Monthly Archives: January 2017

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In this third book of the Neighbors of Lancaster County, we travel back to enjoy time with our friends the Lehmans and the Becks.  To recap, the Becks are the military family that had moved next door to the Lehman farm years ago.  The children enjoyed playing and spending time together.  As they grew, so did their friendships.  Had it been a good idea to allow that?  Maybe, maybe not.  Zane Beck became Amish and courted Lila Lehman.  Simon Lehman became English and joined the Army.

A lot has been going on on Juneberry Lane since we last visited!  Lila and Zane were to be married in a month.  Zane, having grown up English, still had trouble driving a horse and buggy.  It actually made me laugh to read of him driving it.  Lila offered to “break” the horse, Billie, for Zane.

One day there was a terrible accident and Lila was severely injured.  That turned their world upside down for a time.  Her spleen ruptured and she had to have surgery.  She had a crushed pelvis, bruised liver and bladder and a lot of internal bleeding.  She had a long road to recovery.  Would Zane be patient through it all?  She had become moody and shut him out whenever he wanted to talk about a new date for their wedding.

Meanwhile, Lila’s younger sister Rose, who was courting the bishop’s son Reuben, met Zane’s army buddy Trevor who had shown up unannounced for a visit.  She decided since she had forgone her running around time, and Reuben didn’t seem to be in any hurry to marry, she deserved a little fun in her life.  She planned to just spend some time with Trevor while she waited for Reuben to propose.  Innocent right?  It started out that way until she gave in to her desires.  When she told Trevor she was pregnant she found out what kind of man he really was.  What had she done?  Had she thrown away a man that loved her for one that only used her?

The title is Amish Weddings, plural.  How many weddings took place?  Who married whom?  Pick up a copy and read this well-written story of love, heartache, learning to put others first and trusting God in all things.  Thank you Leslie Gould for allowing me to read their stories!

 

 

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Leslie Gould does a great job of combining two very different worlds in this series, Neighbors of Lancaster County. Not only were Amish and English living side by side but the English family is military.

When Iraq veteran Joel Beck and his family moved next door to the Lehman family in the first book, Amish Promises, Zane and Lila were still children and formed a friendship.  That relationship grew as they got older much to the dismay of Lila’s father Tim.

Now grown, Zane has joined the Army and was deployed to Afghanistan. Tim has encouraged Lila to court Reuben, a good Amish man and son of the Bishop.  Reuben loves Lila but does she return his love or is she still pinning over her English love?  Whenever Zane came home on furlough it was difficult for the couple who weren’t supposed to love each other. The Amish, as you know, practice nonresistance….they turn the other cheek and definitely would not take up arms against another person.

Zane is now everything her faith does not tolerate.  What can become of their relationship now?  How can they ever be together now?  Pick up this well written series and read about the Lehman’s and the Beck’s. You’ll be glad you did!

I was given a copy of this book by the publisher for an honest review.

 

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Joel Beck is a veteran of the Iraq war.  Tim Lehman is a strict Amish man.  Can you put these two together?  Can they live peacefully side by side?

Shani Beck talked her husband into moving to her grandfather’s small farm in Lancaster.  He had died and Shani’s father hadn’t gotten around to renting the house out yet.  That would be the perfect place for her husband to heal his wounded body and mind.  Joel couldn’t shake the guilt he felt over being wounded while another soldier with him had died.

Next door lived widower Tim Lehman and his children.  You’ll enjoy the antics of Zane Beck and his Amish neighbor friends.  They find ways to play with Zane without exactly disobeying their father.

Also living in the Lehman household, is Eve, Tim’s sister.  She had made a promise to Tim’s dying wife and she also made a promise to herself.  Does she keep either or both of her promises?

This book is very different from any Amish fiction I have read given that it includes a military family.  I absolutely loved this book and can’t wait for book two to come out!  You’ll love it too!

I received a complimentary copy from the author and publisher in exchange for my honest review

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Jacob and Tess have only been married three years. They’re still newlyweds right? It doesn’t seem that way to Tess. They moved from Clarita where her parents live to Wells Landing where his parents live. Not being able to afford a farm, Jacob got a job as a roofer until he can save up enough money. He therefore is allowed a cellphone for work.

Tess is lonely for her parents and she’s lonely for her husband. If only he could pay as much attention to her as he does his cellphone. Other women’s husbands don’t ignore their wives like Jacob does. She finds solace in her goats but the pesky critters keep getting out and eating the neighbor’s crops. Jacob has threatened to get rid of them.

Tess is terribly unhappy and finally decides she’s had enough. She’s going home to Clarita. She packs her bag and goes to spend the night at her friend Clara Rose’s house until she can call a driver the next morning. Clara Rose and Obie have a wonderful marriage. Why doesn’t Jacob look at her like that anymore?

Read Tess and Jacob’s story. Tess is having a huge pity party. She’s feeling quite sorry for herself. It isn’t until she stays with Clara Rose and Obie for a while…Clara Rose keeps coming up with reasons Tess needs to stay another day….that she starts to see how selfish she’s been.

Does Tess ever leave Jacob and Wells Landing? Does Jacob ever put the cellphone down long enough to pay attention to his wife? Do they work out their differences and save their marriage?

I was given this book by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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Not sure what I expected this book to be about.  It was a page turner for sure.  Patrick E Craig writes stories very different from most other Amish authors.  He has a wonderful way with words!

This is the story of the Hershberger family’s life in the New World.  Jonas Hershberger’s family arrived in Philadelphia on the Charming Nancy when he was a six-year-old boy.  He was the youngest of five sons and, because there wasn’t enough land for all the sons, Jonas later moved his wife and five children to the Pittsburgh area.

