Category Archives: Christian Fiction

Christian Chapters – A Beauty Refined: Review, Blog Tour, Giveaway, and Facebook Party

Well-Researched But Less Than Satisfying Historical Romance

A Beauty Refined
by Tracie Peterson


Series: Sapphire Brides (Book 2)
Publication Date: July 5, 2016
Publisher: Bethany House
Length: 315pp
ISBN-13: 978-0764213250

Related Links:
Tracie Peterson’s Website
Publisher’s Website

     


Buy the Book

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About the Author

Tracie Peterson is the bestselling, award-winning author of more than one hundred books. Tracie also teaches writing workshops at a variety of conferences on subjects such as inspirational romance and historical research. She and her family live in Montana.

TPeterson


Publisher Synopsis

What does it take to reveal the true beauty of a hidden gem?

Phoebe Von Bergen, the daughter of a German count, is excited to visit America for the first time while her father purchases sapphires in Helena, Montana. Little does she know, however, that her father’s intentions–both for her and the gemstones–are not what she thinks.

Ian Harper, a lapidary working in Helena, finds the dignified young woman staying at the Broadwater Hotel more than a little intriguing. Yet the more he gets to know her, the more he realizes that her family story is based on a lie–a lie she has no knowledge of. And Ian believes he knows the only path that will lead her to freedom.

Meeting Ian has changed everything for Phoebe, and she begins to consider staying in America, regardless of her father’s plans. But she may not be prepared for the unexpected danger that results when her family’s deception begins to unravel.


My Review

A Beauty Refined, best-selling author Tracie Peterson’s latest release, is the second in her Sapphire Brides series. Although part of a series, the book can be read as a standalone without any trouble. The heroine, Phoebe Von Bergen, travels to the American West with her father, a German count. On a business trip to purchase sapphires, the count is quickly revealed to be not only unscrupulous and demanding, but abusive.

This is my second experience with Tracie Peterson’s work, the first being Treasures of the North. Award-winning Peterson has written over 100 books and has a large, faithful following. Still, I guess I’m either the odd-girl out, or I’ve had bad luck as far as selection goes, because each has left me unsatisfied. Of course, a novelist with such an abundance of works can’t hit a home run every time, and A Beauty Refined is not without merit.

First, let’s talk about where Peterson succeeds. Her research on the time period, the sapphire business in the American West and Ceylon, and the process of stone-cutting, shines through. Additionally, a Prussian character makes reference to the unification of Germany. Little details like that help make the setting come alive.

Quickly paced, the novel is an easy read that can become a page-turner. Peterson’s fast-moving plot gives her reader a desire to find out what happens next. Whether readers will be emotionally invested in those outcomes, however, is less certain. Peterson’s writing puts plot ahead of all else, at the expense of character development, dramatic and emotional tension, and plausibility. Ultimately, the underdevelopment of these elements works to undercut another of the novel’s desired intentions — Christian teachings.

While A Beauty Refined began with potential, for the reasons above, and other qualms which I can’t specifically disclose without heavy spoilers (I’ll just say I often didn’t agree with choices made by characters or the rationales behind them), I was less than thrilled with the end product. By the time I had turned the final page, I was more relieved than satisfied. It’s a shame, too, because under different circumstances, the novel’s lessons about faith, trust, honesty, and love might have had more impact and a broader reach.

— Dawn Teresa

Verdict

3 of 5 Hearts. Well-Researched But Less Than Satisfying Historical Romance.

The most interesting aspect of A Beauty Refined is the look the reader gets at the sapphire business in Montana in 1907. But characters who too often make unrealistic, illogical, or just plain dumb choices and a too easily resolved plot undercut the Christian message.

*Disclosure of Material Connection: I would like to thank Litfuse Publicity Group for providing me with a copy of A Beauty Refined in exchange for an honest review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Blog Tour, Giveaway, and Facebook Party!!

Join author Tracie Peterson in celebrating the release of A Beauty Refined by entering to win her Precious Gems giveaway (details below) and by attending her author chat party on August 9!

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One grand prize winner will receive:

Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on 8/9. The winner will be announced at A Beauty Refined Facebook party. RSVP for a chance to connect with Tracie and fellow fans of historical fiction, as well as for a chance to win other prizes!

beauty refined - enterbanner

RSVP today and spread the word — tell your friends about the giveaway via FACEBOOK, TWITTER, or PINTEREST and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 9th!

