Sunday, February 26, 2017

Annie's Recipe: Hope Chest of Dreams

I hope everyone is having a lovely Sunday.  I am still suffering from my cold.  I suffer from asthma and allergies which means I get sick easily. The colds tend to migrate to my chest and linger (lucky me).  One year I had bronchitis four times (it is like trying to breathe with an elephant on your chest).  What do you have planned for today?  

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.  Is there a happily ever after in the future for Levi and Annie? 

Annie’s Recipe is nicely written and is easy to read.  It  can be finished in just a couple of hours.  The book reminds me of a sappy romance novel with Christian/Amish faith and theology tossed in.  Annie’s journal entries remind me of those written by a lovesick teenager.  Well, technically she is a teenager (only eighteen).  Annie’s sponge cakes are mentioned frequently throughout the book.  I wondered if she could cook or bake anything else (it did not seem like it).  I give Annie’s Recipe 3 out of 5 stars.  It is a sweet book with a good lesson about having faith and believing in God (just not my type of Amish novel).  We are provided updates on the characters from the first book.  I like the character of Old Sam Beachy.  He crafts beautiful chests with custom designs on the tops (I would love one).  I just wanted a little more in Annie’s Recipe.  It seemed like the same details were discussed over and over throughout the story.  Levi and Annie love each other, but sometimes love is not enough (especially when one person refuses to compromise).    Annie's Recipe will be out on Tuesday, February 28.  The first book in Hope Chest of Dreams series is Rebecca's Bouquet.  The next book in the series is Rachel's Dream (out in late April).

Thank you for reading my latest book evaluation.  I need to run an errand and then pick up leaves outside.  The latest rain storm dumped another big load of leaves on our yard.  I hope all of you have a very special day. Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

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