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Christian Fiction: Amish / Mennonite


Minding Molly

- The Courtships Of Lancaster County 3

by Leslie Gould


Molly Zook, the narrator of this story, is a young Amish woman who has grown up on the family farm.

The book begins in the months following her father's sudden death. Concern for her mother, relationships within the family, financial worries and the future of the farm are main themes.

But the strongest thread is the inner life of Molly herself.

The author writes in a believable way about her struggle to trust God, especially in matters of the heart, and to stop trying to control her own destiny and the romantic involvements of others. It is a well-written book and a good read if you like romance.  



Review by Jackie Rowe  (17/10/14)
Jacket
Publisher: Bethany House imprint of Baker Pub from Lion
Published: March 2014
ISBN: 978-0-764-21033-4
Paperback
Price: £9.99

A Simple Change

- Home To Amana

by Judith Miller


This historical romance is set in America in 1881. A young woman, Jancey, moves from Kansas City to the Amana Colonies in Iowa.

It is a difficult decision to make but her parents want to return to a community that they had left before Jancey was born. Her mother is ill and the next few months may be their last chance to be together. 

In spite of the simple lifestyle, life quickly becomes complex and challenging for Jancey.

She meets a young man in the colony who cares for her but a former employee of her father's follows her from Kansas to try and persuade her to marry him. The plot thickens and Jancey is quickly out of her depth. But the story is beautifully and believably told and kept my interest to the end.  

The simple, communal life style of the Amana Colonies reminded me of the Amish way of life. So as well as enjoying this well written story I was fascinated by the glimpses into a different way of living. 



Review by Jackie Rowe  (15/10/14)
Jacket
Publisher: Bethany House imprint of Baker Pub from Lion
Published: September 2013
ISBN: 978-0-764-21001-3
Paperback
Price: £8.99

The Guardian

- Home To Hickory Hollow Series

by Beverly Lewis


This book is another first for me in 2 ways—it is the first time I’ve read this author’s work, and the first time I’ve read a story set amongst the Amish community.

I enjoyed the story very much and was unsure at the beginning of the book how Lewis was going to stretch out the story of a missing Amish girl called Sarah, throughout the whole book. But then the story changed and I could then see how the plot was going to unfold.

The novel follows a non Amish character, Jodi, who is befriended by a local Amish community after she rescues the missing pre-schooler Sarah. Jodi who had fallen out with God over the premature death of her sister is helped by the community to trust God again.

Whilst I did like the book, I got a little annoyed by the mixing of languages. English and Deitsch, commonly known as Pennsylvania Dutch. Whilst I have a linguistic background and understand and appreciate how using small words and phrases in the mother tongue of this Amish group could add character to the story, I actually found it irritating. That said it didn’t put me off reading to the end and thankfully it wont stop me reading more of Lewis’ extensive collection.



Review by Zoë Stevenson  (19/05/14)
Jacket
Publisher: Bethany House imprint of Baker Pub from Lion
Published: May 2013
ISBN: 978-0-764-20979-6
Paperback
Price: £9.99

Unbreakable

- Road To Kingdom series Book 2

by Nancy Mehl


I was fascinated by this novel. I didn't know anything about the Mennonites before I read this book, and as I read I thought they sounded like the Amish, so I looked up the difference. (I'll leave you to do the same if you want to.)

This lovely story showed persecution, conflict, controversy and love through the eyes of a Mennonite community who live in a town called Kingdom, which is virtually "off the grid".

I was challenged in my beliefs and my reactions as a serving police officer as to how should I—and do I—react to someone who offers violence to me and other around me.

I loved the plot and I like the way Mehl writes. She has a nice style, and was able to stir up emotion in me as I read, from righteous anger to passion to compassion to forgiveness.

My only let down was who Hope, the lead character chose to marry! Have a read and see if you agree with me or the author.



Review by Zoë Stevenson  (29/04/14)
Jacket
Publisher: Revell imprint of Baker Pub from Lion
Published: March 2013
ISBN: 978-0-764-20928-4
Paperback
Price: £8.99

The Haven



by Suzanne Woods Fisher


This book is set in an Amish community and is part of the Stoney Ridge series. I have not read all the other books, but this one is good in its own right, partly because the author knows a lot about the Amish way of life and uses that knowledge explores what happens when an English (non-Amish) boy finds himself attracted to a Plain (Amish) girl. This is not the only potential love story in the book, so fans of romantic fiction will not be disappointed. A sub-plot involving the identity of an abandoned baby makes the story even more interesting, and as always with these books the God-fearing lifestyle of the Amish means that there are no nasty surprises in terms of the language, even though modern themes are mentioned in the course of the narrative. It would probably be better to read these books in chronological order, but this is not essential, as I can testify!

