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1. Amish Grace: How Forgiveness Transcended
2. A Simple Amish Christmas
3. The Amish Way: Patient Faith in
4. Amish Peace: Simple Wisdom for
5. An Amish Christmas: A Novel
6. A Gift of Grace: A Novel (Kauffman
7. Plain Secrets: An Outsider among
8. The Amish Midwife (The Women of
9. An Amish Christmas: A Choice to
10. A Pocket Guide to Amish Life
11. Katie's Redemption (Brides of
12. A Promise of Hope: A Novel (Kauffman
13. Think No Evil: Inside the Story
14. A Secret Identity (The Amish Farm
15. Amish Proverbs: Words of Wisdom
16. A Place of Peace (Kauffman Amish
17. An Amish Gathering (Inspirational
18. A Stranger's Wish (The Amish Farm
19. The Amish Cook's Anniversary Book:
20. Lydia's Charm: An Amish Widow

1. Amish Grace: How Forgiveness Transcended Tragedy
by Donald B. Kraybill, Steven M. Nolt, David L. Weaver-Zercher
Paperback: 288 Pages (2010-03-22)
list price: US$16.95 -- used & new: US$9.24
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0470344040
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description

Praise for Amish Grace

"A story our polarized country needs to hear: It is still grace that saves."—Bill Moyers, Public Affairs Television

"In a world where repaying evil with evil is almost second nature, the Amish remind us there's a better way. In plain and beautiful prose, Amish Grace recounts the Amish witness and connects it to the heart of their spirituality."—Sister Helen Prejean, author, Dead Man Walking

"Faced with the notorious Amish aversion to publicity, reporter after reporter turned to the authors...to answer one question: How could the Nickel Mines Amish so readily, so completely, forgive? While the text provides a detailed account of the tragedy, its beauty lies in its discovery of forgiveness as the crux of Amish culture. Never preachy or treacly, it suggests a larger meditation more than apt in our time."—Philadelphia Magazine

"This balanced presentation . . .blends history, current evaluation of American society, and an examination of what builds community into a seamless story that details the shootings while it probes the religious beliefs that led to such quick forgiving. Recommended." —Library Journal

"Professors Kraybill, Nolt, and Weaver-Zercher have written a superb book—a model of clear, forceful writing about a tragedy and its aftermath. They have an obvious affection for the Amish yet ask tough questions, weigh contradictions, and explore conundrums such as how a loving God could permit schoolgirls to be massacred." —National Catholic Reporter ... Read more

Customer Reviews (61)

4-0 out of 5 stars The Amishare blessed
Kraybill and associates have taken a close look at the events in Lancaster County and the killing of several school children and the wounding of others.The closest look, however, is at the Amish themselves, the friends, the families, the neighbors of the girls who were killed; yet more importantly at the family of the young man who did the shooting, a trusted fellow, "English" (i.s. non-Amish) known to everyone, who immediately afterward shot himself. How they were able to forgive (not the same as pardon) the dead perpetrator, yet more so his family, how they from inate impulse moved to circle that family with love, invite them to their events, include them in the funerals.And the family of the perpetrator included them in his funeral.
I recently visited old friends in Bird-in-Hand itself, German emigrants and their children, who now live side-by-side with Amish.And I visited the rather new Young Center fo the Study of the Amish and the Anabaptists, where Don Kraybill is a professor.It is an institute that welcomes graduate students who are working on the topic.This year they are expecting an Israeli student who wants to make a comparison of Jewish Orthodox and Amish ways.
The book also gives some insight into the problematic custom of "shunning" wayward members of the community, yet also their commitment to peace but also non-participation in worldly politics.
The book is regarded by the local community as excellent.

5-0 out of 5 stars Touching!
I agree with all the five star reviewers, that this book will definitely cause you to examine what the Scriptures have to say about the importance of forgiveness. Luke 6: 37-38 tells us, "Forgive and you shall be forgiven." Mark 11:25-26 explains how we need to forgive in order to be forgiven. A relationship with the Savior involves more than saying a sinner's prayer and supposedly accepting Christ into our hearts. It involves turning from our ways of doing things and seeking to find out how the Scriptures would have us conduct our lives and putting those commands into practice. While I do not agree with all the the Amish believe, especially the idea of unquestioning submission to the dictates of the bishops, their desire to take the Scriptures literally and put them into practice really minister to me. I also very much resonate with their ideas of simplicity, family values and their caring for other people within their own community of faith. This book is a must read. It is a thorough look at the Amish value system and also the key subject of forgiveness.

5-0 out of 5 stars Amish Grace Book
Wow, this is a powerful book.I read it on a plane embarassed as I couldn't help but cry reading this well written book and understnad the Amish culture more fully.

4-0 out of 5 stars Reviewing a Tragedy
I haven't read the book yet, but I saw the movie, and I never heard
of such a horrible tragedy as that was. Poor innocent familes being
blown apart,by a man who was so devastated by the death of his baby,
that he took his wrath out on innocent people.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Book If There Are Times When it's Hard To Forgive
This is an amazing book when dealing learning to be more forgiving.

Everything in the book makes since on why we should be more forgiving and the reason why we should be forgiving.

A lot of the things the Amish people did in this book will be very foreign to most us such as the Amish giving support to the family of the killer.Or when a drunk driver kills a women's son and she asks the arresting police officer to take care of the drunk driver.

I've use more post its in this book to mark the points that I want to got back to than any other book I've read.

... Read more

2. A Simple Amish Christmas
by Vannetta Chapman
Paperback: 277 Pages (2010-10)
list price: US$13.99 -- used & new: US$10.07
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1426710666
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
Annie Weaver always planned to return home, but the 20-year old RN has lived in Philadelphia for three years now. As her time of rumschpringe is about to come to an abrupt end, bringing for Annie an overwhelming sense of loneliness. She returns home and finds herself face-to-face with a budding romance with an Amish farmer and Annie has several important choices to make. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars A SIMPLEY LOVELY STORY
A SIMPLE AMISH CHRISTMAS is simply delightful, and my first ever Amish read. I'm not sure why it took me so long to finally read one but I'm certainly glad I did. I grew up watching LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE and have always felt drawn to the "simple life". So why not the Amish.

It's hard to believe this is Vannetta's first book, it's that well written. As an aspiring writer I found myself rereading several parts in hopes of the words sinking in enough to emulate later in my own writing.

A SIMPLE AMISH CHRISTMAS is a sweet story with characters you'll love, and a plot that will keep you turning the pages. You feel as though you've entered into the world of the Amish. The glossary in the back was helpful, though it didn't take long to figure out the meaning of the words as you read along.

The ending was uniquely amazing. I just LOVED what Vannetta did with it. It nearly took my breath away. It gives me goose bumps just to think of it.

Vannetta Chapman is a name to look for in the future.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Simple Amish Christmas

Annie Weaver left home during her rumspringa to live with an aunt. While there, she got her GED and her RN. She has a good job at a Children's hospital when she gets a call that her dad was in an accident. Annie drops everything and rushes home to care for her dad.

When she gets there, she discovers that Amish "doc" Samuel Yoder has questions about her ability to care for her dad. Annie doesn't want to admit that she has an RN and as much training as he does, but she doesn't want him to treat her like an irresponsible child either.

Samuel isn't prepared for Little Annie to be all grown up. His best friend is her father, and while Samuel is attracted to her, the age difference between them causes him to hesitate. But will it be too long, to lose her to a man closer to her own age? And will Annie find her place in the Amish world again?

A SIMPLE AMISH CHRISTMAS is the debut novel by Vannetta Chapman. It has a different approach to many of the Amish books I've read, but it is no less good. I really enjoyed getting to know Annie and Samuel and learning about the community they live in.

Annie is a realistic heroine, but I was a little surprised at how easily she gave up her job at the hospital. I was also a little confused because the prologue indicates she was sent away unwillingly, but later it says that she went away. There were also portions of the book that encouraged skimming. Still, this was an excellent debut novel and I would look for more by this author. I'm giving it 4 stars since I don't have the option of giving it 4.5.Discussion questions are included at the end of the book, making it ideal for discussion groups.

5-0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Amish romance
DISCLOSURE: I was provided a copy of A Simple Amish Christmas by the publisher.I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are my own.

I've become a big fan of Amish fiction, thanks to an online crit partner, and Vannetta Chapman's A Simple Amish Christmas is one of the better ones I've read. I got a feel for the gentle atmosphere of an Amish community in these pages. Chapman seems to have researched well.

Annie Weaver comes home after a three year rumschpringe, an accredited nurse, when her father has an accident. The beauty and simplicity of home convince her that she wants to stay, though she's not sure what to do with her training.

Samuel Yoder is a farmer and healer, a widower with baggage. The two don't see much reason to spend time together but circumstances dictate otherwise and a delightful story follows.

Five stars. You really need to read this debut novel this Christmas.

5-0 out of 5 stars excellent!
beautifully written. i could not put it away after i began reading. chapman deserves praise. i recommend this book to everyone.

5-0 out of 5 stars Ms. Chapman's First Novel!!!
Annie is such a wonderful Amish woman.She left home at sixteen to pursue her education while living with her Aunt in Philadelphia.She is called home to help her family and she heads back without a second thought.With the holiday season upon her, she is feeling really homesick for her Amish family and their traditions.Once returning back, she quickly gets back into her Amish routine while she cares for her father.In only a month's time, she meets Samuel, who cares for all the sick in their community but he is not a doctor.She is able to use her nursing skills to help him and the community.

Without giving away any details of the book, I wish Ms. Chapman would write another book to make this a series so we can see how things play out with Annie and all the other characters in this novel.Although I am happy with how the story ended, I feel that it could continue if she wanted it to.

Based on reading this book, I would never have thought that this was Vannetta Chapman's first novel.Her writing is wonderful and so is her talent to develop her characters.I am looking forward to reading more from her as it becomes available! ... Read more

3. The Amish Way: Patient Faith in a Perilous World
by Donald B. Kraybill, Steven M. Nolt, David L. Weaver-Zercher
Hardcover: 288 Pages (2010-09-28)
list price: US$24.95 -- used & new: US$9.89
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0470520698
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description

A sensitive and realistic look at the spiritual life and practices of the Amish

This second book by the authors of the award-winning Amish Grace sheds further light on the Amish, this time on their faith, spirituality, and spiritual practices. They interpret the distinctive practices of the Amish way of life and spirituality in their cultural context and explore their applicability for the wider world. Using a holistic perspective, the book tells the story of Amish religious experience in the words of the Amish themselves. Due to their long-standing friendships and relationships with Amish people, this author team may be the only set of interpreters able to provide an outsider-insider perspective.

  • Provides a behind-the-scenes examination of Amish spiritual life
  • Shows how the Amish practices can be applied to the wider world
  • Written by authors with unprecedented access to the Amish community

Written in a lively and engaging style, The Amish Way holds appeal for anyone who has wanted to know more about the inner workings of the Amish way of life.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars A standout among many books on the Amish
With the recent explosion in interest in all things Plain, there seems to be a new book on the Amish coming out every week. But in the ground this one covers--as the first book to explore Amish spirituality and religious belief--The Amish Way truly is one of a kind.

A few things I appreciated about The Amish Way:

1. Vignettes of Amish Life.The authors share slices of Amish life in illustrating key ideas of community, family, faith, and many others.Abner the bookbinder shares the richness of living within a stone's throw of family.Jesse and Mary explain the complicated, and costly, process of "de-electrifying" their previously English-owned home--and why the decision to do so was so important from a faith standpoint.And Reuben describes the life-changing, emotional day when he was chosen by lot to become an Amish minister and take up the burden of leading his congregation--without ever having had a day of formal training.These and other Amish individuals who share their lives with readers truly bring the book to life.

2. Answers those questions you've had about Amish religion and beliefs.As someone who studies the Amish, and has attended numerous Amish church services, singings, and other religious occasions, I have been fortunate to experience the formal religious side of Amish life on many instances.At the same time, The Amish Way helped clarify some questions I found I still had on Amish Christianity.To name a couple: Why do Amish attend church only every other Sunday?Or: To what degree does the Amish bishop wield authority?

