“The Amish Widower” by Virginia Smith is probably the best Amish story I’ve read that wasn’t a suspense novel or thriller. Seth is the second son in an Amish family which means that he does not inherit the farm. He lives with his parents, grandmother, brother’s family, and sister’s family. It’s a little crowded. Seth has tried to deal with the deaths of two wives, one in childbirth and one in a buggy accident. He blames himself for both and has vowed never to marry again. His family and the district’s bishop have decided that he has grieved enough and keep pushing him to find another wife. Not only is he dealing with this, but he feels like a fifth wheel in the family. He is not really needed to help with the farm, a job he hates anyway, and the house is getting too small for the number of people living there.
While he is visiting a pottery shop with the women in his family, he becomes very interested in being a potter. He is taken as an apprentice by the Amish man who runs the shop. For a while he travels to the shop from his family home using a driver, Robbie. Robbie has a secret though and when Seth finds out, his anger overcomes him. Even though this was not a page-turning thriller, I could not help reading more and more until the situation was resolved.
I think Ms. Smith did a wonderful job of portraying the grief, guilt, and anger that can take over the whole being of a person. Giving Seth the power over it all is, I think, the gist of the story. I enjoyed reading this book.