Sunday, July 3, 2016

The Courtship Basket

I hope all of you are having a fabulous Sunday.  I was posting a review last night on the various book sites (I post my review on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Indigo, BAM, etc.).  One of the sites said it would not accept my review because I used the word "fudge".  I have yet to figure out what is offensive about fudge.  The only reason it was in the review was because it is the title of a book.  Does this seem odd to anyone else? I had to take out all references of the word before the site accepted my book review. I cold understand if I used a foul word (which I would not do), but fudge!

The Courtship Basket by Amy Clipston is the second book in An Amish Heirloom Novel series.  Rachel Fisher has been dating her boyfriend, David Beiler for the last four years.  She is hoping that he will propose soon. Rachel is standing on the front porch when she hears his voice nearby.  Rachel goes to investigate and finds David with her friend, Sharon.  Evidently, David no longer wishes to see Rachel, but did not know how to tell her (I think telling her would be better than betraying her with her best friend).  To help occupy her time, Rachel takes a position as a teaching assistant to her friend, Malinda at the special school.  At this school the children receive more one-on-one attention that some children need (especially when in the first grade).  Rachel will be working with the new student, John Lantz.  John’s father, Raymond is extremely ill and Mike, his brother, is taking care of them.  Mike is hoping the school will be beneficial to John.  Then there is a misunderstanding on Rachel’s part.  To make it up to Mike and his family, Rachel sends a meal to the family in her mother’s picnic basket (the first of many).  The picnic basket was special to Rachel’s parents and has a beautiful (and comforting) verse on the underside of the lid (2 Corinthians 1:7).  Slowly Rachel starts spending time at the Lantz farm helping John (tutoring him) and gets to know the family (especially Mike).  But both of them are hesitant to take their attraction beyond the friendship zone.  Then Rachel witnesses a scene (between Mike and a woman) and feels that Mike has betrayed her (no, she does not talk to Mike).  Then a tragedy strikes the Lantz family.  Just when Mike needs Rachel the most, she has pulled away.  Is there a future for Rachel and Mike?  Can the basket help bridge the gap and bring them back together?

The Courtship Basket is a sweet (though simple) story.  It is a little predictable with the typical couple gets together, they have a misunderstanding (just when Mike needs her the most) and then back together again.  I was hoping the book would not have the rift section.  This would have been a wonderful opportunity for Rachel to step up.  It would have helped the growth of her character.   The Courtship Basket is well-written (as are all of Amy Clipston’s novels) and easy to read (and has a good pace).  I liked the characters in the story as well as the lovely setting of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.  I liked the school concept portrayed in the book.  It is a shame that there are not more schools like this for children.  I give The Courtship Basket 4 out of 5 stars (which means I liked it).  This is the second book in the series, but you can read it as a stand-alone novel.  There are a couple of references to the first book, but they do not hinder the reader’s enjoyment of The Courtship Basket.  I look forward to the next book in this series titled The Cherished Quilt.

The book in An Amish Heirloom series is The Forgotten Recipe. You can follow Amy Clipston on Amazon and Facebook (get updates on her latest releases and contests).  I received a complimentary copy of The Courtship Basket in exchange for an honest evaluation of the novel.

I am off to make dinner and watch Home Fires on PBS.  I just started Gone with the Wool by Betty Hechtman.  I am trying to catch up on my reading.  I got behind while working on the leak (it took so long to find it). May all of you have a good evening.  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

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