Saturday, 5 March 2016

An Amish Year by Beth Wiseman (Amish Fiction, Christian fiction, 10E/10E, NetGalley, short 'n' sweet review)

December 2015, Thomas Nelson, 393 pages, Ebook, Review copy from NetGalley

Content: clean romance
Book Summary
Rooted in Love (previously published in An Amish Garden
Rosemary Lantz is doing her best to run her family’s household. She excels at all her tasks except one: gardening. Saul Petersheim has pursued Rosemary for years, but Rosemary keeps turning him down. What Saul doesn’t know is that she has good reason—something no one can know—especially not him.

A Love for Irma Rose

The year is 1957, and young Irma Rose has a choice to make. Date the man who is “right” for her? Or give Jonas a chance, the wild and reckless suitor who refuses to take no for an answer?  Irma Rose steps onto the path she believes God has planned for her, but when she loses her footing, she is forced to rethink her choice.   

Patchwork Perfect

Eli Byler has been a widower for two years when he chooses to make a fresh start in Paradise, Pennsylvania. As Eli juggles the admiration of two women, he meets Miriam Fisher—the most unconventional Amish woman he’s ever met. She doesn’t fit the mold for what Eli is looking for, but it isn’t long before Eli realizes that Miriam is everything he wants. But Miriam has no plans to get married—ever.  Will Eli be able to change her mind?

When Christmas Comes Again (previously published in An Amish Second Christmas)

Katherine knows the first Christmas without Elias will be hard for her and the children. But when a mysterious Englischer appears with photographs of her late husband, Katherine begins to wonder what other blessings Christmas could have in store.

Nayu's thoughts
At the end of each story of my ARC it lists books related to the story, which made me happy because I can explore the worlds touched upon further. You will need tissues! I cried heaps at the final novella, very bittersweet with a full range of emotions explored. Just because a story is short doesn't mean it can't pack a punch! 

I fell in love with all the characters, some who are in a more liberal Amish community than I've previously read, but that in itself was fascinating. A lot of the troubles characters faced were due to misunderstandings and incorrect beliefs which is what makes us human, and thus the books are easy to relate to.  As usual the Amish really love their food, sweet and savoury ^o^ All 4 novellas had a glossary of Amish words at the start so you didn't have to struggle with them if you aren't familiar with Pennsylvanian Dutch. They are pretty much the same for each story, so I barely glanced at them since I knew most of the phrases. 

Rooted in Love
My heart wept for Rosemary, because she was so wrong about her secret which took forever to come out. I must note I have the audiobook for the compilation An Amish Garden, which this story is also from, and looking forward to rereading it, knowing the happy ending!  

 A Love for Irma Rose
 A tiny part of me was annoyed with Irma for being indecisive, but the rest of me understood the pressure she had to do the 'right' thing for her family and community. In the past I lacked confidence in being bold enough to make a decision and stick with it, and worried about what others thought. These days I just do what I feel like, and was cheering when Irma finally made the right choice in every way. 

Patchwork Perfect
This was an extremely fun read, because Miriam was so stubborn! I loved watching how Eli coped with his children, which wasn't always the best, but he did what he could. It was interesting to find out it's what's inside a person that counts, who they are to everyone: few ever know what happens in someone's home, something Eli discovers to his horror with another potential wife candidate. 

When Christmas Comes Again
This story in particular made me think a lot because a lot of Amish don't like  photos, which is the same for a lot of Muslims too. I'm not against photos as I believe they capture moments in time, although I prefer landscapes and photos of objects/creatures, not humans, as experiences are captured in the heart. The photos in the story really helped Katherine deal with her grief, and helped bring about a positive change in her life.

Find out more on Beth's website.

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