Friday, January 19, 2018

Heartaches and Christmas Cakes: Debut Novel by Amy Miller

Thank you for stopping by today.  Who the Bishop Knows by Vannetta Chapman will be available on March 6.  It is the third book in The Amish Bishop Mysteries.  The first two books in the series are When the Bishop Needs an Alibi and What the Bishop Saw.

Heartaches and Christmas Cakes by Amy Miller takes us back to the fall of 1939 in Bournemouth, England. Audrey and Charlie Barton own Barton’s Bakery providing delectable delights for the people in their area. The bakery is a place where everyone knows they will be welcomed and have a chance to exchange a little gossip.  War has caused many changes in their lives including rationing of food and clothing.  Audrey’s brother, William heading off to fight with the British Expeditionary Forces.  William is engaged to Elsie and she wonders if he will return home to her.  Audrey’s stepsister, Lily shows up unexpectedly.  Lily had been working as a typist at the Ministry of Information headquarters in London.  Lily’s father, Victor is a controlling man who hit Lily.  Audrey knows there is more to the story, but Lily is not yet ready to confide in Audrey. The Barton’s have taken in wounded French solider, Jacques who becomes fascinated with Lily.   Audrey and Charlie have been unable to have a child of their own.  Evacuees arrive needing homes, and Audrey takes in little Mary Lintin.  Mary has been traumatized and does not speak.  Audrey knows that the little girl needs their love and a safe haven.  The family is worried when the fail to hear from William after he was posted over overseas.  Life is a constant struggle, but they have their family, friends and hope.  Will William return home to his family and fiancĂ©?  Can the Barton family help Mary to heal?  What is Lily’s secret?  Will romance bloom between Jacques and Lily? 

Heartaches and Christmas Cakes is a lovely story.  It starts in 1939 and continues through 1940.  I found the book to be well-written with good characters.  Audrey is a strong, thoughtful woman who cares about her friends and family.  She will do what she can to help.  Audrey is the glue that holds her family together.  We get to experience the ups and downs of the Barton family and those connected with them.  They have so little, but are willing to share it to help others.  The story has family, secrets, loss, love, friendship, pride, delectable baked goods, and hope.  They have hope that the future will be better.  We get to see how the war changes people and their character. Women stepped up and assumed roles that had previously been held by men. Thanks to rationing, they had to get creative and inventive.  The people from this era were strong and resilient.  It was fascinating to learn about how rationing worked in Great Britain.  It was very different from what Americans experienced.  Readers get to read about their daily struggles.  I admit that I had a little trouble getting into the story.  Once I got into it, I was hooked.  The author did a wonderful job at incorporating the events of the war into the story and I appreciate that she did not just make this a feel-good book.  The characters experience loss and have their share of troubles as well as happy moments.  Heartaches and Christmas Cakes is a heartwarming story.  I am ready to continue their story in Wartime Brides and Wedding Cakes (out on March 7).

I appreciate you reading my latest review.  I am taking the weekend off, and I will return on Monday, January 22 with my review of King of Bones and Ashes by J.D. Horn.  May you have a wonderful, relaxing weekend.  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

Thursday, January 18, 2018

You Were There Before My Eyes: Debut Novel by Maria Riva

Hello!  Claws for Concern by Miranda James will be available on February 20.  It is ninth book in A Cat in the Stacks Mystery seriesTwelve Angry Librarians (the eighth book in the series) was a delight to read.  It contained good characters and a great mystery.    

You Were There Before My Eyes is a historical novel by Maria Riva.  It is 1913 in Cirie, Italy where Giovanna “Jane” Zanchetta lives.  Jane has big dreams and they do not include staying in her village.  Then Giovanni or John returns from America looking for a bride.  John is an employee of the Ford Motor Company.  When John’s first choice for a bride falls through, he is encouraged to consider Jane.  They are soon wed and start their journey to Michigan.  Jane discovers many new wonders along the way.  She must learn English and how to run a modern household.  She is grateful for the help from Hannah Geiger, John’s landlady who helps her adapt to America.  After a while, John purchases them their own home.  Jane must deal with regulations enforced on employees for their homes by Ford (inspectors).  America enters World War I which brings its own set of challenges for Jane and her circle of friends.  What is in store for Jane in the future?  Read You Were There Before My Eyes to find out.

