Showing posts with label Amish. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Amish. Show all posts

Friday, July 8, 2011

High Treason - Samuel Oakes

Publisher:  Horizon Books (Oct.1, 2011)
Pages:  320
Source:  I received an ARC for review
Genre:  Amish political thriller

Let me say two things right off the bat.  One, this is not your typical Amish fiction.  Two, this is a must read.  Imagine the world as you know it now.  Suddenly the world finds itself fighting an epidemic.  Vaccines become mandatory.  Without it you will not be treated.  Imagine that rumors surface that the government is behind these problems.  You have now been introduced to the beginning problem of this story.  Now mix in two main characters that are from different worlds.  One is a female pastor, Regina, who feels it is her job to take care of the ill no matter what those in charge say.  She feels inadequate enough to do, what she knows can get her in trouble, secretly help those who need help.  Add in a second main character, Enos, a young Amish man waging a war of his own.  His father has decided they will not accept the Englishe'rs vaccine even as he watches his wife die and his children become sick.  Their bishop has given them the go ahead but he still refuses.  Enos disagrees with his father and takes the vaccine.  His father pretty much disowns him.  When his future plans are ripped from his hands he lets hate take over.  He sees no way back for himself.
This book is different because we usually see Amish fiction as love stories,  feel good stories that always paint the Amish in a good light.  This book paints the Amish in a true light.  This of course is my opinion.  We know the Amish are human like those of us who are not Amish.  They feel anger and hatred, etcetera.  What is different is that often we act on those feelings, and usually they don't.  We are led to believe through Amish fiction that they never get real angry or act on these feelings.  Since their community is closed to most English people we never really know.  This book brought  out several questions about the Amish and made you wonder what would really  happen in a situation like the one in the book. Both of the main characters were well developed.  They were believable in their thoughts, emotions and their beliefs.  I thought it wonderful that we see the way Enos struggles with his beliefs and the way he feels he is lost to God forever.  We all feel that way at times.  It is great to see the message of forgiveness.  This was a wonderful book.  I look forward to reading anything else this author puts out.  It is now in my top 10 favorites of 2011.  There are going to have to be some really great books published to knock it out of that spot.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

INSPY Reviews

I was a finalist judge for the INSPYS this year and enjoyed reading the books in the Amish category.  I was reading for INSPYS and CYBILS at the same time so I am just now getting around to posting my reviews.  I hope you enjoy them enough to pick them up and read them.

Anna’s Return by Marta Perry
Publisher:  Center Point Publishing
Pages:  350
Source:  Purchased
Genre:  Adult Amish Romance

Anna's Return was a thriller and romance rolled into one.  It was very refreshing.   This one kept me on the edge of my seat to the end.

Anna Beiler had spent three years in the English world after running away from her Amish  roots.  Now she is back with her adopted daughter Gracie.  This is sure to cause a stir.  Her plan is to stay there until she and Gracie are safe.  Gracie’s father Pete signed away his rights before she was born.  Her mother gave her legally to Anna before she died.  Now Pete wants her back and will do anything to get her.
Anna’s plans were temporary she thought.  The Samuel entered her life.  She finds that what she had run from can be mended and forgiveness is there for the asking.
I absolutely love Amish fiction.  I hate to say it but it is one of the very few types of romance stories I will read.  I love the simple life, the budding romance and the Christian lessons all wrapped up in one book.  Marta Perry did an excellent job with her characters.  You could feel the fear and pain in Anna’s situation.  We can all relate to doing something stupid and fearing we will not be forgiven.  I look forward to reading more of her books.

An Honest Love – Kathleen Fuller
Publisher:  Thomas Nelson
Pages:  304
Source:  Received review copy from publisher
Genre:  Adult Amish Romance

An Honest Love was a combination of a mystery and romance rolled up into one.  I am so used to reading Amish romance that this made it nice change
There were duel stories going on here.  First we find the love story of Elizabeth and Aaron.  Aaron is quiet and obedient since he joined the church.  He has a secret he is hiding.  Elizabeth is drawn to him yet she is interested in joining her English friends.  Can she learn from Aaron’s mistakes before it is too late?  Then we have Anna’s story.  She, her mother and her uncle have moved to Middlefield, Ohio.  They are opening a shop and Lukas is delivering goods to them.  He offers to help them with the wiring and other things.  Thus begins the relationship between the two of them.  Elizabeth has a secret though and she is afraid to tell Lukas.  However this secret becomes a source of contention between them later on.  This is a great story of learning to forgive and leaning on God for all of your needs.

Love Finds You in Charm Ohio – Annalisa Daughety
Publisher:  Summerside Press
Pages:  320
Source:  Received review copy from publisher
Genre:  Adult Amish Romance

Emma seems to have it all.  She is a teacher and her sister Abby is always trying to push her and Jacob together.  But Emma is hiding a secret.  Her family wants her to join the church and she knows she will but, she wants to experience the English world.  When she is given the opportunity to spend the summer in Charm, Ohio to help her aunt with her quilt shop she jumps at it.  Her sister Abby jumps at the chance to make sure Jacob doesn’t forget her sister and finds herself falling in love with him. 

Emma meets Kelly, an Englisher who is spending her summer trying to forget her cheating boyfriend.  The two become friends and Emma gets the opportunity to experience the English life and makes some serious discoveries.  She also discover a man named Noah.  She finds herself attracted to his easy going ways and finds he feels the same way about her.
I loved the three stories going on and how they blended so well.  The lesson of learning to listen to God to discover his purpose and not jump ahead of him really stuck out in this.  Not in a pushy way.  This was a book that took you into the small town life.  I felt like I was a part of the town.  I grew up outside of a small town like that and this brought back great memories.  I guess we are all looking for our version of Charm, Ohio.