** For more information about the blog tour, and to read additional reviews about A Beauty Refined, please visit the Litfuse campaign page here. **

 

Christian Chapters: Dawn at Emberwilde by Sarah E. Ladd

 A Light Regency Romance With a Touch of Darkness

Dawn at Emberwilde
by Sarah E. Ladd


Series: Treasures of Surrey (Book 2)
Publication Date: May 10, 2016
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Length: 343pp
ISBN-13: 978-0718011819

Related Links:
Sarah E. Ladd’s Website

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Publisher Synopsis

Isabel Creston never dared to dream that love could be hers. Now, at the edge of a forest filled with dark secrets, she faces a fateful choice between love and duty.

For as long as she can remember, beautiful and free-spirited Isabel has strained against the rules and rigidity of the Fellsworth School in the rolling English countryside. No longer a student, Isabel set her sights on a steady yet unexciting role as a teacher at the school, a safe yet stifling establishment that would provide her a steady environment to care for her younger sister Lizzie, who was left in her care after her father’s death.

The unexpected arrival of a striking stranger with news of unknown relatives turns Isabel’s small, predictable world upside down, sweeping her and her young charge into a labyrinth of intrigue and hidden motives.

At her new family’s invitation, Isabel and Lizzie relocate to Emberwilde, a sprawling estate adjacent to a vast, mysterious wood rife with mysterious rumors and ominous folklore—along with whispers of something far more sinister. And perhaps even more startling, two handsome men begin pursuing Isabel, forcing her to learn the delicate dance between attraction, the intricate rules of courtship, and the hopes of her heart.

At Emberwilde, Isabel will discover that the key to unlocking the mystery of her past may also open the door to her future and security. But first she must find it—in the depths of Emberwilde Forest.


My Review

“We are each on our own journey, and nothing is by accident.”

How often have you looked back at the end of a trying time and understood that what you first perceived as stumbling blocks turned out to be stepping stones? The quote above is spoken by our heroine, Isabel, near the end of Dawn at Emberwilde, the second in Sarah E. Ladd’s Treasures of Surrey series.

In life, perspective makes all the difference. It can be difficult to remember that God is at work when we are too closely connected to the threads of our own story. Eventually, time and distance allow us to begin to view the larger picture. Though we don’t have the luxury of crystal balls or time machines so that we might anticipate our future, we have certain tools at our disposal: prayer and history. We can learn from our past as well as from the stories of others, fictional characters included.

Isabel’s journey begins at Fellsworth School. Though she is a bit of a dreamer, Isabel would never imagine a future for herself that included grand estates, invitation-only dinner parties, dancing, and marriage. Not a chance! She knows her place in the world, and it’s not attending balls or enjoying “a season” trying to secure the heart (or fortune) of an eligible bachelor. As orphaned wards, she and her little sister Lizzie are likely headed for a life as teachers or governesses. But with the sudden arrival of a tall, dark stranger at Fellsworth, Isabel’s life is turned upside down.

Some readers have referred to Dawn at Emberwilde as a Cinderella story or rags to riches tale. You might also consider Isabel as an “Alice” who has gone down the rabbit hole. Indeed, from a utilitarian life as a charity ward, she is thrust into the extravagant world of the landed gentry. Even more disorienting, although there are no strange women hidden in the attic at Emberwilde, the house does appear to have secrets connected to local lore surrounding dark mysteries in the Emberwilde Forest (or as the locals call it — the Black Forest).

Before I wrap up, I want to take a moment to discuss this as a work of Christian fiction. I’ve seen some readers who have wanted more overt Christianity tied into the novel. Some have even gone so far as to say it could have been released as a general market title. In the 19th-century, perhaps. Today? Not likely. Just because the novel doesn’t evangelize doesn’t mean there aren’t Christian messages. I’d argue that, in a sense, this is more Christian because it’s more realistic. We don’t walk through life being pointed to little signs neatly explaining what God is teaching us. Nor do we often run into people with whom we’ve previously spoken very little and suddenly start speaking at length about God and Jesus. Okay, maybe some of you do. But my life hasn’t worked that way. So why should a novel be expected to do so?

Although this is a romance novel, it’s the mystery and the unanswered questions that kept me happily turning the pages. Not to mention the fact that Isabel’s outsider status allows her a critical appraisal of the so-called “good life” of the wealthy. She’s a heroine worthy of your affection. I only wish we could have had more of her story.

