Thursday, August 12, 2010

Book Review: "Sarah's Garden" by Kelly Long

Deep in the heart of Pennsylvania's Allegheny Mountains, shy Sarah King is happiest when working in her vibrant Amish kitchen garden, but new family responsibilities lead her into the confusing world of the Englisch.

Sarah finds her life turned around when she encounters the community's new Englisch veterinarian, Grant Williams. His blue-gold eyes and his obvious concern for her people attract her immediately. Sarah seeks solace and direction from the Lord as she creates a quilt pattern which details her struggle between two worlds.

The Lord is guiding Sarah to follow His will, but will she listen?

Yes, another Amish book to add to the multitude. I approached this book with apprehension. Would it fall in the same line as other Amish books that are predictable and preachy or would it give a new spin to the already over-saturated genre? Well this book managed to fit both of those expectations.

Sarah is a 20-something Amish woman who finds solace working in her garden than working with other people. When her sister becomes pregnant, she finds herself having to run the family business and therefore is forced to meet with Englischers. Sarah's interest in her garden put a wonderful spin on the book. There was a lot of detail about the different vegetables and other items growing in the garden and she really seemed to enjoy showing others about her green thumb. Sarah is not like most other Amish heroines as she doesn't have too much interest in the outside world but neither is she a prude either.

I really liked her family as well. Her parents are very loving and encourage her while also giving her good advice. They don't forbid her to do things and trust her. Also interestingly, the Amish sect that they are in does believe in having a personal relationship with Jesus as opposed to other books where it is strictly forbidden to believe in anything but the Ordung.

While I enjoyed how this book was different than other Amish reads, I was still disappointed with the ending.


I am very tired of reading about how people are converting to the Amish for love. After reading countless times from actual Amish people that this almost never happens in real life, it seems so unrealistic for authors to continue to portray this false lifestyle. Would it still be romantic or acceptable to Christian readers if someone converted to Islam or Buddhism? It just keeps making me feel like I'm being preached at to turn to the Amish lifestyle in order to have a better life. The true life of the Amish is not at all ideal as these books make them out to be. Grant also seems a bit too good to be true. He seems to come from a rich background as he has servants and referred to his deceased parents as "Mother" and "Father". He just came across as WAY too sensitive for a guy, too romantic and a bit over emotional. I just don't know any average guy that is like that. He seemed more like a character from a romance novel than an average 20 something male. I mean, even Darcy came off more realistic than Grant did.

Overall, for the most part I did enjoy the book. The gardening aspect was very interesting and I really learned a lot from it. Sarah was a good main character and I felt welcomed in their Amish community while reading. I would read more of Long's books as I think she has put a unique perspective on the genre.

Sarah's Garden by Kelly Long is published by Thomas Nelson (2010)

This review copy was provided by the publisher


  1. Oh, my daughter's name is Sarah! Funny how the personal things endear us to a book.

  2. I so agree with you about the ending of the book, Deborah. The amish lifestyle is often portrayed as "perfect."


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