Sunday, February 09, 2014

An Amish Miracle

An Amish Miracle

Three Amish Novellas 

By Beth Wiseman, Ruth Reid and Mary Ellis

Published by Thomas Nelson, December 2013

I really do enjoy these collections of Amish themed novellas by different authors, and this is one of the best I have read. Each story has a problem or situation which causes heartache and worry, and in each, a miracle  occurs to put things right.

Always In My Heart by Mary Ellis

Hope Bowman has three lovely daughters and is expecting a fourth child. When this baby is also a girl, she begins to wonder if God will ever bless her and her husband Stephen with a son.  Stephen has no idea that she was raped and became pregnant when only sixteen, and that her stern and unbending father Silas forced her to move away and give her infant son up for adoption so that no shame would be brought on their family.
When she tells Stephen the truth, she has no idea that soon her son James would turn up at their farm, looking for his birth-mother...but can James come to terms with the Amish way of life, or will Hope's heart be broken a second time when her son goes back to the Englisch world? And how will their community react to the truth about what happened all those years ago?

PS: Stephen has to win a prize for the best fictional Amish husband!

Always His Provision by Ruth Reid

Rosa Hostetler is a young widow, struggling to manage financially but fiercely independent and determined not to be a burden on her family or her community. She keeps her straightened circumstances hidden even from her best friend Hope Bowman, but finds her faith being tested when overdue back taxes on her farm bring her to the point of losing her home.  

When a series of dog attacks on her hen flock mean she is struggling to earn money from egg sales, disaster seems inevitable, especially when her attempts to protect her flock produce a huge vet's bill from the Englisch neighbour whose dog is responsible. It seems only a miracle can help her now, but is that miracle going to be in the  form of her neighbour, Adam Bontrager, who was a good friend of her husband's and is keen to help her too...?

Always Beautiful by Beth Wiseman

Becky Byler has a serious weight problem, even though she is only eighteen. She is mentioned in the two previous novellas, but this story is about her struggles with being seriously obese and how much it affects her life, her happiness and her relationships with her family, friends and neighbours. At the start of the story, she feels isolated and is in serious despair, begging God to grant her a miracle and help her to lose weight so that she can be pretty and slim like the other teenaged girls in her community.

When the miracle happens and she loses huge amounts of weight, her relationships with those around her change too. Her best friend Elam (who has eye problems and is awaiting corrective surgery) loves her dearly and hopes to marry her one day, regardless of her weight, because he loves the person she is. However,  Becky has another potential suitor, the popular, handsome and kind Matt King, and as her weight continues to drop off, her life and attitudes change and not necessarily for the better, the miracle the blessing she had hoped for, or was she happier before it happened?

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