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An Amish Garden by Beth Wiseman
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An Amish Garden

by Beth Wiseman

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Rooted in Love by Beth Wiseman

Rosemary Lantz is doing her best to run her family’s household. She excels at all her tasks except one: gardening. Saul Petersheim has pursued Rosemary for years, but Rosemary keeps turning him down. What Saul doesn’t know is that she has good reason—something no one can know—especially not him.

Good story. Rosemary and Saul had dated when they were teens, until Rosemary abruptly broke things off. Now she takes care of her widowed father and her three brothers, and dreams of what might have been. Saul has never given up on the love he felt for her and keeps asking her out. When Rosemary's dad and Saul are injured in an accident, Saul insists on helping out, in spite of his own injuries, hoping for another chance.

I loved Saul. He's true in his love for Rosemary and doesn't give up, even when it seems hopeless. His sense of honor insists on him helping out because he was the one who caused her father's injuries. It was a bit amusing to see that he didn't handle his own injury too well.

I had a bit more trouble with Rosemary. She doesn't treat Katherine very well because she's jealous of what appears to be the other woman's perfect life. I admired the way that she has taken care of her family since her mother's death, especially since she is often overwhelmed by it all. But she is also a little bitter about having missed out on the husband and children she wants. She is still in love with Saul, but doesn't treat him very well. The reason she broke things off haunts her, and she wonders if it was worth the loss of the man she loves.

I got pretty frustrated with her because she was so inconsistent with her treatment of Saul. I was glad to see her talk to her friend about what happened and that it gave her the motivation to actually talk to him about it. When she finally got up the courage to do so, it was to find that it had been a misunderstanding of what she heard. If she had only taken the time to talk to him about it, so much time wouldn't have been lost. However, I liked Saul's philosophical look on the lost years.

There was also a secondary story involving Rosemary's dad, Wayne, and Katherine. Rosemary's treatment of Katherine nearly ruined the blossoming of their romance. I ached for both Wayne and Katherine and their unhappiness. I was happy to see Rosemary see her mistakes and try to fix things.

Flowers for Rachael by Kathleen Fuller

Rachael Bontrager’s flower garden is beautiful, but at twenty-four, she’s lonely. Gideon Beiler fell in love with Rachael almost at first sight. After her grandfather has a stroke, her days are filled with caring for him, and one day Rachael finds her garden in shambles. However, she won’t accept Gideon’s offers of help. Will she realize she doesn’t have to do everything on her own and that God is in control?

Good story. Rachael has come to Ohio to take care of her ill grandfather. When she isn't caring for him she is working in her garden. She's rather lonely because she doesn't allow herself much time away from Eli. However, she is intrigued by neighbor Gideon, though he doesn't seem to share her interest. Gideon is rather shy and awkward around women. His one attempt to ask one out ended badly and he hasn't tried since. He has fallen hard for Rachael, but has no idea how to proceed.

Gideon and Rachael have become friends, though each wants more. It was fun to see Gideon's sister get involved and try to help him along. The idea she came up with was pretty sweet and he pulled it off well. It certainly got Rachael's attention as she tried to figure out who was doing it. His shyness almost ended things before they began, but an assist from Eli got things going again. Gideon was still afraid he was relegated to friend, until a crisis with Eli gave him a chance to show Rachael how much he cared. Rachael has spent so long doing everything herself that she has forgotten how to accept help from anyone. Between his help with Eli and then when her garden is damaged by hail, Rachael finally learns that a burden shared is much easier to bear. The ending was really sweet, with Rachael delivering her own floral message.

Seeds of Love by Tricia Goyer

Sadie Chupp finds her greatest joy in the greenhouses in her Montana community. A company is interested in buying her heirloom seeds, but they are the only thing she has left from her deceased parents. Eli Plank is a traveling bachelor who believes he can help Sadie, but a misunderstanding leaves her heartbroken. Will she trust him again, and let the seeds of a new relationship take root?

