"The Amish Bride" is Book #3 in the 4-book series The Women of Lancaster County. I have read the first two (and recommend that so you have an idea of the "family setup"), but #3 is my favorite. I had a hard time putting it down. The authors lead the readers in the story of Ella, how she grew personally and spiritually. She learns about forgiveness and giving her life to the Lord.
I have read all four books in this series and I'm reading them again so I better understand how all the characters fit together to make a complete picture of an extended family. The stories contain a lot of history regarding the Anabaptists and contain a unique blend of how the main character in each book finds a piece of their identity. The families face many challenges with strength to overcome due to their faith in God. The main character in the Amish Bride is Ella, a woman of conviction who pursues her goals despite obstacles and cultural biases.
Ella Bayer, a Mennonite teen with Amish connections, has finished high school and is ready to get on with her life. This includes attending a baking school, with the dream of owning her own bakery one day, and marrying her Amish boyfriend, Ezra Gundy. Family conflicts continueâ€”some introduced in the first two books of the series, The Amish Midwife and The Amish Nannyâ€”with new issues impeding the path Ella has planned.
She avoids her estranged father, deceives her mother, endures separation from Ezra, tolerates humiliation from her teacher, and assists her cousin and new friends as she sorts out her life goals and what God might want. Should she join the Amish church? How can she ever forgive her dad?
Added to the drama of intertwined relationships is the element of suspense Mindy Starns Clark and Leslie Gould skillfully weave into their tales. Ella's great-grandmother left a journal, partially written in code. Ella endeavors to unravel the meaning behind the drawings and strange writing as she discovers more of her mother's family history. The lessons learned parallel her own life of joy mixed with pain. Her journey of self-discovery also opens the door to greater sensitivity and understanding of others.
This book can stand alone, but the series is best read in order. The book will be out August 1, so you have time to read the earlier ones. Don't miss them.
In The Amish Bride, the reader is swept away to beautiful Amish country -- the picture of idyllic living with blooming daffodils, grazing cows in emerald green pastures, and clean clothes flapping in the breeze -- but underneath the guise of tranquility lie secrets, pain, and betrayal.
Ella Bayer is a lovely, young Mennonite woman who wants only to attend baking school, start her own bakery, and become the wife of her Amish sweetheart, Ezra Gundy. Seeking to separate the two, Ezra's family arranges for him to leave Lancaster County to work at a dairy farm in Indiana, although Ella has made it clear that she is willing to join the Amish church.
Meanwhile, Ella's grandmother gives her a book filled with mysterious codes and secrets, and entrusts Ella to crack the code for reasons of her own. To do so gives Ella the perfect opportunity to go to Indiana with Ezra, where the author of the book had lived, and her mammi has prepaid for her to go to baking school there as well. While there, Ella meets Luke, a shy, but kind Amish man and ends up working in close proximity to him.
Upon discovering that the two of them are together, Ezra's family immediately summon him back home, leaving a heartbroken Ella in Indiana. When a mysterious man shows up in Ella and her family's life, and disturbing secrets come to light -- will Ella stay where she is, or return to Lancaster to become Ezra's wife? Will she crack the code in the book and what are the consequences should she do so?...and if she leaves Indiana what of her friendship with Luke? Have they become more than mere friends?
Ok, I'm ashamed to admit it, but this is the first Amish book by Mindy Clark that I have read and I loved it! Although this is the third book in The Women of Lancaster County series it can be read as a stand alone. Her writing technique (I love how she pays so much attention to detail) and storyline is intriguing -- her characters -- all too human. Interspersed with a thread of suspense, and tough topics such as adultery, spousal abuse, and abandonment, this is one not to be missed!
THE AMISH BRIDE by Mindy Starns Clark & Leslie Gould is an interesting inspirational Amish fiction set in Lancaster,Pennsylvania. I love these Amish stories and this was no exception. Book 3 in "The Woman of Lancaster County"series,but can be read as a stand alone. Follow Ella Bayer, Ezra Gundy and a farm hand named Luke on a journey of forgiveness,patience,discovery,faith,redemption,healing,friendship,and love.While Ella and Ezra has loved each other for years,and wish to marry,they have one problem,they are of different faith,she is Mennonite and he Amish. I enjoy both of these authors stories and together they make a wonderful team. Their characters a enduring,engaging and will steal your heart. "The Amish Bride" is a story of love and coming home. Received for an honest review from the publisher and Wynn-Wynn Media. Details can be found at the authors' website,Harvest House Publishers and My Book Addiction and More.
HEAT RATING: SWEET
REVIEWED BY: AprilR, My Book Addiction and More/My Book Addiction Reviews