For readers at various levels of understanding of the Amish, this is a great book.If you've ever wondered whether the Amish accept non-Amish converts, how and why Amish adolescents decide to be baptized, and why Amish maintain the seemingly cruel practice of shunning, this book answers these and many other questions.

3. Readability and authenticity.The authors have studied and worked with the Amish for a collective 50+ years.Their experience and understanding of Amish society shines through in their firsthand accounts of Amish life--everything from attending church service in a barn to sharing in family meals at the Amish table.

Writing an accessible inside look at Amish faith is a challenging task.It requires an ability to analyze and understand Amish life from the inside out, a degree of first-person access to Amish society, and last but not least, the ability to craft religious ideas and concepts into a readable and entertaining work.

Kraybill, Nolt, and Weaver-Zercher do an excellent job in all three areas.The Amish Way is a fitting follow-up to their 2007 book Amish Grace.Highly recommended read for those wanting to more fully understand Amish Christianity.

Erik Wesner
Author, "Success Made Simple: An Inside Look at Why Amish Businesses Thrive" ... Read more

4. Amish Peace: Simple Wisdom for a Complicated World
by Suzanne Woods Fisher
Paperback: 218 Pages (2009-09)
list price: US$12.99 -- used & new: US$5.75
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 080073338X
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Of all the gifts that Jesus left us, his peace is most elusive. We long for it in our homes, in our relationships, in our life situations. One place we can look and see "living peace" is in the lives of the Amish. But you don't have to become Amish to bring these simple, practical ways of living into your own life--and make personal peace a reality.Organized around five central themes in Amish life, each section will include real-life stories, callouts of Amish proverbs, and interesting facts about Amish communities. Each section will also contain questions for reflection and action--things you can do in your own life that "make for peace." ... Read more

Customer Reviews (34)

5-0 out of 5 stars How do they forgive like that?
In early October of 2004 there was a horrific shooting at a one room Amish school house in Nickel Mines Pennsylvania...killing 5 and wounding 5 more young girls. I think most of us probably remember that event. What I have never been able to purge from my mind is the reaction of the Amish families that were directly involved and the Amish community as a whole.

You see, more than half of those that attended the killers funeral were Amish. And as the money and gifts poured in from all over...the Amish included the killer's widow and her children in the distribution of the gifts. How do they forgive like that?

So when I ran across this book, Amish Peace, at the first of the summer...it made the top of my reading list.

What a wonderful book and what unique people. The book explores how the Amish view time, money, community, forgiveness and the sovereignity of God. The author, Suzanne Woods Fisher, spent days with them in order to learn their stories so she could share them with us. The attraction that I now have for the Amish lifestyle is summed up in one word...simplicity.

Why is it so hard to live a simple life?

The Amish personify simple living! Here are a few notes on why/how from the book:

*to only live with the things that they really use...and to treasure them.
*Amish farms have no more than 80 tillable acres...on purpose.
*each church district is kept to roughly 20 to 30 families...on purpose.
*their houses and barns are spartan -like; spacious and uncluttered.
*simple dress and grooming...so not to promote pride or status.
*possessions are guided by function and practicality...not by the latest style or trend.
*money is to help others.
*not less choice...but they choose less.
I encourage you to grab the book...the stories read kind of as a devotional. I am not quite ready to become Amish, but I would love to begin living out some of the Amish ways.

The book is full of Amish proverbs and this one grabbed me..."Live simple, so others may simply live"

5-0 out of 5 stars Book - Amish Peace
The book was described as "new" due to overstock.We found it exactly as represented - a beautiful book which we are enjoying very much!Thanks again!

5-0 out of 5 stars Worth Reading
Although it casts the Amish in a little bit of a sentimental view, it is a five star book that is well worth reading, especially if you are looking to simplify your lifestyle. The Amish lifestyle for all it's attractive features is anything but perfect, because it is made up of flawed humans. What makes their beliefs so attractive is the desire from the foundation of the Anabaptist movement, which the Amish are a part of, to find out what God's Word says and do it. They love proverbs and as one Amish Proverb sums it up, "We should not put a question mark, where God has put a period." We need to take Scripture at face value and obey what it tells us to do. This means studying the Scriptures daily so that we may be workman that need not to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth (II Timothy 2:15). As we study, we need to pray for wisdom in understanding the Scriptures and making them practical so we can obey them.

Their sense of community, being there for each other and the English who do not share their beliefs as well, their commitment to obeying Scripture, their emphasis on being in the world, but by their lifestyles showing they are not of it and their swiftness to forgive all make their lifestyle the attractive witness that it is. You do not have to become Amish to work these character qualities into your life. As one Amish man, Uncle Amos says, "If you admire our faith strengthen yours. If you admire our commitment, deepen yours. If you admire our community spirit, develop your own. If you admire the simple life, cut back. If you admire deep character and enduring values, live them yourself."

Clutter, whether it be cluttered schedules or to many processions overwhelms. Learning how to simplify and developing an ever deeper relationship with the Creator, who through his Word, shows us the principles we are to live by, heals us and provides for all our genuine needs, so that we no longer need to use counterfeits for to fill the void.

Another really good book on the Amish is, "Amish Grace." It details the West Nichol Mines shooting of ten Amish girls and the acts of forgiveness that accompanied it. Even though I would love to live of the grid with no electricity, I can't do that. Even so, I can incorporate the Scriptural principles lived out by the Amish into my life.

5-0 out of 5 stars A wonderful book!
I have given this book as gifts. It can be read daily like a devotional or straight through. Beautifully written.

5-0 out of 5 stars Simpler way of life
The author objectively observes and describes the Amish way of life (from a Christian perspective) and succeeds in helping the reader experience the peace she speaks of. She includes thought-provoking questions at the end of each chapter about how we who live in mainstream society could make adjustments in our own lives to make them more peaceful and meaningful. A lovely book I will read again. ... Read more

5. An Amish Christmas: A Novel
by Cynthia Keller
Hardcover: 256 Pages (2010-10-26)
list price: US$16.00 -- used & new: US$9.97
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0345523784
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
Meg Hobart has everything: a happy marriage to a handsome, successful husband, a beautiful home in Charlotte, North Carolina, and three wonderful children. But it all comes crashing down around her the day she learns that her husband, James, has been living a lie—and has brought the family to financial ruin. Penniless and homeless, the Hobarts pack up what little they still possess and leave behind their golden life for good. But it’s not the material things Meg finds herself mourning. Instead, she misses the certainty that she should remain married to James, who has betrayed her trust so thoughtlessly. Worse, she is suddenly very aware of just how spoiled her children have become. Meg wonders what her family has really sacrificed in their pursuit of the American dream.

A frightening twist of fate forces the Hobarts to take refuge with a kind Amish family in Pennsylvania, where they find themselves in a home with no computers, no cell phones, nothing the children consider fashionable or fun. Her uncooperative brood confined to the Amish world of hard work and tradition, their futures entirely uncertain, Meg fears she can never make her family whole again.

Celebrating life’s simplest but most essential values, packed with laughter and tears, this is a story of forgiveness and the power of love. You will never forget the special moment in time that is An Amish Christmas. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (8)

5-0 out of 5 stars LOVED, LOVED, LOVED IT
This is one of the best books I have ever read.This book mades you stop and think about what is truly important in life, and that money, while nice, can't buy everything.This book deserves more than 5 stars.If you have not read this book, you are truly missing out on it.

3-0 out of 5 stars (3.5) "How can I ever trust you again?"

What seems like centuries ago, but was really decades, ladies' magazines routinely published holiday stories much in the vein of An Amish Christmas, albeit with fewer words. Though it can be read in a couple of sittings, this is a cautionary tale of Americans living beyond their means and losing the souls of their children in the bargain. Meg Hobart is a full-time mother who makes color-coded lists of her children's schedules and buries her head in the sand when faced with family finances. Her husband, James, is a powerhouse, handsome, driven, proving for his family far beyond what is necessary- until it's all gone. Through a series of bad decisions, the family's entire financial foundation drops away, yielding bickering teenagers, a furious wife and an intractable future with scornful, I-told-you-so in-laws.

An accident in Pennsylvania propels the tribe into the bosom of an Amish family, whose old world values are a sharp contrast to the Hobart's method of conflict resolution. Although Lizzie, 15, and Will, 13, react predictably to their "confinement" in another century, Nine-year-old Sam easily adapts as Meg and James face one another without the material cushion to deflect her rage or his obtuse denial. Like a warm blanket, the troubles of modern life are folded into the simple lifestyle and easy camaraderie of the Lutz family, a chance for renewal and reinvention for the ailing Hobarts.

Ignoring Meg's complicity in the disaster and the horrendous behavior of the spoiled teens, An Amish Christmas is about second chances, transcending the chains of materialism in favor of a more substantial future. Of course this is a fairy tale, but Keller pays homage to the durability of the American psyche in her story and suggests an alternative to a world grown dependent on externals and sorely lacking in gratitude and human kindness. We love our feel-good books, little tales of renewal to take the sting out of difficult lives. In that spirit, put An Amish Christmas in someone's Christmas stocking. Luan Gaines/2010.

1-0 out of 5 stars Not Gonna Happen...Ever!
I'm sorry, but this book is a joke...the plot, as it unwinds is so ridiculous. I only managed to read two-thirds and I realized my time might be better spent sleeping.

I live in Lititz, PA which is right smack in the middle of Pennsylvania's Amish heartland. Clearly this author has never been to southcentral Pennsylvania nor has she spent any time among the Amish community. She would've known this idea of an "English" family moving in with the brethren is farcical. I understand it's a work of fiction, but even fiction must have some elements of plausibility.

5-0 out of 5 stars Living with Amish due to an accident
A delightful and interesting story of a well-to-do family that suddenly, due to the husband's unwise decisions, became completely insolvent and lost everything they had except for one old automobile that had been paid off years earlier.What to do?How do you exist as a family and where do you turn?Meg and James Hobart, along with their three children, Lizzie, Will, and Sam had to face this reality shortly before Thanksgiving when a very irritated James turned on all of his family with a distinct attitude problem noticed by all.The family had always had a huge Thanksgiving dinner attended by many friends and Meg was busily preparing her plans for what, who, and exactly when the dinner would be served.For some time James had been bitterly complaining about any purchases the family made telling them the family could not afford all those unnecessary things they purchased.Just before the big dinner he broke down and told Meg that he had been "fired" in August and had not been able to tell her.He had invested all their money after his firing in some dismal investment company without telling Meg and they had lost everything.Everything was gone including the house, the savings, the investments, and their leased cars.The dinner went on but with a far different feeling by Meg and James.Corners were cut everywhere possible.

The next few weeks they disposed of everything, cancelled all insurance policies, as well as anything due in the present or future.They packed and shipped all personal items to Meg's parents where they would travel to as soon as possible and live with them until they became able to go on their own once again.They squeezed into the old car and took off carrying only very personal items that they each wanted to still be in their lives.While traveling through Pennsylvania they had an accident with an Amish horse-drawn buggy forcing the car into a pole.As a result an Amish family involved in the accident came and helped all involved and made sure they were not hurt and took them to their home to get warmed up and relax from the accident.

The car was towed to a garage in a nearby small city and the Amish family invited the Hobart's to stay with them until the car could be repaired and then get on their way once again.Needless to say, the Amish life was far different from the life that the Hobart's had been used to all their lives--until the loss of all their possessions and finances.You never heard such belly aching from the kids.Lizzie, Will, and Sam couldn't put up with these people or the way they lived.No computers, no television, no--anything they were used to.The stay was extended because it was taking the repair shop a long time to get the parts and get that old car ready.

This story is a good old-fashioned story that fits in with Christmas time perfect and gives all of us that are spoiled having all the modern communication and living devices in our lives a lot of reflection.You will meet the Amish families and live with them and adjust to their style of living--or not!The Amish live a very simple family oriented life and are not afraid of manual labor.An excellent read for all ages.

