Articles and Reviews

Review of Wooden Shoe Hollow: Charlotte Pieper's Cincinnati German Novel, edited by
Don Heinrich Tolzmann, By Clara Harsh, The Palatine Immigrant, Vol. 35:1 (2009): 5-6.

Wooden Shoe Hollow: Charlotte Pieper’s Cincinnati German Novel
Edited by Don Heinrich Tolzmann
2004 (2nd edition), 272 pp., index, Illus., softcover,
ISBN 1-93-932259-16-6, Little Miami Publishing Co.

Charlotte E. Pieper, a 1951 graduate of the University of Cincinnati, first wrote a story for her advanced writing class, and later expanded it into a novel. She died in 1984, leaving this as her major work. It is a charming novel, set in Cincinnati in the late 19th century, about a young immigrant girl who arrived in the midst of the truck farmers who provided the food for many tables in the area.

The novel deals with life in this German community, the hard work and the effort to maintain themselves, but also the pleasures of the community. The church played a large part in their lives, and the Pastor was always there and available to his congregation.

For people who know Cincinnati, it is a delight to read about the places that are familiar. For others, the home, church and family orientation of these recent German immigrants will parallel the way their ancestors lived. The dance on Saturday night, known as “the crowd” was surely duplicated elsewhere. The girls talked about what to wear, as girls still do. The wooden shoe of the title refers to the shoes that the farms wore in the field, where wooden footwear was a very practical solution to working in the soft earth.

Palatines to America members will find this a delightful story and learn much about life in the late 19th century.

Clara Harsh, Book Review Editor
The Palatine Immigrant