The Beloved Hope Chest by Amy Clipston is the fourth book in the Amish Heirloom series. This is the final book in the series. One of Mattie’s, main character, finds and opens the hope chest and finds an items that takes the readers back into time. The Beloved Hope Chest story has heartbreak, grief, and unconditional love.
Mattie was expecting a little boy and was in love with her husband, but then suddenly and unexpectedly her husband dies. The authors shows the raw emotion of Mattie when she received the tragic news. Mattie’s husband died a hero, and while that is great, it doesn’t provide comfort for Mattie.
Leroy, a childhood friend of Mattie, is a good, honest and caring person. Leroy has always loved Mattie. Mattie has only ever viewed Leroy as a friend. Leroy does not like to see Mattie and pain and decides that he would marry her and help care for the baby she is carrying. Leroy was unselfish, always putting Mattie first, and constantly showing Mattie that he will not give up.
This story is about forgiveness, trusting God, letting go of the past and moving on. The author shows how grieving can affect a person but that people are resilient and there are always people there to help care for you.
I received an ARC from NetGalley and Zondervan in exchange for an honest review.
Categories: Amish, book review, books, Christian, christian fiction, Christian Romance, NetGalley, romance, Zondervan
Tags: Amish, Amish fiction, book, book review, books, Christian, christian fiction, Christian Romance, NetGalley, romance, Zondervan
The Blessing by Wanda E. Brunstetter is the second book in the series The Amish cooking class. In the first book Heidi and Lyle open their home up at the Troyer Amish Farm for cooking classes that Heidi teaches. In this second book Heidi teaches were second cooking class. I read the Brunstetter’s first book in The Amish cooking class series and this book did not disappoint.
Just like the first book, Heidi’s students in The Blessing are facing a variety of needs. Aa young teenage who is struggling with life after her mother, an alcoholic, abandon her family. A mailman who wants to learn to cook. A wife who’s husband is a policeman and gives her this gift to learn to cook. A caterer who wants to learn new recipes for her business and a hunter who wants to learn to cook for his buddies. The story bring in some of the characters from the first book in the series, which is an added bonus to see how the first set of doing are doing.
Heidi seems to be a compassionate and thoughtful young woman, with a good sense of humor who genuinely loves sharing her love of cooking and of God with her students. It is heartwarming to see how Heidi is able to reach her students hearts when they are suffering, particularly teenage Nicole, who is struggling with forgiving her mother for leaving the family.
At the classes Heidi teaches her student to cook good Amish food and always sends them home with a Bible verse on the back of the recipe card. The story shows how each person needs something in there lives and Heidi is able to help them.
The story has feelings of hope, love, friendship, forgiveness and trust in God. Heidi shares a scripture with each of her recipe cards. This touching story left me wanting for more. I hope there will be more additions to her Cooking Class series. The stories are uplifting and enjoyable to read.
I received an ARC from Shiloh Run Press via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Categories: Amish, Amish Cooking Class, book review, Christian, christian fiction, Christian Romance, cooking, Inspirational, NetGalley, Review, romance, series, Shiloh Run Press, Wanda Brunstetter, Wanda E. Brunstetter, women, Women's Fiction
Tags: Amish, Amish Cooking Class, Amish fiction, book, book review, books, Brunstetter, Christian, christian fiction, cooking class, fiction, Inspirational, NetGalley, romance, series, Shiloh Run Press, Wanda E. Brunstetter, women
Upon a Spring Breeze by Kelly Irvin is a beautiful, emotional Amish book. At 20 years old Bess is newly married and pregnant, life couldn’t get better. Then, as she’s making stew for her husband one evening she get’s the news of his death. After her son is born he looks just like her late husband and coupled with her exhaustion and her babies colic she has a very hard time dealing with it. Her hormones are out of whack because she has postpartum depression and doesn’t realize it. She feels like a total failure with things. Her mother-in law has dementia and thinks Bess’s baby is her son who passed away and tries to care for him which just adds to Bess’s stress. Bess takes a job at a Bed and Breakfast Inn close by and the son of the owner falls for her. he is an Englisher. She now has two men that have fallen for her, Dusty the Englisher and Aidan, who was her husbands best friend since childhood. Aidan has been in love with her since childhood but she married his best friend. He still carries the strong feelings for her.
Aidan, Caleb and Bess’ best friend since childhood, does his best to repress his guilt over Caleb’s passing. Try as he might, he blames himself for sending him into town that tragic day. He promises on Caleb’s dying breath to watch over Bess and their unborn child. He tries to make that a reality but his long standing feelings for Bess start to get in the way.