3-0 out of 5 stars Engaging Christmas 'read'
I'll admit that just reading the first chapter gave me the (incorrect) impression that these characters would wind one into a knot. Wealthy, materialistic, spoilt, and shallow, the family irritated me immensely. Today, with so many people in financial straits, the tragedy they face is all too common - yet I had (again incorrectly) expected a tale of miraculous transformation, where they would not want any but the simplest life. We are all so busy playing at that we want nothing now that I doubt that would be appealing. :)

I have read other books on Amish themes recently, and this one stands out in that, though the gentle and generous Amish characters indeed are of help to the main characters, there is no magical transformation. The characters are believable, their progress (and setbacks) understandable and realistic.

Though it is not a great literary work, and the style of writing seems more 'young adult' than classic, the combination of depth and simplicity make this a fine work to place in a book lover's stocking this Christmas.

... Read more

6. A Gift of Grace: A Novel (Kauffman Amish Bakery Series)
by Amy Clipston
Paperback: 336 Pages (2009-04-03)
list price: US$10.99 -- used & new: US$0.89
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0310289831
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
Rebecca Kauffman's tranquil Old Order Amish life is transformed when she suddenly has custody of her two teenage nieces after her 'English' sister and brother-in-law are killed in an automobile accident. Instant motherhood, after years of unsuccessful attempts to conceive a child of her own, is both a joy and a heartache. Rebecca struggles to give the teenage girls the guidance they need as well as fulfill her duties to Daniel as an Amish wife.Rebellious Jessica is resistant to Amish ways and constantly in trouble with the community. Younger sister Lindsay is caught in the middle, and the strain between Rebecca and Daniel mounts as Jessica's rebellion escalates. Instead of the beautiful family life she dreamed of creating for her nieces, Rebecca feels as if her world is being torn apart by two different cultures, leaving her to question her place in the Amish community, her marriage, and her faith in God. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (50)

2-0 out of 5 stars Don't like Amy Clipston
I didn't care for this book.I liked it at first, but it fell apart about halfway through.Rebecca comes across as a whimp and doesn't know now to deal with Daniel's reaction to her rebellious niece.Daniel needs and wants to hold onto his Amish values.He just doesn't understand Englisch teenagers.Most teenagers by definition are totally self absorbed and self centered.Jessica is not only dealing with the sudden death of BOTH parents at once, but has been dropped into the middle of a totally foreign culture.Even when she tries to do what is expected by weeding the garden, she does it on Sunday which is forbidden, and she probably didn't know that.Instead of thanking her and explaining the problem, the community condemms her for it.Rebecca is so anxious to keep her family together AMISH that she totally misses every cue Jessica sends her that the Amish culture just isn't cutting it for her.Finally after Jessica is injured, a light bulb goes on, and Rebecca allows Jessica to do what she should have done in the first place and live with Trish where she would be happy.

Amy Clipston just isn't a good writer in my opinion.I think I'll skip the third book in this series.

5-0 out of 5 stars I loved It!
I loved this book, it made me laugh and cry.I can't wait to read the other 2 books in this series.

3-0 out of 5 stars A story of Amish family and values
Sometimes when I am browsing at Amazon, I purchase books that are currently priced at $0.00 to see what they are like.
This is the case with A Gift of Grace by Amy Clipston.
A book about an Amish family (my wife has become especially fond of these) I thought I would try it.
And I found it quit enjoyable.However I willbe honest and say that I don't know if I would have paid the $8.99 that it now sells for.
And I am not sure that I will pay that amount for the next book of Amy's.
but it was a good read and you may enjoy it even more than I did.

5-0 out of 5 stars A beautiful story of love and grace!
If you love Amish stories you will really love A Gift of Grace! A Gift of Grace is set in modern day in Lancaster County, PA in the heart of Amish country. Our main character, Rebecca is Amish and she suddenly ends up with custody of her teenage Englisch nieces. The differences in their worlds are huge. Can love work through the differences?

I love the characters in this book. They captured my heart from the very first page and I was completely hooked! I couldn't put it down until the very end. Rebecca is sweet and loving and she has always been Amish. Jessica and Lindsay are typical American teenage girls who have never been Amish and are suddenly placed into an Amish home. It's a beautiful story of love, mercy and grace!

I very highly recommend this book. If you enjoy Amish stories you'll really love this one. It's beautifully written and the story line hooks you and keeps you turning the pages long into the night. If you don't normally read Amish stories you might still enjoy this one because of the joining of the two worlds. It's rich with scripture and lessons that ring true in all of our daily lives! It's a story that will keep you thinking long after you've finished the books. And the characters will be in my heart forever.

3-0 out of 5 stars Easy light read, overly dramatic at end, husband's character not well developed
This was a decent enough light read, but I have no desire to read any other books by the author.The book had an interesting premise of two teenage girls that are orphaned going to live with their Amish aunt and uncle who have no children after 15 years of marriage.I thought the girls' characters, as well as Aunt Rebecca's were well-developed.But, her husband Daniel was hard to get a handle on.The author tried to portray his motivations for being so difficult with the girls, but his character just feels 2-dimensional.He very quickly jumps to being harsh and difficult and expecting them to just "know" how to act, and it just wasn't clear why.

Also, in the last 50 pages, two catastrophic events occur for plot convenience in bringing about emotional responses in the characters.But, they were unnecessary as the characters were already moving toward the necessary decisions and reconciliations.Then, there was the miracle at the end that made the third very unlikely occurrence in the last 50 pages of the book.It went well beyond stretching the imagination, was sensationalistic, and felt like a lazy way to make the book "interesting" and bring it to its conclusion, and set it up for a sequel.

There were recipes scattered throughout the book, at the end of every few chapters.It was distracting, and it would have been better to place them at the end.Also, the one recipe for Amish friendship bread uses a starter.It gave you directions for making the starter and then giving away 2 cups, keeping 1, and using the rest to make a batch of bread.But, there's no explanation of how to maintain the starter, how much of it to use in the future for making bread, etc.

I will also say that you will learn less about the Amish beliefs and the reasons for them in this book than in some other Amish fiction I've read.

Again, it was okay for a light read, but I've read other Amish fiction that was better done, such as Leah's Choice: Pleasant Valley Book One. ... Read more

7. Plain Secrets: An Outsider among the Amish
by Joe Mackall
Paperback: 248 Pages (2008-06-15)
list price: US$14.00 -- used & new: US$2.72
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0807010650
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Product Description

Plain Secrets tells the story of Joe Mackall’s long friendship with his Swartzentruber Amish neighbors, the Shetlers, to create a nuanced portrait of this most traditional Amish sect.

“Mackall does the job beautifully, painting an intimate portrait of the family that leaves the reader feeling humbled by the common thread that’s woven into all of us.”—Sarah English, Cleveland Magazine

"Prose as graceful as it is unsentimental . . . Mackall doesn't sensationalize, romanticize, or condescend."—Brigid Brett, Los Angeles Times

"The book points to a difficult truth: A religious community is bound to be freed. Mackall explores this paradox with rare honesty and insight . . . [and] achieves what he promises."—Tom Montgomery-Fate, Boston Globe

"Mackall describes the details of family, farming and church life with sympathy, accuracy and good will . . . His particularistic description of one family is a welcome addition to what has often been a sociological literature." —Levi Miller, Christian Century
... Read more

Customer Reviews (31)

4-0 out of 5 stars Plain Secrets: An Outsider among the Amish
Having grown up near the area this book takes place in, I was very interested to read it.About the Amish, most specifically about the Swartzentruber sect of Amish, it is of the author's experience and interaction with one particular family.He manages to grow close over a period of years and really see what life is like in the most strict of the Amish sects.

Mackall manages to become a close trusted friend of the Shetlers (names changed to protect privacy) an Amish family who moves in near him and becomes his neighbors.Over the course of the years he visits with them and their children, learns their ways and about their family, and even trades favors with them.Because of this relationship, when he asks if he can write a book on their family, they agree.There isn't really a timeline to the novel, it covers a forward moving piece of time in which a young boy leaves the order and his struggles with becoming "English" and the book also covers the life of Samuel Shetler and his immediate family.

Mackall details the house Samuel is building and what his family does day to day.He touches on some of the religious aspects and rules the Swartzentruber's have for their order.He also offers his opinion on everything he sees.This author does not sit back and tell about the family, he immerses himself in their life and comments on what he thinks about it.He tells you what he thinks is good, what is bad, and what areas are just shaded grey.

Mackall has a clear writing style and he does a great job at describing the people he's writing about.I did find some fault however.It seems that he might have written this book in parts, and as such, there are many trivial details that are repeated throughout the different chapters.Most of this is needless because the reader isn't reading one chapter every month or so and doesn't need to be reminded of these details.Also, his opinions are very waffling.He constantly can't decide whether their life is good or bad or if ever approached if he would help one leave the order.While these are all good thoughts and opinions by him, they take up quite a bit of space in the book sometimes.

I did enjoy reading about the Amish and this particular family.It was a great glimpse into the life of the Amish.Even knowing a couple Amish I had never realized just how rule bound their life was or even some of the more simple day to day things they had to do.This is a great book for learning a bit more about some of the most intriguing people in America.

Plain Secrets
Copyright 2007
248 pages

Review by M. Reynard 2010

5-0 out of 5 stars Authentic and Compelling
This book invites the reader to sit and walk alongside the author and his Amish friend as they go about their dramatically different but intersecting lives. The social nuances of their unlikely but mutually valued relationship are fascinating to explore, as are tensions between various characters and the outside world from which most of them (but not all!) are trying to keep separate. The result is an entertaining, educational, and compelling piece of reporting and literature.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Read !
This book is one of the best that I have ever read on the Amish culture, and I have read quite a few over the years. It is unbiased and honest in it's portrayal of personalities and circumstances of cultural choices. It is written with accuracy and with a sense of humor that is equally aimed at the "quirks" of the "Englisher" as well as the culture the author is writing about. Excellent read!

5-0 out of 5 stars NO secret
I think this was a well written book.I'm glad that it was written just the way it was.I think some books are over criticized.I'm glad he was allowed to do this.It gave a good insight.He is honest and very fair and still shows his own opinion is safe within himself.I see he has conflict over some issues,which is great.Makes a person think about this book.Good job

4-0 out of 5 stars Amishplain secrets
What a great book! The people are very interesting. One can learn much about the Amish. Good reading. ... Read more

8. The Amish Midwife (The Women of Lancaster County)
by Mindy Starns Clark, Leslie Gould
Paperback: 304 Pages (2011-02-01)
list price: US$13.99 -- used & new: US$9.44
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0736937986
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A dusty carved box containing two locks of hair and a century-old letter regarding property in Switzerland, and a burning desire to learn about her biological family lead nurse-midwife Lexie Jaeger from her home in Oregon to the heart of Pennsylvania Amish country. There she meets Marta Bayer, a mysterious lay-midwife who desperately needs help after an Amish client and her baby die.

Lexie steps in to assume Marta’s patient load even as she continues the search for her birth family, and from her patients she learns the true meaning of the Pennsylvania Dutch word demut, which means “to let be” as she changes from a woman who wants to control everything to a woman who depends on God.


A compelling story about a search for identity and the ability to trust that God securely holds our whole life—past, present, and future.


... Read more

9. An Amish Christmas: A Choice to Forgive/A Miracle for Miriam/One Child (Inspirational Amish Christmas Romance Collection)
by Beth Wiseman, Kathleen Fuller, Barbara Cameron
Hardcover: 448 Pages (2009-09-15)
list price: US$16.99 -- used & new: US$5.71
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B003UYV1UG
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Product Description

December in Paradise.

A time of hope, redemption, and new life.

A Choice To Forgive by Beth Wiseman.
After Daniel disappeared that long-ago Christmas Eve, Lydia built a life with his brother. But now she's a widow and Daniel has reappeared, asking for forgiveness. But can she go back to her normal life with her long-lost love as her neighbor?