Sadie moved to Montana to escape her overwhelming grief over the loss of her parents and the sometimes smothering attentions of her older siblings. She plants the heirloom tomato seeds that are all she has left from them, hoping to continue the tradition. She meets Eli, a newcomer to the community, who is a traveling writer. Eli has enjoyed his travels, but something about the community feels right to him.

Sadie and Eli are drawn to each other and connect over her garden. Nurturing the garden does the same to their feelings. I loved seeing Eli's desire to ease her grief as they worked together. There are some sweet scenes as they cope with several issues. A misunderstanding drives them apart, but a marauding bear and destroyed garden helps bring them back together. Then a message from the past brings peace to Sadie and hope for her future.

Where Healing Blooms by Vannetta Chapman

When Widow Emma Hochstetter discovers a run-away teenager in her barn, and the bishop asks her to provide a haven for a local woman and her two children she finds her quiet life has been interrupted. Then, her mother-in-law, Mary Ann, reveals one of her garden's hidden secrets, something very unexpected. Will Emma continue alone or will she accept the gifts God has given her?

Good second chance story. Emma and her mother-in-law have both been widowed within the last year. Mary Ann finds great comfort in her garden, though she can no longer work it the way she used to. That is left to Emma, whose own children are grown with families of their own. She is left feeling a bit at loose ends, wondering what purpose she has now. Also plaguing her is the return of a former beau, whose presence in her life brings back memories of what they once had. Danny left the community as a young man, wandering the country and experiencing life in other towns. He recently returned to the family farm, where he now writes and watches over Emma and Mary Ann.

Then Danny and Emma find a teenage boy hiding out in her barn. Mary Ann and Danny suggest they give him refuge, a place where he can feel safe and wanted. Then the bishop asks them to open their home to a woman and two children escaping from an abusive situation. Suddenly Emma has a full house again and a feeling of usefulness. There's also a reawakening of the feelings between herself and Danny. When Mary Ann reveals a long kept secret of her garden, a world of possibilities is opened, if only Emma has the courage to take it.

I liked the close relationship between Emma and Mary Ann. There was love and respect and a deep understanding of who they are. I liked the way that Mary Ann had of making gentle suggestions to Emma, helping her to look at things from a different perspective. I loved Danny's patience as he waited for Emma to be ready to accept his love. I liked their plans for the future. ( )
  scoutmomskf | Jun 22, 2017 |
An Amish Miracle is the only other book I have read in this “series” so far and An Amish Miracle gave me the impression that these novels follow along with the same characters in the same community and An Amish Garden does not follow that same pattern.

Perhaps it was just An Amish Miracle that did that or perhaps the connective tissue is only meant to be a common thread and that one worked out that way. I can’t say absolutely because I’ve only read the two so far.

In Rooted in Love by Beth Wiseman, the story has taken on a bit of a soap opera style.

It’s kind of like those articles or pictures we see. You can’t look away because it’s holding your attention so fiercely.

“Rooted in Love” Beth Wiseman

Rosemary is doing her best to run her family’s household. She excels at all her tasks except one: gardening. Saul has been interested in her for years, but Rosemary has turned him down repeatedly. Saul begins helping with her family’s garden, but someone is sabotaging his efforts—and keeping a secret that could change their lives.

The synopsis is actually quite misleading but… when aren’t they really?

Rosemary is not at all what I expect from the typical Amish girl but she is well-written. You are immediately intrigued and confused by what seems to be a situation of love had and then lost. We feel for her – with all she has to do in a day and missing her mamm, I know I expected that to be the reason her relationship with Saul came to a sudden and abrupt halt.

But Miss Wiseman surprised me. It was not anything I could have seen coming. Bravo Beth. Great writing and great development. The story and the characters are exceptionally well-developed for a story that stretches a mere 83 pages.


I truly thought Amish names were mostly taken from the Bible but I suppose even some Amish feel the need to stand out and be a bit… different. We certainly see that in Flowers for Rachael by Kathleen Fuller.

