Return to the Big Valley
Wilma’s Wish by Wanda E. Brunstetter
Wilma Hostetler has been courted by Israel Zook for the last year, and he’s recently proposed marriage. But when his sister dies, leaving him to care for five young nephews who openly dislike Wilma, she has second thoughts of starting with a ready-made family and decides to call off the wedding. Can anything be done to restore the relationship, or will Israel seek another wife?
Martha’s Miracle by Jean Brunstetter
Martha Yoder is different from other Amish women in her love of hunting and the outdoors. Meeting Glen Swarey, who is working with the local fire department, seems to be a good match. But can Martha accept Glen’s thoughts of leaving the Amish faith, or will she walk away from a chance at love?
Alma’s Acceptance by Richelle Brunstetter
Alma Wengerd is a young widow who leaves her home in Kentucky to stay with friends in Pennsylvania. Soon she is speeding into a renewed romance with Elias Kurtz and raising the brows of the older church members. When Alma is waylaid by some unexpected news, could putting her happiness with Elias on hold be her only option?
Return to the Big Valley contains three Amish tales by Wanda E. Brunstetter, Jean Brunstetter, and Richelle Brunstetter. The stories are Wilma’s Wish, Martha’s Miracle, and Alma’s Acceptance. We are taken back to Big Valley, Pennsylvania which we visited in The Brides of Big Valley. Each story can be read as a standalone. I thought the stories were well-written with good life lessons. There is good dialogue and pacing as well. Each story gives us a different look at Amish life. They are heartwarming and realistic stories. I could understand Wilma’s hesitancy at suddenly becoming a mother to five mischievous boys who were making life difficult. It was definitely a situation where a person needed to step back and re-evaluate the situation. Martha Yoder is a unique Amish woman. She prefers to be outdoors, and Martha enjoys hunting and fishing. It is hard to find an Amish man who will accept her (who does not want her to change). I liked that we get to see an Amish woman in a non-traditional role. Alma becomes a widow after a year of marriage. Her friend suggests she visit her in Big Valley where she reunites with an old friend and someone she had developed feelings for as a teen. She wonders if it is too soon to find love again. I enjoyed all three tales that deal with grief, caring parents, romantic tension, relationship obstacles, love, and humor. We get to enjoy everyday life in the community. I appreciated the epilogues that nicely wrapped up each novella. There is a recipe after each story. Return to the Big Valley has three sweet Amish tales that are a relaxing way to spend an afternoon.
The Avid Reader