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An Amish Harvest: Four Novellas

by Beth Wiseman

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8213261,667 (4.73)None
Faith, hope, and love remain forever in season in this collection of four richly absorbing novellas set amidst the wonder of an Amish autumn. Under the Harvest Moon, by Beth Wiseman When Naomi Dienner is suddenly widowed, she never expects to find love again . . . until she meets Brock Mulligan, an English family friend hired at harvest time. As a sinister presence begins to threaten Naomi, Brock seeks to prove himself trustworthy while struggling with growing feelings for Naomi and her children. Will God open Naomi's heart--and give Brock his own second chance at love? Love and Buggy Rides, by Amy Clipston Janie Lantz is a cashier at Lancaster Souvenirs and Buggy Rides, where Jonathan Stoltfuz is a buggy driver. A frightening accident brings Janie and Jonathan together in a blossoming friendship, yet daunting obstacles stand between them and something deeper. Can love kindle into flames that burn away fear and regret--and lead them to a life together? Mischief in the Autumn Air, by Vannetta Chapman When items start going above market value at his auction house, Eli Wittmer is first thrilled, and then puzzled. But when the pieces are linked to an elderly couple in their district, Eli and his new bookkeeper, Martha Beiler track down a trail of clues. Will they solve the mystery before the fall festival ends--and discover an unexpected new love? A Quiet Love, by Kathleen Fuller Dinah Hochstetler, quiet and bookish, longs for marriage but hides in her shyness. Amos Mullett, a simple farmer, knows he's different but aches for a loving wife. As Dinah and Amos navigate a budding romance, will the power of love--and the blessing of God--be enough to overcome their doubters?… (more)
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A Cup Half Full by Beth Wiseman

Sarah Lantz always dreamed of the perfect home, the perfect husband, the perfect family. When she married Abram, she knew she was on her way to securing her perfect life. All of that changes in one moment when an accident leaves her unable to walk and confined to a wheelchair, dashing all of her dreams. As Abram starts to transform their home, Sarah begins a transformation in her spirit, and she begins, once again, to see her cup as half full.

Newlyweds Sarah and Abram's lives forever changed when a buggy accident left Sarah confined to a wheelchair. While she recovered in the hospital, Abram started transforming their home. He wants nothing more than to show his love for her by making life easier for her, but it comes at a higher price than he expected. He struggles to find a way out of debt without burdening Sarah with his troubles. Meanwhile, Sarah is bitter about the loss of her perfect dreams, and fearful of what the future might bring.

I ached for both Abram and Sarah as they struggled alone with their issues, neither wanting to burden the other. Sarah was filled with self-pity at the beginning, but gained inspiration from an unlikely source. I liked seeing her begin to embrace her new normal, though there were still challenges to overcome. Her conversation with her mother was an eye-opener for her, coupled with an amusing revelation. I also liked her conversation with Abram's coworker, Brenda, and the unexpected partnership that came from it.

Abram quickly discovered that he was in over his head when the bills came due for his work on the house. I shook my head at his naivete when he got involved with the quick loan guy and knew there would be trouble there. I liked his friendship with his coworker, and the support she gave him. I understood his reluctance to share his problems with Sarah, since she was fighting her own battles. I liked his conversation with his father-in-law and the surprising resolution that came from it.

The biggest thing that both Sarah and Abram discovered was that their problems were easier to deal with when they were shared with each other.

Home Sweet Home by Amy Clipston

Down on their luck and desperate after they are evicted from their small apartment, Chace and Mia O'Connor reluctantly take Chace's Amish boss up on his offer to rent them the daadi haus located on his property. They are certain they will never feel at home in the rustic cabin without any modern conveniences, and they start to blame each other for their seemingly hopeless situation. But with the help of their new Amish friends, Chace and Mia begin to enjoy their cozy cabin and realize that home really is where the heart is.

Chace and Mia are a young couple who have fallen on hard times. When they are evicted from their apartment Chace's Amish boss offers them the small house on his property. Though grateful for the roof over their heads, both are overwhelmed by how different their lives are from what they had planned. Though they came from very different backgrounds, Chace and Mia's love for each other and their baby daughter was strong. I ached for them both as the stress of their situation aggravated their fears of inadequacy. Chace was never accepted by Mia's wealthy and snobby parents, and he feels guilty about not providing for them the way he feels he should. Mia is terrified of being a bad mother, thanks to the cruel things her mother said to her. Though the stress frequently caused them to lash out at each other, they never doubted their love for one another.

I enjoyed seeing how Isaac and his family gave the couple the support they needed. Unfamiliar with Amish ways, Mia was stunned by everything that was offered. I liked seeing the friendship that grew between Mia and Vera, and how that friendship helped Mia gain a little confidence in herself. I hurt for Chace when one thing after another seemed to go wrong, stretching him to the breaking point. I loved how Isaac provided the kind of guidance that Chace had never experienced before.

When baby Kaitlyn got sick, it brought many of their fears bubbling to the surface. Erupting tempers did nothing to calm those fears. I liked seeing both of them finally face those fears, and with a little help find their way back together.