Bess tries to find her way working in a B and B in town. When the rumor mill runs wild with stories of her and the English owner’s son, she has to begin to face reality instead of living in her own world of grief. She soon learns to rely on a group of widows in her community. The guidance and love that they giver her along with Aiden’s unyielding support soon give Bess hope that there might be a future for her and young Joshua after all.
Kelly really has a way with bringing her characters to life. The reader is quickly drawn in as the characters are so easy to identify with and root for in their quest for happiness. I really enjoyed the many strong female voices in the book. The group of supporting widows that reached out to young Bess was easy to connect with and understand their loss and struggle with their own stories. Even though at first I was not a Mattie fan, my heart began to ache for her and the fact that Soloman left his wife’s dementia untreated for so long. The author did an excellent job delicately working Mattie’s tale into the story, although I hoped that in the epilogue she would have found treatment and possibly have recovered.
Kelly Irvin’s writing is easy to follow. Intriguing, clean, and charming. The charcaters are believable. Their life situations are realistic. I was able to connect with both characters. Loss, grief, love, and faith are themes commonly found on every page.
I received an ARC from Thomas Nelson and Zondervan via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Categories: Amish, book review, Christian, christian fiction, Christian Romance, Thomas Nelson, Zondervan
Tags: Amish, book, book review, books, Christian, christian fiction, Christian Romance, Kelly Irvin, NetGalley
Annie’s Recipe by Lisa Jones Baker is the second book in the Hope Chest of Dreams series. Annie Mast and Levi Miller were childhood best friends. Then one day Levi was gone. Levi’s father, John, had broken the rules of the Ordnung and was shunned. John quickly packed up his family and moved away. Ten years later, Annie is at the wedding of Katie and Jeremiah when she notices an Englischer in the crowd. Upon closer inspection, she notices that it is Levi. They agree to meet at their special place at Pebble Creek. When they meet, it is like they have never been apart. Over the next few days, the two meet whenever Annie can get away. Levi wants to spend the rest of his life with Annie, but, there is a big obstacle in the way of their happiness. Levi does not feel he can return to Arthur, Illinois and live. He feels he will always be known as the son of the shunned man. Levi knows that Annie would not be happy in the Englisch world and asks if she would be willing to compromise. Annie’s heart, though, is in the Amish world where she grew up. Annie believes that God can work miracles and, if she is meant to be with Levi, God will find a way.
Annie’s Recipe is nicely written and is easy to read. The book reminds me of a sappy romance novel with Christian faith and theology tossed in. Annie’s journal entries remind me of those written by a lovesick teenager. Annie’s sponge cakes are mentioned frequently throughout the book.
I received an advanced reader’s copy from Kensington Books and Zebra via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
Categories: Amish, book review, books, Christian, christian fiction, culture, Kensington Books, NetGalley, Women's Fiction, Zebra
Tags: Amish, Annie's Recipe, book, book review, books, Christian, christian fiction, honest review, Review, romance
More Than a Marriage by Amy Lillard is about the ways of marriage, faith and romance. It is the story of Tess and Jacob of Well’s Landing drew me in immediately. More than a Marriage is part of the Quilting Circle series. I have enjoyed this series. The characters are well developed and her story lines are well researched. More than a Marriage covers an issue that is not often thought about when one thinks of Amish and marriage vows. I was delightfully surprised at how she approached this topic. Her plot takes us to the story of Tess and her husband Jacob. They are new to the community of Wells Landing. This community has a way of helping their own. They are a growing community that has somewhat embraced new ideas and technology while still trying to stay within the community rules.
Jacob’s family resides in Wells Land while Tess’s family remained in Clairta. Tess wanted to live a simple life while Jacob was becoming more absorbed into the Englisher life with him working for a roofing company. He was more focus on his cell phone than listening to Tess when they did have time alone. There were great struggles and Tess felt like she was all alone when she would see her quilting circle friends and their happiness being married. Marriage takes work and Tess felt as if she had done all she could to have Jacob’s attention. When Jacob mentioned selling her goats—well that was the end for Tess. She was going to leave and return to her family in Clairta. She spent time with Clare Rose and Ollie.
Amy Lillard keeps her readers on the edge of their seats. The characters come to life right off the pages. Her characters go through real life struggles.
I received a free copy from NetGalley with the only request to write an honest review about the book. No money was exchanged. This is my review written in my own words.
