Brightest and Best, Amish Turns of Time Series, #3
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Brightest and Best, Amish Turns of Time Series, #3

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Product Description

To marry Gideon Wittmer. That is Ella Hilty's deepest desire. But before Ella can marry Gideon, Ella's 1918 Ohio Amish community finds itself swept up in controversy when government authorities demand Amish children must attend consolidated public schools rather than their one-room schoolhouse.

Englischer and schoolteacher, Margaret Simpson had given up thoughts of marriage years ago, and on the whole, she is content with her peaceful life. But a budding romance and conflict with the neighboring Amish community lead Margaret down a path she never imagined possible.

As the conflict continues, the Amish parents stand their ground against the progressive laws that threaten to erode their culture beyond recognition.

Soon Margaret puts her last change for romance at risk for the only choice her conscience can abide, and all eyes turn to Ella to bring unity between the two communities.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 320
Vendor: Shiloh Run Press
Dimensions: 8.38 X 5.50 X 0.50 (inches)
ISBN: 1628366338
ISBN-13: 9781628366334
Series: Amish Turns of Time

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Publisher's Description

The collapse of a schoolhouse puts pressure on Amish families and their long-held educational values. Ella Hilty anticipates marrying Gideon Wittner and becoming a mother to his children. In a whirling clash of values, Ella seeks the solid ground that seems to have slipped away. Margaret Simpson, an English schoolteacher, wonders if she is losing her last chance at love. As the local authorities draw lines in the sand, Margaret puts romance at risk one final time. All eyes turn to Ella to make a sacrifice and accept a challenge that can bring unity to the Amish and understanding to the English.

Author Bio

Olivia Newport’s novels twist through time to find where faith and passions meet. Her husband and twentysomething children provide welcome distraction from the people stomping through her head on their way into her books. She chases joy in stunning Colorado at the foot of the Rockies, where daylilies grow as tall as she is.

Editorial Reviews

A wonderful contemporary romance with characters who are strong in their faith and their courage. They want to do the right thing for right reasons with the least amount of distancing and hard feelings on both sides. Newport writes about the Amish with grace and respect, and handles their issues with the outside world with care.

Brightest and Best is a fitting novel in light of curent events, but it is also a truly enjoyable read. Subtle humor, endearing characters, and an inspiring story all combine together to ensure its place as a top pick for both historical and Amish fiction fans.

This is a strong historical novel that will leave readers thinking.

I read this book all in one sitting, and the only advice I have for any potential readers is to have a clear scheduled when you pick up Brightest and Best because you just won't want to put it down! Any reader who likes historical fiction, Amish fiction, fiction with a Christian background, or just a plain good read will love this book. I highly recommend Brightest and Best and am looking forward to reading more from Olivia Newport in the very near future.

Product Reviews

4.7 Stars Out Of 5
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  1. wfnren
    St Cloud, FL
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Two women, different 'worlds', putting their lives on hold for others
    September 1, 2017
    wfnren
    St Cloud, FL
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    This review was written for Brightest and Best - eBook.
    If you like stories about people putting their lives on hold for the benefit of others you will enjoy this book. Olivia does a great job of writing and keeping you glued to the story she is telling. I have enjoyed the first three books in this series and there are two more waiting for me to read!!!
  2. KavR
    Canada
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Compelling
    November 30, 2015
    KavR
    Canada
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Not only did Newport engage this reader, she held her captive right to the very end. Seriously compelling. I couldn't put it down. I lost sleep over this book. Both because I stayed up late reading and because I dreamed about the story when I finally did drift off. Applying cucumber slices to my puffy eyes right after I finish writing this review. :-)

    If you're not an Amish reader but you love historicals don't be shy, give Brightest and Best a try. Two heroines, one Amish, one English, will keep both kinds of readers happy. And 1918 is an interesting time period for an Amish novel. In many ways, the Amish aren't so very different from their English neighbours. Day to day life is pretty similar between the two groups -- however modern conveniences such as the automobile and the telephone are beginning to create a wider gap between them.

