Showing posts with label Ruth Reid. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ruth Reid. Show all posts

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Review: An Amish Second Christmas by Beth Wiseman, Kathleen Fuller, Ruth Reid, Tricia Goyer


Heidi Reads... An Amish Second Christmas by Beth Wiseman, Kathleen Fuller, Ruth Reid, Tricia Goyer

My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing

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Synopsis

When Christmas Comes Again by Beth Wiseman
Katherine Zook and her four children are facing their first Christmas without a loved one, and the future seems dim. But when a mysterious "Englisch" man begins to show up in the most unlikely of places, Katherine can't help but be suspicious . . . and a bit curious.
 

Her Christmas Pen Pal by Ruth Reid
When Joy Stolzfus's boyfriend tells her he wants to court other women, she's shocked. She pours her heart out in a letter, but it mistakenly reaches Noah Esh. The two begin writing letters back and forth, but a misunderstanding threatens to topple the relationship they're building.

A Gift for Anne Marie by Kathleen Fuller
Anne Marie Smucker's life is pretty perfect. Until she discovers her widowed mother is getting married and they're all moving. On top of that, Anne Marie's relationship with her friend Nathaniel has changed, and she's more confused than ever about her feelings for him.

The Christmas Aprons by Tricia Goyer
Esther Glick bakes a Christmas pie for a fundraiser, and she soon finds herself sitting across from bachelor Ammon Schwartz. Esther receives many orders for pies, but when she breaks her wrist, she discovers what community and love are all about.


My Review

This is a wonderful collection of holiday-themed stories that Amish fiction fans will love! I enjoyed each story and the characters in them. "When Christmas Comes Again" had a bit of a mystery and I loved the healing that the family went through as they showed compassion instead of holding on to past grudges. "Her Christmas Pen Pal" was a fun twist on You've Got Mail, and the romance was great! "A Gift for Anne Marie" is sweet story of friends who become more when they realize they will be separated. There are other conflicts besides the move, including a friend of Anne Marie's who decides to pursue Nathaniel. The friendship they share is lovely, but when new feelings begin to develop confusion and hesitation enters in and disrupts the harmony they had enjoyed. I love when friends fall in love since they have a great foundation and know each other so well. It was funny to see just how well Nathaniel knew Anne Marie and her moods. "The Christmas Aprons" shows how important community is and reaching out to make friends and share our talents. The romance in this one was especially lovely since Ammon helps Esther see that she is desirable and worthy of romantic love.

(I received a complimentary copy of the book; all opinions in this review are my own)


Monday, April 17, 2017

Review: An Amish Home by Beth Wiseman, Amy Clipston, Kathleen Fuller, Ruth Reid


Heidi Reads... An Amish Home by Beth Wiseman, Amy Clipston, Kathleen Fuller, Ruth Reid

My rating: 3 stars / I liked it

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Synopsis

A Cup Half Full by Beth Wiseman
Sarah Lantz always dreamed of the perfect home, the perfect husband, the perfect family. When she married Abram, she knew she was on her way to securing her perfect life. All of that changes in one moment when an accident leaves her unable to walk and confined to a wheelchair, dashing all of her dreams. As Abram starts to transform their home, Sarah begins a transformation in her spirit, and she begins, once again, to see her cup as half full.

Home Sweet Home by Amy Clipston

Down on their luck and desperate after they are evicted from their small apartment, Chace and Mia O’Conner reluctantly take Chace’s Amish boss up on his offer to rent them the daadihaus located on his property. They are certain they will never feel at home in the rustic cabin without any modern conveniences, and they start to blame each other for their seemingly hopeless situation. But with the help of their new Amish friends, Chace and Mia begin to enjoy their cozy cabin and realize that home really is where the heart is.

Building Faith by Kathleen Fuller

Faith Miller knows that carpentry is an unlikely hobby for a young Amish woman, but she loves the work and it keeps the memory of her grandfather alive. So when her cousin asks Faith to build the cabinets in her new home, Faith is only too happy to take on the job, even if it is the most ambitious project she has ever taken on. The only catch is that she has to work with her ex-fiance, Silas. As they work to build Martha’s kitchen, can they put the past behind them and start to build faith in one another again?

A Flicker of Hope by Ruth Reid

Fifteen years ago, Thomas and Noreen King were blissful newlyweds. Young, naive, and in love, life was rosy . . . for a while. Then trials and tribulations rocked their foundation, shattering them emotionally, and soon, their marriage was in shards. All hope for restoring their previously unshakable union seems lost. When fire destroys their home, Thomas and Noreen are left to sift through the rubble. As uncovered items from the remains of the house shake loose memories of the past, Thomas and Noreen begin to draw closer and a flicker of hope—and love—is re-ignited.

