Saturday, April 22nd, 1:00 PM
Main Library - Third Floor Program Area
Tim Trainor, Writer and Editor, provided an excellent review of this book on Amazon.
More than a million Germans immigrated to the United States from the mid-1840s through the following decade, fleeing repression, political turmoil and bleak futures. Andreas Wust and his future wife Maria Magdalena Gessner were among this diaspora, joining fellow countrymen in 1848 in a noisome Cincinnati enclave called Over-the-Rhine, where German language and customs prevailed through the twentieth century. Former U. S. Navy Commander Mary E. Wuest, great-granddaughter of this Bavarian couple, tells their story through the broad sweep of German history, focusing on the Spessart Forest, a forbidding and magical realm where wild animals, poachers, rogues and robber knights roamed the dense woods and feudal nobility ruled a network of farms and villages.
A model of meticulous research and crisp, clear writing, Spessart Roots traces forest inhabitants to the twelfth-century settlements of the Kahlgrund Valley, a mining and glassmaking region known for crystal clear "talking" mirrors immortalized in Snow White, the Grimm Brothers fairy tale. The book chronicles eras of famine, epidemics, invasions and pillaging punctuated by times of quiet prosperity. The stream of events flows through the centuries-long reign of the Holy Roman Empire, the Thirty Years War, Napoleonic conquests and other epochs that uprooted and shaped German society and culture.
Spessart Roots also is the story of America revealed through the microcosm of poor immigrants seeking freedom and opportunities denied them in their homelands. After settling in Cincinnati, Andreas Wust (Americanized to Andrew Wuest) started a mattress-making business that grew and prospered, staying in the family until its sale to Serta International in 1999 -- the American Dream fulfilled.We hope to see you there.
Submitted by Kathy Reed