Under the Linden Tree: A Love Story by Cassandra Krivy Hirsch

My Note: Generally, I don’t read period pieces, usually sticking to modern stories. But after I attended a reading and author’s event for Under the Linden Tree by Cassandra Krivy Hirsch, I purchased the book and became engrossed in the story, because I love a good love story.


Perhaps I enjoyed Under the Linden Tree because the protagonist, Marianne, 23, embodies early signs of feminism, despite living in Victorian times, when propriety was so important, especially regarding male/female relations.  Perhaps I enjoyed the book because the author herself admitted that Marianne is somewhat like her, but also somewhat like the person she aspires to be. Perhaps I enjoyed the book because Casey, as her friends call her, writes as though she were actually living in the late 19th century.

Maybe I am drawn to the fact that the story takes place on the New England coast, which I find attractive. In fact, the author did research in the area to make the story authentic, even within the confines of fiction. Her book might fall into the category of historical fiction and I often find that more interesting than “straight” history.

The basic story involves Marianne, her seafaring husband, and a belated suitor who worked on her husband’s ship. The many twists and turns in the story keep it interesting, almost like a mystery around Marianne’s breaking from tradition to follow her heart. The descriptive phrases that the author uses sound authentically appropriate to the times. Here’s is one example of words that I think belong to a previous century.

It is nearly time for supper and I cannot think of food, for the waves now crash over the jetty and their force causes a wall of water to rise that is so great I can see it from the cupola. I can scarcely bring myself to peer through the telescope in that tiny space for a hopeful glimpse of James’ vessel….

No one talks like that in the 21st century, but it is certainly appropriate for the era. In fact, I think Hirsch captures the times very well, not only in her description of her surroundings, but in the language and personalities of her characters, some of whom you will love, like Lucy who helps and supports Marianne when trouble brews, and others you will not, such as Mrs. Pringle, a haughty matron who creates a great deal of discomfort and angst in Marianne’s young life.

In my note above the book cover I mentioned I love a good love story. What I did not add is that the love story doesn’t have to have a perfect ending. And author Hirsch deftly wraps up her novel in a way that leaves the reader as curious, even perplexed, as they are satisfied. She seems to be able to balance her characters and their lives in lively give-and-take chapters that will make this book a delightful read.

Published by EnCompass Editions, this soft-cover 327-page novel is available via online retailers Amazon.com and Barnesandnoble.com. You can also find or order it at your local library or bookstore.


3 thoughts on “Under the Linden Tree: A Love Story by Cassandra Krivy Hirsch

  1. Sounds like she has captured the sights, sounds, and life of the New England coast. It is truly
    and enchanting place. Since my son married into a New England family the grandparents who were living in New Bedford, the grandfather, who was born and lived his growing years and had a home
    on Block Island where his granddaughter and my son were married with crashing waves in the
    background, and lobster as the main course. Her grandfather owned large fishing boats,
    and my son spent six weeks on a scallop boat. They called him “college boy,” and sent him to do
    their biding, always a dead end, always a joke at his expense. When they got ashore, they spent a lot of their earning at a local dive. He opted for another life, but it was a real experience for him. but the sea is always a wonderful setting for both love and mystery

  2. Ellensue, thank you! I don’t know where my head’s been – other than in the teaching and grading tunnel; this winter term was a doozy – but I’m so glad I found your beautiful blog, and thank you for your generous review of my book!

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