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Abigail's New Hope, Wayne County Series #1
Harvest House Publishers / 2011 / Paperback
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Amish midwife Abigail Graber loves bringing babies into the world. But when a difficult delivery takes a devastating turn, Abigail is faced with some of the hardest choices she has ever had to make. Despite all her efforts, the young mother dies-but the baby is saved.
When a heartless judge confines Abigail to the county jail, her younger sister, Catherine, comes to care for the home while Daniel works his fields. Catherine meets Daniel's reclusive cousin, Isaiah, who's deaf and thought to be simple-minded by his community. She teaches him how to communicates with his fellow man, and in so doing, discovers he possesses unexpected gifts and talents. Catherine makes a difference in all their lives and in return, finds love, while Isaiah discovers God, who cares not for our handicaps or limitations.
As an Amish midwife, Abigail Graber loves bringing babies into the world. But when a difficult delivery takes a devastating turn, Abigail is faced with some hard choices. Despite her best efforts, the young mother dies--but the baby is saved.
When a heartless judge confines Abigail to the county jail for her mistakes, her sister Catherine comes to care for her children while Daniel works his fields. Catherine meets Daniel's reclusive cousin, Isaiah, who's deaf and thought to be simple minded by his community. She endeavors to teach him to communicate and discovers he possesses unexpected gifts and talents.
While Abigail searches for forgiveness, Catherine changes lives and, in return, finds love, something long elusive in her life. And Isaiah discovers God, who cares nothing about our handicaps or limitations in His sustaining love.
An inspirational tale of overcoming grief, maintaining faith, and finding hope in an ever-changing world.
About This Series: Fans of superb Amish fiction will welcome the rich and moving stories of The Wayne County series by the bestselling author of A Widow's Hope, Never Far from Home, and The Way to a Man's Heart.
Mary Ellis is the bestselling author of many books, including A Widow's Hope, An Amish Family Reunion, and Living in Harmony. She and her husband live in central Ohio, where they try to live a simpler style of life.
In Mary Ellis's Abigail's New Hope, the first seconds of Abraham Fisher's life change Amish midwife, Abigail Graber, forever. When an attempt to deliver Abraham safely leads to the death of his mother, Ruth Fisher, Abigail is suddenly locked in jail with multiple charges -- including practicing midwifery without a license. Now, as her husband Daniel and two kids, Jake and Laura, are left to fend for themselves, it is Catherine, Abigail's sister, who is led to make the discovery of a lifetime.
It is the relationship between Daniel's cousin, Isaiah, a man often mistaken for being simple-minded, and Catherine that tugs at the hearts of readers. Although Abigail must learn of both sin and forgiveness from a jail cell, and Nathan Fisher is left to rear baby Abraham on his own, starting the child's life on a rough note, it is the communication between Isaiah and Catherine that keeps the readers desperately aching for more. Not only is Catherine quick to learn that Isaiah is deaf, but also that he is brilliant in spite of it, leading to an overall message that ensures our faith in God's love despite our imperfections.
With a character such as Abigail, we are reminded as Christians that our view of what is right does not always run parallel to God's. Despite her earnest attempt to save a newborn's life, she is still charged with a felony, proving that the law stands firm for the complete Amish community, similar to how judgment of sin stands firm for all Christians.
Although the tone of Ellis's writing makes the storyline easy to follow, it is the Amish language sprinkled throughout the pages that is a constant struggle. Simple words such as "daed" and "danki" can be easily solved with the help of context, but even under those conditions, the remainder of the terminology will have readers wishing for a vocabulary lesson. The characters as a whole, however, experience a variety of honest emotions, causing them to be easily relatable.
Aside from the familiar setting of most Amish novels, Abigail's New Hope will have readers feeling refreshed with the variety of plots unraveling in both the Graber and Fisher families. With a recommendation to readers who regularly enjoy Amish fiction, Abigail's New Hope is the first book of a developing series. Caitlin M. Vukorpa, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
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Author: Mary Ellis
Located in: Ohio
Submitted: April 27, 2011
Tell us a little about yourself. I am a former schoolteacher and a former candy saleswoman, but I have been writing for many years. It is an incredible joy to share my little tales of God's love for us through my books. I only hope I give to readers as much as I gain through writing.
What was your motivation behind this project? I heard about a real-life Amish midwife who experienced a similar fate as my fictional heroine when I was in Ohio's Amish country. Her courage and faith was an inspiration to me and my story.
What do you hope folks will gain from this project? That in our darkest hour, the Lord never deserts us, but will always be there. I hope readers experiencing difficult times will be heartened by my characters.
How were you personally impacted by working on this project? I studied midwifery so much during the writing that I felt I was all set to start delivering babies. Fortunately, that opportunity never presented itself.
Who are your influences, sources of inspiration or favorite authors / artists? Oh my, there are so many! Of course I've been influenced by Beverly Lewis and Wanda Brunstettler, and more recently by Shelley Shepard Gray, Suzanne Woods Fisher, Beth Wiseman, Amy Clipson, Vannetta Chapman, Laura Hilton, Cindy Woodsmall and Kathleen Fuller, just to name a few.
Anything else you'd like readers / listeners to know: I'd like to thank readers, since without them there would be no reason to sit down at my computer.
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