A Flicker of Hope by Ruth Reid

Fifteen years ago, Thomas and Noreen King were blissful newlyweds. Young, naive, and in love, life was rosy . . . for a while. Then trials and tribulations rocked their foundation, shattering them emotionally, and soon, their marriage was in shards. All hope for restoring their previously unshakable union seems lost. When fire destroys their home, Thomas and Noreen are left to sift through the rubble. As uncovered items from the remains of the house shake loose memories of the past, Thomas and Noreen begin to draw closer and a flicker of hope - and love - is re-ignited.

This is a story told in flashbacks, back and forth from the present day to fifteen years earlier. Thomas and Noreen have been married for fifteen years. The book opens in the present as their house burns down and they lose everything. The reader immediately gets the sense that things are not well with their marriage, and the fire adds to the strain that is already there.

In the flashbacks, we see their courtship and early marriage. Thomas irritated me during these parts. He professes his love for Noreen, but it seems like he is more interested in what he wants. Noreen's father is not in favor of their courtship or of Thomas wanting to marry her. Instead of biding by her father's wishes for them to wait, Thomas continues to push. A tragedy ends up forcing her father's consent, but he makes Thomas promise to always put her needs ahead of his own. The early days of their marriage are blissfully happy until a devastating loss drives a wedge between them. For the next fifteen years their relationship slowly disintegrates, leaving both lonely and bitter.

It seems as if the fire may be the final straw that drives them apart. Both Thomas and Noreen blame themselves, and the guilt causes them to withdraw rather than lean on each other for support. I liked the way that their community banded together to help, but even that added a bit of stress to the couple's life, as it became more difficult to hide their problems. As they combed through the rubble of their home, now and then something would remind them of the love they shared at the beginning. Just as things seem to be looking up, another devastating loss adds insult to injury. Fortunately, Thomas also receives a kick in the seat that reminds him of what is most important. I loved the ending with its two surprises for a new beginning.

Building Faith by Kathleen Fuller

Faith Miller knows that carpentry is an unlikely hobby for a young Amish woman, but she loves the work and it keeps the memory of her grandfather alive. So when her cousin asks Faith to build the cabinets in her new home, Faith is only too happy to take on the job, even if it is the most ambitious project she has ever taken on. The only catch is that she has to work with her ex-fiancé, Silas. As they work to build Martha's kitchen, can they put the past behind them and start to build faith in one another again?

Faith misses her grandfather deeply. She feels closest to him when she works with the wood they both loved. Since his passing, Faith spends all of her free time in the shop, shutting out everyone else. When her cousin and best friend, Martha, asks Faith to build the cabinets in her new kitchen she is happy to take on the challenge. That is, until she discovers that she has to share the job with her ex-fiancé, Silas.

Silas works as a carpenter with his father. He hasn't always been the most reliable of workers, but he's had to make the effort lately. His father is busy taking care of Silas's sick mother, leaving Silas to run the business. With mounting bills to pay, Silas can't afford to turn down any work. When his friend, Melvin, hired him to build the cabinets in his new home, Seth felt a great deal of relief. He was determined to do a good job, and was dismayed to find out he would have to work alongside Faith.

This was a good opposites attract story. Faith and Silas courted and became engaged, in spite of their differences. Silas was a bit of a dreamer, with creative ideas but lacking in the ability to follow through. Time meant nothing to him and he was always late. Faith is ultra-organized, preferring to plan and schedule everything to the minute. Silas's attitude frustrated her, but when he didn't show up for her grandfather's funeral, she'd had enough and ended their engagement without explanation. Living in the same district, they can't avoid seeing each other, though they do their best.

Neither was happy to discover that they'd each been hired to build the cabinets, but they tried to put aside their differences for the sake of their friends. There were some intense clashes between Faith and Silas. Faith can't forget the issues that drove them apart, and Silas is frustrated by Faith's controlling ways. A big blowup between them opens Faith's eyes to some uncomfortable truths. I liked the scene the next day as they finally talked to each other instead of their usual sniping. I loved how they worked things out. The conclusion was sweet and satisfying. ( )
  scoutmomskf | Apr 6, 2020 |
An uplifting and emotional collection of novellas from authors we can count on to offer great Amish fiction that not only entertains, but provides thoughtful situations that are make readers think about their own faith and actions. All of these stories focus on characters in difficult and painful situations, with serious obstacles that keep them from trusting themselves and others, and sometimes, God, but find their way back in unexpected ways.

Ruth Reid was the only author involved in this collection whose work I hadn't read before this, and I was moved by her story of a married couple torn apart by tragedy and guilt from the beginning of their union. How could they possibly reconcile, especially after further difficulties create problems, I wondered as I kept reading, hoping that the author wouldn't create some easy path for them to miraculously overcome the past. She didn't, but what she gave them, as all these authors did for their characters, was hope. Hope doesn't fix what is wrong, but it gives strength to work towards finding a solution, patience during the journey, and the promise that neither party will be on the path alone.