Review by Paula Hill  (22/05/13)
Jacket
Publisher: Revell imprint of Baker Pub from Lion
Published: September 2012
ISBN: 978-0-800-71988-3
Paperback
Price: £8.99

The Lesson



by Suzanne Woods Fisher


For lovers of romantic fiction, this book is part of a series that will be certain to appeal. The main characters are all part of the Amish community, so the book does not contain any nasty surprises to shock or disturb the Christian reader, but the intrusion of the 21st century world and its problems means that the story feels up to date and relevant. There are plenty of references to individuals' faith in God and his sovereignty, so in that sense it is a Christian book. It would not be suitable as a Sunday School prize, but would be appropriate to give to a young person (probably a girl) who might be tempted to read books like the Twilight series. The author has written several books, both fiction and nonfiction, about the Amish community.

Review by Paula Hill  (06/04/13)
Jacket
Publisher: Revell imprint of Baker Pub from Lion
Published: 28 February 2013
ISBN: 978-0-800-71989-0
Paperback
Price: £8.99

The Bridesmaid (Home to Hickory Hollow)



by Beverly Lewis


Readers of Beverly Lewis's Amish novels, will perhaps remember that her first stories were set in a place called Hickory Hollow in Pennsylvania. This book returns to that setting with new characters and new stories of drama and romance. What I enjoyed about this book was not so much the plot - dare I call it predictable? - but more the insight into the Amish way of life. Issues of loyalty, integrity and hope are beautifully interwoven within the framework of the simple Amish lifestyle. It would make a good, relaxing holiday read.

Review by Jackie Rowe  (07/03/13)
Jacket
Publisher: Bethany House imprint of Baker Pub from Lion
Published: October 2012
ISBN: 978-0-764-20978-9
Paperback
Price: £8.99

Inescapable



by Nancy Mehl


The first instalment in the Road to Kingdom series, Nancy Mehl has started on a good foot. I wasn't overly excited when I picked the book up to read but once I started reading I immediately warmed to the characters and thoroughly enjoyed the story.

For me, I love that the book deals with insecurities and how we perceive others in light of how we perceive ourselves, including how we relate to God. God's grace is sufficient and this is made clear along with his love and forgiveness.

The storyline was captivating with a love triangle that had me turning pages to see what would happen next. Even I was torn as to who Lizzie should love! The level of suspense was just right and while there weren't many twists it certainly kept me guessing until the mystery was unravelled.

This is a series to be read and having read the excerpt from the second book in the series. which is found at the end of Book 1, I can't wait for that to hit the shelves!

Review by Charmaine Hill  (21/11/12)
Jacket
Publisher: Bethany House imprint of Baker Pub from Lion
Published: 24 August 2012
ISBN: 978-0-764-20927-7
Paperback
Price: £8.99

The Captive Heart

- The Daughters of Caleb Bender Book 2

by Dale Cramer


I went back to my review of Paradise Valley the first book in this series, before starting this one. Reminded of where we had got to in the story, I plunged into this book with enthusiasm.
In Book One, we learnt of Miriam’s attraction to the half Mexican half Native Indian, Domingo, and they are central characters in this story. More Amish families travel from persecution in America to the north, to join the Bender’s in this fertile valley in Mexico where they hope to continue their chosen way of life unmolested. However these are troubled times in Mexico. A civil war has only been over a short while and bands of lawless men roam the countryside, stealing, pillaging and kidnapping for selling on as slaves.
Based on historical fact, Dale Cramer has woven another gripping tale with troubles and romance in equal measure.