My Review

I always enjoy reading these collections of Amish-themed novellas. I have to admit that I prefer the ones that involve falling in love since they tend to have a bit more romance ;) The characters in this group of stories are either married or had a previously developed relationship, and they are enduring trials in their lives that threaten the happiness they once found together. I found the angst a little heavier than I expected as the members of each couple turn away from each other, only to find that by relying on each other and their faith will give them the strength to overcome and achieve peace. They are all well-written by some of my favorite authors of the genre.

(I received a complimentary copy of the book; all opinions in this review are my own)


Friday, January 8, 2016

Review: An Amish Christmas Gift by Amy Clipston, Ruth Reid, Kelly Irvin


Heidi Reads... An Amish Christmas Gift by Amy Clipston, Ruth Reid, Kelly Irvin

My rating: 4 stars / I really liked it

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Synopsis

Naomi's Gift by Amy Clipston
Twenty-four-year-old Naomi King, who has been burned twice by love, has all but given up on marriage and children. As Christmas approaches a time of family, faith, and hope for many others Naomi is more certain than ever her life will be spent as an old maid, helping with the family's quilting business and taking care of her eight siblings. Then she meets Caleb, a young widower with a 7-year-old daughter, and her world is once again turned upside-down.

An Unexpected Joy by Ruth Reid
Abigail Kemp has managed to frighten off every bu who's ever driven her home from a singing. Sure she will live to be an old maid, Abigail starts saving her money to buy a horse so she can at least have some independence.
Micah Zook is looking for a caregiver for his grandmother, and Abigail needs a new job. He never expected that Abigail would talk so much . . . or that his grandmother would keep finding ways to set the two of them up.
Despite Abigail's constant chatter, she and Micah become friends until Micah makes a decision that leaves Abigail feeling betrayed. With Christmas in their midst, can Micah find a way to reconcile with Abigail and to reveal what's on his heart?

A Christmas Visitor by Kelly Irvin
Frannie knows her parents have the best of intentions when they send her back to Bee County, Texas, to live with her aunt Abigail and her husband Mordecai. After all, she knows nothing can come of a relationship with Rocky, the handsome but Englisch farmer boy back in Missouri. It's best to put those feelings aside, no matter how hard it is. But all bets are off when Rocky follows Frannie to Texas to plead his case. Could he be the Christmas gift to end all gifts?


My Review

I'm a fan of these Amish novella collections, especially during a busy time of year like Christmas. It's so nice to sit down and be able to read a story or two at a time. Each of these is set during the holidays and the main character is feeling isolated from her family and community, but receives the gift of love.

Naomi is deemed undesirable by Caleb's busybody sister, and it was a bit frustrating to see him pursue the wrong girl once he decided that marriage was his goal. It was surprising that barely courting someone would lead to assumptions of a betrothal, before they even had a chance to get to know each other well. I enjoyed Naomi's sincerity and the antics of Caleb's young daughter.

Abigail's gift of gab prevents Micah from giving her a chance, but his grandmother takes a liking to her and he's desperate for help. I liked that as he was able to witness her redeeming qualities her quirks became endearing instead of annoying. He's kind of overbearing when they disagree, but she is anything but a doormat and sparks are always flying.

I loved the story of Rocky and Frannie and the progression of their relationship with each other. The themes of sacrifice, obedience, and spirituality were woven together as Rocky explores the Amish lifestyle with the potential of joining their faith. They had the sweetest romantic moments of the collection since they already had feelings for each other which only deepen as they are tested.

(Thank you to Thomas Nelson Publishing for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Review: An Amish Miracle by Beth Wiseman, Ruth Reid, and Mary Ellis

My Rating: 4 stars

Synopsis from Goodreads.com

Always Beautiful by Beth Wiseman
Becky Byler is eighteen and overweight. She is overwhelmed by the embarrassment she feels when comparing herself to other girls her age. Having lost all hope, she considers taking her own life. As she stands before rushing water, unable to swim, Becky begs God for a miracle. In just several months, Becky sees her prayers answered as food and temptation lose their hold over her. She s finally pleased with how she looks, but does she like the person she has become? And has the man she has dreamed of been right beside her all along, loving her exactly as she is?

Always His Providence by Ruth Reid
Widow Rosa Hostetler has one month to pay her delinquent taxes before the county auctions her farm. She s prepared to sell whatever is necessary to pay the lien, but she isn't willing to request money from the community s widow fund. She s embarrassed and refuses to admit she needs help. Rosa depends on income from selling eggs, but when that income is threatened, only a miracle can help Rosa accept the kindness of a neighbor.

Always in My Heart by Mary Ellis
Hope Bowman believes God is punishing her for giving up her firstborn son when she was a teenager. She s hidden this secret from her husband, who is thankful for their daughters but longs for a son. Hope prays desperately, but the son God sends her isn't a new baby but the fifteen-year-old boy she gave up years ago.


My Review

The stories are well-written and compelling. The main characters each have a flawed but understandable perspective on the trial/issue they are struggling with, but experience a miracle in the way their individual situations and attitudes resolve. I felt that the romance took more of a backseat in this collection which I really missed.

(ARC provided via Netgalley for unbiased review)