Honestly it’s a bit difficult to know for certain whether this story happens in the same community as Rooted in Love or not because it is a very central story. Again you will find that the synopsis gives absolutely no clue to the actual story…

“Flowers for Rachael” Kathleen Fuller

Rachael’s garden is beautiful, but she is lonely. Gideon is in love with Rachael, but when Rachael finds her garden in shambles after a crisis, she rejects his help. Will she realize she doesn’t have to do everything on her own?

The skill Rachael displays with her garden makes me wish I were better with tending plants. One of these days I truly want a home of my own where I can have a beautiful vegetable garden. And flower beds would be great too.

Watching Rachael and Gideon circle around each other is highly entertaining. I never would have imagined such matchmaking and scheming going on in an Amish community. More and more stories now are showing us that the Amish are more like the rest of us that we ever would have thought possible.


Tricia Goyer has another hit on her hands with Seeds of Love!

Right away we’re pulled into the intriguing and interesting storyline. Tricia is one of the few authors I know of who can successfully write two different styles in one story. You’ll know what I mean when you read the story. AMAZING!

“Seeds of Love” Tricia Goyer

When a corporation shows interest in buying Sadie’s heirloom seeds, she panics. They are all she has left of her Dat and Mem. Eli believes he can help Sadie, but a misunderstanding leaves her heartbroken. Will she trust him again, and will the seeds of a new relationship take root?

Once again, the synopsis is a tad misleading but, I have to say, it’s much closer to the story than the others so far. I also have to say that, of the three I’ve reviewed so far, this is my absolute favorite! Tricia Goyer has been truly blessed. Her writing is superb and she has always been one of my favorite authors of Amish fiction. She writes with such a clear voice and you always come away from her stories feeling like her characters are good friends.

It’s also a good sign that the story brought tears to my eyes. Despite my mother’s jokes – I do not cry at the drop of a hat so it’s very telling that Seeds of Love touched my emotions so strongly.

Tricia Goyer has added an amazing story to this collection and it is a very valuable piece of the whole. If you were on the fence about buying the book, I will say this. I still feel that the book is a good value – because of this story!


Saving the best for last certainly applies to Where Healing Blooms by Vannetta Chapman.

WOW! Just WOW! I have to admit that I was not exceedingly impressed with the first two stories in this compilation. They are well-written, just not precisely what I was expecting. But the last two stories overshadow any disappointment I could have possibly had overall.

“Where Healing Blooms” Vannetta Chapman

Emma discovers a run-away teen in her barn, and the bishop asks her to provide a haven for a woman and her two children. Then her mother-in-law reveals a secret about her garden. Will Emma choose loneliness or learn to accept God’s gifts?

The synopsis for Vannetta’s story is the only one I would classify as spot on. It gives you a perfect overview of the story without giving too much away.

Vannetta Chapman is an exceptional writer. I would never in my life have expected to enjoy a story about a grandmother as much as I did but I could not put this wonderful story down. If my description of Tricia’s story didn’t convince you to buy the book, please do so on account of Tricia’s and Vannetta’s! They are well worth it!

Vannetta writes with her usual flair, pulling you right into the story and into the characters’ lives like a relative coming for a visit. Her community is always well-developed, whether the story takes up 300 pages or only 103. Every word of the story helps convey the peace and healing that every character finds in this wondrous garden. It is truly an AMAZING story and a perfect end to the book! ( )
  JCMorrows | Aug 25, 2015 |
An Amish Garden is a collection of stories from four talented and popular authors: Beth Wiseman, Vannetta Chapman, Kathleen Fuller, and Tricia Goyer. Uplifting and encouraging, these stories emphasize aspects of faith and simple living.

I started reading this book in the middle of an extremely busy time in my life, and found it so relaxing and enjoyable, peaceful and inspiring. Each story is well written, with characters and plot that left me wanting more. This is one of the best collections I've read in a long time.

Vannetta writes: "Gardens are a place of comfort for many of us. For Amish families, they are also a source of nourishment, a family gathering place, and sometimes a place where healing can be found." And she is exactly right, because when I reflect on the word garden, this is what comes to mind: beauty, sustenance, new life, God's provision, sanctuary.

