Originally, I’d plan to space out reading and reviewing the stories in An Amish love by Beth Wiseman, Kathleen Fuller, Kelly Long. Once I started, I just kept going, and here we are today — ready for the review. But first, the blurb from Goodreads:
Two of today’s most popular genres–Romance and Amish fiction–together in one volume.
“Healing Hearts” by Beth Wiseman: Levina Lapp and her husband Naaman are alone for the first time in 30 years. When Naaman left to visit cousins in Ohio, Levina wasn’t expecting him to be gone a year. Now that he’s back, will they be able to move beyond this estrangement and fall in love again?
“What the Heart Sees” by Kathleen Fuller: A tragic accident rocks a peaceful Amish community, leaving Ellie Chupp blinded and Christopher Bender’s future shattered. But they find love and forgiveness in a place they least expect.
“A Marriage of the Heart” by Kelly Long: Rachel Yoder is tired of her Amish lifestyle and her domineering father’s ways. When handsome Joseph Lambert comes back from the Englisch, she lies to force a marriage of convenience, providing the perfect means to escape her father’s rule. But Rachel never imagined she’d fall in love with Joseph so quickly or irrevocably.
I particularly liked the first story, A Marriage of the Heart. An Amish man (Joseph Lambert) returns to the community after a bann and is forced into marriage in order to protect the honor of a deceitful young Amish woman (Abigail Kauffman). The first thoughts which came to mind was this couple was unequally yoked. Early, I worried Abigail would lead Joseph astray. It was beautiful the way love and patience transformed the couple so they both ended up pulling in the same direction. 4.5 – 5 out of 5 stars. Definitely my fave of the three.
What the Heart Sees was quite enjoyable, though the ending was a bit rushed. Still, it held my interest throughout though. In this story, we have an Amish man (Christopher Bender) wanting to reenter the community after a bann but his inability to forgive another member interferes with his desires. Helping him through his journey is blind Amish woman (Ellie Chupp) who believes her blindness makes her undesirable for marriage. I think this work would have been much stronger if so much information weren’t withheld from the reader. The information was doled out in a way that left me (as a reader) in the dark but offered no suspense. But like I said, the over all story kept me interested. 3.5 – 4 out of 5 stars.
The final work, Healing Hearts started out wonderful. I absolutely loved the idea of an older couple falling in love again. Though I’m far from their age, I could truly relate to their situation. My biggest issue is the story dragged out too long, and the characters got a little silly stupid toward the end. Partway through the story, a side character (Larry) was introduced with minimum information. Though he played a significant role to keep the story moving beyond the happily ever after, I knew so little about him, I lacked interest in his story line. 3 out of 5 stars.
One thing interesting about this collection, all the stories were in the same setting. Not just an Amish environment, but in the exact same town so that characters from on story mingled with characters in the other stories. Now isn’t that cool?