Saturday, October 22, 2011

Book Review: "The Wonder of Your Love" by Beth Wiseman

Summary from BN.com: Katie Ann Stolzfus lives in the small Amish community of Canaan, Colorado. At forty she is widowed and raising her first child. But baby Jonas will never know his father, and Katie Ann wonders if her Heavenly Father hasn't forgotten about her as well. Is it really God's plan for her to be a single parent?

Eli Detweiler has come to Canaan for a wedding and a long vacation. Having raised six children following the death of his young wife, Eli is finally an empty-nester. He's enjoying the slower pace of having no one to care for but himself.

When Katie Ann and Eli meet, there is an instant connection. Yet as strong as the attraction is, they both acknowledge that a romance would never work. He is done parenting, while she has just begun.

But as their friendship slowly blossoms into feelings that are as frightening as they are intoxicating, Katie Ann and Eli question if the plans they made for themselves are in line with God's plans.

Can Katie Ann entrust her heart to another man, and rediscover the wonder of God's love?

I know most people think that if you've read one Amish book, you've read them all. This could be a correct statement of many of the books in this genre, but Beth Wiseman's books are different. Yes, they are about the Amish but they are not necessarily always the same thing. This book for instance tackles issues that you don't normally read about in Amish fiction. Infidelity, single mothers and Amish traveling are just some of them brought up in here. If you haven't read the first book in the series, I highly recommend reading it before reading this one because it introduces Katie Ann and her struggles that are a big plot in this book.

I was a bit surprised at the fate of Katie Ann's husband. I swore after reading the first book in this series that he had only left her and nothing else had happened. Next thing I know, I open up the book and he's dead. To me this seemed like a cop-out way to handle the situation. I would have much preferred seeing how infidelity in the Amish is handled. What we are left instead is the women having to deal with Ivan's actions. This rather bothered me because we never really know why he did what he did and what he was thinking. I didn't agree with how Katie Ann handled the situation. In fact, I was like "seriously???! Typical Christian fiction."

I'm not sure if the bit with Danielle was supposed to go somewhere. I felt that she was brought abruptly near the last bit of the story and then it didn't really go anywhere. I hope that she will be included in another book because I didn't really feel as if I knew her. One more small thing that irked me was that Katie Ann thinks in her head that Martha should join the Amish community because it is the only way. Many thoughts ran through my head while reading this but all I will say is that it irked me.

Other than these qualms, I rather enjoyed reading the story. I've enjoyed most of Wiseman's Amish books and for the most part this fit into that category. The writing wasn't as strong as her past books but it was still a good story. Fans of Amish stories will enjoy this one. I think it is interesting seeing the community in a new setting as it shows that they are not just limited to certain areas. I'll be interested to see where they will end up next.

The Wonder of Your Love by Beth Wiseman is published by Thomas Nelson (2011)

This review copy was provided for a blog tour with LitFuse Publicity

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