You Were There Before My Eyes was not what I expected.  I found the book to be too long (587 pages) and slow paced.  To be blunt, it was dull, tedious and predictable.  The dialogue was awkward (it was bad) and Hannah Geiger’s accent was exaggerated.  There was overuse of the word “vifey” and it was a struggle at time to decipher her dialogue.  It was obvious that the author did her research on Henry Ford and his company (she knew many details and included them in the story).  The book seemed to be an opus to Mr. Ford.  Maria Riva was overly descriptive.  I did feel that the author captured what new immigrants went through upon coming to America.  However, we did not need some of the minute details that she included (describe an outfit down to the buttons on it for example).  We are subjected to endless pages of Jane cleaning her home, cooking, baking, doing laundry, and taking care of her children.  Every holiday is described and historical event.  It seemed like the author was trying to include every historical event that took place during the time period of this novel as well as the inventions (postcards, Kellogg’s cereal, Sears Roebuck and their mail order catalog).  The characters are not fleshed out and given life.  They were flat and there were numerous peripheral characters.   The book lacked emotion and depth.  It felt like the author did not connect with her own story.  It is just the telling of a story (reminded me of a person who reads out loud in a monotone voice—uninspiring, bland).  I finally reached the end and it felt incomplete.  Unfortunately, You Were There Before My Eyes is not a book I can recommend.  Maria Riva is the only child of actress, Marlene Dietrich. 

Thank you for taking the time to read my review.  Next time I will be sharing my thoughts on Heartaches and Christmas Cakes by Amy Miller.  I hope that you have a happy day.  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

The Orphan Girl: Historical novel by Lindsey Hutchinson

Welcome!  Lindsey Hutchinson is the author of The Workhouse Children, The Wives' Revenge and The Lost Sisters.  You can follow Ms. Hutchinson on Amazon (get updates when a new book is released), BookBub, Goodreads,  Facebook and Twitter (@LHutchAuthor).  Lindsey lives in Shropshire with her husband.  She has two children and three grandchildren.  Ms. Hutchinson is the daughter of author, Meg Hutchinson.  

The Orphan Girl is the latest novel by Linsey Hutchinson.  Lily Rae is a maid at Ryder House in 1900.  One afternoon she is attacked by the master’s son, Sebastian Ryder.  Lily realizes that if she stays in the household, Sebastian will continue to attack her.  Lily takes her savings and quickly departs Ryder House for the town of Wednesbury.  Unable to find employment, Lily stays in a local churchyard.  One day she encounters Rose Downey who takes her to Mrs. Johnston’s rooming house.  Lily is then able to locate a position as a waitress at Ann’s CafĂ©.  Then Lily discovers that her fear has become a realization.   What will she do?  Sebastian is upset that Lily disappeared and is determined to locate her.  Tilley Green has a beautiful voice and one night, Seb Ryder happens to hear her perform.  Seb’s life has taken a downturn and he sees Tilley as his meal ticket (a way to earn money with little work).  Tilley, though, is not as ambitious as her new beau and will need persuading.  What happens when she realizes that Seb is deceiving her?  Tilley and Lily have lives that have peaks and valleys.  They continue to struggle and hope for a brighter, happier future.  See what happens with Lilly, Tilley and Sebastian in The Orphan Girl.