Review by Mary Bartholomew  (07/08/12)
Jacket
Publisher: Bethany House imprint of Baker Pub from Lion
Published: 01 February 2012
ISBN: 978-0-764-20839-3
Paperback
Price: £8.99

The Keeper

- Stony Ridge Seasons Book One

by Suzanne Woods Fisher


Julia Lapp was dreaming of her marriage to handsome Paul Fisher, postponed at his request till this year, and now, here he is asking for an indefinite postponement for reasons she could not agree with, but obviously influenced by his domineering Mother and that Bee man she has come to dislike so much..
Things are hard at Julia’s family farm. With their Mother dead and their Father injured, Julia is the oldest of the siblings and much of the responsibility has fallen on her shoulders. Yes, there is Uncle Hank, but with his eccentricities he is more of a liability than an asset. With her younger sister Sadie who feeds the family with a few recipes learnt from her mother, brother Menno, childlike and in need of constant guidance and Mary Kate, known as MK, a lively young lady, still at school, full of different enthusiasms and passionately loyal to her family, Julia tries to hold the family and the farm together but knows things are not as they should be, The place is looking run down already.
Into this mix of characters comes Roman Troyer, the mystery man who travels the countryside with his bee hives, moving them from farm to farm as the different crops need the bees to pollinate them.
The Bee Man of course changes everything.
I loved this story with its mix of themes and characters and of course its happy ending.

Visit the author's website:www.suzannewoodsfisher.com

Review by Mary Bartholomew  (24/07/12)
Jacket
Publisher: Revell imprint of Baker Pub from Lion
Published: 17 February 2012
ISBN: 978-0-800-71987-6
Paperback
Price: £8.99

Abigail’s New Hope

- The Wayne County series Book 1

by Mary Ellis


I love most Amish stories as followers of this site will have noticed, but this one is among the very best.
Abigail is a young Mum who also serves as an Amish midwife. With no formal training she can only assist at births attended by a state registered midwife or a Doctor. When she is called by a husband of whom she has no prior knowledge to the bedside of his wife who is far gone in labour, what is she to do? The local midwife has retired and not been replaced despite attempts to do so, the Doctor has been called to a serious accident needing everyone available, Abigail despite calling the paramedics is on her own.
She delivers the baby and tries to help the Mother but in doing so oversteps what is permissible according to the law. The baby survives, the Mother dies despite the best efforts of the paramedics who are on the scene soon after, and Abigail has to face the consequences of her actions.
From this point other strands to the story are woven in. The story of Nathan the young widower now with a baby to care for and of Catherine, Abigail’s sister who comes to the Graber home to keep house in Abigail’s absence and who develops feelings for Isaiah, the recluse cousin who helps on the farm. I enjoyed every moment of this story and read far into the night to reach the end and was delighted to find the promise of more to come about these engaging characters.

Review by Mary Bartholomew  (24/01/12)
Jacket
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers
Published: March 2011
ISBN: 978-0-736-93009-3
Paperback
Price: £8.99

A Wedding Quilt for Ella

- Little Valley Series Book One

by Jerry S Eicher


A story of a lost love.
Ella is preparing for her wedding day when the terrible news arrives that her husband to be, Aden, has died suddenly of a neglected burst appendix. So easy to be wise after the event, of course he should have gone to a doctor but he had no idea it was anything more that a strain, he was a builder, and then it was too late.
Daniel who worked with his brother and has the care of the money Aden had saved to build a house for Ella and himself has a surprising suggestion that even more surprisingly her parents and the Bishop of their District agree to.
Alongside this story, we meet Ella’s family: the young sister who is just becoming aware of boys, the older one who often looks on the dark side of life and the brothers who have their own stories.
My appetite is well whetted for the next in the series Ella’s Wish

Review by Mary Bartholomew  (02/12/11)
Jacket
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers
Published: January 2011
ISBN: 978-0-736-92804-5
Paperback
Price: £7.99

The Amish Nanny

- The Women of Lancaster County: Book Two

by Mindy Starns Clark & Leslie Gould


I took this novel on holiday with me, thinking to read it in an evening or two. It kept me reading three or four, it has a lot to say, and I learnt a lot of history while engrossed in the story of Ada Rupp who we first met in The Amish Midwife (equally good).
Ada is in love with widower Will Gundy, but Will seems to be courting Leah. Ada is set to become a teacher at a nearby Amish school, when away at her sister’s wedding, she hears that Leah has been given ‘her’ job. Not a happy state of affairs, so when she is asked to represent her family in Switzerland where her Mother lives, she realises that God has other plans for her, and accepts willingly.
The journey is necessary to resolve a question of land ownership and an agreement, long lost, between Ada’s and Will’s ancestors and a question of saving for posterity an historical Anabaptist site or a hydro-electric plant being built there, desecrating the area for ever.
The fictional story is gripping, but it weaves around historical sites and happenings of which I knew nothing. Totally absorbing.

