Brunstetter's stories are sweet and gentle, but it's becoming hard to slog through all the tedium to find out how the story finally turns out. So much paper is spent reviewing former books to bring you up to date that the current story takes a back seat. The characters are sometimes frustrating because it seems the mothers are overbearing, people misunderstand each other, etc. And I'm surprised that the grammar in the book is not corrected by the editor -- not the people's speech, but wrong word usage. I will not be buying another Brunstetter book -- I've discovered if you've read one, you've read them all.
Grieving widow Samuel Fisher moves his family from Pennsylvania to Kentucky. Samuel and his four young children temporarily move in with his soon-to-be married brother, Titus. Samuel's understandable grief makes him unbearable to everyone around him, especially his children.He doesn't do anything fun with them and just wants to be alone.
Allen Walters, a friend of Titus's gets Samuel a job fixing up Bonnie Taylor's house. She inherited it from her grandmother and is turning it into a Bed & Breakfast. Working helps Samuel keep his mind off of Elsie, his deceased wife. Esther Beiler starts caring for his children while he is working. Esther and Bonnie meet and become fast friends. Esther also works at the Bed & Breakfast after it opens.
Esther wonders if she'll ever get married and be a mother. She has fallen in love with Samuel's children and would like to be their mother. She even begins to dream of being Samuel's wife.
When a near tragedy happens in Samuel's family he sees that he needs to get out of his depression. He sees how much his children need him. He also realizes that he is ready to court Esther.
Titus ties the knot and everything starts to unravel for Samuel and Esther. At the wedding, something was said that reminds Samuel of a promise he made when he was younger. He tells Esther he can no longer court her and she can't care for the kids anymore. He decides to return to Pennsylvania. At the same time, Allen is trying to get Bonnie to date him. She feels she can't because of her past.
Both Samuel and Bonnie can't let go of their past and are destroying their future. What did Samuel promise? What happened to cause Bonnie to feel she can't love again? Does Samuel return to Pennsylvania? Read The Healing to find all these answers and more.
I would recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of Amish fiction. I found myself wishing for Samuel to get out of his depression. I felt sorry for his children because he couldn't be the father they needed. I really liked Esther, she was kind and sweet. The only that I wasn't sure of was how the Amish characters became very good friends with the English characters. In my own experience, I tried several times to talk to the Amish in the previous town where I lived and they just ignored me. I'm sure different districts have different rules of how to treat the English. I just can't see Amish having close relationships with the English no matter where they live.
The Healing continues the story of the Fisher family, who were introduced in The Storekeeper's Daughter. You don't have to read either book to understand the other. I would also recommend reading The Storekeeper's Daughter and the rest of the books that follow it because they are very good.
I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley for my honest review.
Samuel Fisher has just lost his beloved wife, Elise, mother of their four small children. Living in their shared family home has too many reminders of their life together, so he decides to move from Pennsylvania to Kentucky, to the Amish community where his younger brother, Titus, now lives. Once there Samuel begins working as a painter and general handyman for an â€˜English' woman, Bonnie, who is opening a Bed-and-Breakfast in her grandmother's old home. Samuel hires Esther, a local Amish woman, to look after his children while he works, and Esther rapidly forms an attachment with the grieving children who are being virtually ignored by their father. She develops feelings for Samuel as well, but will he heal from his loss and see what could be? And if he does, will he return Esther's feelings, or will he form a bond with Bonnie despite her not being Amish?
The only Amish books I have read until now have been by Beverley Lewis, and have been exclusively set in the Old Order Amish communities of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. This book was set in a less conservative Amish community, and there were a number of noticeable differences, particularly the way the Amish characters in this community appear to know and are able to quote appropriate Bible verses, so this was a pleasant change. (I find the rules of the Old Order Amish to be very restricting, similar to the Jewish law outlined in Leviticus).
This was an excellent read, one you could not put down, I read it very fast. Again Wanda B. takes you on a journey of her characters and never fails to get you feeling like you know the characters personally . I LOVED IT! I can't wait to read her next book!