Friday, November 6, 2015

The Cherry Harvest by Lucy Sanna

Set during World War II in Wisconsin's beautiful Door County peninsula, The Cherry Harvest follows the story of Thomas, Charlotte, and Kate Christiansen, the owners of a cherry farm. With their son Ben and most of the men on the peninsula sent away to fight the Nazis, Thomas and Charlotte worry how they're going to survive the harvest season, until the mention of German POWs enter the picture. Many in Door County fear that these German POWs are nothing more than Nazi sympathizers. With enemies on Wisconsin soil, many living in Door County fear for their safety. Even though it's unpopular, the Christiansens, needing all the help they can get to make this cherry harvest successful, agree to have the POWs work on their property.

Much of this story focuses on the relationship between Kate and her mother Charlotte. Their relationship is not rooted in love. Kate is a typical teen, interested in fashion, her friends, and boys, particularly Clay the son of an Illinois senator vacationing in Door County for the summer. When a secret threatens to tear the family apart, Kate and Charlotte are forced to deepen their relationship.

The Cherry Harvest is written by the Wisconsin-born Lucy Sanna. Although this is a work of fiction, there were in fact German POWs who worked the cherry orchards of Door County. During 1944 and 1945, Wisconsin was in fact a harboring place for many German POWs. POW camps were scattered throughout the state from Door County to Eau Claire and Rockfield, just outside of the Cedarburg/Germantown area.