This is a sweet, sweet story. The author paints a vivid picture of life in the Amana colonies. It's a different world, for sure. I can't imagine living in a community where everyone shares everything. The author's words made me feel like I was experiencing this community and life right along with Andrea.
The characters are well written. Andrea's situation is sad, but probably very common in this time period. Her growth as a person is amazing to watch. Dirk is such a patient man. He is kind and understanding. Their relationship was very natural, and I loved that the author took it slow with them. It helped to show Andrea's growth spiritually and as a person. I would have loved to hear more of Fred's story, though. I was devastated for Andrea when Fred came back.
The faith of this community is different, but strong and amazing. They really try to live what the Bible teaches and their willingness to help is something we can all learn from. Overall, this was an enjoyable story! I look forward to reading more from this extraordinary author!
*Thank you Bethany House Publishers for providing a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.*
When I saw that Judith Miller had a new book, and again about the Amana Community, I knew I had to read it. So when the opportunity was offered to review this book, a hearty yes! I was not disappointing, only that it eventually ended, makes me want to live there, if it still existed!
As always we get to see the hard workers and yet the peace and rewards of communal living, and although it ended with the changes of society, it looks like one big family, with everyone caring for one another.
This is the story rather typical of a young girl who has her teenage disagreements with her parents and was easily swept off her feet. She marries against the approval of her folks, and embarks off to Baltimore from Iowa. She soon finds out that her husband is not what he appeared to be. Amanda Wilson is being abused by her husband and so is their young son Lukas.
We see evil at its finest and we find the righteous turning the other cheek and helping and praying for Fred Wilson. Oh how I loved the love of God these people showed in all that they did. There is also a love story, that although it cannot continue, you feel the warmth of it.
The story is a really quick page turning read, and I enjoyed it all, and right to the end. You never see what is about to happen, and probably a good thing. Thank you Ms Miller for sharing your gifts!
I received this book from the Publisher Bethany House, and was not required to give a positive review.
A Shining Light by Judith Miller is the third and final book in the Home to Amana series. I really enjoyed this last book. It was a different plot, and I loved hearing more about how people lived back then. Each book in the series is a stand alone novel, and if you enjoy reading Amish fiction then you will definitely like these books. I'm a historical fiction nut who likes some Amish fiction, and it was perfect for me. :-)
Andrea Wilson has just found out her husband died at sea. With a seven year old son and no job, Andrea has no choice but to go home to her father's farm. Using up all the money she has, she travels home only to find a burned down house, a rickety barn, and no sign of her father anywhere. Distraught and confused, Andrea and her son sleep in the barn overnight hoping to find some answers in the morning. The morning does bring answers, but not the ones she was hoping for. Her father sold his farm to the Amana colonies and soon after died in the house fire. With no money and no home, Andrea has no idea what to do next. When one of the Brother's from the colonies offers her a place to stay in West Amana until she figures out what to do, Andrea has no choice but to accept.
While there, Lucas thrives and Andrea feels free for the first time in a long time, but she isn't sure if she wants to stay here her whole life. When she meets Dirk Knefler, the tinsmith, her views start to shift toward staying. But then some disturbing news comes to her and disrupts all the peace she has begun to feel.
The people of Amana were a beacon of God's goodness and mercy to Andrea and Lukas. I loved seeing her journey from living scared to living with joy even amidst hard times. I don't want to say too much, but her character really resonated with me because of how she handled challenging times. In fact, her depth of maturity made her my favorite character in this series.
I was given this book free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Andrea Wilson is a young wife and mother living in Baltimore. She lives in a small apartment with her young son and husband, when he's not at sea. The book begins with Andrea receiving the news that her husband has been lost at sea, although no body has been found. With the little "pension" she receives she decides to move with her son to her father's farm in Iowa.
Once there she discovers that he perished in a fire that also burned the house down. To make matters even more desperate she learns that her father had sold his farm to the Amana Colonies before his death but she is unable to locate the money he received from the sale. Because her father didn't believe in banks she believes the money perished in the fire with him.
With no money and no place to go, the people at the Amana Colonies invite her to live with them until she is able to make a decision about her future. She is put to work in one of the kitchens and lives above it with the kitchen boss. Her son makes friends with the tinsmith, Dirk Knefler, and soon a romance develops between Andrea and Dirk.
Then the unthinkable happens that turns Andrea's world upside down.
Review: I loved this book. I am a fan of books about the Amana Colonies and books by Judith Miller. The characters are well-developed and the plot is full of twists and turns. I like that the two main characters acknowledge their interest in each other early on and don't have miscommunications about it.
One thing I didn't care for was it was written in first person and broken up into different characters' viewpoints. I got confused a few times about who was writing even though the sections are labeled. I just get into a book and it's hard to reframe my thinking when somethings different.
I received a complimentary copy of A Shining Light by Judith Miller from Bethany House. All opinions are my own.