Let me first confess that I am not a gardener in any sense of the word, yet I love to gaze on the beauty of a simple daffodil that my husband picked for me. And vegetable gardens remind me of the years when my Dad came home from a long day's work and delayed his supper until he had spent several hours tilling and planting our family garden. Or working beside my mother and grandmother in the canning/freezing process. So while An Amish Garden entertained and inspired, it also brought back treasured memories with loved ones I look forward to seeing in heaven someday.

Rooted in Love Beth Wiseman - I was drawn to Saul and Rosemary, loved the chemistry between them. Many readers will identify with Rosemary's spiritual growth as she comes to realize that she can't have it all, but that's okay. Contentment only comes from a close relationship with God and finding that what He provides is more fulfilling than anything we could desire.

Flowers for Rachael Kathleen Fuller - This sweet story has a delightful twist toward the end. I also loved the way Kathleen began each chapter with a quote. This one by Martin Luther was a favorite: "God writes the Gospel not in the Bible alone, but also on trees, and in the flowers and clouds and stars."

Seeds of Love Tricia Goyer - An enchanting bachelor scribe character, heirloom tomato seeds passed down through generations, Amish proverbs - there's so much to learn and enjoy in Tricia's story! How true this proverb is: "A garden is a way of showing that you believe in tomorrow." This story also has a surprising twist at the end, and a lesson that we often find difficult to accept in Sadie's words: "What I tried to hold on to, I lost. What was given up - shared - is the only thing that was saved."

Where Healing Blooms Vannetta Chapman - I can't put my finger on how she does it, but Vannetta has a unique way of writing that makes me care about the characters on the page and feel their emotions. And she injects a subtle humor that kept me smiling as I turned each page.

I love it when an author uses an older couple as leading characters, and I don't see how anyone can help but be drawn to Emma and Danny. The relationship between Emma and her mom, Mary Ann, is touching, almost hitting a little close to home for me at times - but in a good way.

Of all the things that spoke to me in this story, I think it's the idea that no matter our age, God isn't through with us. If we can just be completely open, we might be shocked at how God blesses and uses our surrendered lives!

An Amish Garden is a thoroughly enjoyable read, one that I highly recommend.

Thank you to Vannetta Chapman and Thomas Nelson Publishing for providing a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. ( )
  PianoLady831 | May 31, 2014 |
has actually been a little while since I read A Wedding for Julia, but now I am trying to recall things and reading a bit of it again so that I hopefully remember things correctly. I do remember that I really enjoyed this book and that is why I wanted to write about it on my blog.
This book is part of a series of Amish books but was actually the first book of the series that I read. I think that I might need to take some time to read books 1 and 2 because this one was so enjoyable to read.
The main character is Julia Beechy. Her mother, Ada, tells her that she has to marry or move from the family home when she passes. Her mother Ada insists that the house be sold and that Julia moves back to Pennsylvania where relatives are still living. But Julia has lived in Pebble Creek her whole life and had hoped to realize a dream of opening a cafe. Because of her mother’s failing health, Julia is very concerned as to what direction her future will lead her. This causes lots of stress and worry for Julia. She is not sure how she will go about changing this situation that her mother unexpectedly caused.

Caleb Zook, who, like Julia, is also getting older than the expected marriage age of the Amish, suggests that they marry in order to help Julia out of this predicament. But Julia is unsure whether she could marry someone she doesn’t love even though Caleb is a helpful man, and a very hard worker. As they get to know one another, perhaps some feelings are being kindled that surprise both of them.
A horrible tornado comes to Pebble Creek like has not been seen in this area of Wisconsin in more than one hundred years. The Amish people must now do what Amish people seem to do very well and that is to help their friends and neighbors and pray that all survive the terrible destruction.
The characters, Caleb and Julia seem to mesh together well as they work together after the storm. The community comes together when the need is there, also. As I read this book, I couldn’t put it down. I am also grateful to authors such as Vannetta Chapmann who write books of a Christian nature that have good moral values, as well as guidelines for each of us on working together and building strong family relationships. An excellent book! I just loved it! It's a wonderful story and well worth reading! ( )
  sunniereviews | May 26, 2014 |
Delightful!

