“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.
Terri Blackstock has written a winning novel, “If I Run”. It is full of suspense and secrets that snare you from the very first chapter. Casey Cox is wanted as a person of interest in the murder of her good friend Brian. Dylan Roberts has been hired by Brian’s parents to find her and bring her to justice. As Dylan was Brian’s best friend growing up, he felt that he owed it to Brian and his family. However, as the investigation progresses, Dylan is not so certain that Casey had anything to do with the murder other than drawing Brian into her own investigation of the supposed suicide of her policeman father a few years back. Tension heats up as you read because you don’t know the good guys from the bad guys. Up until the last page, you are wondering where all this will lead. I was a little disappointed that the story ended as it did, but then again, I am hoping for a sequel.
I received a print copy of this book from LitFuse Publicity in return for my honest review.
“Promise to Keep” by Elizabeth Byler Younts is a beautifully written novel about relationships and past promises. From the beginning of the book, I was so involved with the characters that I almost became emotionally involved myself. Esther Detweiler is an Amish “spinster” of thirty-four who has taken care of others her whole life. Her father “died” when she was four, her mother soon after that. She lived with her grandmother but was pretty much responsible to do the manual labor on the farm and see that they didn’t starve. Her best friend and cousin married outside of the Amish faith and was shunned. However Esther refused to accept the bann and continued to be her friend. When she died in childbirth, Esther took over the care of Daisy, a deaf child, when her father left to go to war (and get away from his responsibilities). Upon his return, Esther has to accept that Daisy will be with him. This book will yank on your heart strings as you follow the story. You might even shed a tear or two…a very good book.
I received a print copy of this book from Howard Books in return for my honest review.
“The Difference a Day Makes” by Barbara Longley begins with Paige Langford losing her marketing job because of her boyfriend’s betrayal. Along with the loss of her job and income, she is coping with the duplicity of a so-called lover. She decides to visit her brother and sister-in-law, Noah and Cee-Jay in the mythical town of Perfect, Indiana, near Evansville. Her brother is a returning veteran who has conquered PTSD and has started a business with his brother-in-law creating and building furniture.
In the meantime, Noah has contacted Ryan Malloy, who served in his outfit and is struggling with PSTD himself. In fact on the very night that Noah called, Ryan was drinking and playing Russian roulette as a way to end his haunting remembrances of the war. Ryan accepts Noah’s offer and heads to Perfect, Indiana.
Paige and Ryan do not hit it off at first meeting. She is wary of trusting and loving again and he doesn’t think he is fit company for anyone. He has built a wall around himself that he wishes would insulate him from his memories and nightmares.
I really enjoyed this book, not only because it takes place near my hometown, but because it is well written and easy to read. Evansville, Indiana was at one time a furniture manufacturing city and there is an area near there where Perfect could actually be located. I very much enjoyed the interaction among the various characters of the story and the story line of the novel.
I received a free advance reader’s print copy of this book for my honest review from the publisher, Montlake Romance. The opinions expressed here are my own.