The Orphan Girl contains good writing and strong, resilient female characters with caring hearts.  The book is not predictable and has many unexpected surprises.  The author did a wonderful job at capturing the time-period and the locale.  She portrayed the struggles of women in this era.  I found it very realistic and gritty.  One of my favorite characters is Emily Johnston, who owns the rooming house.  Emily becomes a mother figure to Lily who provides needed advice and comfort.  The author provided good descriptions that helped bring the book to life.  I could picture the scenes in my head as I read the book.  Modern readers will find the language odd, but it was accurate for the time and the education level of the characters.  What the characters are saying can be discerned from the text.  The opening scene between Sebastian and Lily is very graphic and realistic (fair warning).  The Orphan Girl is an authentic historical novel that will have you riveted until the very last page.  The Orphan Girl can be purchased at Amazon, Kobo, iBooks and Google Play.  

Thank you for visiting today.  I hope you have found a new book to read and enjoy.  I will return tomorrow with my thoughts on You Were There Before My Eyes by Maria Riva.  For now, I am off to do more work on my house (my home is a work in progress).  May you have a fascinating day.  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Beneath the Summer Sun: An Every Amish Season

Welcome!  I want to share with you some upcoming releases of Amish novels.  They include Amish Cooking Class - The Celebration by Wanda Brunstetter (February 1), Liza's Second Chance by Molly Jebber (January 30), and Phoebe's Light by Suzanne Woods Fisher (February 6).

Beneath the Summer Sun by Kelly Irvin is the second installment in An Every Amish Season series.  Jennie Troyer is a widow with seven children in Jamesport, Missouri.  It has been four years since her husband, Atlee passed away, and Jennie is content to live without a spouse.  Jennie never told a soul about the type of husband Atlee was and how she can still hear his voice in her head belittling her.  Leo Graber has been in love with Jennie since they were young.  His guilt over his father’s death has prevented him from pursuing a relationship with Jennie or living a happy, fulfilling life.  Nathan Walker is a Mennonite traveling book salesman who has fallen for Jennie.  He visits her farm whenever he is in the area and enjoys spending time with Jennie and the children.  Nathan has been unable to settle down in one place because of resentment towards his parents for their mission work and leaving him behind when he was younger. He is contemplating becoming Amish to be with Jennie.  Matthew Troyer, Jennie’s oldest son, has been moody, rude, sneaking out of the house at night and refuses to discuss what is troubling him with Jennie.  What will it take for the four of them (Jennie, Leo, Nathan, and Matthew) to resolve their issues and move forward with their lives?

While Beneath the Summer Sun is the second book in the series, it can be read alone.  You need not have read Upon a Spring Breeze which involves different characters (but in the same community).  Beneath the Summer Sun is well-written and engaging. I appreciate this author’s writing style (makes for an easy and enjoyable novel).  I was drawn in right away and my attention was held until the end of the book.  The story contains lovely characters that are nicely constructed and develop over the course of the book.  They are realistic and relatable as well as the issues that they are experiencing.  I like how Ms. Irvin handled the subject of domestic abuse (physical and mental).  It is an issue that is generally not addressed in Amish novels and the author shows that abuse is not limited to Englischers (as we are called).  I am grateful that the author does not paint the Amish in a picture-perfect world.  The author has a way of incorporating Christian values into the book (light touch).  It flows nicely with the story and does not come across as preachy.  Some of the issues that are addressed are faith, following God’s path for your life, power of prayer, scripture, trust, forgiveness (of oneself and others), love, grace and guilt.  Beneath the Summer Sun is a captivating book that will stay with you long after you finish it.    I am eager to read the next book in An Every Amish Season series which is Through the Autumn Air.  We get Mary Katherine Ropp’s story who is in Beneath the Summer Sun.

Thank you for taking the time to read my review.  I will be featuring The Orphan Girl by Lindsey Hutchinson tomorrow.  I am off to continue my work in the attic.  I am only able to do a little at a time (small cramped space).  May you have a beautiful day.  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

Monday, January 15, 2018

Ella's Journey: The Mill Valley Girls

Welcome!  Words from the Heart by Kathleen Fuller is coming out on February 13.  It is An Amish Letters Novel (third book in series). Written in Love and The Promise of a Letter are the first two books in this series by Kathleen Fuller.

