**spoiler alert** Set in the 1920's, Caleb Bender and four of his Amish brothers face the challenges of raising their children in an American Amish so**spoiler alert** Set in the 1920's, Caleb Bender and four of his Amish brothers face the challenges of raising their children in an American Amish society. They are incredibly misunderstood and because of that and the Bing Act, Caleb and his neighboring brothers spend five nights in jail for not sending their children to public school. During their imprisonment, these children are also ripped from their homes and everything they know and love and are sent to foster homes. The men decide to comply with the Bing Act and are subsequently released. Caleb isn't about to have that so when he spots an opportunity to buy land in Mexico for $10 an acre, he jumps on the chance. Leaving behind all his neighbors and some family, he moves his family from the demanding clutches of an Ohio government to Mexico where he has to start from scratch. Along the way, his faith is challenged in ways he would have never imagined. Would it have been better to stay in Ohio?
It's been awhile since I've read any Amish fiction but as always, I find it enjoyable. The Amish ways intrigue me more so than most other religions. They are such simple people, yet in my mind, so complicated. I know that I could never live the way of the Amish today knowing what I know of modern conveniences.
The one thing that struck out at me the most from this delightful read is the use of various languages. This was like a mini-language course in some respects. The book is written in English but has phrases in High German, Dutch, Spanish, and Nahuatl. I appreciate the author's research and use of the various words from this time.
I'm fairly confident that I've never read a Mary Connealy book before now. I can promise that this won't be the last!!
I'm a lover of historical fictiI'm fairly confident that I've never read a Mary Connealy book before now. I can promise that this won't be the last!!
I'm a lover of historical fiction and this one sure didn't disappoint! Ms. Connealy has a way of weaving a tale that wraps you up so tight. Then, at the moment you least expect it, she unleashes this phenomenal sense of humor!!!
My favorite characters in this book had to be Seth and Audra. No, they are not the main characters but something about each of them drew me to them. They are very much alike, yet so different in many ways. Both have seen worlds of hurt dealt to them and neither seem to know quite how to handle it properly. I'm curious to see how their characters are further developed in future books.
I did enjoy Rafe and Julia's characters as well. Julia reminds me of myself in some ways...bossy and stubborn! Rafe has to be the funniest character of them all though. I was eagerly awaiting with each turn of the page to see what he would think of (or not think of) next. His tactic of shutting Jules up I found more than humerus considering what she thinks of him. Poor Rafe just couldn't catch a break (nor Ethan either for that matter) with Julia thinking them 'stupid ranchers.'
I did come across a word that perplexed me while reading. The word 'troglodyte' is a word for an early version of a caveman. I see how this fits a particular character now! :)
I love how the author incorporated the Andersonville Prison background into this book. I've been intrigued by that for quite some time. I have never visited the site (but plan too...I've passed it before and it's only a couple hours drive for me) but my husband had a part in the movie. While that time period was horrifying, it helps to put a certain character into perspective.
I'm curious to see what happens to these Kincaid boys and "their women" in the next book. I have seen a couple of teasers for [title: In Too Deep] and I'm a bit concerned already!
This book is likely to make you laugh, cry, and empathize with the characters. I loved this book and look forward to reading more of Ms. Connealy's works!
Thank you to Bethany House for providing a review copy of this book in exchange for my honest feedback. ...more
For starters, I love this cover! It conveys elegance, beauty, and suspense! This book is packed with all three! I am a huge fan of historical fiction aFor starters, I love this cover! It conveys elegance, beauty, and suspense! This book is packed with all three! I am a huge fan of historical fiction and this one is a bit different than others I've read. Clara and Daniel confront issues that are not normally in books of this genre. There love and admiration for each other will be tested throughout time. One of my favorite scenes is where Daniel tells of how he met Clara. For the time period, this is pretty significant. I do think Clara is a bit overdone. She tries and tries and tries to get Daniel to mold to her ways. She tries to hard to the point that her pleas become ridiculous. She is very persistent for a woman of the time and some may see that as a positive. I do not agree with a situation in the book concerning Daniel and his mother (it's towards the end when he visits a particular place). I want to point that out that I do not support that notion in this book. There is another character in this book that I really hope to see mentioned again. I'm not sure if a sequel is planned but is so, I'd love to know more about his story. I enjoyed reading about his part in Clara's life. ...more
I am a huge fan of Julie Klassen and she sure didn't disappoint in her newest novel! Miss Aubrey has been a disgrace to her family and even thought itI am a huge fan of Julie Klassen and she sure didn't disappoint in her newest novel! Miss Aubrey has been a disgrace to her family and even thought it's not appropriate for a young woman to be on her own, Mariah is sent to live with her Aunt Francesca Prin-Hallsley. She is only allowed to take her companion, Ms. Dixon with her.
