Marta’s legacy begins in Switzerland in the year 1901 as a young girl at the age of 12. With a father who was quick to anger and take his anger out on Marta, and a sickly mother, Marta learns quickly that life is difficult. Papa pulls her out of school at age 12, hires her out to tend bee hives, clean hotel rooms and babysit. He finally sends her back to school.. to become a servant. Marta meets a variety of people through her employment and continues to hold on to her dreams of running a hotel someday. She gets as far as running a boarding house when she meets her husband Niklaus. They end up living in Canada, then later Calif with their young children. Marta’s daughter Hilde is constantly pushed by Marta, and feels the same unloved feeling that Marta had from her father. Hilde leaves as soon as she can to pursue nursing.. always being a servant as her mom says.
The book is rich in historical facts, ranging different countries and decades. The first in a sage of two parts, I definitely recommend not stopping with part one. The relationships between the mothers and daughters in this novel are always strained. Following the sin of pride and stubbornness, though feeling that they are showing love, they continue to pass on those traits to the next generation. It had sad undertones throughout the whole book and made me want to go and love on my daughter.