Thursday, June 17, 2021

Samuel's Return by Susan Lantz Simpson

Book Summary

The first scent of blooming flowers, fresh green fields, and invigorating days of sunshine. A Southern Maryland Amish spring bursts with hope, bright promise--and a practical young widow's chance to try love anew...

With two lively daughters, an active newborn, and a huge farm to tend, Lena Troyer has no time for impossible what-ifs. She just can't let herself be distracted by Samuel Mast's unexpected return. Even though her childhood sweetheart became the man she longed to marry, Samuel never saw or wrote Lena again after his family abruptly moved away. Now a widow, Lena is determined to keep Samuel's helpful ways and irresistible good humor at arm's length--no matter how often he's there when she needs him most...

A restless father with a shameful secret was the reason Samuel's many letters never got to Lena. And it's why Samuel can't bring himself to tell Lena the truth--though he's doing everything he can to regain her trust and prove he's worthy of the resourceful woman she's become. But as a rival for his affections complicates matters, Samuel and Lena must somehow put the past to rest--and believe that faith, honesty, and rekindled love will be more than enough to finally build a family together...
My Thoughts

Samuel’s Return by Susan Lantz Simpson is the 6th novel in The Amish of Southern Maryland series.  It can be read as a standalone.  The book has good writing with relatable characters.  The book moved along at a steady pace for the most part.  There were a couple of slow sections in the middle.  I thought Lena’s girls were delightful.  They were such sweethearts.  I cannot imagine, though, asking a four-year-old to watch after two younger siblings.  I see a lot of responsibility in Mary’s future.  I loved that we get to see Becky Zook (from The Reconciliation) get married and have her baby.  Becky certainly deserves a happy ending as well as Atlee. Bishop Menno was a great character.  He is the kind of bishop a community needs (kind, sympathetic, watchful, clever, good sense of humor).  I loved his reaction to Sarah and her pies. There is humor scattered throughout that I enjoyed.  I laughed often while reading Samuel’s Return.  I did find Lena frustrating at times.  The way she refused to listen to Samuel and kept running from him.  I thought Lena acted immature considering she is a widow with three children (what type of example is she setting for her eldest who is very observant).  I also found the story to be predictable. Samuel trying to woo Lena and Lena avoiding Samuel makes for a long book.  Plus, we know everything our characters are thinking and feeling.  I felt the book needed something else to give it more depth and substance.  Samuel’s Return is a sweet Amish tale.  I did feel it could have been shortened.  Some of the themes in Samuel’s Return are trust, forgiveness, shame, hope, and faith.  Another one is trusting God.  My favorite phrase from Samuel’s Return is, “People kumm in all shapes and sizes.  The Lord Gott made and loves us all.”  Samuel’s Return is a charming Amish tale with children’s clatter and chatter, a frolic with friends, a benevolent bishop, pitiful pies, strong storms, and a lasting love.

Samuel's Return can be obtained from Amazon*.  You can find the other novels in The Amish of Southern Maryland series here.  The Promise (first book in series) is currently $1.99 on Amazon (kindle version).  The Reconciliation (third book in series) can be borrowed through Kindle Unlimited.  You can find Susan Lantz Simpson's other novels here.  Thank you for reading my review today.  Tomorrow I am featuring Deadly Delights by Laura Jensen Walker.  It is the 2nd A Bookish Baker Mystery.  I hope that you have a heartwarming day.  Take care, be kind, and Happy Reading!


The Avid Reader

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