Review by Mary Bartholomew  (28/10/11)
Jacket
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers
Published: June 2011
ISBN: 978-0-736-93861-7
Paperback
Price: £8.99

Falling to Pieces

- A Shipshewana Amish Mystery

by Vannetta Chapman


This is the first Amish novel I’ve read, and I’m clearly rather late to the party as there seems to be a vast amount being published these days.
Falling to Pieces was marketed as an Amish mystery but in some ways both the Amish aspect, and the mystery aspect, were secondary to the story of Texan Callie Harper finding herself anew after making friends with Deborah, an Amish woman.
Callie is Englisch (not Amish) and arrives at Shipshewana, where both Amish and Englisch live, to pack up and sell her deceased aunt’s Quilting shop. She meets Deborah, an Amish woman, and finds herself drawn into life in Shipshewana, making friends and meeting a variety of people, both Amish and Englisch.
The mystery aspect of the story was perhaps a little simplistic (the ‘baddie’ seemed a bit cardboard-cut-out), and there were some slight loose ends about Callie’s personal circumstances when the story finished, but the development of Callie through her friendship was well handled. We meet other Amish characters and learn about their life and this made the book more enjoyable. Overall I was pleasantly surprised, especially as the Christian aspect of the story was natural and believable, not preachy and forced.
I enjoyed this, my first Amish novel, and look forward to reading another from Vannetta Chapman.

Review by Helen Hancox  (27/10/11)
Jacket
Publisher: Zondervan from Trust Media Distribution
Published: October 2011
ISBN: 978-0-310-33043-1
Paperback
Price: £9.99

The Wonder of Your Love

- A Land of Canaan Novel

by Beth Wiseman


Katie Ann has a baby boy, Jonas, her husband’s child, yet her husband left her for a woman outside their community. Now this ‘other woman’ wants to visit her. Ivan is dead and his death is going to have repercussions for both women.
Katie Ann has a faithful Englischer (non-Amish) friend, Martha, an endearing character who treats Katie Ann and Jonas as dear family but Martha has issues of her own.
The scene is set for an unusual Amish story, and rest assured, after many twists and turns, there is a happy ending and I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

Review by Mary Bartholomew  (05/10/11)
Jacket
Publisher: Thomas Nelson From TMD or Joining the Dots
Published: 04 October 2011
ISBN: 978-1-595-54886-3
Paperback
Price: £9.99

The Shunning



by Beverly Lewis


Originally published in 1997, this Special Movie Edition has a letter from the author and photographs from the set of the motion picture between pages 160 and 161.
The story is loosely based on a true story of a shunning as Beverly Lewis explains. It is the story of her own grandmother that inspired her to write about her character Katie Lapp. I wonder if the movie is closer to the truth, or the book? No matter! The book held my attention all through.
Katie has been baptised into the Amish church, but feels more and more uncomfortable with the various rules and restrictions that she is supposed to adhere to. The love of her life, Daniel, has been drowned in an accident, and part of her died with him. She is resigned to her betrothal to the widowed Bishop John, and has accepted that her role will be to look after his five children and bear him more.
But she struggles! She longs for more colours in her life instead of the drab clothes the women of her community all wear. She longs to free her hair from the tight bun she is expected to wear, to be able to speak out about her inmost thoughts instead of always having to defer to her father or some other man, and above all she longs to have music in her life. It is forbidden to sing or even hum anything other than the hymns in the prescribed hymn book. Daniel had a guitar – which Katie now has hidden away – and the tunes they composed together go round and round her head.
Her father never acknowledges the secret he and her mother have hidden from Katie, but truth finds a way of coming into the open. A thoroughly good read.

Website:www.beverlylewis.com

Review by Mary Bartholomew  (26/07/11)
Jacket
Publisher: Bethany House imprint of Baker Pub from Lion
Published: July 2011
ISBN: 978-0-764-20960-4
Paperback
Price: £8.99

A Time to Heal

- Quilts of Lancaster County Book Two

by Barbara Cameron


We first met this family in A Time to Love. Jenny is now happily married to Matthew, and Matthew’s sister Hannah has moved in with Jenny’s grandmother Phoebe across the way. The two families are very close; Hannah is realising that she longs for a family of her own, Phoebe is getting older and unwilling to own up to how she is feeling. Along comes a recently de-mobbed soldier, Chris, recovered from his injuries abroad, and seeking Jenny who he met briefly in a hospital and who he is sure will understand his unsettled feelings.
Hannah surprises Chris asleep in the hayloft, waiting for the family to come home, and immediately there is a spark between them. Problems straight away! Chris is an Englisher and a soldier to boot! Hannah is a sheltered Amish young lady with a forceful personality and firm convictions about war.
This ongoing story is not so easily guessed at as you might think. There are some surprising twists and turns along the way that keep you reading – in my case, into the night.