    And I found the whole school issue which is at the core of this story utterly fascinating. Newport tells it from various viewpoints, both Amish and English and it pulled at my heartstrings because I know that many Amish communities went through what this one did before they were finally allowed to educate their own children. I was outraged, appalled, devastated...pretty much emotionally spent by the time I reached the end.

    This is as much a book about human rights as it is about the Amish at the turn of the century. A reader can make some interesting parallels to similar modern day stories seen in the media the last few years, which really got me thinking. Definitely the kind of book that has plenty of starting points for discussion so it would make an excellent book club choice.

    Oh -- and let's not forget the romance. Sweet and yearning, Gideon and Ella's love story is complicated by the growing dissent surrounding them. Their happily ever after seems as illusive as the hoped for Amish schoolhouse. Page-turning to the very last delectable page.
  3. jenilee220
    Ohio
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Sweet Amish Read
    October 17, 2015
    jenilee220
    Ohio
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    I sometimes feel like Amish books tend to be the same story. But this book brought a new, fresh feel to an Amish story. I appreciated the real characters and the trials they face. I appreciated the realistic situations, the slight humor and the wonderful characters. A great read this fall!
  4. Rhonda Nash-hall
    Madison Heights VA
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    took me back in time
    September 14, 2015
    Rhonda Nash-hall
    Madison Heights VA
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    If it isn't bad enough that the Amish have a one-room schoolhouse in desperate need of repair and the schoolteacher is marrying which means that a new teacher must be secured quickly, the entire roof collapses on the Parent Committee as they examine the school to determine what repairs must be made. I love that the author, Olivia Newport, has researched the struggle the Amish experienced in seeking their religious freedoms in educating their children and used it as a theme for this book in the series. It reminded me a great deal of my own grandmother, who was born in 1901 and was only allowed to attend school through the eighth grade as only rich children could afford to go to one of the regional boarding high schools in Virginia. She wanted to go to school so badly that she was allowed to attend the eighth grade twice so that she would not have to quit that year. Some of the Amish young people in this story have a great desire to learn, even though their parents have plans for them to remain at home after 8th grade to learn the trades of the parents or become homemakers in the case of the young girls. This book truly took me back in time to another period and certainly a trying one for many, Amish and English. I worked as a public schoolteacher for 14 years and wonder if students today truly appreciate the opportunities for learning they have in our public schools.

    I rate this book 5 stars and highly recommend it to readers of both Amish and historical fiction.

    I received a copy of this book from netgalley in exchange for my honest review.
  5. Katrina
    Western Ky
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Brightest and Best
    September 8, 2015
    Katrina
    Western Ky
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Olivia Newport and Shiloh Run Press has released the third installment in the Amish Turns of Time series. The setting for this story is Geauga County, Ohio in 1918.

    When this book arrived I thought it had a beautiful cover and the description about the story looked good. I opened the book and was immediately swept away.

    Ms. Newport introduces us to a community that is divided. The war is winding down in Europe and this quiet community is getting ready to face a war at home between the Amish and the English government. This is a story about the separation of church and state.

    The Amish have sent their children to a public school for years, but has had input in what was taught to their children. Unfortunately Ms. Coates, the school teacher, has called a meeting about the dilapidated conditions of their school house when the unthinkable happened, one of the walls collapsed. The superintendent and school board have decided to not rebuild the school, but bus the children from outlying areas to the school located in town.

    The Amish people are distressed that their children are not exempt from the rules and regulations handed down from the board. Not only will their children be exposed to the English world with no control, but they must also attend school until the age of 16. They are a peaceable community and look for ways to work through their differences. When no resolution is forthcoming they do what they think is best for their children.

    I was drawn to the character of Margaret Simpson. She is a teacher at the consolidated school and seeks to understand the differences between the Amish and the English community. She is a true peacemaker, but sees trouble as the result of her actions of trying to do the right thing.

    I really enjoyed this story.

    I was drawn in immediately to the plot line and the characters. It was like watching a good movie in that it was hard to stop or put down. I would recommend it to anyone who loves Amish stories or a good historical story. I received this story from the publisher for a honest opinion without bias or outside influence as stated above
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