Upon her arrival, Miss Aubrey and Ms. Dixon are assigned to live in the Gatehouse. It's not quite what they had intended on but it would make do! Shortly after getting settled in, Mariah is summoned to the "big house" where her Aunt resides. Her Aunt gives her a precious gift. One in which Hugh Prin-Hallsley (step-son of Aunt Francesca) wants...desperately.
This book is full of mystery, suspense, love, redemption, and comedic acting! We learn of Miss Aubrey's love for the theater and writing and of Captain Prince's adventures at sea. It's difficult for me to focus on a favorite part of this book because there were just so many!
I did learn a couple of things that I was not aware of from this time period: I did not know it was considered "inappropriate" to be a single woman beyond the teen years. I was also not aware that Jane Austen was not revealed as the author of her works until after her death since it was inappropriate for a woman to author books. The Author Note at the end of the book was very helpful to me in understanding this novel better.
Many thanks to Julie and Bethany House for providing a copy of this book to review for the CFBA tour! ...more
Karen Witemeyer has done it again with a brilliant tale of shot gun weddings and good ole fashioned romance! I've yet to find a book by this author thKaren Witemeyer has done it again with a brilliant tale of shot gun weddings and good ole fashioned romance! I've yet to find a book by this author that I could just take my time and read at a leisurely pace. Ms. Witemeyer ropes readers in before a page can be turned and then saddles them down until the last word is said!
Meredith (Meri) Hayes is a young woman who is in a Cinderella state. She is at the mercy of her Aunt (wicked step-mother) Noreen and Uncle Everett after the death of her parents many years ago. When money is tight for the family, the only logical thing to do is to marry Meri off while she has her land inheritance, youth, and beauty. The only problem is, Meri is not attracted to Roy at all and just doesn't see happiness with him. She's always been "in love" with Travis Archer since that fateful day ten years earlier when she had trespassed on her land and become injured. He was just the prince that would never come though. After overhearing some information, Meri finds herself reaching out to help the Archer boys. Once again, she trespasses on their land. That decision would forever change her life.
Travis Archer and his brothers, Crockett, Neill, and Jim, have lived on their own since their parents died so many years ago. They are protectors of their land and never leave. No one is allowed on their land without finding a bullet in them. However, when a young girl becomes trapped on their land, Travis cannot help but to take care of her and take her home. Little does he know, that girl will one day return to save his land. When things get a bit heated on the property, Meri is forced to stay. Uncle Everett then lays down an ultimatum, which leads to big decisions amongst the Archers. Who's gonna marry this girl and save her reputation? What about Roy?
I absolutely had a hard time putting this book down once I started!! I've felt that way about all of Karen Witemeyer's books! The adventures the characters face make me (at times) wish I could have lived back in the 1800's! I am enamored with the dresses the women of the time wore and the descriptions were spot on. The tender romance that had to blossom and grow was also one that most girls dream of happening. Who wouldn't want to be fought over?? :)
The Bible that is falling apart usually belongs to someone who isn't. (pg. 181)
Wow...how true are those words?! It's sayings such as these that have dThe Bible that is falling apart usually belongs to someone who isn't. (pg. 181)
Wow...how true are those words?! It's sayings such as these that have drawn me to this book and new-to-me-author Kim Vogel Sawyer.
