An Amish Year, by Beth Wiseman, consists of four Amish novellas that tells the stories of their memorable characters.
In the first novella, Rooted in Love, we learn that Rosemary is still trying to dodge Saul’s advances. They had dated five years ago, but Rosemary abruptly broke off the relationship without giving Saul an explanation. She has kept the reason to herself. An accident forces them to spend time together and they are forced to deal with their feelings for each other. To further complicate her life, her widowed father now has a love interest that Rosemary is not crazy about. Is there a way that the characters can work through their issues?
The second novella, A Love for Irma Rose, opens with Jonas standing in a cemetery professing his love for Irma Rose. Chapter One opens fifty-three years earlier in 1957. Jonas is certain that Irma Rose is the girl for him. Irma Rose thought she knew who she wanted to date and it wasn’t Jonas. On the surface they seem mismatched. But, maybe not. Suddenly Jonas’s mother becomes ill and Jonas goes missing. He is looking less and less like good husband material. Irma Rose steps in to help the family and she begins to reconsider her opinions of Jonas. Does she want the excitement he would bring to a relationship?
In Patchwork Perfect, the third novella, we meet Eli who is a widower with two children. The family has moved to a new community and Eli is hoping to meet a woman he can marry. He meets three women who he views as possibilities. The first candidate, Miriam, declines his invitation to have dinner with him. She bluntly tells him she will never date him. No reason given. Candidates two and three, even though promising at first, don’t work out either for Eli. However, it is Miriam that he is attracted to. At the same time, Eli’s daughter is dealing with problems of her own. Miriam comes to her side to offer comfort and guidance. By doing so, perhaps she can take her own advice and find a way to make a future with Eli and his family.
The fourth novella, When Christmas Comes Again, begins with a mystery. Katherine, a widow, feels she is being followed and she doesn’t know why. When a box full of photos of her dead husband and some of the rest of the family is delivered to home she is understandably surprised. The sender offers to meet with her to offer an explanation. She decides to meet with him and from that day forward things become very interesting.
All four of the stories are beautifully told. All of them deal with serious matters which include family, honor, responsibility, grief and love. The characters are well developed, engaging and realistic. The collection was a pleasure to read. Highly recommended.
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