Ella’s Journey by Lynne Francis is first book in The Mill Valley Girls series.  Ella Bancroft is ready for a new job after three years of working long hours with little pay.  She arrives in York to work for Mr. & Mrs. Ward at Grange House.  Ella sends a majority of her earning home to her mum who has four mouths to feed.  Her family has had a hard time since the fire at the mill for which Ella’s sister, Alice was accused of setting.  The family knows that Alice was innocent, but she perished before her trial.  Ella is hoping to keep her association with the fire from her new employers.  Unfortunately, Grace Ward discovers the connection and uses it to force Ella to concoct a love potion.  Things (of course) go awry and Grace blames Ella for the debacle.  Ella is sacked and returns to her family.  The family is forced to move to a small cottage, and find a way to survive.  How will the Bancroft family find a way to move forward?  Who really set the mill fire?

Ella’s Journey is nicely written and has a good main character.  Ella is a lovely (and realistic) character.  She is a determined, bright young woman with a caring heart.  The author did a good job at creating her characters.  I enjoyed the story, but I thought the pace was too slow.  Ella’s Journey could have used some fine tuning (it would have made a big difference).  As the story progresses, the focus shifts from Ella to those in her family and circle of friends.   I thought the author did a great job at capturing the time-period and what people in Ella’s social class experienced (very realistic).  Ella’s Journey is the first book in a three-part series.  Readers who enjoy historical fiction will enjoy reading Ella’s Journey.

Thank you for visiting.  I will return tomorrow with my thoughts on Beneath the Summer Sun by Kelly Irvin.  May you have a dazzling day.  I am currently reading The Runaway Wife by Rosie Clarke.   Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Everybody's Somebody: A historical novel by Beryl Kingston

Greetings!  The Fast and the Furriest by Sofie Ryan will be published on February 6.  It is the fifth book in A Second Chance Cat Mystery series.  

Everybody’s Somebody by Beryl Kingston is the story of Rosie Goodison.  The book opens to students admiring paintings done by Gerard de Silva in an art gallery.  The girls are drawn to four painting (one for each season) with one woman featured.  There is no mention of the model’s name and the teacher states she is no one of consequence. Rosie Goodison is twelve years old and heading off to work at Arundel Castle as a nursery maid.  Rosie is a determined, smart young woman.  She questions the roles of woman and those of the working class.  Rosie is soon unsatisfied with her work in the nursery and looks for a better position.  Rosie is lucky when she obtains the position of housekeeper for Lady Eden’s two sons for the summer.  It gives Rosie a chance to read the latest newspapers and hear the news regarding the war that is erupting throughout Europe.  After the summer, Rosie decides to venture to London where she works at the RAC Club in Pall Mall.  Rosie is exposed to new experiences thanks to her new friends and coworkers.  She soon meets Jim Jackson, a dockworker.  When conscription begins, Jim is called up and off to war.  Rosie continues her work at the RAC Club where she meets the artist, Gerard de Silva.  The war continues, and it takes its toll on everyone.  When the war ends, Rosie is reunited with her love.  But life is not easy, and they struggle to survive.  Rosie is fortunate to get a job modeling for Gerard.  Will Rosie achieve her dreams?  How will her life turn out?  Join Rosie on her journey in Everybody’s Somebody.

