Monday, March 01, 2010

Book Review: "An Amish Gathering" by Beth Wiseman, Kathleen Fuller and Barbara Cameron

Three heartwarming tales of old friends and new beginnings that span one year in an Amish community.

A Change of Heart by Beth Wiseman

Leah is no good at cooking, cleaning, sewing, gardening—the skills that young women need to make a proper Amish wife. All she wants to do is write stories, but she's sincerely tired of being a dissappointment. Will she ever find someone who accepts her just as she is? And can an almost-Amish angel in red polka dots help her find her way?

A Place of His Own by Kathleen Fuller

When Josiah left Paradise the first time, he didn't even say good-bye. Now he's back, ten years later, and he's changed. Why is he so distant and bitter? Where is the boy who used to be Amanda's best friend? Amanda is learning that there are things even a capable Amish girl can't fix. But can she stand there and watch him walk away...again?

When Winter Comes by Barbara Cameron

It's been too long since Rebecca has done what she loves—put on her skates and fly across the ice. Five years have passed since a winter accident took her twin Lizzie and left Rebecca heartbroken. And Ben has waited for her all that time. At last she's starting to heal. But has too much time passed for their hearts to reconnect?

Yes, another Amish book review from me. I can't help it. Amish fiction is one of my guilty pleasures. However, I have my standards when it comes to reading this genre and I have authors that I do like and authors that I refuse to read because of the "agenda" that is being preached at me. Luckily, this Amish novella collection does not fall into that path and includes three more stories that I really enjoyed reading.

What's nice about the collection is that all the stories are tied together, with recurring characters appearing in all the stories. Yet each writer is able to showcase her unique style of writing and gives her story certain flair. While i enjoyed all the stories, the story featuring Leah was my favorite. I really enjoyed seeing how she loved to write and wanted to use that gift to do good. Her family may not have understood her at first but eventually they begin to let go and allow her to do her will. It was just nice to see that they were open minded and not so dependent on the rules of the community to dictate their life.

If I had any qualms with the entire book, I did feel that story by Cameron fell a little flat. I liked the plot, I just didn't really like Ben's character. I just felt that he didn't know what he really wanted from Rebecca and got mad at her for not sharing the same feelings. I got frustrated with his story because all the characters needed to do was talk to each other and instead unnecessary drama got in the way.

Other than this, I really enjoyed this collection. These three authors have combined the best things about Amish fiction that I really enjoy and left out all the things I hate. I really wish all Amish fiction could be like this - comfort reads that embrace the culture without preaching at you or making you feel guilty for not wanting to be like them. As with the first Amish collection, these three authors have written these novellas very well. Normally I'm not a fan of novellas because I feel that the storyline is too rushed and characters are underdeveloped. However all three of these stories don't have that happening. I felt they were all written well and the stories were paced carefully to allow for a shorter read but still have a good plot. I enjoyed reading this collection and am looking forward to reading the single book titles from the authors.

An Amish Gathering by Beth Wiseman, Kathleen Fuller and Barbara Cameron is published by Thomas Nelson (2009)

This review copy was provided by the Amazon Vine program

1 comment:

  1. I think that these are all interesting stories. I think that each of them will inspire us to live life inspite its imperfections.


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