An Amish Home: Four Novellas by Beth Wiseman, Amy Clipston, Ruth Reid and Kathleen Fuller ; Thomas Nelson

 

An Amish Home consists of four novellas by Beth Wiseman, Amy Clipston, Ruth Reid and Kathleen Fuller.

A Cup Half Full, by Beth Wiseman, is  the story of a young Amish couple struggling to adjust to a new set of difficult circumstances. Sarah has lost the use of her legs due to an accident and now has to use a wheel chair. Abram, her husband, has incurred major debt because of medical bills and the cost of making their home accessible for Sarah. They face adjustment and communication problems. Help comes from the most unlikely sources.

Home Sweet Home, by Amy Clipston, centers around a couple who isn’t Amish. Chace, Mia and their infant daughter have been evicted. Chace’s Amish employer generously rents the young family a small cabin, thereby saving them from homelessness.   The Amish family shows them kindness and unconditional generosity. The cabin is a far cry from the lavish home Mia was raised in. But, her parents have disowned her and will not help her unless it is on their own terms. Terms she cannot agree to. Chace feels he is a failure because he can’t provide for his family and the tension between he and Mia grows. A crisis strikes and challenges their relationship even further. Is their love enough?

A Flicker of Hope, by Ruth Reid, opens with a fire which destroys Noreen and Thomas’s house. There has been tension between them for many years and they have grown apart. They have not realized their dreams of having children and are disappointed.   Can they rebuild their home and their marriage? This is a story of second chances and the meaning of commitment.

Building Faith, by Kathleen Fuller, is the story of two young people who were once engaged to each other. Faith had broken off her engagement to Silas with just a note. She has since avoided contact with him, but suddenly finds they have both been asked to work on the same house. She is sure Silas will never agree to work with her and Silas thinks Faith will never agree to work with him. They are both wrong and a truce, of sorts, is struck. However, something more serious gives the couple reason to reevaluate what went wrong between them. Could it be that they have matured enough to try again?

All four novellas are well written and engaging. They are heartwarming and filled with hope, love, grace and compassion.

I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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The Tunnels: Escapes Under the Berlin Wall and the Historic Films the JFK White House Tried to Kill by Greg Mitchell Crown ISBN 978-1-101-90385-8

The Tunnels: Escapes Under the Berlin Wall and the Historic Films the JFK White House Tried to Kill reads like fiction, but it is a true story. Chronicled in vivid detail are the heroic efforts of the brave and dedicated West Germans who risked their lives to help those trapped in East Germany escape to the West during the time of the Berlin Wall.  Digging the tunnels under the Wall took incredible courage and ingenuity.  In an environment filled with informers, limited supplies and often treacherous digging conditions, it remains remarkable the tunnels even came to fruition. Staff from NBC and CBS learned of the tunnels and agreed to provide funds for filming rights.  However, President John F. Kennedy didn’t want documentaries aired and efforts were made to prevent this.  While this is a story of intrigue, politics and power, the heart of the story comes from the people who were willing to risk imprisonment and possible death for a cause they believed in.  Even today, there is much to take from this story.

Impeccably researched, the author brings to the reader a clear picture of Cold War Berlin and the risks people will take for freedom.  I found the information provided in the Epilogue to be especially interesting as the author provided further information about those involved in this story.  This is a fascinating, educational and riveting book about real events during a precarious time in history.   Highly recommended.

I received a complimentary copy of this book and the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

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The Mark of the King by Jocelyn Green Bethany House ISBN 9780764291061

The Mark of the King, a novel by Jocelyn Green, opens in Paris, France in 1719. Midwife Julianne Chevalier was imprisoned and branded after her patient died in childbirth. Unexpectedly she was given the opportunity to obtain a prison release and to relocate to New Orleans where she hoped to find her brother. The terms of the release were unimaginable. She had to marry a convict. Life in New Orleans was harsh and a constant struggle, but she clung to the hope she could somehow reunite with her brother. Julianne had experienced many cruelties and losses and eventually she asked Captain Marc-Paul Girard for help in finding out about her brother. What she eventually learned was shocking. Secrets were revealed and Julianne’s life was imperiled more than once.