Review by Mary Bartholomew  (30/06/11)
Jacket
Publisher: Abingdon Press from Alban Books
Published: April 2011
ISBN: 978-1-426-70764-3
Paperback
Price: £8.99

The Judgement

- The Rose Trilogy Book Two

by Beverly Lewis


The story of Rose Ann, her sister Hen and their families moves on. Nick has disappeared from the scene and Rose is now being seriously courted by Silas. Hen is still separated from her ‘Englisher’ husband Brandon and living in the Dawdi Haus with her young daughter Mattie Sue, across from the main farmhouse where her invalid Mother and the rest of the family live. Her father would like her to reconcile with Brandon however hard that might be, she made her choice when she married him after all. More than one life has been turned upside down by what has happened in the past, and Rose’s courtship is not plain sailing: hope comes to her mother from a surprising source, and when Brandon has a serious accident possibilities open up for Hen. A good read and more to come....

The Mercy - Book Three in The Rose Trilogy is due in September 2011

Visit the author's website:www.beverlylewis.com

Review by Mary Bartholomew  (28/06/11)
Jacket
Publisher: Bethany House imprint of Baker Pub from Lion
Published: Spring 2011
ISBN: 978-0-764-20600-9
Paperback
Price: £8.99

A Rose Revealed

- The Amish Farm Trilogy Book Three

by Gayle Roper


The Amish Farm Trilogyare stand alone stories that are nevertheless more enjoyable if you have read the previous titles.
In this one, it is Rose, the nurse who helped Jake when he had his motor-bike accident, who ends up in the rooms above Jake in the adapted gross-dawdy haus.
As Rose is returning to her own car, having seen her patient safely into her car with her sons, there is an explosion that throws her to the ground and she rises to find the car behind her enveloped in flames and the occupants beyond help. After moving her own car to a safe distance she goes back into the house to find one of the sons has escaped death by dashing back into the house for his sun glasses. Rose is distraught. On her way home she is crying so much she needs to stop and pulls into the Zook’s yard for safety. She has previously nursed Mary, the Amish artist mother of the family, and discovered that Jake is still very much alive though paralysed from the waist down.
Rose is offered shelter by the Zooks, but only Jake knows she is hiding from whoever planted the bomb, who seems to think, Rose knows more than she does.
After many twists and turns we reach the inevitable happy ending but only after a thoroughly satisfying read.

Review by Mary Bartholomew  (03/06/11)
Jacket
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers
Published: January 2011
ISBN: 978-0-736-92588-4
Paperback
Price: £6.99

The Amish Midwife

- The Women of Lancaster County: Book One

by Mindy Starns Clark & Leslie Gould


I enjoy all Amish stories, but this one shines out as one of the very best, long and satisfying.
Alexandra has been brought up as a Mennonite and knows she is adopted and arrived wrapped in an Amish quilt, but not until her father is on his death bed does he reveal that when she was handed to him and his wife, now long dead, they were also passed an exquisitely carved wooden box with two locks of hair and a letter written in High German. She also learns that it was her grandmother who brought her to them, insisting that she was dearly loved. Along with Alexandra’s (Lexie's) grieving for her beloved father, she struggles to cope with this new information and the fact that she has not been told this before. James, who she met at school, and now many years later is dating, is very supportive and with her very dear family friend Sophie’s encouragement, decides to have a break from her job as a nurse/midwife in Oregon, and seek temporary work in Philadelphia, to look for her birth mother and finally learn ‘her story.’ James is dismayed at her actions but agrees to keep in touch as a friend.
So far, so good, but it doesn’t work out at all as she expected. She finds herself helping a lay midwife in Lancaster County among the Amish, and immediately seems to have been recognised.
There are many twists and turns to this story, and I kept reading late into the night, intent on reaching the end.

