The Wounded Heart, Amish Quilt Series #1
This book was great
The book was great and I am always looking for new authors. Looking forward to the next one in the series.
March 7, 2012
A gripping drama
Since the passing of her husband, widow Amelia Beiler has focused on caring for her 2 sons, running her late husband's pallet buisness, and making quilts with her closest two friends. However, Amelia starts experiencing strange physical ailments that she is unable to ignore, such as tingling and loss of movement in her left arm. After she seeks medical help, she receives a difficult diagnosis that presents a stunning expectation of loss for Amelia, one that forces her to face difficult decisions about the future of her business, whether to take a chance on new love, and even the possibility of being shunned by her Amish community.
Adina Senft has created a promising beginning in this first book of her "Amish Quilt" series, filled with memorable characters, a true wrestling with tough questions about suffering and God, and heart-gripping drama. Amelia's medical journey was fascinating to behold, and the unexpected twists kept the pages churning through my fingers. Senft perfectly captures the Amish setting of the novel, causing me both to long for the simplicity and beauty of the Amish way, but also to ponder with puzzlement some of the decisions made by the Ordnung. Amelia is an endearing character, and there were a few laugh-out-loud moments for me that I wasn't even expecting. The outcome of some of the gossip flying around the community especially had me chuckling! When I came to the end of the book, I was left craving more, and I am thankful that this is only the first book in the series!
Although this is the first book I have read by the author, she has been added to my "must read" list. If you are a fan of Amish fiction, then plan on reading The Wounded Heart soon!
I highly recommend this novel and give it 5 out of 5 stars.
Book provided courtesy of the publisher for the purposes of this unbiased review.
February 25, 2012
Adina Senft's first Amish novel
The Wounded Heart , by Adina Senft
Tells the story of Amelia, a young Amish woman, widowed too young, with two young boys. She owns and runs the pallet shop her late husband had, while trying to be the woman expected of her by her neighbours, friends and relatives.
Anita Senft did an awesome job of making me as a reader feel sympathy for the young Amish woman. And made me look at myself to see if i would have been able to submit myself to others as Amelia learnt to do in her circumstances.
It did not take a lot of reading for me to like the characters, and I cried when Amelia got her multiple sclerosis diagnoses. The story flowed well, the characters were exceptional, and the word scenes brought the story to life. She uses third person view point, and it is easy to follow. Amelia and her friends will live on in my thoughts.
I thoroughly enjoyed this first book in her Amish Quilts series and am sure that anyone who enjoys Amish and romance novels will want to try this one. I will be looking for the next novel in the series.
I received this ebook free from Netgalley for the purpose of review only. I was not required to write a positive review, only an honest one. These opinions are my own.
December 30, 2011
Harsh community but original premise
PUBLICATION DATE: SEPTEMBER 27, 2011
RATING: 7 OUT OF 10
Nearing the end of her first year of widowhood, Amelia Beiler is still unsure as to whether she should sell her husbandÃ¢ÂÂs business. Despite receiving offers from English and Amish men, she appreciates the independence that running the pallet-making shop brings her, as well as the financial security. But when sheÃ¢ÂÂs diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and offered the chance of alternative treatment in Mexico, selling the shop may be the only way to raise funds to cure her from this life-threatening disease. As soon as word gets out that AmeliaÃ¢ÂÂs business may be for sale, Amish men from the community are lining up to make bids. Soon the whole church is in upheaval as men are clamouring to convince Amelia that itÃ¢ÂÂs not GodÃ¢ÂÂs will for her to sell to the Englisher who is willing to pay more than any of her Amish neighbours, and the Church elders are sceptical over whether they should pay for such unusual medical treatment. Matters are complicated further when one of the bidders begins to take a more personal interest in Amelia, who does not feel that sheÃ¢ÂÂs in any position to be entertaining a beau at this point in time. Can she decide what route is the best one to take for her family, as well as her church and business?