Everybody’s Somebody is nicely written, but I found the pace a little slow.  It is a simple story about the life of Rosie Goodison.  Rosie wishes for a better life.  She does not understand the division of classes.  Rosie is a determined, intelligent feisty woman who struggles to survive in an ever-changing world.  Personally, I did not feel the author pushed the character as far as she could have.  I wanted to see Rosie achieve so much more (the potential was there).  I felt the author captured the era with the language, clothing and descriptions (good attention to detail).   It is evident that Beryl Kingston did her research.  I did feel the name dropping of famous people was forced (too many names).  It did not feel natural (at least for this book).  I was not fond of the alternating POV (it pulls me out of the story).  The author should have stuck with Rosie’s point-of-view for the whole book.  It was difficult to discern the dialect of the characters.  I was baffled (at times) by what the characters were saying (and the words were not in the online dictionary).  The ending felt unfinished.  The story could have used more editing (for content, pace, length).  I did like how the story went full circle (the paintings).  Everybody’s Somebody is a sweet, yet predictable story.  The story is told, but it was not given life.  I just expected more from the description.  Everybody's Somebody is a book on the Kindle Unlimited program.

I appreciate you reading my latest review.  I will be featuring Ella's Journey by Lynne Francis on Monday, January 15.  On Tuesday, I will be sharing my review of Beneath the Summer Sun by Kelly Irvin.  May you have a remarkable day.  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

Friday, January 12, 2018

The English Wife: New Historical Novel by Lauren Willig

Thank you for visiting today.  Six Feet Under by Tonya Kappes is the fourth book in A Kenni Lowry Mystery series.  It will be available on March 13.  It is a Southern mystery series full of zany antics and quirky characters.

The English Wife is a new novel by Lauren Willig that takes us back in time to 1899.  Annabelle Van Duyuil and her husband, Bayard (Bay) are holding a Twelfth Night Ball at their newly finished home Illyria.  Later that evening, Bay is found stabbed to death in the folly and his sister, Janie catches a glimpse of Annabelle in the river.  It is believed that Bay pushed Annabelle into the river and then killed himself.  Annabelle’s body, though, is not found.  There had been rumors swirling around society that Annabelle had been having an affair with the architect of Illyria.  Janie does not believe the rumors and wants to discover what really happened that night at the ball.  She knows that her mother would never hire a detective, so Janie seeks out assistance from reporter, James Burke.  The pair delve into Annabelle and Bay’s lives seeking answers.  The more Janie learns, the more she realizes how little she knew about her brother and his wife.  Did one of their secrets get them killed? And why did Bay die with saying the name George?

The English Wife sounded like such a great book.  A Gilded Age story with scandals, secrets and murder.  The final product, though, was like being stuck in rush hour traffic.  You move forward very, very slowly.  The pace was slow, and the dialogue was awkward.  There were a couple of good sections, but they were few (and did not make up for the rest of the book).  There are numerous characters (with very similar names) and background stories on each of them.  The book is written with one chapter in present time and the next chapter takes you back when Bay met Georgie.  There are detailed descriptions of homes (inside and out), clothing, art, and plays (many discussions on Shakespeare plays).  The author did capture the lifestyle of the rich living in 1899.  The only likeable character is the reporter, James Burke.  I quickly tired of Janie (whiny) and her overbearing, dominating mother.  The author should have given Janie a strong backbone and a curious nature.  Instead, she retreats into the wallpaper (very much the wallflower).  There is a lot of repetition in the book.  The mystery plays out slowly over the course of the novel and the reveal is anticlimactic.  The identity of the killer was no surprise.  The ending was disappointing with many threads left dangling.  The author was attempting to capture the era with the writing style, but it comes across as contrived.  The connections to the play Twelfth Night are apparent (for those who have read or seen Shakespeare’s play).  The English Wife had potential, but it was not achieved.  I found it a tedious book to read, and I want the hours I spent reading it back.  While I was not a fan of this book by Ms. Willig, it will not stop me from reading her future works.  I have enjoyed reading other novels by this author (The Forgotten Room for instance).

I am off to get some work done.  I will be featuring Everybody's Somebody by Beryl Kingston next time.  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

Thursday, January 11, 2018

For Better or Worse: A Ginger Barnes Main Line Mystery

Good Morrow!  Scone Cold Killer by Lena Gregory will be available on January 23.  It is the first book in All-Day Breakfast Cafe Mystery seriesAmish Cooking Class--The Celebration by Wanda Brunstetter will be published on February 6.  It is a delightful Amish series (and I cannot wait to read it).

