I have finally gotten around to reading some books by Naomi King . . . and my only regret is that I didn't read them earlier!
Abby Finds Her Calling and Rosemary Opens Her Heart are Books One and Two in the Home at Cedar Creek series, and Amanda Weds a Good Man is Book One of One Big Happy Family, which is really a continuation of the the previous series. The stories are set in Missouri -- some real places and others fictional, I believe -- based on the author's experiences and research in and around the real town of Jamesport, home of the largest Amish community in the state.
Amish fiction is one of my favorite genres, and I have read a lot of these books by several different authors. Although I have enjoyed most of the Amish fiction I've read, it is always a special bonus to find a little different voice. Naomi King has definitely provided such a difference in her stories.
Some of the characters deal with very real experiences that may not fit with stereotypical ideas of the idealistic Amish life -- such as a young girl pregnant outside of marriage who fails to show up for her own wedding, women with strong personalities who spend much of their time working outside the typical Amish domestic role, and a bishop who appears to abuse his position and makes life unnecessarily difficult for members of his church. The story lines are not all quickly and easily resolved, a fact that makes for a high level of interest and uncertainty as the plots play out.
But woven throughout the stories are themes of love, forgiveness, and caring for one another as a part of family and community. And there is plenty of romance, along with several adorable children and fun adults to enjoy along the way.
I think these stories get better and better as the series progress. They touched my emotions, evoking both laughter and tears. I'm anxious to see what happens next when Emma Blooms at Last is released in the fall of this year.
Thanks to Naomi King for providing a copy of Rosemary Opens Her Heart in exchange for my honest review.
Rosemary Opens Her Heart is the second book in the Home At Cedar Creek series and the author writes a beautiful love story. Rosemary with her little toddler, Katie, lost the love of her life, her husband Joe. She started taking care of her in-law's family and running a home-based business, but change was coming to her life. Could she move to a new Amish community? What about her home-based business? The big question, could she love again?
The author gives more than this love story in this novel. The characters and storyline felt real. Naomi King does a marvelous job showing the Amish religious beliefs and values, but also the unhappiness they feel and the joy and blessings they receive. Rosemary Opens Her Heart is a great book. I highly recommend reading this book and book one, Abby Finds Her Calling. Both are wonderful books.
This is the perfect sequel to the first in series, and it was so nice to see characters that I recognized and read about the community at Cedar Creek yet again! If you follow my reviews regularly, you know that Amish fiction is something I delight in reading, and Naomi King (who also writes as Charlotte Hubbard)is one of my favorite authors of this genre. I tried to figure out why I like her writing style so well, and I think that this is what I discovered. I love the fact that she writes about the strength of the Amish women. So often, we tend to think of Amish women as being meek, mild, and not having their own opinions. Not so with the characters in this author's books! I also enjoy the romance because it is sweet and genuine without being sickening sweet. And who can get away from the fact that the faith of the author is woven so well into the story. The characters don't just give lip service or speak forth Scripture flippantly. They live what they believe, and even though I am not Amish, I can learn a lot from them.
If you have not read the first in the series, you can still jump in and read this book. Naomi King will catch you up on everything. However, you will probably appreciate the story after reading the first in the series. And now I can hardly wait for the sequel to this one so I can see what happens to Abby! But at least I was glad to see returning characters finding love, respect, and success--both great and small.
This book has something for just about anyone who enjoys clean romance. You will find humor, romance, tradition, and lots of good food! Can you gain weight by reading about the fantastic breads and desserts that the Amish women are always baking? This book is an absolute delight--almost like spending time with good friends.
I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I was not financially compensated, and all opinions are 100 percent mine.
Naomi King has written a lovely Amish tale of a young woman who opens her heart to love again after losing her husband far too soon, leaving her alone to raise little Katie. Katie charms all around her and especially Matt Lambright, who also notices her mamm's gentle smile and loving ways. Abby has finds her chance for love with James. You will definitely find many enjoyable hours reading to see how things turn out for these young couples. It is a story of commitment and families taking care of each other. It was wonderful to see young Beth Ann sewing so willingly and skillfully for the family as well. Readers are sure to finish reading this book with a smile on their faces, as I did.
Learning to accept what life has given us & 2 grow
December 17, 2012
Blooming with Books
Rosemary Opens Her Heart
Home at Cedar Creek Book 2
By Naomi King
Rosemary Yutzy is still grieving over her husband Joe. But when she attends a wedding in Cedar Creek change that she never expected is about to come yet again into her life in the form of Matt Lambright. For Matt, Rosemary is everything he has ever wanted in a wife but can he convince her.
Meanwhile Abby Lambright may be about to have her lifelong dream finally come true when James Graber starts paying attention to her. James realizes that Abby and not her younger sister Zanna is the true match for his soul.
When Rosemary's father-in-law decides to merge his sheep breeding operation with Matt Lambright's, Rosemary is left with a choice. Should she move with her father-in-law and young sister-in-law to Cedar Creek or should she stay in Queen City to be near her mother and sister. Can Matt help her determine the course her heart should chart or will his attentions drive her away from the new life she could have?
As Rosemary, Matt, Abby, and James navigate the paths of the heart, the community of Cedar Creek must deal with a death that will change the entire dynamics of the community.
As Rosemary learns to open her heart to all God has for her, she rediscovers the peace and joy that life has to offer.
Rosemary Opens Her Heart is set in Missouri and explores the Amish community that lives there.