A Miracle for Miriam by Kathleen Fuller.
Seth is no longer the arrogant young man who shattered Miriam's confidence and broke her heart. But can he convince "plain" Miriam that she is truly beautiful to him?

One Child by Barbara Cameron.
The birth of one child forever changed the world two thousand years ago. On a snowy Christmas night in Lancaster County, another child changes the world for two very different couples.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (66)

5-0 out of 5 stars Delightful Trio of Amish Romance Stories With an Uplifting Holiday Feel!
This is a beautifully bound book, perfect for personal reading and gift-giving alike!I have found Amish/Inspirational Romances to be a safe gift or reading suggestion for many friends in my life.They are inspiring and never seem to offend sensitive readers (ie - there are no vivid sex scenes that may offend some readers).

I enjoyed reading all three of the stories included in this book, each taking place during the holidays in Lancaster County, PA.Each story is written by a different author, but they all contain characters that re-appear throughout the book (Miriam, her sister Lydia, and her friend Sarah).Story 1: A Miracle for Miriam by Beth Wiseman, Story 2: A Choice to Forgive by Kathleen Fuller, and Story 3: One Child by Barbara Cameron.

The first story centers around Miriam and Seth, two friends who have known each other since they were young children.The second story centers around Lydia, Miriam's sister, who experiences love lost and found as her first love re-appears in her life after Lydia's husband (his brother) dies, and they must face some challenges together.The final story centers around Miriams friend Sarah, who is dealing with infirtility with her husband, even as they help another couple during the holidays who end up having a baby on Christmas.

I always enjoy the overall peaceful feeling that I get when reading Amish stories, and I really enjoy learning about them and having the ability to compare my very modern life to their more simplistic and hard-working lives.Many fun conversations have stemmed from reading these stories.

4-0 out of 5 stars A very good book for an Amish ladies Christmas
An Amish Christmas: December in Lancaster County - Three Amish Christmas Novellas by Beth Wiseman, Kathleen Fuller, and Barbra Cameron.First off I received this book to review from Thomas Nelson and it not the usual type of book I read.It is definitely a book for the ladies.It was a good book but not my cup of tea.

There are three self-contained stories one dealing with a childhood love, another story dealing with stolen time and this issue of trust, and the third is about the power of love through tragedy.The first story gives you a little glossary to help you understand some of the Amish words that are used.The other stories - if I remember correctly stay away from that.Also all the stories take place during Christmas as the subtitle states.

Overall, if you know someone who likes Amish fiction this is a great book for them.

3-0 out of 5 stars Light read, but nothing that has me wanting to come back.
I guess I was expecting more along the lines of Beverly Lewis' stories, and this book is definitely not.The three novellas were an enjoyable light read (with some definite mischaracterizations about Amish life).I did like the fact that the stories all took place in the same setting, so that you felt you "knew" some of the characters by the 3rd story.I was thankful that I didn't have to deal with sexual situations, bad language, or terrible violence in the stories.Wouldn't really recommend this, but it passed some time pleasantly enough.

5-0 out of 5 stars An Amish Christmas
Wonderful, wonderful book!!!These ladies are some of the best writers of Amish Fiction that I know!!I highly recommend this book to anyone, any time of year!They write such inspirational stories that uplift your spirit. Their next book, An Amish Gathering is also a must buy!You can't go wrong with these ladies!!I hope you enjoy their stories as much as I do & will continue to do hopefully for many, many years!!!!!I LOVE THIS BOOK!!!!An Amish Gathering (Inspirational Amish Romance Collection)Plain Perfect (Daughters of the Promise, Book 1)Plain Pursuit (Daughters of the ProA Promise of Hope (Kauffman Amish Bakery Series)A Gift of Grace: A Novel (Kauffman Amish Bakery Series)The Choice (Lancaster County Secrets, Book 1)The Sound of Sleigh BellsWhen the Heart Cries (Sisters of the Quilt, Book 1)mise, Book 2)SO MANY, JUST LOOK UP THE AUTHORS.THEY ARE ALL WONDERFUL!!

5-0 out of 5 stars An Amish Christmas
This is a very heartfelt story contrasting the hurried life of most of us against the simple life of the Amish. It is thought provoking because we were able to see the really important things in life. It is a sweet book taking a good look at people's character, work ethic, helping our neighbors, and love of God. ... Read more

10. A Pocket Guide to Amish Life
by Mindy Starns Clark
Paperback: 144 Pages (2010-01-01)
list price: US$6.99 -- used & new: US$3.12
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0736928642
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description

As Amish fiction continues to appeal to a huge audience, A Pocket Guide to Amish Life gives readers a glimpse into an obscure, fascinating world—what the Amish believe and how they live. Full of fun and fresh facts about the people who abide by this often-misunderstood faith and unique culture, this handy-sized guide by Mindy Starns Clark, author of Shadows of Lancaster County (more than 43,000 copies sold), covers a wide variety of topics, such as:

  • beliefs and values
  • clothing and transportation
  • courtship and marriage
  • shunning and discipline
  • teens and rumspringa
  • children and the elderly
  • education and work

Presented in an easy-to-follow and engaging style, this pocket guide to the Amish is a great resource for anyone interested in Amish life.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars What a handy resource!
As a writer, I'm constantly looking for resources, and I'm so glad I found The Pocket Guide to Amish Life. With topics divided by chapters, it's easy to find the answers I need. I especially enjoyed the chapter Myths vs Truths. After reading that chapter, I realized my view of the Amish Life was not a true picture. Thank you for giving me a true picture, Mindy!

5-0 out of 5 stars Helpful and Informative
This handy little book provided a helpful and informative guide to Amish and how they live. It gives a good beginning overview.

5-0 out of 5 stars Fun and informative
What a delightful little book. I've often been interested in the Amish but found the other nonfiction books had too much information. I wanted to know the basics and it was tough to draw those out of the abundance of information. This was an easy, quick, and fun read.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Pocket Book Packed wtih Treasure
Whether curious about the simple life of the Amish or a novelist who is creating an Amish character, Mindy Starns Clark's A POCKET GUIDE TO AMISH LIFE is a real treasure. From history to lifestyle to life passages to the outside world, this easy to understand, excellent little book is packed with information. Clark also provides a website to provide you with more details about the Amish community's simple, Christian life.

Gail Gaymer Martin is an award-winning novelist and author of Writing the Christian Romance released by Writers Digest.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Must-Have for Amish fiction lovers
Mindy Starns Clark gives readers an excellent overview of Amish life, beliefs, and customs in A Pocket Guide to Amish Life. Readers who enjoy Amish fiction will want this book!
Marta Perry, author of LEAH'S CHOICE and RACHEL'S GARDEN, Berkley Books
... Read more

11. Katie's Redemption (Brides of Amish Country, Book 1)
by Patricia Davids
Hardcover: 285 Pages (2010-12-01)
list price: US$28.99 -- used & new: US$19.56
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1410431878
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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After two years away, Katie Lantz returns to her Amish community nine months pregnant--and unmarried. With nowhere else to turn, she nervously knocks on her family's door, fearing she'll be shunned. Yet the handsome stranger who now owns the farm welcomes her in--just in time for Katie to give birth.

Carpenter Elam Sutter and his kindly mother care for Katie and her newborn in a loving way she never dreamed was possible. But in the face of a heartwrenching choice, Katie learns just what family, faith and acceptance truly mean.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars Relaxing with the Amish
As usual this book was so relaxing and easy read. It kept my interest. I was upuntil 4 in the morning. I just had to finish it. And the ending wasn't what I thought. Which always thrills me. You will not be disappointed.

4-0 out of 5 stars Easy Reading
This was a pleasant story and who doesn't love a happy ending. Nice, easy summer reading.I loved it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Life is what you make of it.
Excellent story of bad mistakes, wrong turns in the road that eventually work out to be redeemable in the end. Many young girls are persuaded that pre-martial sex is the right thing to do if you are "in love".They need to take better care of themselves as no one else is going to do it for them.In this novel, the story had a happy ending, but in real live, most girls are left to pay the consequences by
themselves. Ignorance doesn't pay the bills,nor will they ever earn a livable wage unless they obtain certificates or a degree. Even then it's a bare bones living wage.

5-0 out of 5 stars Heartwarming story about find God & finding love
This is one of Patricia Davids' best ... and I have read all of her books. I love to read the Amish story line books, I will admit and I absolutely adored this. Katie left the Amish, had a brother who raised her that was totally without compassion, broke my heart as I was reading this and I felt that because of this she left with a young man that she never would have otherwise ... of course, got pregnant ... he left her and she returned wanting to find that her brother would help her when she needed it most. I couldn't believe how cruel he was ... but I have known people that just thought only of themselves so I could understand this when I thought more of this. Then in trying to find her brother, she met this incredible family that made this such a heartwarming book that I did not want it to end. Elam, and his mother were certainly the type of people that helped make this book something special ... he being hurt you could understand the steps he also needed to take that Katie and her baby helped him with as well. Maybe as a grandmother of (soon to be) 7 ... I even felt all the stronger reading this book ... I honestly wanted to immediately read more about Katie's life as she grew but I imagine that is not going to happen. However, I still am looking so forward to reading more of this series. It shows so much promise.

4-0 out of 5 stars Katie's Redemption

Katie Lantz ran away from home with her English boyfriend, but when her boyfriend ups and leaves her, claiming she's backward and trying to force her into marriage, Katie has no place to go, but back home. Nine months pregnant, she takes a bus to her brother's house, prepared to do and say whatever is necessary to find a home.

Elam Sutter and his family moved to Ohio to find cheap farmland, and to get away from the rumors surrounding their family back in Pennsylvania. Elam is stunned when a young very pregnant English woman stands on his front porch, looking for her brother. Her brother had moved to Kansas. When Katie goes into labor upon hearing the news Elam's mother offers shelter, against Elam's better judgment.

Katie is determined to leave as soon as she is well enough, but when her brother refuses to take her in, she doesn't know what to do. What will it take for Katie to find the family and love she's always longed for.

KATIE'S REDEMPTION is the first book I read by this author. The story does start out a bit slow, but it does pick up as it continues.

Katie is struggling with who she is and where she belongs. She never really fit into the Amish world, and her brother who raised her was very cruel, blaming her for losing his home and the rest of his family. So, it was understandable that she took the opportunity to leave home when she got it. But it was also understandable that with no place to go, home would be the first place she thought of. If you are looking for a shorter Amish story which is pure romance, then KATIE'S REDEMPTION might be the book for you. The author's letter suggests that she has several other Amish themed books coming soon from Love Inspired. Discussion questions are available at the back of the book. ... Read more

12. A Promise of Hope: A Novel (Kauffman Amish Bakery Series)
by Amy Clipston
Paperback: 304 Pages (2010-03-30)
list price: US$12.99 -- used & new: US$5.18
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 031028984X
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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In A Promise of Hope, the second installment in the Kauffman Amish Bakery series, bestselling author Amy Clipston compellingly unfolds the tensions, loves, and faith of the inhabitants of an Amish community and the family bakery that serves as an anchor point for the series.When Sarah Troyer tragically loses her husband Peter, she is left to raise infant twins alone. Overwhelmed and grieving, she lives with her parents in the Amish community of Bird-in-Hand, Pennsylvania. Sarah is taken completely by surprise when a stranger arrives claiming connections to Peter's past---Peter had told her he was an orphan with no family. From Luke, she learns her husband hid a secret life, one with ramifications that will change her own.Sarah's family, concerned for her and the future of her twins, encourages her to marry again. It should make sense ... but Sarah's heart says no. She feels trapped. Should she marry a man she doesn't love? Or discover if her growing interest in Luke can be trusted?A Promise of Hope is filled with surprising twists that will grip you to the very last words. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (16)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Promise of Hope
I read Amy Clipston's first book in the Kauffman Amish Bakery,A Gift of Grace: A Novel (Kauffman Amish Bakery Series) and loved it.This one is just as good, I love to read about the Amish and Amy Clipston has a way with her books that make us understand them.

