Dear Aunt Augusta,
I am attracted to my mentor’s daughter. Worse than that, I can’t stop thinking of her. As a devout Jew, however, I need a woman who will keep a traditional home. Esther’s parents sent her to a secular girls’ school. She socializes with daughters of very high ranking men, and her father encourages it. I’m afraid she will never want to settle into the quiet home life I envision for our children. My sons will study with a rabbi, but my wife will have the teaching of our daughters. Still I can’t stop thinking about Esther Baumann. What am I to do?
Confused in London
Adam Halevy, the hero in An Open Heart in Holly and Hopeful Hearts by Caroline Warfield
Dearest Confused in London,
My dear Confused in London, I am not the least bit sorry to say that your Esther sounds like a bluestocking. A woman like that is quite unlike any other! A woman with brains is nothing to be feared. Quite the contrary–she will push you to be a better man and a better father.
It seems to me that you know or at the very least suspect this already, which is why you have penned me your letter. If you care for this Esther and wish for her to be your wife and the mother of your children, should you not want her to be happy? If you love her, and I believe you do, then it is because you appreciate her despite her differences from what you think you ought to want. Should you not wish for your daughters to be similar to the woman you love? Should you not want them to be learned? A quiet home life is well and good, but one full of love is best of all.
Fear not. Love is always worth believing in, and hope should never die. Give of yourself, free yourself, and you will be much the happier for it, I truly believe so.
I wish you the very best,
Adam has been sent on a dangerous mission for his cousin. When he returns when hopes to find a suitable wife, someone who understands a woman’s role, and will make a traditional home. Why is Baumann’s outspoken, independent daughter the one woman who haunts his nights?
Dear authors, if ever you should find that one of your characters has found him or herself in a rather trying position, whether in matters of the heart or matters of fashion or any matter at all, do be a kind soul and write to me. I will endeavor to answer your questions, if you but pen them for me.