After the death of her husband, Hannah Brown is determined to make a new life with her sister’s family. But when she sells her farm in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, and moves with her sheep to Ohio, the wool unexpectedly starts to fly. Her deacon brother–in–law finds just about everything about Hannah vexing. When his widower brother shows interest in the young and beautiful widow, the deacon turns to prayer for guidance. Hannah thought she could never love again, until she meets the strong, gentle farmer. Unfortunately, Seth Miller’s only interest is in Hannah’s sheep. He is content in his bachelor state and slow to recognize his daughter’s need for a new mother. Yet God offers Seth the perfect solution to their problems if he could only open his heart again...and love.
What I thought:
It is with quite a splash that Mary Ellis has plunged into the pool of Amish fiction. Her style and plot are fresh and engaging which will no doubt quickly earn her a loyal following amongst readers, like myself, who love to escape into the simple Amish way of life.
I was intrigued from the outset, with ‘A Widow’s Hope’. I have rarely come across an Amish novel where the female protagonist is a successful business woman and earning her way without relying on male family members. Hannah is a magnetic character with whom I felt and instant bond. Mary brings out her strength and depth with poise and authenticity, which encouraged my ability to relate easily to her. I shared Hannah’s plight and frustrations, which were many, and celebrated the unforeseen solutions that she discovers as truly as if she were a close friend. Mary skilfully draws in family relationships and the nuances that make up very real family dynamics. I love that the Miller’s faults and struggles were delved into in order to add weight and validity to the storyline.
Mary brings out lessons for each of us when seeing life through Hannah’s eyes. I was reminded that seeking the truth rather than relying on assumptions is truly worthwhile. Hannah’s story also brought into sharp focus, the knowledge that God has a plan for our lives and works to see His plan brought into action if only we would trust Him with the details.
It is with eager excitement that I will be waiting on the release of the sequel to ‘A Widow’s Hope’, due for release in early 2010. ‘Never Far From Home’ will continue the story of Hannah’s niece, Emma and will no doubt cement Mary Ellis’s place as an author whose work is eagerly sought after.
Guest reviewer:~ my friend Tracy from Beyond My Picket Fence
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