An Amish Heirloom: A Legacy of Love, The Cedar Chest, The Treasured Book, A Midwife’s Dream by Amy Clipston, Beth Wiseman, Kathleen Fuller and Kelly Irvin

My Review

Amy Clipston’s story A Legacy of Love takes us back to Lancaster County ((A Place at Our Table) where we are treated to another story about a volunteer firefighter.

Leon King is not only a volunteer firefighter but also a master carpenter, which is why his ex-girlfriend brings her grandparent’s rocking chairs to him for repair, causing both of them to question why and where they are at in their lives.

I love stories that explore other people in a community and create continuity of characters! A Legacy of Love introduces us to new characters and touches on the stories of characters we met earlier.

I also really enjoy Amy Clipston’s stories. Clipston has a way of pulling your heartstrings and making you feel what her individuals and their different personalities think and struggle with in their lives. A story, to me, needs to be relatable in some way, and Amy Clipston’s novels and, in this case, novellas don’t disappoint!

The Cedar Chest by Beth Wiseman explores how to responsibly handle family secrets once they are discovered. Wiseman has written parallel timelines to bring the story more vividly to life.

The Cedar Chest causes you to continue reflecting long after you read the story. How would you handle a secret from your great-grandparent’s lives? Would you be able, like her parents, to leave the chest locked and unopened? How would your knowledge change your opinion of your family? I genuinely enjoy stories that leave me wondering how I would have handled the same situation.

The Treasured Book by Kathleen Fuller brings back one of my favorite characters Cevilla Schlabach from Birch Creek! (Words from the Heart) I love feisty, quirky, fun-loving, but oh so Godly, Cevilla!! The story was different from what I expected, in that the young man in the story was not Amish.

Kathleen Fuller does an excellent job of drawing you into the story, making you wonder what the outcome of not only Shane and Lucy’s story will be, but also of the antique Bible they find and the secrets it holds.

The Midwife’s Dream by Kelly Irvin deals with tough topics, runaway teens, teen pregnancy and the midwife’s unfulfilled desires for a husband and family. Kelly Irvin’s story will tug at your heartstrings while you ponder the choices each person makes.

I enjoyed the four novellas portrayed in An Amish Heirloom: A Legacy of Love, The Cedar Chest, The Treasured Book, A Midwife’s Dream. Each of the stories focuses on a family heirloom that becomes an integral part of the story. All four authors do a remarkable job of pulling you into the narrative with relatable, believable individuals. In addition, they include pertinent and relevant messages of faith.

I received this book from NetGalley. However, I was under no obligation to post a review.

Publisher’s Summary

A Legacy of Love by Amy Clipston

Local volunteer fire fighter Leon King agrees to repair his ex-girlfriend Susie Bontrager’s grandparents’ antique rocking chairs for her future home with her fiancé and is forced to acknowledge that his feelings for her have not quite gone away. As Susie spends time with Leon, she begins to recognize she is marrying the wrong man for all the wrong reasons.

The Cedar Chest by Beth Wiseman

Decades after inheriting her great grandmother’s cedar chest, Emma Fisher decides to pry it open only to discover a beautiful love story in the form of letters between her great grandparents. But as Emma immerses herself in their story, family secrets are revealed, and she must decide whether to share them to preserve family history or honor her great grandparents’ decision to leave them hidden.

The Treasured Book by Kathleen Fuller

For the past two years, Shane Broyles has felt God leading him to join the Amish. He’s staying with his friends Noah and Ivy Schlabach in Birch Creek, OH, where he is reunited with Lucy Fisher, an old friend of Noah’s family. Shane and Lucy have never revealed their feelings for each other, but when they stumble upon an antique Bible at a flea market, they feel drawn to each other and to the mystery of the contents found within.

The Midwife’s Dream by Kelly Irvin

Iris Beachy serves as a midwife in her district where she longs for a family of her own. When her friend’s brother Mahon Kurtz seeks her help in delivering the baby of two young teenagers who have sought refuge in their town, they begin to see each other in a different light. Unprepared for parenthood, the young couple leave their baby girl behind in an antique crib quilt resembling the one destined for Iris when she becomes a mother. Mahon and Iris come together to take care of the baby as they try to find her parents, and they begin to see new possibilities for their future.

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Words from the Heart (An Amish Letters Novel #3) by Kathleen Fuller

My Review

Cevilla Schlabach, Noah Schlabach (Cevilla’s nephew) and Ivy Yoder are the three main characters in Kathleen Fuller’s 3rd installment of Amish Letters.

Ivy and Noah had both been hurt in the past and danced around the outskirts of friendship with each other. Cevilla had promised God she wouldn’t interfere, but she had a hard time keeping out of their budding friendship. I loved how she would look at the ceiling and sheepishly address God about keeping her nose out of their business.