Visit the author's website:www.mindystarnsclark.com

Review by Mary Bartholomew  (01/06/11)
Jacket
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers
Published: January 2011
ISBN: 978-0-736-93798-6
Paperback
Price: £8.99

Sarah’s Christmas Miracle



by Mary Ellis


An unashamedly plain and simple story about an Amish family with an estranged son and a daughter whose desire is to bring him home in time for Christmas. This is short and engagingly written for the American market but we all love to read a story that ends happily at Christmas with a family reconciliation. In Britain we have very little experience of the Amish community other than what we see in films or in documentaries, but what comes across in this story is the deep sense of faith lived out along with principles of simple living. It also shows the some of the conflicts that young Amish people have as they go through the Rumschpringe (living/working outside the Amish community) prior to making a definite commitment to the Amish community. Lightweight and it will appeal to younger people who may identify with some aspects of youth rebellion!

Review by Jackie Scott  (03/05/11)
Jacket
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers
Published: September 2010
ISBN: 978-0-736-92968-4
Paperback
Price: £6.99

The Way to a Man’s Heart

- The Miller Family Series

by Mary Ellis


This is another story about the Amish community by the same author that again deals with youth and their discoveries about life and love prior to their making a full commitment to the Amish way of life. There are some nice touches in the story but I found this fairly ‘clunky’ in places where the reader is told exactly how the character is feeling when it is not needed. Some of the characters are weakly developed and didn’t ring true to me, and some aspects of Amish life were explained several times over to make sure that the reader ‘understood’. Much is made about the difference between those who follow the ways of the Amish but don’t necessarily have a full understanding of the faith and the person of Jesus Christ behind it, and those whose faith is coming alive to the full. For me it was over long in its attempt to make a spiritual point and I found myself skipping through bits to get to the end, but the central character was likeable and it ended happily, so with those caveats in mind it is a gentle story allowing one to relax into an afternoon cup of tea.

Review by Jackie Scott  (03/05/11)
Jacket
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers
Published: August 2010
ISBN: 978-0-736-92734-5
Paperback
Price: £8.99

Paradise Valley

- Daughters of Caleb Bender Book 1

by Dale Cramer


A fresh view, to me at least, of what it meant to be Amish back in the 1920s. Ohio passed a law that meant all children, Amish included, had to attend a state school. To many Amish fathers, this was a terrible decree to be avoided at all costs. Amish children were taught the basics of reading, writing and arithmetic by their Amish teachers, and the ethics of their faith, which included hard work, family unity and the skills they needed to farm, or to look after children and run a busy house.
To go to state school meant long walks, and exposure to worldly things that their parents viewed with horror.
This is the story of a family who emigrated to Paradise Valley in far away Mexico, to be free to live their chosen way of life. A story based on true facts, of confrontations with bandits, of learning about a new climate, new terrain, and meeting people who spoke a mixture of languages, a story of young love, and growing to maturity. A thoroughly good read, and all the better for being based on historical research.

Review by Mary Bartholomew  (07/04/11)
Jacket
Publisher: Bethany House imprint of Baker Pub from Lion
Published: February 2011
ISBN: 978-0-764-20838-6
Paperback
Price: £8.99

A Time to Love

- Quilts of Lancaster County Book One

by Barbara Cameron


Jenny has been very badly injured by a terrorist bomb thrown at the group she was with, in Afghanistan, where she was reporting for her radio station about the effect war was having on the children in particular. Having been discharged from hospital, her good friend David, brings her to her Amish grandmother’s small farm, for some TLC and further help with physio and speech therapy. Her father had refused to be baptised into the Amish community, but her mother having died, she had spent some summer holidays here as a teenager. When her father realised she was getting too close to an Amish neighbour, he took her home and made sure her contact with Matthew was lost. All these years later, Jenny finds her love for the lifestyle undiminished, and her feelings for the now widowed Matthew and his three young children, grow stronger by the day.

Visit the author's website:www.barbaracameron.com

Review by Mary Bartholomew  (18/02/11)
Jacket
Publisher: Abingdon Press from Alban Books
Published: December 2010
ISBN: 978-1-426-70763-6
Paperback
Price: £9.99

A Secret Identity

- The Amish Farm Trilogy Book Two

by Gayle Roper


Cara comes from a loving, wealthy family, but she has discovered that her Grandfather was adopted, and wishes to find her ‘true’ family. Cara tells her story herself, and Gayle Roper, the author, makes her come alive for the reader, and I was very soon involved with all Cara’s activities. We first meet her in a motel in Bird-in-Hand, Pennsylvania, where she has come to seek professional help from a lawyer. This turns out to be Todd, who we met in the first of this trilogy, A Stranger’s Wish. There is an immediate attraction between the two which develops through the rest of the story. At Todd’s suggestion, Cara moves from the motel into the room above Jake, at the Amish farm of the previous book, and her search continues. Meanwhile both Todd and Cara blossom to their own amazement, becoming more rounded personalities. Very enjoyable.

