their newfound love will need to survive dangers on both fronts.
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Three Little Things is a great read! I love historical fiction and great love stories and this book satisfied my desire for both! I am from the Midwest, so I loved the depiction of life in small town Iowa during WWI. This love story touched my heart. Love is the foundation of this story. The story of Hattie' and Arno's budding romance is the cornerstone of this book, but the cast of supporting characters in this book also exemplify the love of family and the devotion of true friendship. I highly recommend this book!
Hattie and Arno’s story charmed me from the first pages. Reading Three Little Things was like being transported to another place and time, experiencing life and love and loss on the American home front during WWI. Inspired by actual love letters passed between a German-American soldier and a young woman doing her part to serve her country from her small Iowa town, the historical authenticity of the story shines through. Patti Stockdale has a distinct writing style with charming turns of phrase that infuses her characters with larger than life personality. This is her debut novel, but from here on out I have a feeling people will be able to pick up one of her books and a few lines in be able to say, “This has to be a Stockdale novel!” Looking forward to more from this author.
Three Little Things was the perfect book for my list-loving heart. To carry on the theme, here are eight things I loved about Three Little Things.
1. I loved the writing style and voice. I often found myself smiling at the author’s turns of phrase.
2. The characters—even the “villains”—came across as real people.
3. I liked the humor sprinkled throughout the novel.
4. The cover is amazing.
5. I loved the letters between Hattie and Arno and the ongoing theme of three little things.
6. I enjoyed the historical details and learning more about World War I.
7. After having read nonfiction about the renaming of anything that sounded German and some of the anti-German attitudes, it was interesting to experience this through the eyes of fictional characters.
8. I adore that this was inspired by the author’s grandparents! I often found myself wondering where truth ended and fiction began. I would love a newsletter or something contrasting the truth with the fiction.
Although this book is an excellent representation of the home front, I will say that if you are looking for a World War I book that features actual battles or many scenes from the front, you may want to look elsewhere. Much of the hero’s time is spent in camps in America. I didn’t see this as a con, although if someone is looking for a battlefield-centered book, they might be disappointed. Personally, I enjoyed that it was centered around average people living their lives in the middle of a war.
The book didn’t have an extremely fast-paced plot, but I liked how the letters provided a framework for the story. In a way, it reminded me of a classic novel, and I loved that it felt like I was reading a book that could have been written in that era rather than a modern book that just happened to be set then.
I would recommend this book to anyone interested in learning more about World War I on the home front, readers who enjoy classic writers such as L.M. Montgomery or Elizabeth Gaskell, and people who enjoy a sweet love story.
I was intrigued that this novel originated from the author’s grandparents’ letters to each other and anxiously anticipated finding out what the “Three Little Things” was all about. This historical romance did not disappoint, and I succumbed to the story of Hattie and Arno and how they coped with personal loss and war time, yet keeping their faith. I loved Hattie’s little sassy streaks! I thoroughly enjoyed the “three little things” in each letter and how Hattie and Arno confided in each other their most intimate thoughts, fears, hopes and dreams through their correspondence. I am hoping that Patti Stockdale will be writing another book soon because I will certainly be looking forward to reading it.
I LOVED this book. The characters were so well developed they felt like friends. It had just the right amount of romance, mystery, and historical fiction. It would make an excellent movie and is a MUST read.