This blog is a celebration of novel, novel characters!

I love reading novels, and as an artist I know a great exercise to stretch one's illustration skills is to portray characters from a description in a book. This blog is a challenge to myself to do just that so I'll be posting illustrations from whatever book I'm currently reading. Feel free to add comments and send me your fan art for these great titles too!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Carl & Annalisa from A Noble Groom by Jody Hedlund


A Noble Groom.  How could any woman resist a title like that?  Not to mention the cover that goes with it!  As if that combination alone wasn’t enough to give me a propensity for the story, the main characters are also German immigrants (dear to my heart as my father is one), and it’s set in Michigan with countryside a lot like my current home in the neighboring state of Wisconsin.

 Anyway, those are the little things.  The real substance is in the characters and the plot, which did not disappoint.  When Carl von Reichart, the only son of a very unpopular Baron in Germany, is wrongly accused of a crime, he takes refuge in America, disguising his identity.   He’s sent to stay with the relatives of his faithful manservant who are in need of a groom for their recently widowed daughter Annalisa.  Upon arrival, Carl promises to stand in until her groom arrives by helping work on Annalisa’s farm in exchange for food and shelter.  But, with the dashingly kind Carl working for her, something told me from the beginning that Annalisa might not be so eager for her new groom once he arrives.

Tender and sweet, this is a story about God’s love and the healing power of simple kindness.  Annalisa wasn’t treated well by her first husband, and Carl never realized the hurts he’d inflicted on the lower class citizens by being indifferent to their suffering.  By being kind to each other they are both able to mature and grow in their faith.

Annalisa has a sweet little daughter named Gretchen and is expecting another little one when Carl arrives.  He eases Annalisa’s grief with light-hearted banter and endears himself to Gretchen with his piggyback rides. 

 Just Moved, 1870Henry Mosler (American, 1841–1920)Oil on canvas

This painting by Henry Mosler, a German painter, was painted 10 years before the setting of the book, but it reminds me of the simple family life depicted in the story.  The couple’s kind expressions and the easy going relationship depicted between them is the same I picture Annalisa and Carl having.

Joy Hedlund’s website:

For some fun pictures that inspired Jody for her settings and characters, check out the board for the story on her pinterest page:

I received a review copy of this book from Bethany House in exchange for my honest review!


  1. Monica, I just finished Jody's book and I loved it. What a sweet scene you've depicted. Your talent amazes me!

    Thanks for sharing with us.

  2. Great job as usual, Monica! :) Thanks for commenting on my site! I'd love for you to do a guest post about Japan sometime if you'd like. (Email me if interested - morganltarpley@yahoo.com)

    Have a great day girl and keep up the great creative work! :)