Even though Julianne and Marc-Paul bear scars from the past, these scars do not define them. They struggled to overcome challenges while things went from bad to worse, all the while trying to achieve grace.

The author brings to the reader a beautifully written story about a piece of history I knew little about. This book is well worth reading. Highly recommended.

 

I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House.   All opinions expressed in this review are my own.

 

 

 

 

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Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood; Hogarth ISBN 978-0-8041-4129-1

Hag-Seed, by Margaret Atwood, is part of the Hogarth Shakespeare Series in which famous authors write their own version of a Shakespearean play. Hag-Seed is Margaret Atwood’s retelling of The Tempest. The story opens in modern times and we learn that the protagonist, Felix, has suffered major losses in his life. First, his wife died and then his young daughter. Unexpectedly, he is forced out of his job as the artistic director of a successful theater group just as he was preparing to produce his own Tempest. A broken man, he takes up residence in a shack lacking most modern amenities and he wants revenge. His only companion is the imagined presence of his daughter. Twelve years later he has a part- time position teaching theater at a prison and, finally, the opportunity for revenge becomes a real possibility. Can he finally realize his dream?

The author has crafted an engrossing and beautifully written tale populated with memorable characters. Highly recommended.

 

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review. The opinions expressed are my own.

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Love Bears All Things (An Amish Secret Novel) by Beth Wiseman; Thomas Nelson ISBN 97805291 18721;

In Beth Wiseman’s novel, Love Bears All Things, readers learn that Charlotte Dolinsky has not had an easy life, from childhood on. She and her brother were in foster care, her brother died tragically and her relationship with her boyfriend ended. Then there is the matter of her precarious financial situation. Further circumstances lead her back to her Amish friends in Lancaster County. Charlotte has many of her own issues to deal with, but what she is drawn into with her Amish friends further complicates her life. What does the future hold for Charlotte and her friends? Can she live in two worlds?

 

This is a multi-layered and meaningful story. The characters are well developed and their stories are emotionally stirring. Their world becomes very real to the reader. I found this to be a well written and engrossing novel. Highly recommended.

 

I received a free copy of this book through Book Look Bloggers. All opinions expressed are my own.

 

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Long Way Gone by Charles Martin Thomas Nelson ISBN 9780718084714

What struck me the most while reading Long Way Gone, by Charles Martin, is that I felt I was in the room with the protagonist, Cooper O’Connor, listening to him tell his story. And what a story it is. Cooper is a musically gifted eighteen year old. He leaves his father and his home and heads to Nashville where his life takes a downward spiral. A chance encounter changes this, albeit briefly. Tragedy strikes and he eventually returns home. A surprise encounter with someone from his past just might change his future.

Faith and unconditional love are just two of the serious issues the author presents   He delves into the impact that ones desires, ideals and choices can have. This is a deep and profound novel which is exquisitely written. Highly recommended.

 

I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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Twilight At Blueberry Barrens by Colleen Coble; Thomas Nelson ISBN: 978-1-40169031-1

Twilight At Blueberry Barrens, a novel by Colleen Coble set in a small town in Maine, is an enthralling and powerful story whose protagonists have endured more than anyone should. Kate has survived a serious illness that left her unable to have children. Her mother and uncle are in prison and her future is uncertain. Unexpectedly, Drake appears on her property with his two young nieces whose parents died under suspicious circumstances. She agrees to rent them a cottage on her property and is eventually hired to be the children’s nanny while Drake tries to learn the truth about deaths of his brother and sister-in-law. In addition, Kate has a stalker and a young woman was recently murdered in town.

 

Had it not been for the death of Drake’s family, it is not likely he and Kate would have ever met. Once they did meet, things began to move very quickly. A relationship develops and grows, but they find themselves in great danger. Bad things happen and the characters face life and death struggles. Will they survive to build a life together?

 

This is an imaginative and exciting story. There is mystery, romance, and dramatic twists and surprises. Highly recommended.

 

I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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