Review by Mary Bartholomew  (18/02/11)
Jacket
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers
Published: 01 October 2010
ISBN: 978-0-736-92587-7
Paperback
Price: £6.99

A Stranger’s Wish

- The Amish Farm Trilogy Book One

by Gayle Roper


Kristina is artistic, with absolutely no wish to follow in her family’s footsteps and become a lawyer. To stand up to pressure from her parents has taken a great deal of courage, but here she is, lodging at an Amish farm, painting to her hearts content in her spare time away from teaching at a local school.
The Zooks have had to accept an ‘Englisher’ lodger as they need the money to support their son disabled in a motorbike accident during his rumspringa the time when youngsters are allowed their freedom before committing to the Amish ordnung. This son, Jake, lives downstairs in the grossdawdy wing, Kristie in the rooms above.
In the opening chapter Kristie is at the local hospital having been bitten by the Zook family’s dog – entirely her fault she admits. Jon Clarke had happened to drive into the farmyard as it happened and she had gratefully accepted his offer of a lift, so there they are together at the hospital. What a way to meet!
With a boyfriend approved by her parents, but not approving of her move, with her attraction to Jon Clarke, and the added complication of her meeting with Mr Geohagen at the hospital the scene is set for a thoroughly good read.

Review by Mary Bartholomew  (26/01/11)
Jacket
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers
Published: April 2010
ISBN: 978-0-736-92586-0
Paperback
Price: £7.99

The Choice

- Lancaster County Secrets

by Suzanne Woods Fisher


I happen to love the film Witnesswith Harrison Ford which is about an ‘English’ man living in an Amish community – and this book is written on a similar theme, but without the grisly murder. It is essentially a love story with sad bits and surprises, and I liked the characters involved and the story moved along at a good pace. It appealed to me because it had several sub-plots interweaving through the main story of how a young Amish girl copes with the death of her father and enters a marriage that was not what she had expected. There are ‘English’ characters who help the story along by showing the conflict between community living and a materialistic life-style; and also we see the theme of how the Amish can live for their community alone without fully understanding the Christian Faith that underpins it, as several of the young people struggle to determine whether they will stay with the Amish or leave the stable family life that they have had, to experience life with the English.
The simplicity of the Amish life is described well and the rhythm of life throughout each year is very evident in the farming community – the author manages to make it a very appealing lifestyle. I read the book in two sittings – I enjoyed the twists and turns and was satisfied with the ending, which although I am a hopeless romantic, wasn’t over mushy and left enough loose ends to leave you thinking - ‘I wonder what happens afterwards...”

Review by Jackie Scott  (20/01/11)
Jacket
Publisher: Revell imprint of Baker Pub from Lion
Published: 01 February 2010
ISBN: 978-0-800-73385-8
Paperback
Price: £8.99

The Thorn

- The Rose Trilogy Book 1

by Beverly Lewis


The inspiration for this trilogy was found when Beverly Lewis and her husband visited the area ‘just southeast of Quarryville, Pennsylvania’, and discovered the ‘rugged ravine below Bridle Path Lane’ This set her imagination racing into what has become The Rose Trilogy. I ‘Googled’ Quarryville and looked at the photographs of Amish farmland and families.
Rose Ann is of marriageable age, but her time is taken up with looking after her badly injured Mother, who some time before, fell into the local ravine when she was catapulted from her buggy as the young driving horse was startled.
On their farm Rose’s father employs his friend the Bishop’s adopted son Nick, who has never taken to Amish ways, and is constantly warring with the Bishop’s natural son Christopher.
Nick and Rose Ann have always been close friends, nothing more, but when an old acquaintance, Silas Good, seeks to court her things change.
Alongside this thread of the story is that of Rose’s sister Hen, who married an Englisher and is now, to her surprise, desperately missing her previously well ordered way of life.
All these elements are woven together to make another excellent book from this well loved author.

Visit the author's website:www.beverlylewis.com

Review by Mary Bartholomew  (11/01/11)
Jacket
Publisher: Bethany House imprint of Baker Pub from Lion
Published: 01 October 2010
ISBN: 978-0-764-20574-3
Paperback
Price: £8.99