I have enjoyed all three of Vannetta Chapman's books in the Pebble Creek Series. I have to say that I absolutely fell in love with the characters of Julia and Caleb in A Wedding for Julia. They are two truly nice people who are willing to give their all in this new marriage. I really enjoyed reading about their developing relationship and how they became a family, along with Ada, who is Julia's mother and Sharon, who is Caleb's niece.
This is a wonderfully romantic story of how true love does not always begin the way we expect it to and how amazingly good things can come to those who wait.
Previously in books one and two, Vannetta Chapman inserted us into the lives of Pebble Creek residents and newcomers. We met Lydia and Miriam and now the community story is rounded out with the story of Julia. Each of these ladies has obstacles to overcome in their daily life. We know that life in the Amish community is plain, not easy, not luxurious, not complete with conveniences we deem necessary to life. But these three ladies each has unique lives and must meet their struggles square on.
Julia is the daughter of Ada and they have just lost the father and husband. Now Ada has informed Julia that Julia's dream of opening a restaurant or cafe in their family home is not to be because Ada and Julia's father have determined that since Julia is unmarried she can not live alone so the house must be sold and she must move to another Amish community - unless she marries.
Julia's story rapidly progresses through the phases of unbelief, horror, inspiration, solution, and marriage. Through all of this, sweet Ada's failing mental capacities are worrisome but her ability to quote the Psalms and inspire those around her with these and other wise sayings is phenomenal.
"Courage is fear that has said it's prayers." page 129
When Sharon, a troubled teen from another Amish community, comes to live with them, her troubled spirit is comforted by Ada's quoting Psalms and stroking her head as she brings relief from fear. (page 158)
I found encouragement in things to ponder (page 257)...... perhaps you will, too. Put a name in the blank/s and apply to yourself.
______ and _____ love me.
_____ is a gift from God.
_____ and _____ are a joy.
_____ makes me smile.
_____ is special.
and then affirm..... God has taken care of me.
The Pebble Creek Series is worth reading. For your pleasure and for your encouragement. True it is a work of fiction. But sometimes fiction can bring forth truths that make real life more liveable.
DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy of A Wedding for Julia in exchange for my honest review. No compensation was received for writing this review.
This is one of those book that you wish would go on forever. It is the third one in the series, and yes it can stand alone, but don't deprive yourself.
Trying to put myself in Julia's place. How would I feel soon after my Dad dies, my Mom is ill, and I learn that the home I have always lived in will be sold. Yes, when her Mom passes, she will be homeless. Not really, provisions have been made for her to move elsewhere. All because she is unmarried at 38. Huh??
What a start of a sweet, almost like a mail order bride, when word gets out, but not quite. This is Amish style. This story becomes a sweet love story, also a home for a wayward teen, and a warm heart feelings for an older woman, Ada.
You are going to journey through some great Amish cooking, helping ones neighbors, and surviving life storms, literally! Don't miss this great read that will leave you wanting more!!
I received this book through First Wild Card Book Tours, and was not required to give a positive review.
The good news -- A Wedding for Julia is an awesome conclusion to Vannetta Chapman's Pebble Creek Amish Series. The bad news -- A Wedding for Julia concludes the series.
As in the other Pebble Creek Amish books, Vannetta's characters make the story come to life. Julia and Caleb each have their own problems and questions about their future but come together in such a special way. Sharon is a young lady with a tough exterior that covers a deep need for understanding and love. And how could you not love Ada with her keen insights and a Psalm ready for every occasion. It was fun to have visits from Miriam, Lydia, and other "old friends" from the first two books in the series.
One of my favorite lines in the book was in the letter Julia received from her new mother-in-law: "Remember, Julia, courage is fear that has said its prayers." That statement seems to sum up so much of what Julia and her family and friends learned as they worked through their fears, hopes, and dreams -- and it also serves as a challenge to anyone reading the story.
I highly recommend A Wedding for Julia to all fans of great Amish fiction. It is a great story on its own, but it is even better as a follow-up to A Promise for Miriam and A Home for Lydia. I am anxious to see what Vannetta has to share next.
On the back cover: Just As Hope Runs out the Door, Love Softly Peeks In
What a precious book! A Wedding for Julia is the third book in this series, which is proof that the number 3 is a great number and that Chapman saved the very best for last (can't you tell already that I loved this read). Its been 6 months since Julia's father passed away when her mom, Ada, reveals the news that she must marry or move away to live with distant relatives. Julia is horrified and devastated at this news, she has been devoted to her parents for most of her life and has no desire to move away but she has no idea what choice she has.
Enter Caleb_..he has lived in the area for one year, is a hard worker, and has been praying for a companion because he has too much freedom and it has become lonesome for him. Then he has a simple encounter with Julia where he learns of her dilemma and everything seems to fall in place after that.
There is nothing rushed, unrealistic or shocking about this story. Caleb has his flaws, but he doesn't treat Julia with sympathy or criticism regarding her situation. In fact, he immediately grows attached to Ada and fits right into the harmonious picture they have as a family. I was also deeply touched to see the characters from the previous two books jump right in to help Julia plan her wedding like it's the most natural thing to do without overstepping their limits or pressuring the bride to be.
Julia has no misunderstanding about the commitment she's entering into and she doesn't do so lightly. She seeks God with her whole heart as does Caleb. They communicate every concern to one another with respect and Caleb proves himself even before the vows have been taken. I admired his patience and his heart regarding Julia's doubts and wants her to be comfortable with him in every area. He is a true leader, gentleman, and God fearing man that comes through for Julia, understands her, and supports her. I understood so much of what Julia experiences, although I didn't relate to the cooking part of her character, and I was pleased with her maturity and faith throughout the book.
My two favorite parts of the book are Ada and the Elliott family neighbors. Ada is aging quickly in the story, but has rock solid faith and understanding at all times. She brings more peace, safety, and support than I ever thought possible. The Elliott family are Englischers who have moved from Chicago to find a simpler lifestyle and they end up being Julia and Caleb's neighbors. Their two daughters, elder son, and adorable dog enhance the story perfectly. They also bring healing and restoration effortlessly to Sharon, Caleb's cousin who comes to stay with them. Between Ada's scripture comments and the joy of the Elliott family: Caleb and Julia find a wonderful haven and family environment with Ada and Sharon that proves how blessed they are throughout the story.
When the storm hits at the end, I felt every bit of it! Any adversity Chapman writes about in this book only enhances the story as the characters overcome it. There is so much love, community support, tenderness, friendship, miracles, humor and healing in the plot but everything was balanced perfectly! This book really is hard to put down and the reader experiences every bit of Julia's journey as if you were there with her. This book illustrates in such depth that learning to trust someone happens as you love them and God carefully guides that love when the time is right. You do not have to be a fan of Amish fiction to enjoy this book or relate to its characters. And even though this book is the third in the Pebble Creek Amish Series, it's definitely a stand alone. It took me longer to read than usual but I was grateful not to rush through it so I could enjoy this wonderful community of Pebble Creek at its finest moment. I highly recommend this book to new and regular readers of Vannetta Chapman, it will give you hope and be an enhancement for all booklovers. The book also includes discussion questions, glossary, and recipes (the cinnamon flop cake sounds wonderful).
I want to thank the author and publisher for the free review copy I received, I was not required to write a positive review.