“Healing Hearts” by Beth Wiseman: Levina Lapp and her husband Naaman are alone for the first time in 30 years. When Naaman left to visit cousins in Ohio, Levina wasn’t expecting him to be gone a year. Now that he’s back, will they be able to move beyond this estrangement and fall in love again?
“What the Heart Sees” by Kathleen Fuller: A tragic accident rocks a peaceful Amish community, leaving Ellie Chupp blinded and Christopher Bender’s future shattered. But they find love and forgiveness in a place they least expect.
“A Marriage of the Heart” by Kelly Long: Rachel Yoder is tired of her Amish lifestyle and her domineering father’s ways. When handsome Joseph Lambert comes back from the Englisch, she lies to force a marriage of convenience, providing the perfect means to escape her father’s rule. But Rachel never imagined she’d fall in love with Joseph so quickly or irrevocably.
Over the Christmas holidays I reviewed another Amish Anthology where I explained why I am not fond of short stories or completely on the Amish fiction bandwagon. When this book appeared in my mailbox I buried it in my “to-read” pile for a few weeks before I picked it up one evening before bed. Well, was I ever surprised!
The first story, “A Marriage of the Heart” by Kelly Long, pulled me in with no looking back. The thought that kept running through my mind was, “Is it possible that there is such a thing as edgy Amish fiction?!” This may have been a short story, but it certainly didn’t fall short. Kelly Long accomplished a rich and enticing back story, full character development, believable relationships, and sprinkles of comedy in just under 150 pages. I am have added her other books to my “to-read” because I was truly impressed.
“What The Heart Sees” by Katherine Fuller was a sweet and inspiring story about a young Amish woman who may be physically blind, but can see into the heart and soul of her friends and family. Beth Wiseman’s “Healing Hearts” looks at love rediscovered after an Amish couple struggles with their marriage, an empty nest, distrust and abandonment. I found these two stories a little more predictable and certainly more in line with my previous experiences with Amish fiction, but the stories were interesting and encouraging.
Even though each story is written by a different author, they are interconnected in setting a characters which I really enjoyed. It felt like each story was a vignette that granted us temporary access to an intriguing community.
Rating: 7.5/10 (the first story I give 8.5/10)
**Thank you to Thomas Nelson (via Booksneeze) for sending a review copy**