Don’t let the fact that Dawn At Emberwilde is the second in a series deter you; the novel stands completely alone. Although this was my first experience reading a book by Sarah E. Ladd, it has not only found a welcome home in my library, but will soon have the company of other Ladd books. This Regency should find favor with folks who enjoy Julie Klassen or Jane Austen. So what are you waiting for? Pick up a copy of Dawn at Emberwilde today!

— Dawn Teresa

Verdict

4.5 of 5 Hearts. A Light Regency Romance With a Touch of Darkness.

The interplay between dark and light in Dawn at Emberwilde makes for a satisfying experience. Like Isabel, readers will be drawn to the mysterious dark woods in search of answers, buoyed by the wise words of her friend Mary, dazzled by the prestige and privilege of wealth, yet confounded at how anyone could choose a life of stability over a home filled with love. Indeed, with Dawn at Emberwilde, Sarah E. Ladd demonstrates that life is neither all light nor all dark, but a delicate dance between the two — one made more secure, not by wealth or status, but by faith and love.

*Disclosure of Material Connection: I would like to thank Litfuse Publicity Group and TNZ’s Fiction Guild for providing me with copies of Dawn at Emberwilde in exchange for an honest review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

The Week in Reviews: ReadLove Recap For the Week Beginning March 7, 2016

 

Another week has come and gone at ReadLove ! Here’s what you may have missed:

Monday:

Music Video: “Good Good Father” by Chris Tomlin ft. Pat Barrett

“We all have a picture of who we think God is. When we get down to the foundation of what we believe, the truth is that God is exactly who He says He is – a good, good Father.”

[Read the full post]








Tuesday:

Christian Chapters: An Unbroken Heart by Kathleen Fuller

5 of 5 Hearts. Kathleen Fuller Affirms That God Can Heal the Most Broken of Hearts.

Thematically, alongside its message of courage in adversity, Kathleen Fuller’s An Unbroken Heart is a moving and instructive story of love and forgiveness, pain and healing, endings and new beginnings.

[Read the full review]

 

 

 

Thursday:

Fiction Shelves: The Newsmakers By Lis Wiehl with Sebastian Stuart

4.5 of 5 Hearts. Forget ‘Page-Turner’ – This Thriller is a Chapter-Turner!

Lis Wiehl’s latest novel is the first in a new series. She’s done an excellent job of establishing her heroine and filling her world with likable characters. More thriller than mystery, the real pleasure of The Newsmakers is in tagging along with smart, savvy, and strong Erica Sparks on her investigations, rooting for her to figure out what we already suspect and hoping that she can save the day!

[Read the full review]

 

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That’s everything that happened on ReadLove this week. See you next week!

Until then, I’d love it if you shared a bit about your week in the comments!

Christian Chapters: An Unbroken Heart by Kathleen Fuller

Kathleen Fuller Affirms That God Can Heal the Most Broken of Hearts

An Unbroken Heart
by Kathleen Fuller


Series: Amish of Birch Creek (Book 2)
Publication Date: March 15, 2016
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Length: 289pp
ISBN-13: 978-0718033279

Related Links:
Kathleen Fuller’s Website

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Publisher Synopsis

An argument. A crash. In an instant, Joanna’s world is changed forever.

One minute, Joanna Schrock was arguing with her parents, and the next, her parents’ lives were claimed in a hit-and-run buggy accident. Her body is broken, but her heart is in even deeper pain— after all, how do you cope with your parents’ deaths when your last words were spoken in anger?

After an extended stint in a physical rehabilitation center, Joanna re-enters her Amish life. But nothing is the same—not even her feelings for Andrew Beiler.

Joanna has loved Andrew since the age of twelve, and her feelings have not changed throughout the years. She is thrilled when Andrew wants to get married, but she wonders whether it’s love he’s feeling, or pity. As the couple’s wedding date approaches, Joanna isn’t overcome with the deep joy she was hoping to feel; instead, she’s wracked with anxiety and guilt.

Joanna hears God whispering to her, Be strong and courageous, but she’s afraid that courage looks a lot like walking away from her dreams and into the plan of her Heavenly Father.

If Joanna takes the first step toward healing, will it cost her everything she’s ever wanted? Or could God be changing the desires of her heart?


