A complimentary copy of this book was provided by Barbour Publishing, Netgalley. I was not required to write a positive review, and have not been compensated for this. All opinions are my own.
Series: Prairie State Friends #1
Published by Christian Large Print on March 4th 2015
Source: Barbour Publishing, Netgalley
Genres: Fiction, Christian, General, Romance, Amish & Mennonite
Jonah Miller was left at the altar by the love of his life. He hopes he left heartbreak behind when he moves from Pennsylvania to Illinois, settling into a new Amish community as a buggy maker. He starts to court Elaine Schock, who works with her grandmother to host dinners in their home for tourists. But when her grandfather suddenly dies and her grandmother -- her only living relative -- slips into dementia, Elaine ignores her growing love for Jonah and sets him free to look for love elsewhere. Jonah is sure he won't find a love a third time. Is God calling him to remain single, or does he have a different plan for the lonely Amish man?
The Decision is the first book in the Prairie State Friends series by Wanda Brunstetter. I picked this book up after reading two books with dark content and a lot of death so maybe that’s why this book seemed so depressing. There was so much sickness, injury, death and heartache for everyone. Even the happy occasions had a dark cloud of illness hanging over them. It isn’t that I expect everything to be peachy in a book. I don’t mind themes of darkness and illness but typically I like to see characters find a way to at least come to terms with their struggles.
Another thing, though I enjoyed this book enough to pick up the rest of the series—I didn’t connect with the characters. Well, one character—the main character. To be frank, Elaine kind of got on my nerves. I felt like she was so quick to close her heart because she was too stubborn to let anyone help her. Not because of the excuses she kept throwing out there. She wasn’t truly thinking of her grandma. Elaine was just stubborn and needed to have her way.
She was selfish and not someone who I truly think that I would like to spend time with. I was slightly frustrated that she broke up with a good guy but then had to act jealous when he found love with someone else. He had waited for her and she rudely let him know that she didn’t just want to break up but she lied and said she didn’t even love him. I understand needing time to come to grip with illness and loss but to completely shut a person out without thoughts to their feelings is selfish. Sorry, it just is. I couldn’t bring myself to truly like her or feel sorry for her.
I truly did like Jonah and Sara and wish that the book had focused solely on them since I had such difficulty connecting with Elaine in any profound way.
The book is okay. It’s definitely readable and I will read the rest of the series. I’m truly hoping that the rest of the series has characters that are more friendly and personable than Elaine.
The spiritual applications and wisdom imparted is the redeeming key feature of this story.
[perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”Wanda Brunstetter, The Decision” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Make Each Day count, Lainie, no matter what. Things happen for a reason, and although we may not understand it, in time, you’ll find the answers you seek[/perfectpullquote]