Set in Bird-In-Hand, PA, the main character, Sarah, isexpecting her first boppi while she is grieving over theloss of her husband in a fire. Sarah moves back in with her parents who are trying their best to love and support their grieving daughter, reassuring her that her people will help her andher bopplin. Sarah is overwhelmed with sadness and grief . While working in the family bakery she meets a man who has come to Bird-In-Hand to learn more about her husband's death. This man, Luke, claims to be a relative. She soon finds out that she is caring twins and she just can't understand why God had to take Peter from her and the babies she is expecting. She has a friend that she talks too that had lost his wife so he understands her feelings.Will she fall in love with Norman the widower or can she love again?

Sarah learns many things, some troubling, about her husband's past that she never knew, but she also learns quite a bit about herself. You will laugh and cry with all the characters, they will become like family to you.

This book was sent to me by Zondervan publishers to review.

5-0 out of 5 stars A beautiful story!
I had not read any of Amy's books before this series but I am definitely a huge fan now! I have found this series to be a bit different from what I usually think of as a typical Amish novel. These books have a bit "deeper" story than some. There is great family drama within the family, and within all the different relationships in this extended family group. It really made me wish I could be part of this family! And, along with the drama, in this story there's also an element of suspense and some secrets begin to come out and shake up the whole family. It hooked me from the very start and I couldn't put it down until the end.

I very highly recommend this book to anyone. If you love Amish then you'll love this one, and if you don't normally enjoy Amish novels then I think you might still enjoy this one. The writing is beautiful, the story line is emotional, dramatic and suspenseful. The characters will steal your heart and will stay with you long after you've read the books! And the story is rich with scripture and wonderful messages that leave you thinking.

5-0 out of 5 stars A promise of hope
After a tradgedy she must carry on bravely. I admired this and looked forward to seeing what happened next. A good upcomeing writer I think.

2-0 out of 5 stars Not great
I read A Promise of Hope and really didn't like it.The main character, Sarah just whined!Yes her husband Peter lied about his past and he died tragically in a fire, but her entire demeanor was "Woe is me, what shall I do raising two babies on my own".Her family tried to support her and she blew them off."I don't need your help, I can do it, Woe is me, Peter isn't coming back"!Duh! "God should bring him back."No chance. Luke was her best shot at love, and she whined that he lied to her.I got so annoyed with this character that I gave the book to a used bookstore.

It really isn't worth it.Amy Clipston doesn' impress me as a writer.

5-0 out of 5 stars Another great book by Amy Clipston
A Promise of Hope was a great read, I highly recommend it to Amish fiction fans. The romance between Luke and Sarah Rose was realistic, and I enjoyed the dash of intrigue in finding out Peter's past. It wasn't what I expected. Those little twists, along with a satisfying romance, make this a terrific book. Can't wait to read the next one! ... Read more

13. Think No Evil: Inside the Story of the Amish Schoolhouse Shooting...and Beyond
by Jonas Beiler
Hardcover: 213 Pages (2009-09-22)
list price: US$23.99 -- used & new: US$6.26
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B003NHR5X2
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
THE TRUE STORY OF OCTOBER 2, 2006, WHEN CHARLES ROBERTS ENTERED AN AMISH SCHOOLHOUSE, bound and shot ten schoolgirls, and then committed suicide, stunned all who read the headlines or watched the drama unfold on television screens. Somehow, the senseless violence seemed all the more horrific against the backdrop of horse-and-buggy funeral processions and scenes of wide-eyed innocent children clad in bonnets and suspenders.

But perhaps even more startling than the violence was the quiet yet powerful response of the Amish community offering unconditional forgiveness to the murderer and reaching out to his family with baskets of food and warm welcomes into their homes. Could such forgiveness be genuine, truly heartfelt? Surely there must be simmering rage behind those peaceful words.

Jonas Beiler wondered. He had grown up in that very Amish community. His own pain of losing his daughter in a tragic accident years before resurfaced, and the lingering shadows of other life tragedies loomed darker. As he met with the grieving families, he could see how devastated and broken they felt, and yet he was drawn to the strength he saw in them.

Outsiders, too, had difficulty understanding the rock-solid faith of the people in this Amish community. How could they forgive someone who killed their innocent daughters? How could they reach out and embrace his family, expressing unconditional love for them in these circumstances? Letters from around the world poured in, asking these universal questions in the face of suffering.

And so began Jonas Beiler's journey into this story -- the story behind the headlines, behind the farmhouse doors, around the lantern-lit kitchen tables, at the local market, and alongside the tiny coffins. His quest is now yours to read. His discoveries yours to consider.

Walk with those closest to the scene: an Amish grandfather, an ambulance driver, a surviving Amish schoolgirl, and volunteer firefighters. Even look on as the community demolishes the school where the murders took place and builds the New Hope School that holds no memories of bloodstained walls.

Think No Evil is the first insider account of the tragic events, the personal victories and the daily Amish life in Nickel Mines, written by a native of the Amish community who still lives and works where most of his relatives are Old Order Amish. Against the rich and fascinating backdrop of Amish culture, Beiler reveals the best of the human spirit in the midst of the worst, and leaves us all drawn heavenward, the richer for it. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (19)

4-0 out of 5 stars Good Book But!
Good book which goes into detail about the terrible tragedy in Nickel Mines.The author keeps repeating how forgiving the Amish people are.My only question is if they are so forgiving why do they practice "Shunning" on former Amish who decide to leave the Amish lifestyle.You would think they would practice some of that forgiveness the author talks and talks about.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Supernatural Response to An Evil Act
I didn't know much about the Amish before this book. I recently read that retreats are now being offered where phones, t.v.'s, and all electronic detractors are removed. All the luxuries that were suppose to free up our time to relax aren't working. We are a compulsive, obsessive, stressed to the max society. Maybe there are some lessons to be learned from the Amish. This is what this book taught me.

First of all Jonas Beiler is qualified to write this book. He was raised Amish in the area of the story and left his Amish way of living when he became an adult. About 5% about "choose" to leave. Since then he has not been ostracized from them at all. Next, he himself suffered the loss of his daughter a young child named Angie. She was only 19 months old when she died in a vehicle accident. So he knows the unimaginable pain of losing a child suddenly. He also had the fortitude to forgive his spouse and remain with her after she had an affair with a friend of his. What does he have that defies our "get even," "me first" culture? That answer comes to us in this story.

The catalyst for this tragedy comes from the carnal mind of the shooter. He had a daughter that died shortly afterbirth. Within 10 years God has given him two more children but he can't get over loosing the first one and he blames God for all his unnecessary suffering. The Amish know God can be trusted and don't question His eternal perspective. So like Timothy Mcveigh, he sets off to win the body count, then cowardly take his life so as not to have to face the misery his hands created, and he picks the most Godly devoted he can find, little Amish girl angels. Had his gun jammed before the self inflicted wound I think he would have lived to understand why Jesus is called our savior, and what he saves us from. Ironically he is shown the meaning of life by the first human life he takes. 13 year old Marian sees him raise his 12 gauge shotgun, and she announces at that moment, "Shoot me first." Her 11 year old sister Barbie then says, "Shoot me next." Can you believe it? They ask to be shot first. Probably thinking the sight of the blood letting and the boom of a shotgun blast in a small room might snap him back to his sanity and they might save the lives of their school mates if he stops right away. Of course I got choked up by that.

By 9 o'clock that very day the Amish community phoned Charles Roberts wife and told her they hoped that she would stay in the community. They told his family that they held no ill will towards them or the now deceased killer who took his own life. The name of the book comes from something one of the victims grandfathers told CNN at a community meeting.

"We must not think evil of this man." This book is a great inspiration for the world and timed perfectly. What a contrast to all the other school massacre books. Almost like God wanted to show us His heart. Unforgettable!

3-0 out of 5 stars The ineffable unexplained again
If you missed some of the facts of the incident this book will fill them in.It does that well. What it will not do is explain the reasons behind the forgiveness. A tenuous link is made to the history of the Amish, but this only presents another fact or two; it does not explore the deep motivational struggles in practicing forgiveness. The book says to forgive.The book does not say how to forgive.

4-0 out of 5 stars Where Were the Amish Men?
This is a moving account of the murder of five Amish school girls in October 2006 by Charles Roberts, a deranged killer. The two authors grew up Amish, leaving only when they became adults, so they provide an excellent account of why the Amish responded as they did, with forgiveness rather than anger. Just keep in mind that this book is not the Amish perspective on the tragedy. It is the perspective of two people who understand Amish beliefs and who write about them from a psychological and sociological perspective. They describe the modern psychological benefits of Amish forgiveness with more skill than they explain the deeper religious motivations that underlie them. These were, after all, men who chose to leave the Amish faith. They are understanding outsiders, but they are outsiders.

Unfortunately, I have the same grating frustration with the events this book describes as I do with the Rwandan genocide and with the 1999 Columbine massacre. Something that is clearly wrong--passivity in the face of violence and evil--is described as if it were a supreme good rather than a tragic failure. I described my frustration earlier in my Amazon review of a film on the Rwandan genocide. I'll describe it again here.

The best illustration what is right came over two thousand years ago when Greece faced death and enslavement from an invasion out of the East. The men of Greece are said to have left for battle with the words of their mothers, wives and daughters ringing in their ears. They were to return "with their shields or on them." The first thing an ancient soldier did when in breaking and running was to cast away his heavy shield. Returning with their shields meant that they had defeated their foe. Returning on their shields meant that they had been wounded or died in a battle that they had won. (If they'd have lost, their bodies would have been left on the field.) In short, the women of Greece were telling their men they had a responsibility to protect their families whatever the cost.

I will be blunt. Why were all ten victims shot by Charles Roberts and all five who died girls? The little one-room schoolhouse wasn't a school for girls. There were about as many boys present as girls, some as old as twelve. Those girls died for two reasons. First, because Charles Roberts, in his perverted grief over the death of his daughter, intended to target girls. And second, because the boys in that school did nothing to stop him, meekly doing as they were ordered, leaving the classroom and standing outside as the tragedy unfolded.

That's why I captioned this review, "Where Were the Amish Men?" These boys growing up to manhood in the Amish faith had not been taught that they had a role they could not avoid, the responsibility of the stronger sex to protect their little sisters and the young girls in their neighborhood. And that responsibility was not lessened by the fact that acting meant facing danger and even death. Amish men are certainly excellent farmers and businessmen, what some women call 'good providers.' But they're of little value when evil comes knocking.

In short, while the authors clearly want us to be impressed by the Amish faith they left behind. I'm not. The Amish have grossly overemphasized one virtue, forgiveness, while wholly neglecting another of greater importance, our responsibility for the lives and safety of others. If those Amish boys had been properly raised, taught to become men when men are needed, that little Amish community would have had far less to forgive. Yes, one or two of the boys might have died as they attacked the 200-pound Charles Roberts en masse, but they would have bought precious time for all the girls to escape and, once the girls were safe, all but perhaps one or two of them could have made their escape, leaving Roberts with no one to kill but himself.

The Amish have made a tragic mistake, one that is now centuries old. There is evil in this world, genuine evil that must be fought, defeated and destroyed. We can't delegate all that responsibility to those who respond to 911 calls. The same Jesus who talked about forgiveness also told his disciples "let him who has no sword sell his robe and buy one." Evil and violence must be met with courage, strength and, yes, counter-violence. Forgiveness is necessary after the fact. But it is not enough.

--Michael W. Perry, Untangling Tolkien: A Chronology and Commentary for The Lord of the Rings

3-0 out of 5 stars A let down
I read Jonas' account of the lives taken at the school house. His major plot line was forgiveness. I knew that the Amish put forgiveness, a virtue shared by the whole community.
LMN ia airing a movie based on the happening surrounding the shooting of 10 children. This movie tells a very different story from Jonas' book.