Winter’s Awakening – Shelley Shepard Gray
Publisher:  Avon Inspire
Pages:  304
Source:  Purchased
Genre:  Adult Amish Romance

Winter's Awakening  was a wonderful look at the prejudices on both sides.  It was also a look at the temptations that both sides faced.  I believe we tend to assume things when we don't have all of the information. 

Joshua and Gretta live in Sugarcreek and it has always been expected that they will get married.  Then an English family moves in next door to Joshua and Lily catches his eye.  This causes him to question his feelings for Gretta.  Gretta’s family has moved here because Gretta is pregnant.  People are talking on both sides about Joshua and Gretta.  Gretta just wants a friend and finds it in Joshua.  When a snow storm blows in can both sides put aside their differences and their beliefs to help each other?
I really liked this one.  It is well known that the Amish don’t associate on a personal, friendship level with the non-English because of a difference in beliefs.  I thought this was a very accurate telling of that relationship.  Because of their relationship with God they will bend over backwards to help those in need.  Great recommended read.

Plain Paradise – Beth Wiseman
Publisher:  Thomas Nelson
Pages:  320
Source:  Received review copy from publisher
Genre:  Young Adult Amish Romance

Plain Paradise surprised me.  I've known several Mennonite families that have become foster parents or adoptive parents.  I never once thought about the biological parent(s) wanting anything to do with the child after they have been indoctrinated into the Amish world.
Linda was adopted by an old order Amish family.  She has a great relationship with her mother until the day her biological mother Josie shows up.  Her mother had never told her she was adopted.  Linda isn’t sure she wants anything to do with  Josie and Linda’s mother is afraid of losing her.  Josie didn’t come back to cause problems.  She has an inoperable tumor and wants the opportunity to get to know the daughter she gave up.
What I really liked about this book was how realistic it was.  How the message of love conquers all is still an important message today.  It made me ask myself what I would do If I was in Linda’s shoes or her Amish mother’s shoes.  Would I be as loving or forgiving?

Thursday, December 23, 2010

A Simple Amish Christmas - Vannetta Chapman

Publisher:  Abingdon Press (Oct, 2010_
Pages:  288
Genre:  Amish Romance

Annie Weaver has returned home to Mifflin County, Pennsylvania to care for her father.  Unknown to the community, she returns as a licensed nurse.  No one, especially Samuel Yoder, the doctor caring for her father knows this.  She decides she wants to stay in Mifflin County, but will she find a way to put her medical training to use?  Will Samuel, who has fallen in love with her find a way to put his painful past behind him, forget about their age difference, and make a future for himself and Annie?
I've read a lot of Amish fiction recently and found this to be enjoyable yet lacking in some areas.  Hopefully the questions left unanswered will be answered in another book.  Either way I look forward to reading more by this author and watching her writing develop.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Plain Promise by Beth Wiseman Review for Thomas Nelson

I enjoyed this book. It was after I read it that I realized it was the third book in a series. I will definitely have to get the first two and read them. Sadie belongs to the old order Amish. She is a widow and has been writing to Milo, an Amish man in Texas. She waits for his phone call each Tuesday. She thinks and hopes that he is the one God is sending her way. Then her world is turned upside down by the entrance of Kade.. He is trying to get away from the rat race called life. He has rented the small cottage on Sadie’s property. It has electricity unlike her place. Unfamiliar with the Amish ways he makes several blunders when trying to be friendly to Sadie. The two begin to build a friendship when Kade’s estranged wife drops their autistic son off so that she can run off and get married. Kade has to adjust to a life with his son Tyler. As time goes on he finds his way back to God and a peacefulness begins to fill his life. His feelings toward Sadie begin to change and his relationship with Tyler changes into something he could only dream about. This story is full of lessons of hope, love and perseverance. The promises that we receive from God if we are only willing to stop, listen and let him guide us. I am finding that I love stories of the Amish. At first I thought it was because I live in an area full of Mennonite and Amish. I finally realized that so much of their lives remind me of my simple upbringing on a farm in Indiana. A time I love to remember. A time that was far from the rat race of life. It was a time in my life when my parents taught me to rely on God for everything. I have so many friends that need to read this book simply because I know that they will love the messages within.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

A Man of His Word by Kathleen Fuller

Publisher: Thomas Nelson, 2009
Pages: 291
ISBN: 978-1-59554-812-2
Source: I am a book reviewer/blogger for Thomas Nelson Publishing
Rating: 5 out of 5

This was a wonderful love story. This was the story set in a simple Amish town. Moriah Byler had grown up with twins Gabriel and Levi Miller. Competetive all of their life, it is Levi that has won Moriah's heart. Unfortunately one month after their wedding, Moriah is pregnant with their first child and Levi is working outside of their small Amish Town. He has found another woman and decides to leave his wife and his Amish ways. In steps Gabriel to try to fix the situation. He tries to bring his brother back for Moriah's sake, because he himself has loved her since they were children. This is also a story of redemption and forgiveness. Like the prodigal son, Levi has decided to return to his wife and his church when he is involved in an accident.

He dies leaving Moriah a widow. There is also a second love story developing along the way. Rachel and Tobias have also grown up together. There story parallels that of Gabriel, Levi and Moriah. Rachel is seeing Christian and yet Tobias, (Moriah's brother) discovers he loves Rachel. Moriah must decide to remain alone the rest of her life or trust God and allow another man to enter her life. What will it take to make Tobias step up to the plate and make Rachel see the men in their lives for what they really are and want from her?

I don't usually read romance but this was absolutely AWESOME. I will need to find more by this author. I could actually sit and read it all day. I finished this book in a little over two hours because it was so good. This would be a great book for a reading club. it includes great discussion questions in the study guide at the end.