An Amish Garden is a collection of four novellas written by four outstanding authors.

Rooted in Love by Beth Wiseman

This is a story about loss and love. I enjoyed the characters in this book because they were so realistic. Rosemary is a very lovable person but I wanted to tell her to open your eyes! Open your heart!

God’s timing is always perfect as you will see in this story.

Flowers for Rachael by Kathleen Fuller

When a family member becomes ill the natural thing is to take care of a loved one the best way you know how. Rachael does just that in this story.

Also, a lesson well learned is, it is o.k. to let someone help you when disaster strikes. Will Rachael’s stubbornness ruin her chances for friendship and love?

Seeds of love by Tricia Goyer

Sadie saddened by her parents death and her sibling’s treating her like a child moves to Montana to get away from it all. Was the move the right decision?

Grief, starting over, and not having the trust of others weighs heavily on Sadie’s shoulders. So, is there room in her heart for love?

Where Healing Blooms by Vannetta Chapman

I fell in love with Emma and this storyline. Healing, don’t we all need some kind of healing in our lives? Love and acceptance, aren’t these pretty important to us too? As the story unfolds and God’s will for Emma’s life is made known, the reader can feel the beginning of the healing process.

I enjoyed living with Emma and Mary Ann. Well, I didn’t actually live there physically but I did mentally. I could feel everything they felt. I loved these characters. I didn’t want this story to end. It was that good!

I hope those who read this review will pick up a copy of An Amish Garden. You will be Blessed and perhaps your healing process will begin too. ( )
  passionforbooks | Apr 6, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
Rooted in Love by Beth Wiseman
Beth Wiseman has written a poignant Amish story of love and loss based on a conversation the main character overheard. Two people's lives are fraught with dismay that honesty, openness and trust would have assuaged. The author paints a realistic portrait of Amish life, creating characters with emotion and sensitivity. I enjoyed this short story of relationships and the developments that resulted despite a misunderstanding.

Flowers for Rachel by Kathleen Fuller
Kathleen Fuller has depicted Rachel and Gideon's friendship in a very tender and expressive perspective. The Amish lifestyle is well described, and Rachel's relationship with her "grossdaadi" is amusing and entertaining. The author used very touching quotations at the headings of each chapter, appropriate to the content and very thought provoking. I enjoyed that addition to the story. The development of Rachel and Gideon's relationship was very charming and endearing.

Seeds of Love by Tricia Goyer
Considerable loss and loneliness are pivotal factors in the life of Tricia Goyer's protagonist. Life-changing events set the mood for this expressive narrative. Heirloom tomato seeds are all that remain from Sadie's past, and a misunderstanding affects her attitude toward immediate family members. The young man depicted in this story is presented with compassion and a depth of character. The events throughout this novella are heartrending and poignant, and misconceptions are emotive.

Where Healing Blooms by Vannetta Chapman
Spring has arrived in Shipshewana, and Mary Ann's garden is once again her haven. Her daughter-in-law, Emma, joins her in weeding and tending to the garden, more expansive and prolific with each passing year. The garden haven holds secrets that no one could suspect. Vannetta Chapman weaves a story with depth and perception that places her in a category all her own. Her characters are strong and the setting picturesque. There's no guessing the ensuing events in this well-written novella. Much diversity is revealed in this extraordinary short story and I craved more, but the author wrapped up all loose ends bringing closure to this impressive novella.

Faith, hope and love are strong elements in each of these novellas, and God's timing is always perfect, making for four well-written and very enjoyable novellas in this compilation. I highly recommend this collection of Amish garden stories, each containing very enjoyable story lines in their own right.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own, and no monetary compensation was received for this review.
added by NanceeM | editReviewer, Nancee Marchinowski (Apr 20, 2014)
 
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Presents four stories about Amish girls and their gardens, including Beth Wiseman's "Rooted in Love," in which Rosemary, who is trying to support her family but cannot garden, accepts help from Saul, who has loved her for years.

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