Thursday, July 14, 2011

Treasuring Emma by Kathleen Fuller

Book Description

Emma has put everyone else first in her life. Now at nearly 25, has she missed her chance at marriage?

Emma was Adam's first love but circumstances made them both choose different paths in life. Emma's heart breaks all over again when Adam returns to the Amish community of Middlefield, Ohio, years later.

For the past ten years, Emma has been a care-giver. First for her mother who unsuccessfully battled breast cancer, and now for her grandmother who gets more frail with each passing year. Emma has always put the needs of others above her own. With more time on her hands, she determines to focus on herself and her dream of opening a rescue shelter for stray animals in the community.

With Adam's return come feelings Emma's long buried. They're older and life hasn't turned out the way they thought it would. Adam's feelings for Emma are stronger than ever, but will he be able to convince her to put the past aside and give their love a chance?


My Review:

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The author has a talent for making you feel what the characters feel and drawing the reader into the story. Emma was so real to me; there were times when I could have cried with her. I could also relate to the worries of her sister, and her tendency to try to fix things first and go to God later.

The story moves along quickly, with the elements of suspense, subtle romance, and growing faith carefully woven throughout.

The setting really seemed “authentic Amish” – from the descriptions of their farms to their day-to-day life, it seemed very much in keeping with what I know of Amish life

What really made this book though, were the characters. A long-lost love, a wise grandmother, a somewhat overbearing sister, and the mysterious cousin from out of town – all very well developed and intriguing. These characters seemed so real. They had to wrestle with issues of faith, family conflict, and grief just like the rest of us. The issues dealt with in this book are ones that most of us face at one time in our lives, not just the Amish.

I would strongly recommend this book to anyone was loves Amish fiction.

I must mention that I did receive a complimentary copy of this, in ebook format, for review purposes. That in no way influenced my opinion of it.


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

She Makes it Looke Easy by Marybeth Whalen

Ariel Baxter has finally moved to the neighborhood of her dreams – Essex Falls. A mother of three boys and an excellent photographer, she is busy but never feels like she has it all together. Her tendency to be disorganized and forgetful has her feeling that she is just not good enough, even in her new home.

Her new neighbor, Justine, seems to have everything that she doesn’t – a clean and organized house, well behaved girls, perfect recipes, a great singing voice, popularity in the neighborhood – in short, she appears to be perfect. Ariel hopes that her friendship with Justine will bring some of these things into her life, all the while ignoring the signs that something might not be quite right.

I really enjoyed this book. Parts of it were truly laugh-out-loud funny and yet it dealt with some serious issues too. I love the detail that the author put into the setting, making it easy to picture and feel like you were there. What I most appreciate about this book, though, is that it’s so real. I could so easily relate to the characters because they seemed so true to life, and the situations that arose and temptations that they faced are ones that most of us deal with at some point in our lives. Which one of us hasn’t looked at the “perfect mom” across the street and wished we could be like her?

There are also valuable lessons to be reminded of woven throughout the book, like the importance of putting God first in all things, and what a true friend really is.

This is an excellent book that I would recommend for all Christian women.

*Disclosure: I received a Advance Reading Copy of this book through the Amazon Vine reviewers program.