Click here to read my review of A Reluctant Bride,

the first book in the Amish of Birch Creek series.


My Review

An Unbroken Heart/Joshua 1:9

Lately, God’s been teaching me lessons in trust, and He’s not been subtle. He is nearly hitting me over the head, coming at me from all sides. Messages in my daily devotional readings have been aligning with ideas in my recreational reading. “Make friends with the problems in your life…I can fit everything into a pattern for good, but only to the extent that you trust Me. Every problem can teach you something,” said Jesus Calling on March 5th, the very same day I finished reading An Unbroken Heart. 

Kathleen Fuller begins An Unbroken Heart by referencing Joshua 1:9: “Be strong and courageous…for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” God never promised things would be easy, but He does promise to stay by our side. And He makes sure that our suffering does not go for naught. Kathleen Fuller communicates these sentiments with beauty and feeling in An Unbroken Heart.

Having survived the buggy accident that killed her parents, Joanna finally returns home from her stay at the rehab center in Middlefield. But the girl who comes home to Birch Creek clearly isn’t the same. We suspected something was wrong in book one, and our instincts were good. Joanna is broken – physically, emotionally, even spiritually. Lest she forget, she’s got a scar to remind her. Indeed, when God whispers the words, “Rejoice in suffering” into her thoughts, Joanna can’t fathom how she could possibly find reasons for rejoicing over over her parents’ deaths or her broken heart.

As in book one of the Amish of Birch Creek series, this second book follows several characters (Joanna, Andrew, Cameron, Asa) going through seasons of adversity. Again, folks are keeping secrets for varied reasons including shame and fear. Though this is principally Joanna’s story, she’s not alone in her attempts to live according to her wishes and dreams (or sometimes those of others). Though you’d think forging her own path would make her happy, it only increases Joanna’s hurt. To help demonstrate her lesson in trust, Fuller introduces an interesting character: Asa. In his own words, Asa recounts his story of receiving a call from God and what happened when he doubted and disobeyed. Hint: It’s NOT good.

Fuller succeeds in showing how obedience to God can make our paths straighter and ultimately lead to true satisfaction. God knows even better than we what we need. And if we remember to walk with Him in trust, giving our pain and fear over, we’ll find that, even in the darkness, He never left our side. He was taking the broken pieces of our lives – our hearts – and piecing them back together, stronger and better than they began.

— Dawn Teresa

Verdict

5 of 5 Hearts. Kathleen Fuller Affirms That God Can Heal the Most Broken of Hearts.

Thematically, alongside its message of courage in adversity, Kathleen Fuller’s An Unbroken Heart is a moving and instructive story of love and forgiveness, pain and healing, endings and new beginnings.

*Disclosure of Material Connection: I would like to thank Thomas Nelson Booklook Bloggers for providing me with a copy of An Unbroken Heart in exchange for a fair and honest review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

photocredit:it:Utente:TheCadExpert via Wikimedia Commons (it:Immagine:Lancaster_County_Amish_02.jpg)

The Week in Reviews: ReadLove Recap For the Week Beginning February 29, 2016

 

Another week has come and gone at ReadLove ! Here’s what you may have missed:

Monday:

Christian Chapters: Hannah’s Choice by Jan Drexler

3.5 of 5 Hearts. An Engaging, Yet Somber View of Amish Life in Conestoga, Pennsylvania, 1842.

Jan Drexel gives the reader a carefully researched, historically rich look at the forces which may have led Amish settlers, including some of her own ancestors, to leave Lancaster County and travel westward to Indiana. Though somber, Hannah’s Choice never loses hope while carrying its message that nothing is more important than faith and family.

[Read the full review]






Tuesday:

Non-Fiction Shelves – You’re Already Amazing LifeGrowth Guide by Holley Gerth

5 of 5 Hearts. An Encouraging, Empowering, Scripturally-Sound Guide To Becoming the You God Created You To Be.

If you’re feeling lost, broken, unloved, imperfect, insignificant, overwhelmed, or all of these things, don’t fret. Holley Gerth’s You’re Already Amazing LifeGrowth Guide can help. You might say it’s like a road map, or, if you’re directionally challenged like I am, a GPS for your heart. What’s more, it’s as comforting as chocolate, hot cocoa, coffee, or ice cream! My advice? Set down your burden, dry your tears, pour a cup of tea or grab a cookie, and sit down for a “talk” with Holley!

