Monday, October 15, 2018

An Amish Homecoming: Four Amish Stories

Greetings!  His Promise by Shelley Shepard Gray comes out on October 23.  It is An Amish Christmas in Hart County which is part of the Amish of Hart County seriesMurder by the Book by Lauren Elliott will be published on October 30 along with Seances are for Suckers by Tamara Barry.  

An Amish Homecoming contains four Amish stories by Amy Clipston, Beth Wiseman, Kathleen Fuller and Shelley Shepard Gray.  No Place Like Home by Amy Clipston features Eva Dienner who is a widow with a four year old son.  She has been living with her in-laws since her husband, Simeon died fighting a fire with his volunteer unit.  Eva is now taking her son to see her parents who she has been estranged from since before her marriage.  She finds her old friend, Ian Miller living in families daadi haus and helping run her father’s dairy farm.  If not for her mother’s interference, Eva could have had a future with Ian.  Eva’s son, Junior falls in love with the farm, his grandparents and Ian.  Is there a hope Eva can reconcile with her parents?  What does the future hold for Eva and Ian?

When Love Returns is written by Beth Wiseman and takes readers to Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.  Sarah Zook and her daughter, Miriam are returning to her parents’ farm after Hurricane Harvey came through.  Her apartment is flooded and she needs a place to stay while she earns money.  Sarah ran away when she found out she was pregnant and has not heard from her parents since then.  Abram is angry that he missed out on the first years of his daughter’s life.  His anger disappears after seeing Sarah once again and then meets little Miriam.  Abram has never stopped loving Sarah, and Sarah realizes she still loves Abram.  But there is something she has yet to tell Abram that could changes his feelings for her. 

Shelley Shepard Gray brings us The Courage to Love set in Hart County.  Irene Keim has moved into the home of Mary Ruth and Henry Wengerd whom she met on her month long bus trip.  Irene has finally found a place that feels like home with people she cares about deeply.  Then the Wengerd’s son, Marcus returns home and is not happy to see Irene living with them.  He read about the incident in The Budget and does not feel Irene is suitable.  Irene does not wish to cause a rift in the Wengerd family and moves into an apartment above the Printed Page.  Marcus did not realize how much his parents relied on Irene’s help nor did he take the time to get to know Irene.  Mary Ruth and Henry are disappointed in Marcus.  Marcus sets out to make amends to Irene and soon learns not to judge a person until you get to know them. 

What Love Built by Kathleen Fuller takes us to Birch Creek.  Carolyn Yoder has returned to Birch Creek at the urging of her brother, Freemont.  She is determined to open a bakery on her own and will not let her family or the community help her.  Carolyn soon finds herself out of her depth, but she is unwilling to admit it.  Atlee Shetler has been a widower for twelve years and his life has grown stagnant.  He is visiting his friend, Thomas Bontrager in Birch Creek when he runs into Carolyn.  Atlee can see that Carolyn needs help and finds a way to provide it without injuring her stubborn pride.  Atlee enjoys spending time with Carolyn but he is not sure he is ready to love someone new. Carolyn has her own demons haunting her and she will have to confront them to make a new life in Birch Creek. 

I found these four novellas to be well-written and pleasing to read.  The main characters each have something to overcome in their past if they are to have a happy future (we can all relate).  We get to see them conquer adversity thanks to prayer, faith, hope, love, redemption and trusting God.  Other Christian themes in the novellas are forgiveness of others as well as ourselves (that is the hardest one) and we can never know God’s plans for us.  I enjoyed reading these heartwarming stories.  The four tales are quick to read and will lift up your spirits.  Each story can be read in one sitting.  The four novellas are set in different Amish towns, so the stories are not interconnected.  Each story relates to a series written by the author, but they can be read on their own.  Fans of these Amish authors will appreciate the four inspiring and endearing novellas in An Amish Homecoming.

An Amish Homecoming will be available on Tuesday, October 16.  Each novellas can be purchased separately (click on novella title).  Amy Clipston's next book is A Seat by the Hearth releases on November 13.  I will feature it here on The Avid Reader on November 12.  I will feature A Year of Extraordinary Moments by Bette Lee Crosby tomorrow.  It is the second A Magnolia Grove Novel.  May you have a glorious day.  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

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