The Wounded Heart is AdinaÃ¢ÂÂs debut into the Amish genre, although she appears to have written various other novels for the Christian market previously. While I wouldnÃ¢ÂÂt place the first novel in the Amish Quilt series among my favourites in the genre, it was for the most part an interesting and easy novel to read, and I imagine that AdinaÃ¢ÂÂs writing will strengthen in time as she gets to grips with the style of this genre. What appealed to me about this novel was that the main conflict wasnÃ¢ÂÂt centred on the romance between Amelia and Eli, but on AmeliaÃ¢ÂÂs medical condition and the dilemmas this created. In particular, the fact that community pays for medical treatment as the Amish do not take out health insurance plays a large part in AmeliaÃ¢ÂÂs story.
AmeliaÃ¢ÂÂs issues ended up being more complicated than IÃ¢ÂÂd expected, mainly because the elders of her church refused to pay for her to travel to Mexico to receive alternative treatment for her MS. Early on in the book, they inform her that they are willing to pay for her to take medication for the rest of her life but that this new treatment in Mexico doesnÃ¢ÂÂt seem like something they should be getting involved in. As the daughter of a nurse, their ignorance and distrust of new methods that could potentially prolong AmeliaÃ¢ÂÂs life or even cure her of her disease really riled me, especially as they seemed to make the decision without doing any research and then informed Amelia that their decision was GodÃ¢ÂÂs will for her. IÃ¢ÂÂm afraid that the actions of the leaders of the church stopped me from enjoying this book as much as IÃ¢ÂÂd hoped to. While there are many aspects of the Amish faith that I admire and try to apply to my own beliefs, the way that the elders had the final say on AmeliaÃ¢ÂÂs medical treatment really annoyed me, more so because they tried to pass off their opinions as GodÃ¢ÂÂs will for her. It was presented in such a way that suggested that Amelia had no way of speaking to God herself, and had to go through the ministers or deacons of her church. In fact, Amelia very rarely prayed or conversed with God throughout the book.
In all honesty, I wasnÃ¢ÂÂt a fan of the Amish community in The Wounded Heart. Everyone was continually sticking their noses into each otherÃ¢ÂÂs business, advising them on how to live their lives so as to avoid being under the Bann, and gossiping about those whose behaviour does not conform to their expectations. This novel did not give a particularly positive representation of the Amish. While I donÃ¢ÂÂt agree with some of the romanticised views presented in other books, this one actually made me wish Amelia would move to a more open-minded community who would put her medical needs ahead of their preconceived and unfounded views of modern medicine.
Without spoiling the ending, I will say that close to the end of the novel AmeliaÃ¢ÂÂs situation changes significantly and she avoids having to make a decision that could potentially place her under a shunning. While I was pleased for her, I couldnÃ¢ÂÂt help but wonder how her life would have turned out if she had made a decision that had caused her to be shunned. Or would she have sacrificed her needs for the sake of the church and avoiding being ostracised? This book made me think a lot about the different branches of the Amish church and how some of them donÃ¢ÂÂt always display Christian characteristics.
The romantic aspect of this novel is very minor, which made a nice change from the typical plots which are so prevalent in the Amish genre. In fact, there was a lot more focus on the relationship between Amelia and the two women she makes quilts with, Carrie and Emma, than there was on Amelia and EliÃ¢ÂÂs relationship. The lives of her quilting friends were very intriguing and IÃ¢ÂÂm looking forward to hearing about EmmaÃ¢ÂÂs creative writing pursuits in the second novel in the series, The Hidden Life. ThereÃ¢ÂÂs a teaser at the back of AmeliaÃ¢ÂÂs story that has already sucked me in, so I will definitely be reading the rest of this series, despite my distaste for the strict community in which the books are set.
I hesitate to class this novel as Christian fiction due to the way in which Christianity is portrayed through the Amish faith. As interesting and compelling as I found this story, my emotions were in turmoil over the way AmeliaÃ¢ÂÂs life was being influenced by the opinions and decisions of her church elders. Sometimes having a book twist my emotions so much can be a rewarding experience, but in the end I found myself a bit disgruntled when reading The Wounded Heart. This novel is worth reading for the touching relationship between Amelia, Emma and Carrie, the quilting details and in showing the heart-wrenching decisions someone has to make when theyÃ¢ÂÂre diagnosed with MS. But I wouldnÃ¢ÂÂt recommend this as an introduction to the Amish genre, or as a good representation of the appealing characteristics and values of the Amish way of life.
Review title provided courtesy of FaithWords.
November 16, 2011