[Read the full review]

 

 

 

Thursday:

Christian Chapters: A Reluctant Bride by Kathleen Fuller

5 of 5 Hearts. A Beautiful Testament to God’s Ability to Rebuild, Renew, and Restore.

A Reluctant Bride is not a fairy-tale romance or swoon fest, but it demonstrates clearly how God can take broken pieces of shattered hearts and create something not only beautiful but unbreakable. For that reason, it may just be the perfect love story.

[Read the full review]

 

——————–

That’s everything that happened on ReadLove this week. See you next week!

Until then, I’d love it if you shared a bit about your week in the comments!

Christian Chapters: A Reluctant Bride by Kathleen Fuller

A Beautiful Testament to God’s Ability to Rebuild, Renew, and Restore

A Reluctant Bride
by Kathleen Fuller


Series: Amish of Birch Creek (Book 1)
Publication Date: September 8, 2015
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Length: 304pp
ISBN-13: 978-0718033156

Related Links:
Kathleen Fuller’s Website

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Buy the Book

  AmazonBN






Publisher Synopsis

She never wanted to marry. He hopes to make amends for past wrongs. Can love find a way to heal both of their hearts?

Sadie Schrock swore she would never marry. Her Amish friends could court and marry — she was content to manage the family business and eventually take it over when her parents were ready to retire. But all that changes when a reckless driver kills her parents and seriously injures her younger sister. With mounting hospital bills adding to the pile of debt her parents left behind, Sadie is left with no choice: she must marry. And not just any man — the man who saw her at her weakest and walked away.

Aden knows what his brother did to Sadie years ago was inexcusable. And every day since that incident, Aden has lived with the guilt for not intervening sooner. When he is faced with the chance to protect Sadie once again, he can’t let her down — even if it means living with the scorn of the woman he loves for the rest of his life.

Working alongside Aden at the store, Sadie realizes he isn’t the same boy who once betrayed her. Just when Sadie starts to let her guard down and perhaps develop feelings for her new husband, dangerous secrets are revealed. Now everything Sadie has worked so hard to protect is threatened, and she must find a way to save her family — and herself.


My Review

A book title could never be at once more true and yet more understated than A Reluctant Bride. To say Sadie is a reluctant bride makes it sound like she has a case of cold feet. Not Sadie. She wants to run for the hills! And she’d run like the wind if only her feet weren’t frozen with fear.

Honestly, I have cold feet – literally – because Kathleen Fuller has knocked my socks off! A Reluctant Bride is the first work of Amish fiction where I’ve feared not only for someone’s physical safety but for his/her life. It also boasts the distinct honor of recording the fastest time, in my memory, in which a book has made me care about both its principal characters, Sadie and Aden. Kathleen Fuller’s writing is active and vital. She grants such close access to her characters’ thoughts that it’s almost as if you can hear their hearts beating.

Amish communities, like any other, are not immune to problems. In Birch Creek, Fuller reveals a community burdened with secrets, shame, abuse, heartache, pain, and grief. Yet despite its heartbreaking circumstances, A Reluctant Bride never loses hope. Instead, the novel uses adversity to teach powerful lessons about our loving God.

Through her Birch Creek cast, Fuller shows that all emotions need to be expressed and validated. If you put up walls to stave off grief or other unwelcome feelings, or conversely, if you hold too tightly to negative emotions, you make it difficult, if not impossible, to feel positive emotions – like love.

Another lesson is delivered through a wonderful analogy. Aden’s a beekeeper, and for a long time, his bees are his only friends. There’s a key scene where Aden tells Sadie about bees: Honey bees, he explains, are complex, yet simple creatures. While it’s true that they can deliver a painful sting, they only strike when threatened. A hive, he points out, has “a complex hierarchy. All the bees have to work together for the colony to survive.” Indeed, the characters in A Reluctant Bride learn that it’s not just okay but necessary to ask for and accept help. We are stronger together than apart.

Aden feels he’ll never meet his father’s expectations or earn his approval. Sadie also feels burdened with responsibility – she needs to work hard to do right by her parents’ memory by caring for her sisters and managing both the home and the family store. Ultimately, both take strength from knowing that God’s love is unconditional, His help ever-present, and His favor the only one they need seek.