In Amish Grace the LMN movie, focuses on one mother who cannot forgive the man who killed her daughter. Jonas book leads us to believe that all of the parents forgave the shooter. Jonas failed to share the whole truth. ... Read more

14. A Secret Identity (The Amish Farm Trilogy)
by Gayle Roper
Paperback: 224 Pages (2010-09-01)
list price: US$10.99 -- used & new: US$5.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0736925872
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Readers will be delighted as popular author Gayle Roper continues her contemporary Amish series (that began with A Stranger’s Wish) with book two in The Amish Farm series, A Secret Identity.

Cara Bentley is raised by her grandfather to appreciate family. When she discovers—quite by accident—that he was adopted, her whole perspective changes. If he wasn’t a Bentley, who was he? If she isn’t a Bentley, who is she? She determines to find her “real” family.

Ending up in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, she takes a room at the Zook family farm.  When she seeks the help of attorney Todd Reasoner, the search for the truth begins in earnest.

But as mysterious accidents begin to happen, Cara suspects her attempt to find out the truth is not welcome—and neither is she.

Readers will be turning pages to find the answers Cara seeks.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars Another great read for fans of Amish fiction
If you're one of those readers who just can't get enough Amish fiction, A Secret Identity will be another title to add to your collection.What makes this book different is that while it does take place in an Amish setting, it involves more of the English world than some other Amish fiction stories.The main character, Cara Bentley travels back to Pennsylvania to dig into her family roots after she discovers by accident that her grandfather who raised her, was adopted.Unsettled about who she "really" is - Cara soon discovers that not everyone supports her search for the truth.

Make sure you take the time to read the author's note in the back of this book - it adds to the meaning of this story and I found it very touching to read. ... Read more

15. Amish Proverbs: Words of Wisdom from the Simple Life
by Suzanne Woods Fisher
Hardcover: 205 Pages (2010-08-01)
list price: US$13.99 -- used & new: US$8.09
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0800719530
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
If you want to know a people," says Suzanne Woods Fisher, "know their proverbs." These small, concentrated packages of insight allow outsiders to peek into a fascinating closed community. In Amish Proverbs, Fisher collects more than 200 proverbs to uncover the rich heritage, folklore, faith, values, history, and essence of the Amish people. These proverbs serve as teaching tools and maxims for right living for the Amish and can also inform the lives of anyone who seeks peace and simplicity in life.Ranging from the simple to the profound, from the serious to the humorous, these sayings will stick with readers through life's joys and sorrows. The perfect gift for any occasion, Amish Proverbs is sure to become an instant classic. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (18)

5-0 out of 5 stars Beautiful photos and classic wisdom make for terrific gift book
Amish Proverbs by Suzanne Woods Fisher is a terrific hardcover gift book. The Amish have tons of proverbs that cover nearly every aspect of their lives, and Fisher has put them together along with beautiful photographs and profiles of some Amish people that exemplify the words of wisdom. Her book perfectly captures the spirit of the Plain People and the simplicity of their lives that are so rich with wisdom. The reason some people get lost in thought is because it's unfamiliar territory. If you think you're too small to make a difference, you haven't been in bed with a mosquito. Bibles that are coming apart usually belong to people who aren't. Readers will find themselves wanting to share the sayings and nodding their heads at the truisms. It's a book that you'll want to keep on your shelf to reread again and again.

5-0 out of 5 stars Love the Amish - and Love This Beautiful Book!
The Amish community has been an interest/passion of mine since I visited the Lancaster, Pennsylvania area as a young person. So when I am near an Amish community or have the opportunity to learn more about them, I take advantage! One of my favorite new authors, Suzanne Woods Fisher, has just released a beautiful new book, `Amish Proverbs: Words of Wisdom from the Simple Life.' Favorite author + Amish community = I'm there!

Here's a synopsis of this lovely book:

Simplify your life with Amish wisdom.
Through firsthand research and personal relationships, Suzanne Woods Fisher has collected more than 200 proverbs that cover the rich heritage, folklore, faith, values, history, and essence of the Plain People. These proverbs serve as teaching tools and maxims for practical living - but they're not just for the Amish. They're for anyone who seeks God's wisdom and truth for everyday circumstances.
Ranging from the simple to the profound, from the serious to the humorous, these sayings will stick with you through life's joys and sorrows. With beautiful full-color photos throughout, Amish Proverbs is the perfect gift for any occasion.

Here is the biography of the author:

Suzanne Woods Fisher [...] first became interested in the culture of the Plain People through her grandfather, W.D. Benedict, who was raised in the Old Order German Baptist Brethren Church in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. She had a warm relationship with her Dunkard cousins and asks them many questions, which they patiently answer.
Fisher ([...]) is the author of Amish Peace: Simple Wisdom for a Complicated World and the bestselling novel, The Choice, the first in her Lancaster County Secrets series. Her work has appeared in many magazines, including Today's Christian Woman, Worldwide Challenge, ParentLife, Christian Parenting Today, Marriage Partnership, and many others. Suzanne ([...]) lives with her family in the San Francisco Bay area. She loves to hear from her readers.

In the Introduction, Suzanne explains that we all need wisdom:

These sayings and proverbs, dear to the Amish, can help the English (non-Amish) better understand them. For example, here are two proverbs that reveal how the Amish value the virtue of patience: "Only when a squirrel buries and forgets an acorn, can a new oak tree come forth," and "Adopt the pace of nature; her secret is patience."
Proverbs are just as useful in our life today as they are to Old Order Amish families. They're just as relevant to us as they were to the Israelites in King Solomon's day. They help point us toward wisdom, toward good judgment, towards God's teachings. To please God, we must know what he values; what does he care about? What does he love? What does he hate? Proverbs teach us about God. (p. 13)

This book is divided into several categories: Time, Money, Faith, Children & Family, In Word & Deed, Work Ethic, Handling Adversity, Education, Community, Character and Just for Fun.

Here are a few from the Faith section:

* Bibles that are coming apart usually belong to people who are not.
* It may be difficult to wait on the Lord, but it is worse to wish you had.
* He who bows lowest in the presence of God stands straightest in the presence of sin. (p. 47)

And here are a few from the `In Word & Deed' section:

* All that you do, do with your might. Things done by halves are never done right.
* Swallowing words before you say them is so much better than having to eat them afterward.
* When you speak, always remember that God is one of your listeners. (p. 86)

And these are from the Community chapter:

* It's nice to be important, but it's more important to be nice.
* Swallowing pride rarely gives you indigestion.
* Many things have been opened by mistake, but none so frequently as the mouth. (p. 180)

And, finally, from the Just for Fun chapter:

* Every family tree has a little sap.
* Age is a question of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter.
* Those who have no children know best how to raise them. (p. 197)

This is the second book from Suzanne that I have read; the first was `The Choice,' Book One in her Lancaster County Secrets series (you can read my review here - [...]. Book Two in the Lancaster County Secrets series is `The Waiting;' I am waiting until it releases on October 1, 2010!

I appreciated the fact that Suzanne and the publisher honored the wishes of the Amish, who do not believe in having their faces photographed. There are many photos in this book, but they all show the Amish from the side or back views.

I highly recommend this book. It is full of wisdom, and so beautifully written and designed! It would be perfect for a gift for anyone for any occasion - everyone needs more wisdom!

This book was published by Revell Publishers and provided by them for review and giveaway purposes.

Reviewed by Andrea Schultz - Ponderings by Andrea - [...]

5-0 out of 5 stars Wisdom from the Amish
Amish Proverbs is an attractive little coffee table book. It's full of pictures of the Amish lifestyle alternating with short words of wisdom they live by. Fisher has divided it into topical chapters like Time, Work Ethic and Community. At the beginning of each chapter she has written a brief introduction about Amish thinking on that aspect of life. For readers who are interested in the role of proverbs in any community, there is a fairly informative introduction to the book.

Here's an excerpt from the introduction to the chapter on money:

"As the work, so the pay," goes the saying.
It's not that the Amish aren't money savvy; they ar. But their goal in life isn't to accumulate wealth. Money is a tool, not a goal. They want only to support their familly in an environment that best reflects their values.

Here are some of my favorite proverbs from the book:

Do more of less.

Generosity leaves a much better taste than stinginess.

Raising boys is as easy as digesting iron.

It's what you learn after you know it all that counts.

The original review was posted on Pix-N-Pens

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Book
Sitting down reading through Amish Proverbs was like sitting with my grandmother in her kitchen. The stories and proverbs warmed my heart and touched my soul. This is a beautifully written and illustrated book and would make a wonderful gift for any woman.

Some of the topics include money, faith, work ethic and many more. When you are trying to relax after a crazy day sit down and glean the wisdom found in this collection of proverbs, your will find your stress melting away. I believe this will be a book I refer to often.

5-0 out of 5 stars Amish Proverbs by Suzanne Woods Fisher
Amish Proverbs is such a sweet little book packed full of wonderful old sayings that are still meaningful today. Reading through each chapter/subject was such a journey of memories for me. Many of the proverbs were familiar to me from my childhood. My mother was a source of never ending sayings that either brought fear or laughs depending on what it was that I was doing. I remember my mom saying that the Pennsylvania Dutch had an odd way of saying things. One of her examples was "throw papa down the stairs a pair of shoes". That always made me laugh. I could understand that sometimes saying things can be mis-understood by others. I can only hope that I learned from that example.

As wonderful as the proverbs are, the photos throughout the book are a testament to how beautiful the simple things in life really are. Each photo will either bring memories of drives through the Amish areas of Pennsylvania and other states or just show you a small part of how beautiful well kept farms really look. There are also many photos of simple tools, crafted items, quilts, food and many more lovely images that you will enjoy looking at.

I highly recommend this book to everyone. It's a joy to look at and read over and over again.

I received this book from Litfuse and the review is my own opinion.
... Read more

16. A Place of Peace (Kauffman Amish Bakery Series #3)
by Amy Clipston
Paperback: 336 Pages (2010-12-14)
list price: US$12.99 -- used & new: US$10.39
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0310319951
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Miriam Lapp, who left the Amish community in Pennsylvania three years ago, is heartbroken when her sister calls to reveal that her mother has died suddenly. Traveling home to Pennsylvania, she is forced to face the heartache from her past, including her rift from her family and the break up of her engagement with Timothy Kauffman.Her past emotional wounds are reopened when her family rejects her once again and she finds out that Timothy is in a relationship with someone else. Miriam discovers that the rumors that broke them up three years ago were all lies. However, when Timothy proposes to his girlfriend and Miriam's father disowns her, Miriam returns to Indiana with her heart in shambles.When Miriam's father has a stroke, Miriam returns to Pennsylvania, and her world begins to fall apart, leaving her to question her place in the Amish community and her faith in God. ... Read more

17. An Amish Gathering (Inspirational Amish Romance Collection)
by Beth Wiseman, Kathleen Fuller, Barbara Cameron
Paperback: 400 Pages (2009-12-22)
list price: US$14.99 -- used & new: US$2.06
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 159554822X
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Three heartwarming tales of old friends and new beginnings that span one year in an Amish community.

A Change of Heart by Beth Wiseman

Leah is no good at cooking, cleaning, sewing, gardening--the skills that young women need to make a proper Amish wife. All she wants to do is write stories, but she's sincerely tired of being a disappointment. Will she ever find someone who accepts her just as she is? And can an almost-Amish angel in red polka dots help her find her way?

A Place of His Own by Kathleen Fuller

When Josiah left Paradise the first time, he didn't even say good-bye. Now he's back, ten years later, and he's changed. Why is he so distant and bitter? Where is the boy who used to be Amanda's best friend? Amanda is learning that there are things even a capable Amish girl can't fix. But can she stand there and watch him walk away...again?

When Winter Comes by Barbara Cameron

It's been too long since Rebecca has done what she loves--put on her skates and fly across the ice. Five years have passed since a winter accident took her twin Lizzie and left Rebecca heartbroken. And Ben has waited for her all that time. At last she's starting to heal. But has too much time passed for their hearts to reconnect?

