Friday, January 21, 2011

An Amish Love book review

An Amish Love – 3 Novellas by Kelly Long, Kathleen Fuller and Beth Wiseman

I live in a part of New York State with a considerable Amish population. It’s not unusual to hear an Amish buggy rolling down the road, or see one parked on the side of the road selling baked goods. I’ve always been intrigued by our obvious differences but until I started reading Amish fiction, I never realized what our likenesses are - our love of family and our faith in God just to name a couple.

I appreciate that most of the authors who write Amish fiction try very hard to be accurate in their depiction of their characters. Many are personal friends with the Amish community and they treat their characters with respect.

Anyone who reads Christian romance fiction expects a happy ending and these stories don’t disappoint. We leave each story happy and hopeful.

The three stories in this volume are independent of the others, but overlap and are connected by characters, places and happenings.

The first story is by Kelly Long. “Marriage of the Heart”, is the story of Abby, a spunky young woman, whose has grown up without her mother and Joseph, who has been living outside the community and has just been accepted back in. Abby tricks Joseph, by lying about him, into marrying her so that she can get away from her authoritative father. However, Joseph, her new husband, turns the tables on her and declares that they will live with her father. Sparks fly! Abby wants out, Joseph wants back in, deception throws them together, love sneaks in, secrets are revealed and faith binds them together.

“What the Heart Sees” by Kathleen Fuller, is the second offering. Christopher Miller’s fiancé is killed in a car accident and her friend, Ellie, is blinded. When Christopher goes against the doctrine of his Amish faith and tries to have the young Amish man, who he feels is responsible, arrested he comes under the bann and leaves to live among the English. He returns to the community desiring to be restored but struggles to forgive the young driver, Isaiah. Upon returning he discovers his sister has become engaged to Isaiah. His late finance’s best friend, Ellie, tries to encourage him to forgive and make peace, and through their friendship he discovers a stronger faith in God.

Beth Wiseman is the author of the last story. “Healing Hearts” is unusual in that the main characters are not a young couple discovering love. Rather, its about a married couple married for more than 30 years suffering from the empty nest syndrome and working to rediscover the love that they had when they were young. The husband, Naaman, has come home after leaving his family for a year. His older children are not as forgiving as his younger children and his wife struggles with trying to be the wife she feels God wants her to be and her own feelings of doubt and resentment. This is a story of forgivness and rediscovered love.

All three of these novellas have similar themes of spunky characters, comical situations, tender moments and sensitive intimacies. They are stories of love, loss, secrets, hope, courage, patience, forgiveness and a reliance on deep faith in God.

I give this book 4 out of 5 stars only because I wish each story had been a longer, stand alone novel.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from BookSneeze and Thomas Nelson through their book review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed above are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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