— Dawn Teresa

Verdict

5 of 5 Hearts. A Beautiful Testament to God’s Ability to Rebuild, Renew, and Restore.

A Reluctant Bride is not a fairy-tale romance or swoon fest, but it demonstrates clearly how God can take broken pieces of shattered hearts and create something not only beautiful but unbreakable. For that reason, it may just be the perfect love story.

Christian Chapters: Hannah’s Choice by Jan Drexler

An Engaging, Yet Somber View of Amish Life in Conestoga, Pennsylvania, 1842

Hannah’s Choice
by Jan Drexler


Series: Journey To Pleasant Prairie (Book 1)
Publication Date: January 19, 2016
Publisher: Revell
Length: 384pp
ISBN-13: 978-0800726560

Related Links:
Jan Drexler’s Website
Publisher’s Website (with Excerpt from Hannah’s Choice)
Interview with Jan Drexler at USA Today
Visit Jan Drexler on Facebook


Buy the Book

AmazonBN





 


Publisher Synopsis

When love and family conflict, will she listen to her head . . . or her heart?

Hannah Yoder loves her quiet life on the banks of Conestoga Creek. In 1842, this corner of Lancaster County is settled and peaceful — yet problems lurk beneath the placid façade. Hannah strives to be the one person who can bind the threads of her family together in spite of her father’s worries, her mother’s depression, and her sister’s rebellious ways. But her world threatens to unravel.

When two young men seek her hand in marriage — one offering the home she craves and the other promising the adventure of following God’s call west — Hannah must make a choice. Will she stay true to the faith of her family or defy her father and abandon her community?


My Review

Death is rarely a welcome visitor. When it enters a family’s home, it can leave destruction and despair in its wake. When diphtheria invades the Yoders’ home, some lives are taken, still others are broken, but no one is left unchanged.

Nine years later, Hannah still feels responsible for bringing death into their house. Her mother Annalise, remains inconsolable and consumed by grief, and seems fated for permanent imprisonment by spiritual darkness. Her father Christian, mindful that their traditional Amish community has fallen victim to outside influences from the progressive ideas of neighboring Mennonites and Quakers, decides that the only way to safeguard his family and preserve their values is to move West. Given Hannah’s closeness to Adam, the Mennonite boy next door, and her sister Liesbet’s capricious and rebellious ways, could it be that Christian’s decision has come too late to keep his family intact?

Jan Drexler has clearly done much research to show her readers what life in 1842 might have been like for an Amish family on the Conestoga. If you enjoy history, you’ll be pleased — Drexler has packed a lot of historical detail into Hannah’s Choice: Amish history, including reasons for their emigration to America, the inclusion of a redemptioner (something I learned!), as well as a look at the Underground Railroad and how views of this particular civil disobedience varied among different Anabaptist sects.

The well-drawn and ever present setting is a character unto itself. So much so that it nearly overshadows the rest of the cast. Along with her vivid setting, Drexler immediately establishes a deeply melancholic tone. Were it not for Hannah’s descriptions and recollections of happier days growing up, the novel might be too heavy.

Thematically, Hannah’s Choice explores loss, faith, and family, as well as the definition of home. Theological discussion touches on the importance of trusting in God’s will and living according to His plan. When faced with the potential risk inherent in journeying west (Indians, wilderness, dangerous travel, etc.), one character suggests fear or asking “What if…?” should not preclude you from stepping out in faith and taking a risk. After all, there are “what ifs” everywhere.

Though I enjoyed the author’s careful attention to setting, tone, and historical detail, I would have liked more character development. So much is stuffed into the novel that perhaps it needed to be longer in order to give adequate attention to its many characters, relationships, and plot lines. Still, while character development and, especially, romantic aspects, suffered somewhat, Hannah’s Choice maintained my interest from beginning to end.

— Dawn Teresa

Verdict

3.5 of 5 Hearts. An Engaging, Yet Somber View of Amish Life in Conestoga, Pennsylvania, 1842.

Jan Drexel gives the reader a carefully researched, historically rich look at the forces which may have led Amish settlers, including some of her own ancestors, to leave Lancaster County and travel westward to Indiana. Though somber, Hannah’s Choice never loses hope while carrying its message that nothing is more important than faith and family.

*Disclosure of Material Connection: I would like to thank Jan Drexler for providing me with a copy of this title in exchange for a fair and honest review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

 

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