... Read more

Customer Reviews (23)

2-0 out of 5 stars Once the first two stories are read, the third is a welcome relief..
This book covers three stories. Unfortunately, the first, "A Change of Heart,"focuses too much on negative aspects of the main female, Leah, at a certain point in time, eventually leaving the reader with the impression that it's OK for her to actually shirk family responsibilities because she's a writer, even when she marries.

Not only that, Leah's message in her writings is supposedly Christian, showing, not telling, others about the Lord. This actually makes no sense. Either show and tell us, as readers, via the story, or move along to other fiction types or topics. In short, it's not OK to be so self absorbed that you are unaccountable for working within a family unit, either as a single or married person. And it's not OK to write about being Christian while you are not being one; i.e. that comes across as a hypocrite.

This story needs much better focus and more time in development phases. Certainly more happened in this main character's life than the last year or so with the total self absorption with writing, otherwise, the strict Amish parents would have stepped in sooner, as is custom. So go there: present a real character, one more rounded and believable. And make the character a Christian, not just a person writing about being a Christian.This could have helped the tone and storyline much more. Christian fiction needs to have the main characters be or become Christian at some point, or what is the point?

While the negativity of this first story was still a bit overwhelming for an Amish book found in the Inspirational Christian category of the Walden's bookstore, moving on to story #2, "When Winter Comes," isn't much better. Yes, someone died, a youth, but instead of a write up of the event, similar to the death in story #3 with Josiah's `mamm,' we are hit over the head with it multiple times, dragging mourning out over 5 years while everyone needs to hand-hold the main character, Rebecca. Yes, this is fiction, but in the real world, that doesn't happen - or rarely so, as life moves on at a fast pace. To fictionalize it otherwise, especially with Amish culture, seems to focus on something too difficult to believe at any level. Again, we're talking Amish here. Amish move on. They don't focus on such a theme as this for so long. Touch on it in the story, sure. Carry mourning in the heart for years, sure. But have plenty of other activity - -LIFE - going on, as it does in the last story with Amanda and Josiah. Otherwise, what's the point: dragging readers into negative depths from story one, then on to story two?

Once the first two stories are read, the third, "A Place of His Own,"is a welcome relief, a solid Amish tale of two young people building on a past relationship. There is plenty of Amish spirit, helping one another, forgiveness, moving ahead. And there is plenty of healthy Amish interaction of children, neighbors, relatives.Worth hanging in there to read, this story is the best of the three by far. Had the other two stories tried to emulate this one, the entire book would have been a 5-star publication. This story reflects the true essence Amish for today's Inspirational Christian shelves of Walden's and other book stores. Well done.

4-0 out of 5 stars An Amish Gathering

Three heartwarming tales of old friends and new beginnings that span one year in an Amish community

A Change of Heart by Beth Wiseman--Leah doesn't care anything about the usual domestic work that an Amish woman does. She only cares about writing. Her daed is at his wits end what to do with her, when an ex-Amish Angel comes into Leah's life. What will it take for Leah to find her way?

When Winter Comes by Barbara Cameron--Rebecca has loved to ice skate, and she was good at it, until a winter accident takes her twin sister, Lizzie. A young man has been waiting for Rebecca to grow up, and waited longer for her grieving to end. Has too much time passed for her to find love?

A Place of His Own by Kathleen Fuller--Josiah has left his Amish community long ago, after his mother died. Now he's back, but only long enough to put the family farm up for sale. He has no desire to face the demons of the past. But his next door neighbor, his former best friend, Amanda, seems to have him in her sights. Amanda can't seem to penetrate the walls Josiah has erected, but will she be able to watch him walk away again.

AN AMISH GATHERING is a collection of three Amish novellas by three popular Amish authors. I enjoyed reading When Winter Comes the most, but the other two were good as well.

I love reading Amish fiction, so it was a nice treat to be able to pick up this book. The stories were well-paced and a quick read, I finished two in one sitting. If you love Amish fiction, you won't want to miss AN AMISH GATHERING. Discussion questions are included at the end of the book. I gave this book 4 stars because one of the stories wasn't up to the same standards as the other two.

4-0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable read...even for an atheist
I was honestly a bit off-put by the idea of reading an Amish story, which I believed would be full of preachy, wholesome wisdom.I am happy to be wrong (about the preachy part, that is) and equally happy for taking what seems like an unlikely chance on this collection of Amish love stories.

The book was written by three authors with very similar styles, and is comprised of three short stories that build off one another.I have ranked them in order of my preference:

A Change of Heart - Beth Wiseman (4.5 stars)
This story centers around two young people who aren't certain of their feelings for each other or their paths in life.The heroine, Leah, is headstrong and fiercely independent to the point of convincing her parents she will never be fit to recommend herself as a proper Amish wife to any respectable Amish man.Much to Leah's dismay, however, she captures the attention of the handsome Aaron Lantz.Leah and stud-muffin Lantz find common ground in sharing Leah's stories and a relationship blossoms as the two discover Leah's talent as an author is more than enough to keep a man's interest.Will it be Mr. Stud-Muffin who captures her heart?

When Winter Comes - Barbara Cameron (3.5 stars)
This story centers around two young people who appear doomed to bad timing and prevailing cross-purposes.The heroine, Rebecca, carries a heavy burden of grief over lossing her twin sister and is haunted by the belief she might have prevented it.It was his intent five years earlier, before losing her sister, that Ben Weaver would make Rebecca his wife, having loved her all his life.When the timing becomes conducive for Ben to pop the question and for the couple to begin their happily-ever-after life together, a series of events unfold that play out an emotional tug-a-war that makes for an interesting, light read.

A Place of His Own - Kathleen Fuller (3 stars)
This story centers around two young people learning to heal old wounds and support each other.The story has two equally strong characters; Josiah, who returns just as suddenly as he left the Amish village more than a decade ago without even a good-bye to his best friend and neighbor, Amanda, has no intention of mending fences with Amanda or sticking around long enough to care.Amanda, still hurt and confused by her best friend's behavior a decade earlier, is determined to pick up where they left off and, if she's really daring, take their friendship to the next level.While Josiah works at a fevered pace to fix his dilapidated childhood home in order to sell it and move on with is life forever away from his Amish roots and distracting neighbor,Amanda insinuates herself in his life (by way of his kitchen) and challenges him in more ways than she's aware.Will Josiah continue running from his past or will he take a chance on love with Amanda?

The first-person perspective of both the male and female lead characters as well as other key characters throughout the stories.

The easy way all three authors incorporate the Amish dialect into every-day conversations between characters.I did not need to refer to the glossary while reading since the meaning of many words and phrases was understood from context.

The contrived and predictable story lines that pretended to be otherwise, particularly with the last two stories, which tended to draw out, longer than was necessary in my opinion, the tension and climax of the story.The last two stories read overly dramatic and unrealistic "big secret" or misunderstanding scenarios, which lead to so much heartache between characters, when revealed proved untrue to character and tended to dilute the plot and moral of the story.

Feminists be warned.As one might expect, Amish values are traditional,including those about women's roles; while women are respected in Amish society they typically earn that respect through their contribution in the kitchen (boy is there a lot of eating and cooking in this book) and house-keeping.In a small, fleeting way this book taught me to value the simpler, more traditional ways I contribute to the happiness of others, like cooking a meal or fixing a hem, as opposed to the more familiar ways in which I tend to feel the greatest sense of contribution to others...work. An overall refreshing read, I would recommend this book.

4-0 out of 5 stars Coffee time and relaxation
Highly recommend this book and author. I have never been disappointed in them.And you wonbt either.

4-0 out of 5 stars The Amish Gathering
i like a book where there are 3 stories in 1 box written by 3 authors ... Read more

18. A Stranger's Wish (The Amish Farm Trilogy)
by Gayle Roper
Paperback: 224 Pages (2010-02-01)
list price: US$10.99 -- used & new: US$5.34
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0736925864
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Beloved author Gayle Roper begins a contemporary Amish series readers are sure to love....

Englischer Kristie Matthews’ move to an Amish family farm in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, starts on a bad note as the young schoolteacher is bitten by a dog. A trip to the local ER leads to an encounter with an old man who hands her a key and swears her to silence.

But when Kristie’s life is endangered, she suspects there’s a connection to the mysterious key. While solving the mystery (and staying alive), Kristie must decide whether her lawyer boyfriend, Todd Reasoner, is really right for her....or if Jon Clarke Griffin, the new local man she’s met, is all he seems to be.

Mystery, romance, and a beautiful Amish settling....just the thing readers are clamoring for.


... Read more

Customer Reviews (8)

3-0 out of 5 stars An Unsuccessful Rewrite
Sometimes, it just stinks when I have to be totally honest. Not that I'm not honest with all my reviews, but I really hate it when I come across a book that I just really didn't like.

Well, first of all, it appears that this book was a rewrite from an older book that Ms. Roper wrote called The Key. Now I don't mind rewritten books, and I have read several that were done successfully, but I think the approach with this one went all wrong. When it was originally published as The Key, it was marketed simply as a romance novel for the Palisades line of romances. Romance novel....great idea! But honestly, this book is so lacking with romance. This poor girl doesn't really like the guy she's with, and when she does find a guy that she likes, the scenes that they share are somewhat dull up until the very end.

So, I guess since the romance novel marketing strategy didn't pan out, someone came up with the idea to market it as an Amish novel. Um.....no. How Kristie came to live with these people was a little unrealistic, although I've read about this same practice in a few other Amish novels, but written much better. The way in which Kristie met this Amish family and boarded there was just not explained well enough, and it seemed that as a reader, I was just thrown into her experience at an Amish farm. The good thing, though, is that this book does have a lot of Amish info in it, and especially the differences between what the Amish believe compared to what Christians believe regarding the Bible. On that point, the author truly did a great job.

Honestly, I don't know that I'll even read the rest of this series in the new format. I have book two, which was originally published as The Document, that I think I'd rather read as the original instead of the rewrite. Can't believe I'm saying this, but I hope it will be a little heavier on the romance instead of the Amish culture.

5-0 out of 5 stars I am now a forever fan of Gayle Roper's!
Alright, ya'll know from my past reviews that I am a sucker for and an avid reader of Amish books...all Amish books! And Gayle Roper did not disappoint! I had been eyeing this particular book for sometime now and when the opportunity arose to review it for a blog tour I did a happy dance! Well, okay, not really, because I can't dance but I did get super excited and anxious to read it.

This was a light, easy read. It's a story full of God, romance, sadness, friends and family, and most importantly, faith. Without faith, we as a whole, are lost ones. But this story really hits home with finding that faith and believing in it and becoming a better person with it. All the characters blend together beautifully with the plot. Gayle really created characters that are so life-like that you can nearly reach out and hug them! It is truly a book that captured me from first page and held me til the end. That alone, is a keeper!

When I started reading this book, however, I didn't know that this was a reprint from a series Gayle wrote in the 90's. This particular one was, in the 90's, called The Key. But, since I didn't read those books then, I was truly happy to have had the chance to read the reprint, that deserves a 5 star rating and two thumbs up! I am now a forever fan of Gayle Roper's and I anxiously await the release of the second book in the Amish Farm Trilogy, A Secret Identity.

3-0 out of 5 stars A STRANGER'S WISH
A STRANGER'S WISH by Gayle Roper, come to find out is a re-release of the originally titled novel "The Key".This answered a lot of questions for me, because, though I enjoyed A STRANGER'S WISH, I didn't find it as captivating as some of Gayle's more recent works.With that said, there were still several positives.I loved her character development and the ease in which the characters came together.The interaction between Kristie and Jake was pure and honest.At times I found myself wishing these two would end up together.I had mixed feeling about Mr. Geohagan.At times, he was a dear older man in need of companionship, and at other times he was self-centered and unaffected by the danger he put Kristie in.His outcome was sad, but true to life.Hate is a power emotion that skews people's thinking and never allows them to live beyond revenge.

