Genre: Amish Romance
Source: I received a copy to facilitate my review. The opinions expressed here are my own.
My Dearest Naomi – Jerry and Tina Eicher
I absolutely love when stories are based on real events. When younger, Jerry and Tina were separated while he taught in a Mennonite school. They wrote to each other almost daily. This story is a set of letters that the two main characters Eugene Mast, an Amish school teacher, and Naomi Miller write to each other. They were engaged to be married. Eugene finds himself separated from the woman he loves while he teaches at a Mennonite school. The letters speak of all kind of things, such as the everyday mundane chores. It doesn’t matter what your loved one is doing. You want to know everything that went on in their day.
If you like reading letters or diaries you will enjoy this book. If you are looking for a straight up novel then this might not be for you. I am one who loves diaries and memories written in a series of letters so I really enjoyed this book. As a teacher I enjoyed reading about Eugene’s experiences teaching. The book also has some wonderful poetry throughout. We also get a look at some of the differences between the Amish and the Mennonite. I believe a final reason I enjoyed this book is the same reason I enjoy Amish Romance novels. There is none of the mushy-gushy things most “romance” novels are made of. I have never liked them. They seem fake to me. To me this simple life through letters shows true love.
My Amish Childhood – Jerry Eicher
I often wondered about Jerry’s life. He was raised Amish, yet he is so unlike so many I have come to know. He lived I an Amish community in Canada. His parents decided to move them to Central America, the country of Honduras. One thing we learn is that the Amish community in Honduras wasn’t as rigid as a lot of Amish communities. I have learned by living just a few blocks up the street from an Amish and Mennonite community in Sarasota, that they are nothing like those in Ohio, Indiana, and Pennsylvania. There were a lot of cultural differences for him to adjust to as well. When I read that his neighbors considered stealing from each other okay, I was reminded of countries like Brazil where cheating is often considered okay in the business world.
Jerry had an issue with stuttering and was bullied for it as well. I found it quite humorous to find out he got even in many ways and never really got caught. One thing I really enjoyed were the pictures sprinkled throughout.
Susanna’s Christmas Wish – Jerry Eicher
Life as a newlywed is tough for all newly married people. For Susanna and Herman it is tougher because she married Herman after the one man she truly loved, Matthew, left the Amish Community. To make life more difficult she tries to convince both herself and her new husband that they truly do love each other. Then there is the culture clash. Herman’s family doesn’t celebrate Christmas on the 25th of December. Her family had always celebrated on the date the English celebrated. In his culture they celebrate it on the 6th of January. Since they are married he expects her to adapt to his culture since they are now one. She goes to her sister’s house to help with Thanksgiving and learns Matthew has returned. When they go for Thanksgiving he is still there and that creates more stress. Matthew is stirring up trouble. Herman is so insecure in his marriage and then his mother gets involved. What is Susanna to do except rely on her faith in God to get her through this touch time, and to save her marriage. This is a wonderful novella. It is great no matter what time of year.