Monday, November 12, 2018

A Seat by the Hearth by Amy Clipston: An Amish Homestead Novel

A Seat by the Hearth by Amy Clipston returns us to Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.  Priscilla Allgyer is returning to her parent’s home after eight years with her six year old son, Ethan.  Her mother, Edna welcomes her, but her father, Yonnie is just as cold, critical and disapproving as ever.  Priscilla is thankful that he is kind to her son and that is what is most important to her.  Yonnie will allow her to stay if she follows certain rules.  He insists that Priscilla and Ethan wear Amish dress, visit the Bishop right away confess her sins and to get right with the church since she is currently shunned, and then he wants her to find an acceptable husband.  Mark Riehl is now working for Yonnie helping him train horses and he is known for charming the local females.  Priscilla is the first woman to not fall for his charm and is leery of trusting any man after her experience with Ethan’s father.  As time passes, they are slowly becoming friends.  One day Priscilla is upset, and she is talking to Mark in the barn.  Yonnie and the Bishop walk in and misconstrue the situation.  Priscilla must make a choice that not only affects her, but Mark, Ethan and their families.  Can Priscilla learn to trust Mark and build a future with him?

A Seat by the Hearth is a lovely story.  I thought it was well-written with steady pacing.  There are good characters and a beautiful setting.  Priscilla is reluctant to return home to her father’s dictatorial rule, but she has no other options.  Yonnie has been indifferent, stern and judgmental of Priscilla her whole life.  She wishes her family was more like the warm and welcoming Riehl’s.  Mark is a charmer and he knows it.  He has yet to feel the need to settle down.  Mark is baffled by Priscilla’s indifference.  He sees how Yonnie treats Priscilla and he wants to be her friend.  I like how the relationship between Mark and Priscilla progresses slowly.  They are attracted to each other in the beginning, but they take the time to get to know one other.  In Priscilla’s case, she has issues to overcome before she can begin again with someone new.  I appreciated that we get to see how actions speak louder than words.  Amy Clipston created delightful characters for this story and the main characters complement each other.   We also learn how upbringing can affect a person (we learn from our parents).  The series issue of abuse is handled carefully and responsibly.  Some of the Christian elements present in A Seat by the Heart are prayer, forgiveness, forgiveness and trusting in God.  While A Seat by the Hearth is the third book in An Amish Homestead series, it can be read alone.  Personally, I have enjoyed the journey with the Riehl family in each new book, and I am glad that I read them in order.  I started A Seat by the Hearth and finished it within three hours.  Amy Clipston has an appealing writing style.  It is like Amy is sitting in a chair by the fire and telling us a story.   A Seat by the Hearth is an engaging and emotional novel with heartwarming characters. 

A Seat by the Hearth will be out tomorrow, November 12. The first two book in An Amish Homestead Novel series are A Place at Our Table and Room on the Porch Swing.  I appreciate you visiting today and reading my review.  Tomorrow I will return to feature Death and Daisies by Amanda Flower.  The second book in A Magic Garden Mystery series.  I hope you have a very special day and have found a new book to read.  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

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