Thanks to these fine authors for another great Amish novella collection - looking forward to more in the future! ( )
  cecilywolfe | Jan 4, 2018 |

Each author offers a story filled with heartache, love, faith, and devotion. The writing flows nicely and the novellas quickly draw you in. The characters are fleshed out well, it's difficult to put the book down because you want to know what happens next. Each novella could easily be made into a full book...aspiring readers want to know. :)

The novellas are appropriate for young adults and adults alike.

( )
  shannon.dolgos | Sep 5, 2017 |
As an Amish fiction lover, I couldn't wait to read this anthology! These 4 authors are absolutely amazing and I have been a fan of their work for many years. These four stories are beautifully written and so full of wonderful characters and messages. Each page turn brought more inspiration and by the end of the book, I was sitting there reflecting, thinking about my own life and the simple things we tend to take for granted.

I loved all four stories, but Beth Wiseman's story, A Cup Half Full, really stuck with me. Sarah's disability and her doubts and fears and having trouble accepting God's will really is something I've dealt with. Beth Wiseman's attention to Amish simplicity during trying times and weaving God's understanding grace into the story really was a wonderful experience.

I received this book for free from Booklook Blogger Program in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
This book is worthy of 5 stars and highest recommendations. If you love wonderfully written stories, faith inspired plot lines and authors who love their readers, then this is a book just for you. I can't wait for another beautifully written anthology by highly talented authors! ( )
  JboyzMom | Mar 9, 2017 |
Title: An Amish Home (4 Novellas)
Author: Beth Wiseman, Amy Clipston, Ruth Reid & Kathleen Fuller
Pages: 400
Year: 2017
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
My rating 5 out of 5 stars.
Each novella in this collection is not only written by a different author, but is also a stand-alone story that isn’t interrelated. First is A Cup Half Full by Beth Wiseman where our hearts are grabbed by the character of Sarah Lantz who had dreams for her future home and marriage when an accident radically altered not jut her life but others in the community as well. Second, a story by Amy Clipston titled, Home Sweet Home where Englishers Mia and Chace O’Conner accept help to live on Amish property after being evicted from their apartment with a young baby. Third is Ruth Reid’s novella titled, A Flicker of Hope where the trials endured by Thomas and Noreen King cause them to end up separated for a season in their hearts from each other. Finally, Kathleen Fuller’s tale titled, Building Faith where we meet two people who though in their younger years were engaged but that was broken off by Faith due to a tragedy she endured without the help of her then fiancée Silas.
I found that each novella impacted my heart by what the various characters went through and how the community came together to aid them as they at times had to rebuild their lives. Each tale too showed how the characters had choices placed before them that were challenging to them in different ways. Whether it is broken dreams, a broken heart or even a broken body, the choice to keep putting one foot in front of the other by faith was extolled.
In one story, it was a young newly married couple that faced new challenges while in another the couple was married for 15 years, but both of them had to choose whether to build their marriage by clinging to God or to walk away. I was touched by Chace and Mia’s story, especially when they experienced firsthand the love people can show others by simply meeting everyday needs and then some. I could relate to Mia who wanted to keep her grandfather’s carpentry legacy going.
Each novella is unique, heart-grabbing, filled with hope and leaves the ending really to the reader’s imagination. While the tales do come to some type of ending, it seems to me that the authors left readers to let the story resonate with their hearts and imagine what might come next in the lives of the characters. So, if you’re looking for stories that reflect life with both its joys and sorrows, tragedy and hope as well as filled with faith, here is your next compilation to enjoy!
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” ( )
  lamb521 | Feb 21, 2017 |
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Chapman, Vannettasecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Clipston, Amysecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Fuller, Kathleensecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Faith, hope, and love remain forever in season in this collection of four richly absorbing novellas set amidst the wonder of an Amish autumn. Under the Harvest Moon, by Beth Wiseman When Naomi Dienner is suddenly widowed, she never expects to find love again . . . until she meets Brock Mulligan, an English family friend hired at harvest time. As a sinister presence begins to threaten Naomi, Brock seeks to prove himself trustworthy while struggling with growing feelings for Naomi and her children. Will God open Naomi's heart--and give Brock his own second chance at love? Love and Buggy Rides, by Amy Clipston Janie Lantz is a cashier at Lancaster Souvenirs and Buggy Rides, where Jonathan Stoltfuz is a buggy driver. A frightening accident brings Janie and Jonathan together in a blossoming friendship, yet daunting obstacles stand between them and something deeper. Can love kindle into flames that burn away fear and regret--and lead them to a life together? Mischief in the Autumn Air, by Vannetta Chapman When items start going above market value at his auction house, Eli Wittmer is first thrilled, and then puzzled. But when the pieces are linked to an elderly couple in their district, Eli and his new bookkeeper, Martha Beiler track down a trail of clues. Will they solve the mystery before the fall festival ends--and discover an unexpected new love? A Quiet Love, by Kathleen Fuller Dinah Hochstetler, quiet and bookish, longs for marriage but hides in her shyness. Amos Mullett, a simple farmer, knows he's different but aches for a loving wife. As Dinah and Amos navigate a budding romance, will the power of love--and the blessing of God--be enough to overcome their doubters?

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