After reading The Outsider by Penelope Williamson, "A Hopeful Heart" grabbed my attention by the similar plot. It is the first book in a series from "Hearts of the Lancaster Grand Hotel", and from the very first page I knew this was truly going to be a "Grand" journey, that might even surpass The Outsider! The 317 pages just flew by, as Miss Amy Clipston tells the story of young, widowed Hannah Glick, a maid at the hotel who awkwardly and unexpectedly encounters one of the English guest's, Trey. They are instantly drawn to each other by the bonds of one another's lost spouses and friendship which eventually blossoms into forbidden love! I was rooting for Hannah and Trey the entire way, once she welcomed him into her home and her heart! True they are from different worlds, but the Lord works in mysterious ways as in "opposites attract" ;) They go through quite a few hurdles to find happiness again, an unlikely villain, Hannah's brother-in-law, Joshua, (wolf in sheep's clothing), secretly obsesses over his late brother's wife, more in lust than in love to me, I could never like his character! The strict Amish community, her Mother, and friends all have their opinions, but in the end, God has the final word! ;)
You will instantly feel for them. What's also beautiful is how we not only get the POV or Hannah and Trey, but also her two daughters, Amanda "positive as the morning sunshine", and Lillian "worrisome as storm clouds brewing in the afternoon"! I love them both, but I must say I love Amanda more, as she has a heart to care for animals as I do, while Lily dreams of becoming a teacher, yet both are extremely lovable! ;) You'll get a lesson in life how our personal decisions can have a rippling effect that can be heartbreaking but rewarding! It's sure to be a Classic, filled with forbidden love, gripping drama, family ties, and above all, having no doubts and faith in God! A clean book for all ages, I'm so eager to learn what becomes of the Glick's next!!
A BIG THANK YOU to Miss Amy Clipston for personally sending me a copy in exchange for an unbiased, non-profit review!! BLESS YOU ALWAYS!! ;)
Hannah Glick has taken a job cleaning at the hotel in town to make enough money to keep the horse farm running, now that her husband has died. At first it was just a job, but now she enjoys getting out of the house a bit and meeting interesting people. And with her children a little older, it is easier to be away several days each week. Plus, her brother-in-law and partner is working with the horses if the children would need anything.
Trey Peterson is trying to fulfil his wife's dream of opening a bed and breakfast in an Amish community. He is plagued by guilt that he worked too much and was not home when his family was killed by carbon monoxide one night. But now that his has taken an early retirement and sold the house, he is ready to try and move on with his life.
Hannah and Trey meet unexpectedly in the hotel where he is staying and she is working. Their paths cross multiple times and they strike up a friendship of understanding, because both have lost their spouse. Their friends and family do not understand the friendship and Hannah encounters problems because Trey is not Amish.
The book is well written and easy to read. The characters are well developed and believable. While I have read a number of Amish fiction books, this one does take the Amish/ English tension in a little different way that others. But still preserving the Amish faith and convictions. I look forward to the next book in the series.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from Zondervan, the publisher. All opinions expressed are my own.
Amy Clipston has written a delightful tale of hope and healing in A Hopeful Heart. Hannah Glick, an Amish widow who is working in housekeeping at the Lancaster Grand Hotel, meets English widow, Trey Peterson, who is staying at the hotel. He is hoping to fulfill his former wife's dream of running a Bed & Breakfast in Lancaster's Amish country. Hannah is hoping to be able to provide for her family and find love again. What is God's will for their lives? To be together, one of them must give up the lifestyle they are accustomed to. Add to the mix Hannah's teenage twin daughters and young son and a critical, harsh mother-in-law and one love struck brother-in-law and you have a very exciting tale! I read this book within 24 hours, picking it up as much as I possibly could.
I think there are many possible things to relate to in the book: critical relatives, children with agendas of their own, lost love, fears of the future, and grief and loss. I was certainly able to relate to many of the character's feelings, and I was rooting for each of the main characters to follow their hearts. For horse lovers among readers, an added bonus is the family horse farm !
I received a free pdf version of this book from booksneeze in exchange for my honest review.
The book, A Hopeful Heart, by Amy Clipston, is a modern day Romeo and Juliet story with a twist. Widow, Hannah Glick, has been forced by circumstances to work outside her Amish home to provide extra income to care for her family. The family horse farm, co-owned with her brother-in-law Joshua, is successful, but needs to hire additional help to continue to thrive. Through an awkward situation, Hannah meets an Englishman, Trey Peterson, while working at the hotel. Something about his story draws Hannah into a relationship with him. Hannah struggles with this friendship, knowing that there are complications. However, her heart will not allow her to walk away. She has decisions to make, but there are serious repercussions that she must be willing to accept. Will Hannah be able to follow her heart or will her Amish roots keep her firmly planted, leaving the void her husband's death created, unfilled?
This book is absolutely full of dialogue; conversations between the various characters. This novel was a good, clean story, but I did not find myself delving into it. When I really like a book, I struggle to put it down. I have never read other books by this author, so I do not have anything further to base my opinion on.
I received a complimentary copy of this novel from Booksneeze. All opinions are my own.