For Better or Worse by Donna Huston Murray is A Ginger Barnes Main Line Mystery (Book Eight).  Ginger Barnes, known as a problem solver, is a widow with her son in college and her daughter is newly married (empty nester).  Ginger is installing tile in the kitchen of her daughter’s new home and soon finds herself involved in two of the neighbor’s problems.  Mrs. Maisie Zumstein is an elderly woman who has been acting strangely.  She dumped a bag of bricks out of upper window (starling Ginger) and then Ginger hears strange popping noises (reminiscent of gun shots).  Eric Zumstein claims his grandmother has a fascination with mystery novels (methinks there is more going on).  But then Maisie takes a fall down her stairs and claims Eric is responsible.  Cissie Voight is a new mother having trouble coping with a new infant and her household responsibilities.  Her husband wants a clean home, a dolled-up wife, and a hot dinner when he arrives home (unrealistic with a newborn).  When Ronald Voight is not pleased, he takes it out on Cissie.  Can Ginger help Cissie and Maisie?  Ginger is offered a job as a part-time babysitter for George Elliot’s (friend fixed her up with George) grandson, Jack.  Ginger enjoys taking care of Jack, but soon discovers that the parents have a secret.  In between DIY projects at her daughter’s house, Ginger delves into the situations.  Can she help Cissie escape an abusive situation?  Did Eric harm Maisie?  What is up with Jack’s parents?

For Better or Worse is the first book I have read in A Ginger Barnes Main Line Mystery series.  All the information I need is provided in the book.   The POV switches between various characters in the book.  I wish the author had told the story in third person or from Ginger’s point-of-view.  It is confusing when the POV switches regularly.  A reader must stop to figure out which character is now talking.  This took me out of the story (and had me frustrated).  I felt that the story lacked focus.  While there are several mysteries or “problems” in the story, they are not the main focus.  More time is devoted to Ginger and her dog, Fideaux (they go for many walks).   The author does address some serious issues in the book and handles them well.  I was a little baffled as to why Ginger was scared of the “census guy” (as she called him) and the man walking his dog.  I found it odd and did not seem to go with Ginger’s character.  Ginger comes across as a strong, determined, independent and friendly woman who likes to help people (she is a people person).  She tackles situations head on, but she can be reckless at times.  The ending felt incomplete.  Some questions remained unanswered.  While For Better or Worse tackles some sensitive (tough) issues is does contain light-hearted humor (this is a light cozy mystery).  Many cozy mystery readers will enjoy For Better for Worse and A Ginger Barnes Main Line Mystery series.  The first book in the series is The Main Line is Murder.

Thank you so much for stopping by today.  I am still busy working on repairs in my attic.  I will be working up there for the next month (it is a tiny crawl space attic).  I am trying to get everything done before it starts warming up (in Florida that is in February).  I will return tomorrow with my review of The English Wife by Lauren Willig.  May you have a pleasant day.  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader  

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

The Hostess with the Ghostess: A Haunted Guesthouse Mystery

Welcome!  Class Reunions are Murder by Libby Klein will be available on January 30.  It is the first book in A Poppy McAllister Mystery series.

The Hostess with the Ghostess by E.J. Copperman is the ninth book in A Haunted Guesthouse Mystery series.  Alison Kerby owns the Haunted Guesthouse in Harbor Haven, New Jersey.  The spook shows have lost their luster since Paul Harrison departed to see the world, so Alison has assembled the group to see how to improve them.  They are talking when a new ghost arrives and introduces himself as Richard Harrison, Paul’s brother.  He is looking for his PI brother because he needs his assistance.  Richard was a criminal defense attorney defending Cassidy Van Doren who was accused of murdering her stepfather.  It seems that Richard had stumbled upon something that would clear Cassidy of the crime, and Richard was silenced before he could reveal it.  Alison, with the help of her ghostly sidekicks, sets out to find Paul as well as who framed Cassidy and murdered Richard.  Someone, though, is not happy with Alison’s inquiries and attempts to derail her investigation.  Where is Paul and will Alison be able to find him?  Can Alison find the murderer so Richard can move on or will she become the killer’s next victim?

