Amish Fiction Review: An Amish Reunion
From bestselling authors in the Amish genre come four stories about reuniting with those you love.
When Marlene Bawell moved from Bird-in-Hand ten years ago, she was in the deepest of mourning for her mother. Now her family has moved back so her father can seek employment after being laid off. To help save money, Marlene works at the hardware store owned by Rudy Swarey’s father. She knew Rudy growing up and had a secret crush on him, though he never seemed to notice her. But just as a friendship between them begins to blossom, her life is once again turned upside down. Will Marlene ever have a chance to find her own true home?
A Reunion of Hearts by Beth Wiseman
Ruth and Gideon Beiler experienced one of life’s most tragic events. Unable to get past their grief, the couple abandoned their Amish faith and went in different directions, though neither could bear to formally dissolve the marriage. When their loved ones reach out to them to come home for a family reunion, Ruth has reason to believe that Gideon won’t be there. Gideon also thinks that Ruth has declined the invitation. Family and friends are rooting for them to reunite, but will it all be enough for Ruth and Gideon to get past their grief and recapture a time when they were in love and had a bright future ahead of them?
A Chance to Remember by Kathleen Fuller
Cevilla Schlabach, Birch Creek’s resident octogenarian matchmaker, is surprised when Richard, a man from her Englisch past, arrives in Birch Creek for a visit. While he and Cevilla take several walks down memory lane, they wonder what the future holds for them at this stage of life—friendship, or the possibility of something else?
Mended Hearts by Kelly Irvin
At eighteen Hannah Kauffman made a terrible mistake. Her parents and members of her Jamesport Amish community say they’ve forgiven her. But she feels their eyes following her everywhere she goes with eighteen-month-old Evie. Thaddeus, Evie’s father, escaped this fate by running away from Jamesport. Now that Thaddeus is gone, Hannah’s old friend Phillip is stepping up to be by her side. He has waited patiently for Hannah to realize just how much he cares for her. But when Thaddeus returns after two years, Hannah can’t deny the love she feels for him. Does the fact that Phillip has waited patiently for her all this time mean that she owes him something? Can she trust either one of them? Can she trust herself? She has repented and been forgiven by the One who is most important—her heavenly Father. But is she willing to risk making more mistakes by opening herself up to love?
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My Review"An Amish Reunion is an endearing novella collection featuring stories by Amy Clipston, Beth Wiseman, Kathleen Fuller, and Kelly Irvin. Set in various Amish communities, this book includes stories in which reunions between friends and family members lead to second chances, renewed hope, and sometimes even a little romance. Each of the stories in this collection includes a very likable cast of characters who bravely endeavor to reconnect with people of their past as they attempt to find belonging, forgiveness, healing, peace, and wholeness.
From the first novella to the last, I truly enjoyed the delightful stories these authors created. I quickly became interested in the plot of each novella, and I also had genuine emotional connections to the characters within each story. Their trials, motivations, fears, faith, and perseverance kept me interested and uplifted page after page.
Creatively connected by the themes of reunion, reconnection, and reconciliation, these novellas are engaging, meaningful, and entertaining. There is an easy flow from one novella to the next as the four special stories highlight the gift of grace, the value of friendship, the power of faith, and the bonds of community.
An Amish Reunion is a book with plenty of warmth and a lot of heart. The novellas it contains are memorable, thoughtful, and inspiring. I eagerly recommend this book to all readers.
*I was given a copy of this book by the author/publisher through Netgalley. A review was not required. The review I have written contains opinions that are entirely my own.
About the Authors
"Amy Clipston has been writing for as long as she can remember. Her fiction writing "career" began in elementary school when she and a close friend wrote and shared silly stories. She has a degree in communications from Virginia Wesleyan College and is a member of the Authors Guild, American Christian Fiction Writers, and Romance Writers of America. She is the author of the bestselling Kauffman Amish Bakery series with Zondervan, which is part of HarperCollins Christian Publishing. An advocate for organ and blood donation, Amy donated a kidney in 2011 at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Through her donation, her husband received a second kidney transplant. Amy and her husband matched another couple and swapped kidneys with them. Amy's memoir, A Gift of Love, will be available in early 2014. She hopes her story inspires others to become organ and blood donors. Amy lives in North Carolina with her husband, two sons, mother, and four spoiled rotten cats. You can find her on the web at www.AmyClipston.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AmyClipstonBooks." --Biography from Amy Clipston's author page on Amazon.com.
"Beth Wiseman is the best-selling author of the Daughters of the Promise series and the Land of Canaan series. Having sold two million books, her novels have held spots on the ECPA (Evangelical Christian Publishers Association) Bestseller List and the CBA (Christian Book Association) Bestseller List. She was the recipient of the prestigious Carol Award in 2011 and 2013. She is a three-time winner of the Inspirational Readers Choice Award, and an INSPY Award winner. In 2013 she took home the coveted Holt Medallion. Her first book in the Land of Canaan series--Seek Me With All Your Heart--was selected as the 2011 Women of Faith Book of the Year. Beth is contracted with HarperCollins Christian Publishing into the year 2018, and she has published thirteen novels and thirteen novellas to date.
As a former newspaper reporter, Beth was honored by her peers with eleven journalism awards, including first place news writing for The Texas Press Association. She has been a humor columnist for The 1960 Sun in Houston and published articles in various publications. However, writing novels is where her heart is. She left her job as a journalist in 2008 to write novels fulltime.
Beth has a deep affection for the Amish and their simpler way of life, and while she plans to continue writing Amish love stories, she is also branching out into other areas. Her first non-Amish, contemporary--Need You Now--released in April 2012 and landed on the CBA Bestseller List. She enjoyed writing the story based in a town near where she lives, and she chose another small Texas town for her next non-Amish contemporary--The House that Love Built--which is based in Smithville, the same quaint town where movies such as Hope Floats and Tree of Life were filmed. Beth continued to spread her wings when she released The Promise in October 2014. Inspired by actual events, The Promise follows Beth's characters all the way to Pakistan. Beth was involved in the real-life rescue when her friend was held captive in Pakistan. Beth is currently working on book #2 in her new Amish Secrets series, tentatively titled Jacob's Ladder. Book #1--Her Brother's Keeper--recently released and was chosen as a Top Pick by RT Reviews Magazine.
Beth and her husband are empty nesters enjoying the country life in Texas. When she's not writing, she loves to travel, paint, and enjoy time with friends and family. You can find Beth at Fans of Beth Wiseman on Facebook where she interacts with readers and on Twitter at https://twitter.com/bethwiseman." --Biography from Beth Wiseman's author page on Amazon.com.
"Kathleen Fuller is a best-selling author of Amish fiction. She is also a wife, mother, crafter, coffee addict, football fan, and chocolate aficionado." --Biography from Kathleen Fuller's author page on Amazon.com.