Categories: Amish, book review, books, Christian, christian fiction, Kensington Books, Zebra
Tags: Amish, Amy Lillard, Christian, christian fiction, Kensington Books, More Than a Marriage, Well's Landing, Zebra
The Hawaiian Quilt by Wanda E. Brunstetter & Jean Brunstetter is a refreshing new twist on Amish fiction. This is not your typical Amish story. There is such faith, hope, dreams, heartbreak and determination throughout this wonderful story. This one will keep you turning pages right up to the very end so you can see how it ends.
A very different type of Amish story, we are going to Hawaii, and we are using cameras and cell phones, and doing tourist things, we are also on a cruise ship.
Four dear friends decide to take a trip of a lifetime, and decide to take a cruise to Hawaii and Mexico, this is happening before they join the Amish church. Now you can picture these sheltered young women being on this exciting journey, how different for them. Mandy, Ellen, Barbara and Sadie decide early on their trip to each take separate side trips and then share their experiences with each other so that they are able to see more. Mandy and Ellen are late getting back to the ship while in Kawai and when they get to the dock the ship is gone. These girls sure had God’s hand on them, you can imagine all kind of bad things happening, but they end up staying with Christians and this is where the lost quilt comes into the story.
I enjoyed this quick read, questioned some of Mandy’s actions, but then remembering they are in their run around time, but I could see that Ellen was more set in her faith. The ending to me left a lot to be desired, it seemed a bit rushed, but then I didn’t write the book, and as I said this is a very different Amish story.
I received this book from Barbour Publishing and Shiloh Run Press via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Categories: Adventure, Amish, Barbour Publishing, book review, books, Christian, christian fiction, culture, ean Brunstetter, fiction, friendships, Jean Brunstetter, Literary Fiction, love, NetGalley, Shiloh Run Press, The Hawaiian Quilt, Wanda E. Brunstetter, Women's Fiction
Tags: Adventure, Amish, Barbour Publishing, book, book review, books, Hawaii, inspiration, Jean Brunstetter, life, NetGalley, Shiloh Run Press, The Hawaiian Quilt, Wanda E. Brunstetter
Mount Hope: An Amish Retelling of Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park by Sarah Price starts out in a small Amish community in Colorado. In the beginning of the story Fanny Price finds out that she and her brother will be leaving the family, and each will be living with different family members on the East coast. In less than thiry-six hours, Fanny is living with her aunt and family in Mount Hope, Ohio. Feeling out of place at the Bontrager farm, Fanny finds a friend in her older cousin, Elijah Bontrager.
As years have passed, Fanny has not over come her shyness, preferring solitude, but is very observant. Her relationship with Elijah takes a shift in a different direction. Fanny finds herself conflicted as to what to do about it. When her uncle presses her to marry a guy she doesn’t feel is worthy of her hand, Fanny can’t seem to find it in herself to tell her uncle the whole truth. It’s what her uncle does and the events afterwards that the eyes are opened!
Sarah Price writes with ease, that makes the story flow smoothly, and not missing a bit of details. Her characters take on human-like persona. Sarah stays true to the Amish culture and faith of the area she’s writing about, but most importantly of Amish districts and people.
I received this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Categories: Adventure, america, Amish, book review, books, Charisma House, Christian, culture, Literary Fiction, NetGalley, Realms, Review, Women's Fiction, Women's Fiction, Literary Fiction
Tags: Amish, book review, books, Christian, christian fiction, culture, history, inspiration, life, Literary Fiction, literature, Mount Hope, NetGalley, Ohio, relationships, Review, Sarah Price, Women's Fiction
Wanda E. Brunstetter’s Amish Friends Harvest Cookbook by Wanda E. Brunstetter is a great cookbook that has wonderful recipes for everyone to enjoy. I enjoyed reading the advice from Amish gardeners. They gave tips that are useful and I hope to use on my garden. Mrs. Brunsteter has sectioned her book off into eight categories. The categories are Salads, Soups, Main Dishes, Sides, Desserts, Snacks and Extras, and preserving the Harvest.
The Index of Recipes and Key Ingredients is a nice addition, which makes it easy to find a specific recipe. The pictures are high quality and beautiful. There are pictures of Amish farming and of some recipes. The recipes chosen use ingredients that can be found easily or are already in the kitchen. The recipes sound delicious and I cannot wait to try some of them for my family.
I give this book 5 out of 5 stars.
I received this book from Barbour Publishing, Inc. and Shiloh Run Press via Netgalley in exchange for a honest review.
Categories: Amish, Barbour Publishing, book review, books, Christian, cookbook, cooking, devotional, garden, nature, NetGalley, Review, Shiloh Run Press
Tags: Amish, Barbour Publishing, book review, books, Christian, cookbook, cooking, family, Harvest, NetGalley, recipes, Review, Shiloh Run Press, Wanda E. Brunstetter