I also enjoyed reading this "Amish-setting book" from the perspective of an outsider.I am not a fan of Amish books, but enjoyed this one because of its unique point of view.Though, I must say, I was a little disappointed in the fact that Kristie encountered one bazaar incident after another but never thought to involve the police.This didn't ring true to me.No matter how gutsy Kristie was, she was still a single girl away from home with men pushing her around left and right.I think she would've been practical enough to call the police.I even began to suspect Clarke might be part of the problem since he didn't insist she go to the police.

Over all, A STRANGER'S WISH was a quick, light read.It exposed the reader to the Amish life and some of their traditions without that being the main focus.

Book provided for review purposes.

3-0 out of 5 stars Delightful reprint!A Stranger's Wish by Gayle Roper
A STRANGER'S WISH by Gayle Roper is a Inspirational romance set in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania Amish country.This is a reprint of the 1998 "The Key" It is well written with depth and detail. It has romance, love of family, tragedy,faith, loss and finding ones' self. The main character is charming. The secondary characters are amazing, charming. This is an enjoyable, quick, light read. If you have never read any of this author's book, do pick up this one. I would recommend this book if you enjoy Amish, although the main character is not Amish but living with an Amish family, she learns a lot from them. This book was received for review and the details can be found at (...)

3-0 out of 5 stars Light, yet appealing read
A bit different take on traditional Amish stories, this was a fast, easy read. While I found much of the premise implausible, this was still an appealing story.I would have thought that Kristie could have made connections between the robbery/attacks sooner, and I kept wondering why she never reported any of it to the police. Her new boyfriend, however, saves the day in true heroic fashion.

I would have loved more character development but these characters still kind of grow on you.What I did enjoy were the conversations, especially between Kristie and Jake, the disabled son of the Amish family with whom she boarded.The discussions about the differences between the Amish faith and Christianity were fascinating.

A light, escapist read.Easily recommended.This is a reprint/update of The Key, originally published in 1998. ... Read more

19. The Amish Cook's Anniversary Book: 20 Years of Food, Family, and Faith
by Lovina Eicher
Hardcover: 304 Pages (2010-09-14)
list price: US$24.99 -- used & new: US$12.75
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0740797654
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Part cookbook, part cultural education, part family memoir, The Amish Cook's Anniversary Book: 20 Years of Food, Family, and Faith celebrates two decades of home and hearth straight from the pens of the original Amish Cook, Elizabeth Coblentz, and her daughter and successor, Lovina Eicher.

Featured inside are classic recipes such as Cucumber Salad, Homemade Cheese Soup, Rhubarb Custard Pie, Poor Man's Steak, Asparagus Casserole, Frosty Strawberry Squares, and Yumasetti; a sampling of the best columns from "The Amish Cook" archives; reflections on Amish history and lore, including stories of old-order days; and glimpses into special events such as weddings, funerals, church services, butchering days, family reunions, and holidays.

More than 30 recipes are featured alongside evocative full-color photographs and descriptive monthly columns on topics ranging from cooking and gardening to family meals and celebrations--each offering insight on a culture rooted in food, family, friends, and faith. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Amish Cook's Anniversary Book
Another excellent book in this series.I could not wait to start reading it and was sad when I got to the last page.I wanted more!

5-0 out of 5 stars Amish ways and food charmingly revealed
The Amish Cooks' Anniversary Book: 20 Years of Food, Family, and Faith is a beautiful book, oversize with full color photos, some of food, others of scenery and artifacts, such as a horse-and-buggy. The book is a collection of columns spanning the years 1991-2010, written by Elizabeth Coblentz until her sudden death at sixty-six of an aneurysm. Her daughter, Lovina Eichel, took over, writing her first column in October 2002.

The Amish life is one of hard and constant work marked by an ever-present thankfulness and acceptance of God's way. Elizabeth says at one point, "God makes no mistakes." Amish families are close, and when children marry, they often set up their own homes close to their parents'. The Amish also make good neighbors, caring for one another--a benefit auction was held when Elizabeth's two-year-old grandson was hospitalized; the Amish carry no health insurance. The Amish worship in private homes, and the host family provides a plentiful meal for worshippers; in the evening, young people sometimes come back, requiring another meal.

Amish life does not allow some of the modern conveniences we take for granted, but rules vary from area to area. Horse and buggy is still the preferred means of transportation, though by the 1990s a few farmers bought motorized tractors. The Amish can ride in a car, especially long distances, if it is driven by a non-Amish person, and they can stay in modern hotels. Most Amish do not have electricity but in some areas they may have small appliances--alarm clocks, flashlights, etc. In Michigan, they are permitted to use gasoline-powered freezers, but those are not allowed in Indiana. The Amish grow their own vegetables and fruit and butcher their own meat. On hog butchering day, they make something called pon hoss, made with pork broth, flour, salt, pepper, and "liver pudding"--something like what we know as liverwurst. It hardens and is sliced and fried for breakfast. But they also cook with canned soups, sour cream, prepared mayonnaise, Miracle Whip, even Jell-O.

We read little about men's lives in this book. These columns chronicle the lives of women who rise at dawn, bake their own bread, can vegetables, make quilts, and feed amazing numbers of people. For Lovina's wedding, two dozen women came to help prepare two days ahead. (For some reason, Amish weddings are held on Thursdays.) They baked ninety pies (oatmeal, cherry, raisin, and rhubarb) and made fourteen batches of nothings--deep-fried pastries traditionally served at weddings. The next day the women made potato salad, cleaned and prepared for the ceremony.

At 4:15 a.m. on the day of the wedding they began to fry 300 pounds of chicken. Ham was also served, along with mashed potatoes, chicken and noodles, gravy (sixteen quarts), mashed potatoes, dressing, buttered corn, green beans from the garden, pork and beans, potato salad, carrot salad, lettuce salad (also from the garden), hot peppers, Swiss cheese, fruit salad, tapioca, pudding, pies, cakes, nothings, celery sticks, coffee, bread, rhubarb jam, and butter. Twenty-eight women prepared the meal, serving approximately 170 people both noon and evening meals. This is but one of the many large meals chronicled in the columns, all cooked on wood-burning or kerosene stoves. On another occasion, Elizabeth's daughters gathered to make noodles, using 110 eggs.

When Lovina took over the column, her children were young, some not even in school. Even though she had eight children, Lovina still made fourteen pints salsa, twelve quarts pickles, and ten pints jalapeños in one day. Breakfast at her home, served early, consisted of eggs, pancakes, fried potatoes, cheese, toast, orange juice and milk.

In spite of the title, this is more a journal than a cookbook. Recipes are scattered throughout but not a great many of them. All recipe titles begin with "Amish Cook Classic," but this book cries out for a recipe index. Here are a few I'd like to try: ham salad (a baked version), cheese burger loaf, cucumber salad, poor man's steak, asparagus casserole, after-school no-bake chocolate-peanut butter cornflake cookies, yumasetti (a ground beef casserole--say it aloud and the name makes sense). I'll skip the pon hoss.

by Judy Alter
for Story Circle Book Reviews
reviewing books by, for, and about women

5-0 out of 5 stars wonderfull book!!!
this book is wonderfull. i could not put it down, i hope their will be more to come ... Read more

20. Lydia's Charm: An Amish Widow Starts Over in Charm, Ohio
by Wanda E. Brunstetter
Paperback: 384 Pages (2010-09-01)
list price: US$14.99 -- used & new: US$7.12
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1602600635
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Widowed and jobless, Lydia King moves her son and herself to Charm, Ohio, to be close to her mother and help with her grandfather. Menno Troyer, a furniture store owner, is also recently widowed and the father of four energetic boys. Levi Stutzman, another newcomer to the area, is the only one in his family not handicapped by dwarfism and has dedicated his life to caring for them. As fall colors the countryside, will anonymous gifts left for Lydia bring her hope for a new life and romance, or will another tragedy flood her with infinite despair? ... Read more

Customer Reviews (30)

5-0 out of 5 stars Wanda Did It Again!
I can never get enough Amish! I am a die hard Amish fiction fan and the first Amish novelist's work I read several years ago was Wanda Brunstetter. Since then, I have been hooked on all her work. She's a wunderbar novelist and each book she writes just gets better and better!

Lydia's Charm is a wonderful story set in Charm, Ohio. There are so many emotions throughout this novel and each of Wanda's tenderly created characters portray those emotions flawlessy. Lydia, Levi, Nona and Menno (just to name a few of the awesome characters!) are gripping and true-to-life. They quickly become your family. Each character has a struggle that they are dealing with and through Wanda's fantastic work, each of those struggles felt like my own, especially Lydia's. She really reached out to me and tugged my heart. But, Levi.....now THAT is an awesomely sweet character!

Wanda fills this 5 star book with everything from sadness to love and hope. She weaves God's love and grace through her amazing work, make this novel unforgettable. If you are new to Amish fiction, grab a copy of Lydia's Charm now....you'll be forever hooked! If you're already a Brunstetter fan, then you MUST add this book to your fabulous collection!

*This book was provided for review purposes by Barbour Books*

5-0 out of 5 stars A charming book
This book was my first introduction to Wanda Brunstetter and rest assured, I'll be reading more of her books!At first I thought the book moved a little slowly, but as I read further, I realized the pace of the book reflected the pace of the Amish way of life.

I especially enjoyed these parts of the book:

**how Wanda makes the characters come to life, Lydia especially.Even though I can't identify with a young widow who is raising a child, I can admire Lydia's strong spirit.

**how Wanda captures our common human nature. Even though the Amish have a very different lifestyle than most of us, we all feel the same emotions.Who hasn't felt discouraged or rejected at times?Most of us, on some level, want to have hope.I love how Wanda's characters display all of these emotions.

**the description of the Amish.I'll admit it, before reading this book, the only the things I knew about the Amish were that they use horse and buggies and paint symbols on the side of their barns.I've come to admire their determination and their strong sense of community.

**the message of hope.We all have trials and tribulations in our lives, but there is always hope.I know this is a work of fiction, but I was inspired by the strong characters.

I highly recommend this book to anyone wanting to learn more about the Amish and anyone wanting to be inspired with hope and renewal.

2-0 out of 5 stars Just wasn't for me
Sometimes there are certain authors with whom you just don't connect.This is the second Wanda Brunstetter book I've read and I just didn't like it.I read White Christmas Pie and thought it was very light and fluffy, nothing special. When I saw Lydia's Charm, I figured I'd give Wanda Brunstetter another chance, because the story sounded appealing, but ultimately wasn't.I found the characters to be one-dimensional.Menno was selfish and Lydia's mother Mae was downright horrible.The Stutzman family was wonderful, but Levi was annoying.The story was contrived and the writing very pedestrian.I only finished the book to find out if I was right about the anonymous gift giver.

I have no doubt that Wanda Brunstetter fans will love it.It has mostly 4 and 5 stars everywhere.It just wasn't for me.

5-0 out of 5 stars Awesome Book!!!
This was a wonderful book.Lydia is an inspirational women.She moves back in with her mother knowing that she does not have many other options.That step is hard for her knowing that her growing up years were not good ones with her mother.I amnot sure I could have made that step unless I had absolutely no other options in line.Then to make it through her husband's death along with her only son's.That alone would overcome me as a wife and mother of 2.Wanda shows such family strength, strength in faith, and strength with friends in her book.What a wonderful and inspirational book for anyone.It brought tears to my eyes, but I loved it!!!

5-0 out of 5 stars A Nice Change
Lydia's Charm is not heavy reading by any means and even though it is, yet another, Amish novel - I enjoyed it. I think what made this novel so interesting to me is the fact that Wanda Brunstetter added in some scenarios that you don't normally find in other Amish novels. Instead of focusing on the rules and traditions of Amish life - she focused on the difficulties of being a single mom, having a tense relationship with your mother and trying to make new friends and a new life for yourself. The caps and aprons and horses are just an added bonus! I actually enjoyed seeing the human side of the Amish people, even if it was just a novel.

*****Thanks to Planned Television Arts for offering me a free copy of the book in exchange for my honest review. ... Read more

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