I really enjoyed Cevilla; she was older, wiser, quirkier and just plain fun to get to know. However, her life had not been easy or without sacrifice. I enjoyed the way Cevilla brought Noah and Ivy together, and even though the story has a lot of depth to it, it was fun to read, too.

As with the other two books, Words from the Heart, can be a stand-alone novel. It was nice though, to be able to catch up with characters from the other two stories, Written in Love and The Promise of a Letter.

Kathleen Fuller’s stories all resonate with the love of God, healing, and restoration. She does a wonderful job of character development, leaving you eager to turn the page in order to know more about her endearing characters.

I received this book from the Fiction Guild. However, I was under no obligation to post a review.

Publisher’s Summary

Her fingertips brushed against something else in the box of doilies. She lifted a bundle of letters, neatly tied with a thin red ribbon . . . Ivy Yoder hasn’t heard from John King in over a year. She knows it’s time to let go of the idea that they will one day marry, but she’s humiliated to be one of the oldest single women in her Amish community of Birch Creek. When quirky Cevilla Schlabach asks her to help clean out an attic, Ivy is grateful for the distraction. Noah Schlabach isn’t from Birch Creek, or even Ohio. His job as an auctioneer takes him around the country and away from a typical Amish life, but he still remains devoted to his family. So when his aging aunt asks him to help clean out her attic, he agrees. Plus, who knows what curious items he might find up there? As Noah and Ivy work side by side, they come across a different kind of treasure: a packet of letters written during the Korean War. Soon they are swept up in the story of two young people falling in love-even as they remain determined not to fall in love themselves. Words from the Heart is a moving story of lost love letters, fragile fears, and the beauty of taking another step forward.

An Amish Home: Four Novellas by Beth Wiseman, Amy Clipston, Ruth Reid and Kathleen Fuller

An Amish Home

Publisher’s Summary

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-fiancé, 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.

My Review

Sarah Lantz is unable to walk due to an accident. Her husband, Abram, blames himself for her disability. They each struggle with their feelings, and as the reader, you get caught up in the feelings and reactions they both have.  Beth Wiseman addresses the situation in a convincing and true-to-life way in A Cup Half Full. 

Home Sweet Home by Amy Clipston is about Chace and Mia O’Conner, who are one step from being homeless when Chace’s boss offers to let them rent his daadihaus (grandparent’s house). My heart breaks for this young couple’s hopelessness as they struggle their way through a new marriage and baby, having to accept someone’s charity and adjusting to living in an Amish home even though they aren’t Amish.

In A Flicker of Hope by Ruth Reid, Thomas and Noreen King’s marriage is hanging on by a thread. Circumstances have overwhelmed them, seemingly beyond repair. Any married couple will be able to relate to how not addressing a situation can cause one day to slip into another until it devastates a relationship beyond repair.

Faith Miller is an unconventional young Amish woman, she loves carpentry work and is good at it, too. However, her skills create a problem for her when she’s forced to work with her ex-boyfriend. Even though Building Faith, by Kathleen Fuller, has some unexpected surprises, I think it is my favorite of the four because I can understand Faith’s love for and desire to be a carpenter.

An Amish Home is a compilation of four novellas written by Beth Wiseman, Amy Clipston and Kathleen Fuller.  Each of the authors did an excellent job of incorporating the importance of family, home and faith in God into their stories. I have read other books or novellas by these four authors and have never been disappointed. I wasn’t with this collection either.

I received this book free through the Fiction Guild program in exchange for an honest review.

Monday’s Mention

A Reluctant Bride

A Reluctant Bride (An Amish of Birch Creek Novel) by Kathleen Fuller

About Book

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. All of her other Amish friends could court and marry—she was content to manage the family business and eventually take it over when her parents are ready to retire. But all of that changes when a reckless driver kills both of 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 Thoughts

Kathleen Fuller has written a gritty story full of abuses, anger and guilt. She brilliantly illustrates how future generations often repeat the sins of the father.

Drunken Solomon Troyer prevents Sadie from continuing home one day. Frightened, she wordlessly appeals to Solomon’s brother, Aden, for help. However, Aden has his own fears and flees, leaving Sadie to fend for herself. Fortuitously, Sadie thinks quickly, kneeing Solomon and saves herself from a worse fate. However, Sadie becomes angry and resentful. She doesn’t tell anyone and allows the feelings to fester for years.

Six years later, her parents die in a buggy accident and one of her sisters is gravely injured. Faced with taking over the family business, the care of both younger sisters and her sister’s insurmountable medical bills, she realizes she will be unable to handle everything alone. The one person she should be able to trust, her Bishop, betrays her, forcing her into marriage with one of his sons.

Revealing more and more horrific abuses and situations, A Reluctant Bride leaves you wondering how the novel will conclude. At times the story becomes almost unbearable, but ends on a more positive note, setting up the continuation of the series.

******NOTE Though not graphic, many elements of this novel may be difficult for some readers.******

I received this book from The Fiction Guild sponsored Thomas Nelson and Zondervan in exchange for an honest review.