The Indians in the area hated the white men because they took more land than the Indians had agreed to sell them.  This story tells of the hardships the Amish family faced.  Jonas lost his wife, two daughters and his youngest son Aaron at the hands of the Lenape Indians.  Jonas and his twins Jonathan and Joshua were taken captive.

Jonathan and Joshua were twins but their DNA was the only thing they had in common.  They looked alike except for the color of their hair.  After the massacre of their family however, they became two different people.  Jonathan hated his father because he wouldn’t take up arms against the Indians and instead watched his family be murdered and scalped.  He hated God because He “allowed” the massacre of his family.  He became a very bitter person.  He was adopted by one of the Indians while Joshua and Jonas were slaves.

Read Jonathan and Joshua’s story.  Joshua never faltered from his faith and his Amish beliefs.  Did Jonathan ever return to God?  Who is the Amish Princess and how did she get that name?  I don’t want to tell too much of the story….I want you to pick up a copy and read it for yourself….you’ll be glad you did!

 

 

 

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An Amish Home is comprised of four novellas that I enjoyed reading very much. In each story you don’t want to put the book down because you want to see what happens in the lives of the characters.

They are stories of hardships, guilt, strained relationships, healing and love.  An Amish Home was given to me by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

A CUP HALF FULL by BETH WISEMAN

Abram and Sarah were newlyweds looking forward to raising a family and growing old together. When a car hits their buggy and leaves Sarah unable to walk, it throws a wrench in their plans as far as she is concerned. How in the world can she raise children confined to a wheelchair?

While Sarah was in the hospital, Abram and Sarah’s brother Johnny were redoing the inside of the house. Abram loved Sarah very much and wanted her to have as normal a life as possible. Abram and Johnny made everything wheelchair accessible. Abram cut his hours at work in order to have time to spend with Sarah and work on the house. He also borrowed money and, for the first time in his life, he had a credit card debt.

Sarah was thankful for all the hard work and tried not to let Abram see her little pity parties. I’m sure it’s hard to suddenly not be able to walk. I’d probably have some pity parties too.

Read Abram and Sarah’s story…..the love they shared for each other, the trials they went through, and how they made it to the other side.

HOME SWEET HOME by AMY CLIPSTON

Mia grew up with everything….a fine home, money, anything you could ask for. What she didn’t have was understanding, supportive parents. When Mia announced that she was pregnant, dropping out of school, and marrying Chace, her mother went ballistic…how could Mia ruin the family name like that? She wanted Mia to move away to a relative’s so no one would know, give the baby up for adoption, and marry someone of their choosing.

Life was a challenge for Mia after she married Chace and moved into a small house that his Amish boss offered to rent them. It was the grandparent’s house that sat empty since their deaths. Not only was it only one bedroom but, being an Amish home, had no electricity or any of the other conveniences Mia was used to.

Read about Mia and Chace’s life in the little Amish home. Their love for each other and little Kaitlyn. The struggles they endured. The generosity of their landlords. The daughters adored Kaitlyn!

 
BUILDING FAITH by KATHLEEN FULLER

Faith Miller loved working with wood. She helped her grandfather with his woodworking projects from the time she was old enough until he died. Amish women weren’t carpenters! Her grandfather understood her love for the wood. He too would have preferred to work full time with wood than be a farmer. Everyone else called it her hobby. Something she did when she was finished working at the store.

Silas Graber was a carpenter and Faith’s ex fiancée. Of course, being in the same district, they saw each other on Sundays but kept their distance. Their paths crossed again when Faith’s cousin and Silas’ best friend were planning their wedding. Martha asked Faith to build the kitchen cabinets not knowing that Melvin had already hired Silas. What to do now?

Can they work this problem out? Can they work together or is one of them going to have to back away from the job? For Silas it was a paying job and, due to his mother’s illness and subsequent medical bills, his family needed the money. For Faith it was going to be a wedding present for her cousin. Does working together stir up old feelings?

 
A FLICKER OF HOPE by RUTH REID

The house was on fire! Noreen had only gone down to the cellar for a minute to grab a jar of peach preserves. How could the house be on fire? She tried to put the fire out but only made it worse. She had to get out of there!

Thomas, Noreen’s husband, his brother, teenage nephews and others from the community worked to put the fire out. Finally, the fire department arrived. The house was lost. The fire had reached a stand of nearby trees, dried corn stalks and went across the field.

As Amish do, they pooled together to help Thomas and Noreen, giving them food, material for clothes and anything they could spare. The Bishop gave them the loan of the grandparent’s house since it sat empty.

Thomas had saved enough money he could rebuild but, the money and other things were stolen from the barn while they were living on the Bishop’s property.

Read Thomas and Noreen’s story. How did they overcome losing everything, the guilt Noreen felt about the fire, the tension in their relationship?

Keeping your faith through hardships and trials

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In this second book of the Amish Beginnings series, the members of the Ixheim church have reached Port Philadelphia but are quarantined on the Charming Nancy due to an illness on board.

The day finally comes that they can leave the ship and step on land!  It’s also an emotional day for Bairn, aka Hans.  He’ll be reunited with his father after many years of each thinking the other dead.

Though they’ve finally made it to the New World, life is hardly easy for the little Amish community.  They run into difficulties right away.  Jacob, Bairn and Felix’s father and the Bishop, becomes very ill on the long trip to the land he chose for his church.

Does Jacob live?  Does the community learn the truth about the “newcomer”?  Can they build a life for themselves in the New Land?  Do they ever lose faith in the face of their hardships?  Read this well-written story by one of my favorite authors.

I was given this book by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review