A complimentary copy of this book was provided by BookLook Bloggers. I was not required to write a positive review, and have not been compensated for this. All opinions are my own.
Published by HarperCollins Christian Publishing on February 7th 2017
Source: BookLook Bloggers
Genres: Fiction, Christian, Romance, Amish & Mennonite
A Cup Half Full by Beth Wiseman—Sarah Lantz always dreamed of the perfect home, the perfect husband, the perfect family. When she married Abram, she knew she was on her way to securing her perfect life. All of that changes in one moment when an accident leaves her unable to walk and confined to a wheelchair, dashing all of her dreams. As Abram starts to transform their home, Sarah begins a transformation in her spirit, and she begins, once again, to see her cup as half full.
Home Sweet Home by Amy Clipston—Down on their luck and desperate after they are evicted from their small apartment, Chace and Mia O’Conner reluctantly take Chace’s Amish boss up on his offer to rent them the daadihaus located on his property. They are certain they will never feel at home in the rustic cabin without any modern conveniences, and they start to blame each other for their seemingly hopeless situation. But with the help of their new Amish friends, Chace and Mia begin to enjoy their cozy cabin and realize that home really is where the heart is.
Building Faith by Kathleen Fuller—Faith Miller knows that carpentry is an unlikely hobby for a young Amish woman, but she loves the work and it keeps the memory of her grandfather alive. So when her cousin asks Faith to build the cabinets in her new home, Faith is only too happy to take on the job, even if it is the most ambitious project she has ever taken on. The only catch is that she has to work with her ex-fiance, Silas. As they work to build Martha’s kitchen, can they put the past behind them and start to build faith in one another again?
A Flicker of Hope by Ruth Reid—Fifteen years ago, Thomas and Noreen King were blissful newlyweds. Young, naive, and in love, life was rosy . . . for a while. Then trials and tribulations rocked their foundation, shattering them emotionally, and soon, their marriage was in shards. All hope for restoring their previously unshakable union seems lost. When fire destroys their home, Thomas and Noreen are left to sift through the rubble. As uncovered items from the remains of the house shake loose memories of the past, Thomas and Noreen begin to draw closer and a flicker of hope—and love—is re-ignited.
An Amish Home is a novella collection of four Amish stories by Beth Wiseman, Amy Clipston, Ruth Reid, and Kathleen Fuller. I’ve sat on writing this review for a few days as I’m so conflicted on what I should rate. Overall, I liked the book. I loved the characters. I’ve been conflicted because frankly, these characters were so diverse and complex that I really wanted more. I needed more. I would happily read a spin-off series for each of these families so that I could properly explore their story arcs in greater depth without feeling as if things were rushed.
What I thought
A Cup Half Full by Beth Wiseman: I appreciated the complexity of this character. I was interested in seeing how Sarah would deal with her disability. How would she cope? Would she resent her life? Her husband? God? Sarah’s anger and hurt was a complex issue and while I really loved the writing, I was left wanting more. I felt like the anger she had and the misunderstandings she had with her husband was wrapped up too fast for my satisfaction. That’s not to say that I like to see miserable characters. I just felt like this story, this couple, really deserved an entire book to properly work out their problems.
Home Sweet Home by Amy Clipston: Now, this was an interesting take. Unlike most couples included in an Amish novella, Chase and Mia are an English couple who find themselves being helped by an Amish man and his family. Amy did a fantastic job with this novella and I would love to know more about the couple. There is just enough information given here to make me want more. I’m really hoping to see this couple in a future novella, if not their own series.
Building Faith by Kathleen Fuller: The characters in Building Faith were mostly well-developed but I felt like I was missing something. Though not the focus of the story, Silas’ mother and her illness slightly baffled me. While ill, she repeatedly called out for a mystery man. This was quickly explained away once she had recovered. I felt like this was an unexplored storyline that pulled my attention away from the main characters for no real reason.
A Flicker of Hope by Ruth Reid: This one was just heartbreaking. Things ended well and I was emotionally involved with this story. I feel like these characters were so well written given that their entire story had to be shoved into a novella. I identified so much with this couple. Life can get rocky for married couples and sometimes it can take hard times to pull you back together.
Overall I give this a solid 3.5 stars and only because of how quickly certain situations resolved. While forgiveness and healing is very possible, it doesn’t just happen overnight. I felt some of these issues were simply too complex to be properly explored in a novella.