Miss Edythe Amsel moves away from her family to take a teaching position in the small town of Walnut Hill. Like all first year teachers, Miss Amsel puts her heart and soul into teaching these young minds. She does not anticipate having to deal with the scrutiny of what she is teaching however! Miss Amsel teaches about longitude, latitude, bugs, etc while the townsfolk are disappointed in her methods. Do they not realize that this education they are receiving could help with their own farms?? As a teacher, I was bothered by the attitude and lack of education of the townsfolk who were berating her. The townsfolk are not her only issues though. There's lil William who just won't behave, her sister Missy, and then the single men vying for her attention!
Miss Amsel is here to teach, not to marry so she sets the menfolk straight pretty fast. As soon as the men find out she's not one to have a relationship with God, they begin to see her a bit differently. Will she find God and a man in Walnut Hill?
I identified with Edythe on many levels in this book but my heart went out to William. I doubt that I would have had the patience that Edythe exhibited when it came to William but there was something about him that drew me to him. In some ways I felt sorry for him but in others I wanted to fling him over my knee and give him "what for". The author didn't give a lot of background on his family so I just speculated that his family life wasn't what it could have been and that he just needed some attention. I do believe that Edythe accomplished her point in this story....more
Levi has a past that he would like to leave...in the past. His move to Spencer, TX is just what he needs. The local town is in need of a blacksmith anLevi has a past that he would like to leave...in the past. His move to Spencer, TX is just what he needs. The local town is in need of a blacksmith and he has the skill and knowledge to fit the job.
Eden is a lonely lady who is really thinking she'll live the rest of her life alone after what her broken engagement. While she loves books and reading, there are some things that pages in a book cannot replace. She could have anyone she wanted. Afterall, she is the heiress to the town's founder!
Sheriff Pratt is always on the prowl...for women that is. While he desperately wants to woo Eden, she won't give him the time of day. How can he ever win her heart?
This is the 3rd Karen Witemeyer book and I believe she gets better with each one. She spins a tale of romance, humor, and a little bit of suspense as well. The mine scene seemed so real in this book it's as if she was sitting there watching the activity all unfold while writing this story.
My favorite line in this book comes from a scene with Chloe while she's chewing Eden out. Having teenage daughters, it was almost as if they were saying the line and I found it very funny (although the scene is very serious). Chloe says "...but if you can't see the good man he is, you need to unscrew them eyeballs of yours and try on a different pair." I just love that!!!
So who wins who's heart? Well you'll have to read and find that one out. I loved the ending. It was a total surprise to me (based on what I thought would be a small part in the book!). That's all I'm saying about that though! Have a tissue handy...I bawled like a baby through the last 10 pages or so!
Many thanks to Karen and to Bethany House for providing a copy to review. I have also purchased a copy of this book so look for a giveaway soon! ...more
Does Adelaide really have her head in the clouds? I think so! This is a great follow-up to Tailor Made Bride by Karen Witemeyer. British nobles, goverDoes Adelaide really have her head in the clouds? I think so! This is a great follow-up to Tailor Made Bride by Karen Witemeyer. British nobles, governesses, rogues, and sheep herders are all that's necessary to make this book complete! I loved everything about this book, especially the cover!
My favorite character, without question, is Isabelle! How could one resist her charm? Poor thing has had a rough life though and is now mute because of her trials. However, Adelaide is on a mission to change that. What will it take to get her to speak again?
Gideon is also intriguing. Love the name, wish he were real so he could sweep me off my feet (in the form of my real hubby!) Hmmm...nothing like a sheep herder with an adorable daughter to make you fall in love!
I highly recommend this read. It's a quick read (took me longer than I wanted because of time constraints!) that is well worth the magical journey. Oh how I wish I would have lived back in this era! The author makes you feel that you are there watching the sheep shearing and feeling Adelaide's fabrics wrapped around you! Great book for teens and older!
I'm looking forward to more of Karen's works!
Many thanks to Bethany House and Karen Witemeyer for providing me a copy of this book for review! ...more