The Hostess with the Ghostess is the ninth book in the A Haunted Guesthouse Mystery series, and I suggest reading the books in order.  Otherwise, the numerous characters can be confusing (at least for the first several chapters).  The author does provide the details on how Alison along with her mother and daughter came to see ghosts.  Other details include her purchase of the guesthouse and her recent marriage (hubby has a minor role in book). The first half of the book felt very circular (like I was on a merry-go-round).  The same details are gone over again and again (lots of speculation and reiteration).  The plot failed to move forward (and my attention started wandering because I was bored).  Several times I wanted to give up on the book (but I persevered).  Progress is made in the second half of the story.  The mystery plays out slowly with clues provided as Alison discovers them or someone remembers to impart an important detail.  One little tidbit gives away the identity of the killer. I am glad that Alison is more open to detective work (finally), but she needs to work on her questioning technique.  Alison alienates people with the way she asks questions.  I like the relationship between Alison and her daughter.  Melissa is my favorite character, and I hope she will have a bigger role in the future.  There is humor in the story thanks to the ghosts and their various antics.  The Hostess with the Ghostess is a light-hearted cozy mystery with quirky characters (alive and dead), a mystery and zany humor that will appeal to many readers.

Thank you for reading my latest book review.  Next time I will be featuring For Better or Worse by Donna Huston Murray.  It is the eighth book in A Ginger Barnes Main Line Mystery series.  I hope that you have a breathtaking day.  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader  

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Amish Sweethearts: Four Amish Novellas by Amy Clipston

Amish Sweethearts by Amy Clipston contains four Amish novellas.  The book includes Love and Buggy Rides (from An Amish Harvest), A Home for Lindsey, Where the Heart Is, and Love Birds (from An Amish Market).   In A Home for Lindsey we get the story of Lindsey Bedford from the Kauffman Amish Bakery series.  Matthew Glick is looking forward to marrying Lindsey, but unexpected news ruins his plans.  Feeling he is not good enough for Lindsey, Matthew calls off the wedding and makes plans to move to Ohio.  Lindsey is devastated and is determined to find out what happened.  Will Lindsey and Matthew reconcile?

Where the Heart Is tells the story of Tobias Smucker.  Tobias has returned home after leaving his home and community in the middle of the night.  He wants to make things right with the community and find a way to have a relationship with his father.  Mariella Ebersol has been in love with Tobias for many years, but Tobias is oblivious to her feelings.  He develops a friendship with Mariella who helps him find his place within the community.  They uncover a family secret that helps him understand his father and for healing to begin. 

Amish Sweethearts contains four lovely stories (I summarized the new stories for you above) that each contain a life lesson.  They are well-written, easy to read and engaging.  Ms. Clipston creates real characters that people will enjoy reading about and can relate to.  We get to follow the characters through their journeys where they learn a lesson, get their life on track and find love with their soul mate.  Each of the stories contain nice Christian messages such as having faith, following God’s path, helping others, love, hope and forgiveness.  The stories are set in Lancaster County and Bird-in-the-Hand.  I appreciated the descriptions of the areas.  Amish Sweethearts are Christian stories that can be treasured by readers from 12 to 102 (PG rated stories). Amish Sweethearts has four sweet, simple Amish stories that will delight readers (especially fans of Amy Clipston).  The four stories can be purchased together in Amish Sweethearts or separately.

Thank you for stopping by today.  I am currently reading Court of Lions by Jane Johnson.  I will be featuring The Hostess with the Ghostess by E.J. Copperman next time.  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader