Sometimes when things get just a little too heavy or overwhelming, it’s good to sit in a comfy chair with a cup of tea and a feel good book. Susanne Bacon’s Wycliff Novels, starting with “Delicate Dreams” are exactly what I needed to find my center again after a very busy week. No bloody murders, no overwhelming crisis, no smart-aleck side kicks, just a cast of familiar characters who welcomed me into their world, and made me feel right at home. These lovely novels, written by my favorite German-American author, are cozy and delightful… perfect for relaxing.
Update- There ae now seven books in the Wycliff series! SEVEN! Each one following a different character in Wycliff…yet all of my old friends still make appearances through the series. Now you can get all of the books in English AND in German. What a great idea for language learners, or anyone who prefers to read in German.
The review is of book one, Delicate Dreams… but I’ve touched on the others as well.
Delicate Dreams Book Review
Delicate Dreams is the story of Dottie (geborn Gertrude) Dolan, the German widow of an American Soldier who passed away shortly after his retirement from the Air Force. At 45, Dottie finds she is alone in the seaside town of Wycliff, WA. The kids have grown up and moved away, and she is searching for something to keep herself busy, and connect her to the community.
With the encouragement and partnership of her neighbor and new friend, Pattie, Dottie opens a German Deli in the historic downtown, selling Aufschnitt, Wurst and treats that she remembers and loves from her home in Germany. The business begins to grow, and soon, Dottie finds herself taking part in the Chamber of Commerce, and is looking forward to taking part in the communities’ famous Victorian Christmas celebration. Until things begin to go wrong…
Delicate Dreams is more than a story about a German Deli, although, I have to admit, the descriptions of the shop might have been my favorite parts. (They reminded me so much of the German Delis and shops I’ve visited). There are several backstories just to keep things lively and engaging. Is there a dangerous thief in town? Will Dottie’s daughter come to her senses about her “relationship”, and finally settle into her own life? Will Wycliff’s Christmas Celebrations be cancelled, ruining downtown businesses, after the funds are embezzled? And most of all… will Dottie allow herself to let a new love into her life?
Susanne Bacon invites us in to Dottie’s life in a way that makes her feel like a good friend. Each chapter ends with a letter that Dottie has written to her late husband containing her deepest worries and longings. You really get a chance to get to know her as more than just a two dimensional character on the page.
I honestly wish I could move to Wycliff, it seems like a place I could live well… not in a fairy tale, but in a happy reality. I look forward to reading more about Dottie and her friends! For now, I will have to be satisfied cooking the delicious soup recipes that Susanne included in the back of the book! Lecker!!
Author Susanne Bacon (Photography: Laci Anna Duer)
You can follow Susanne Bacon on Facebook
Find Delicate Dreams, as well as other Books by Susanne Bacon on Amazon!
Update- I’ve read, and thoroughly enjoyed all of Susanne Bacon’s Wycliff novels. While they don’t feature Dottie and her Deli, they do mention her… and other familiar characters in Wycliffe. I’m ready to move there now…
The newest novel Greener Grass is packed with German and German-American characters.
Read the newest Wycliff Novel- Greener Grass
Susanne just sent me her latest book, Greener Grass. Of all the books in the series, this one feels the most personal. (She claims it isn’t autobiographical, but clearly there is some firsthand knowledge). Greener Grass deals more with the history of Wycliffe… and follows two families from the beginnings of the small town. But it also spends time dealing with relationships. Married couples, well as family relationships. How people find each other, and what it takes to stay together. The grass isn’t greener on the other side, it’s greener where you water it!
Fun bonus, there seem to be a LOT more Germans and German Americans turning up in Wycliffe. It’s interesting to see how different people assimilate.
Get your copy HERE
Delicate Dreams in GERMAN!
What a great way to practice German! Susanne recently translated Delicate Dreams into German for all of us to enjoy.
Schweigen ist Silber: Ein Wycliff Roman (Wycliff Romane) (German Edition)Wissen und Gewissen: Ein Wycliff Roman (Wycliff Romane) (German Edition)Wo ein Wille ist: Ein Wycliff Roman (Wycliff Romane) (German Edition)Schatten der Vergangenheit: Ein Wycliff Roman (Wycliff Romane) (German Edition)Weihnacht in Wycliff: Ein Wycliff Roman (Wycliff Romane) (German Edition)Das Glück der anderen: Ein Wycliff Roman (German Edition)
Islands on Storm
Like the Wycliff Novels? Why not try one of Susanne’s earlier books…
Islands on Storm is a different type of novel than her Wycliff books.This one feels more personal. The story takes place on the Channel Islands, and goes back and forth between the present and the time when the Islands were occupied by German Forces in WW2. It’s a great story, and an engaging look at a lost bit of history.