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Friday, February 18, 2011


By Beth Wiseman

Published by Thomas Nelson, Inc
ISBN 978-1-59554-824-5

What would cause the Amish to move to Colorado, leaving family and friends behind?

This is an Amish book with a different twist. Some Amish, like the Detweiler and Stoltzfus families in SEEK ME WITH ALL YOUR HEART, are seeking new beginnings. For Emily Detweiler, it doesn’t matter how far away she goes from her roots Ohio, the pain travels with her. Her mother’s eternal optimism only serves to deepen Emily’s agonizing memories, not erase them.

All David Stoltzfus wants to do is earn enough money to go back home to Pennsylvania. Canaan, Colorado certainly isn’t the promised land his family anticipated, and he doesn’t understand why they moved there in the first place. For David, planning for a normal future will only bring about heartache. But when he meets Emily, she stirs his heart in a way he’s never dared to dream.

Between the heart-wrenching struggles of these two Amish young people, an unlikely blessing emerges in the person of eccentric Englisher. I laughed out loud at the antics of this character, Martha, whose crusty exterior hides a heart of pure gold.

You’ll love the way the author weaves the layers of storylines together, causing you to laugh one minute and weep the next. It’s a great read.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


Vickie McDonough

Barbour Publishers, Inc
ISBN 978-1-60260-696-8

How many brides does one man need?

The first line on the back cover blurb grabbed my attention, and I had to read more. So I turned to chapter one: Sometimes God asked difficult things of a man, and for Luke Davis, what he was fixing to do was the hardest task ever. Yep, that was enough to make me put The Anonymous Bride at the top of my “To Be Read” list, and I’m glad I did.

The scenario woven by author, Vickie McDonough, is light and humorous, but at the same time threads of mystery and regret are lurking behind a cloak of sorrow. The main characters are crafted so well, I caught myself stepping into their skin and thinking like they think. I could hear the wistfulness in Luke’s voice when he spoke about Rachel, and felt Rachel’s disconcertment when she had to play hostess to the three women who showed up in town, all claiming to be Luke’s mail-order brides. But overshadowing her uncomfortable situation with the brides is her longing for Luke’s forgiveness for things in their past. If only she’d made different choices.

Even the secondary characters—a pair of ornery cousins and a precocious ten-year-old girl—are so real, I felt like I needed to offer them cookies and lemonade while they visited with me. I laughed out loud when the bride contest got underway.

Romance and rivalry do-si-do hand in hand across every page to the tune of a Western hoe-down. This was a fun book to read, and I’m looking forward to reading Second Chance Brides, book two in the Texas Boardinghouse Brides series by Vickie McDonough.