This is the first book in a new series by the author. Hannah is a widow with three kids and she is working at a hotel to help keep her horse farm running. Her brother-in-law runs the horse farm which had been her husbands dream. While working at the hotel she meets a man named Trey and they both have lost a spouse and they soon become friends. This does not sit well with her community or family. Could this friendship blossom into something more and put Hannah in jeopardy of losing everything she holds dear?
This book was okay. Not quite what I was expecting but still a well written story.
What I liked: I found the storyline interesting and I really liked the characters. Hannah's husband had been dead for some time yet she still really missed him and I felt for her. She just did not feel like she quite fit in anymore. Hannah has twin daughters. One has a strong Amish faith and the other one has dreams that could lead her away from her community. It was kind of nice to read about the other side of the coin when it comes to the Amish.
What I did not like: **SPOILER ALERT(skip this if you don't want to know the main story line)** Even though I liked the idea of the story and the characters I had a real problem with Hannah and that she seemed to almost act like a teenager in love instead of an adult. She barely knew Trey and spent very little time with him but fell in love enough to be with him and leave her family and friends. Honestly I thought she was a little crazy for such a quick decision. That is just my opinion of course but this book left me shaking my head a little.
Overall this was an okay book. I am actually looking forward to the next book in this series and how things work out for Hannah and the other people in her family and community. It was well written just not my cup of tea when it came to the plot.
A Hopeful Heart (Hearts of the Lancaster Grand Hotel)
Book Description: In A Hopeful Heart, the first novel of the new Hearts of the Lancaster Grand Hotel series from best-selling author Amy Clipston, Hannah finds herself at a crossroads in her life. Her community offers her love and support after the untimely death of her husband, but an Englisher offers her the chance of a new life after her unexpected tragedy. Wealthy businessman Trey Peterson is surprised by his attraction to the gentle Amish woman who works as a housekeeper in the Lancaster Grand Hotel. They share a common bond of loss and are able to offer each other comfort and support as they journey through their grief. Joshua Glick wants nothing more than to offer his friendship and love to Hannah and her family. Not only is he her late husband's brother and business partner, he has always been in love with Hannah. A Hopeful Heart is filled with surprising twists as Hannah tries to balance her life in the Amish community and her growing love for an outsider.
Review: I loved the majority of this book. I liked the characters and the setting. The story line was sad at the start. Yet the book was not gloomy overall. I did find it difficult to believe that leaving the Amish life could be so easily resolved and that it would be harder than anyone could imagine. I believed the way Hannah's mother-in-law treated her especially when Hannah was friendly with an Engilsher. I found much of the book to be realistic. In my own personal opinion I think that Hannah was a selfish about pursuing her own desires since the Amish are raised to be community minded. I felt very mixed by the end of the book and that is really where I still am.
I would like to thank Book Sneeze and Zondervan Publishing for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and I was never asked to write a favorable review by anyone.
Amish widow Hannah Glick worked as a housekeeper at the Lancaster Grand Hotel. That's where she met Trey Peterson, a widowed Englisher staying there while searching for a house to buy in the area. They had an instant bond after they talked and found there was finally someone who understood the loneliness from losing a spouse.
Joshua, Hannah's brother-in-law and business partner, had four years to express his love for her but didn't decide to do so until he saw her interest in Trey. He cared deeply for her and her children, sixteen year old twins Amanda and Lillian, and ten year old Andrew.
Hannah's life got complicated when Joshua and Trey both asked her to marry them. This story is about the struggle Hannah has deciding if she should stay Amish and marry Joshua or leave all she has even known and marry Trey.
Hannah's twins, Lillian and Amanda have there own concerns trying to find their place in the world and have some difficulty with choices they have to make.
Some readers may have trouble with the love at first sight aspect of this story, especially since it's between and Amish woman and English man. This personally didn't bother me and I found myself rooting for Hannah to find love again.
As I was reading A Hopeful Heart I could feel the attraction between Hannah and Trey and I appreciate in was done in a clean way. There is also a lot of talk about the characters' faith and use of Biblical scripture that helped guide their lives. They were following their hearts while discovering if it was God's will.
Amy Clipston is one of my favorite authors. Once I start one of her books I usually can't put it down until I'm totally finished reading it. She has done great job of writing another clean romance from a Christian perspective.
I received a free copy of this book from Zondervan and The Christian Manifesto in exchange for my honest review.
Hannah Glick stays busy raising her children, working as housekeeper at Lancaster Grand Hotel and not to forget chores on the farm. Her deceased husband and his brother, Josiah Glick had gone into business together leaving Josiah to run the business with Hannah. There seems to never be enough hours in a day for Hannah. Josiah tries to make her burdens lighter which is no burden to him for he has loved Hannah since before she even fell in love with his brother. Hannah is somewhat aware of his feelings but does not feel the same type of love for Josiah. To her he is a good friend and family.
While working at the hotel she meets a guest, Trey Peterson and finds herself becoming attracted to him. It was very easy to talk with him since they both had lost a spouse. He also has the same dream as she, which is to start a Bed and Breakfast in town. Hannah was warned to guard her heart because he was English. She even invites him to her home for a meal which makes Josiah jealous and her deceased husband's mother very angry with Hannah. Her children seem to be divided in their opinion of their mother's new friend. This concerns her because she finally feels as if her heart is healing.
The author writes about the struggles of healing and starting anew after the loss of a spouse. She shows how it touches the children and the loved one's parents and sibling. Then she kicks it up a by having the widow befriend an Englisher. It's like she turned a fox loose in the hen house. This story keeps you guessing from one chapter to the next. I for one did not want to put the book down. I didn't know whether to be happy or sad with the ending. Probably a little of both.
I highly recommend this book.
Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from Zondervan/Booksneeze for review was in no way to compensate for this review.
Now that I have read the book, I see the significance of the woman on the cover, who is turning her back on something. The cover is very pretty and simple.
Description (from Goodreads): Hannah Glick, a recent widow, finds herself stuck at a crossroad in her life. Her community offers her love and support, but a new friend offers her the chance of a new life after unexpectedly losing her husband. Wealthy businessman Trey Peterson is surprised at his attraction for the gentle Amish woman who works as a housekeeper in the Lancaster Grand hotel where he is staying. They share a common bond of loss and are able to offer each other comfort and support as they journey through their grief. Joshua King wants nothing more than to offer his friendship and love to Hannah and her family. Not only is he her husband's best friend and business partner in their shared horse business, he has always been in love with Hannah. Are they destined to be only business partners or will Joshua be able to convince her that they belong together for life?
Other objectionable: There was nothing really objectionable in this book, except for some minor flirting and a family is split because of a decision one of their members has to make. No spoilers for you guys here!
Suitable for: I'd say middle schoolers would be okay to read this book. Even though it's adult fiction, it's very clean.
Pros: The plot of this book was very intricate, detailed, and fast-moving. There were several minor stories developing along with Hannah's story, so that made the book very interesting. I love reading about the Amish...they are such an interesting people group and I have a lot of respect for them! I also loved the backstories of Hannah and Trey. That added a lot to the book.
Cons: I didn't really read anything that I didn't love! The ending is sad, but almost every character gets what they wanted (in a good way!) and I think it provided closure. I was also surprised by the ending, as I thought it would be your typical happily-ever-after romance ending.