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The Avid ReaderDunedin, FLAge: 45-54Gender: Female4 Stars Out Of 5The second An Amish Journey NovelSeptember 18, 2019The Avid ReaderDunedin, FLAge: 45-54Gender: FemaleQuality: 4Value: 4Meets Expectations: 4Listening to Love is the second An Amish Journey Novel. It can be read on its own if you have not read Hearts in Harmony. I thought Listening to Love is well-written with developed characters and steady pacing. Natalie Collins loves animals and is pursuing a degree in veterinary medicine thanks to Mary and Levi Shetler. They sold the beautiful piano they inherited from Adeline and gave the money to her. There is a problem, though, preventing her from moving forward. She cannot give shots and the sight of blood sickens her. Natalie has developed a relationship with God thanks to Lucas. He has become her close friend. They meet each week at the library plus they have lunch dates and talk on the phone each evening. People do not understand that a man and woman can just be friends. Lucas has yet to be baptized, but he has never dreamed of leaving the Amish. As Lucas spends more time with Natalie, his feelings for her change. I could feel the struggle in Lucas and Natalie as well as their developing love. I like that each of them has a close relationship with God. Natalie's mother, Cecelia is having a hard time after her divorce. She has gone through her divorce settlement, maxed out her credit cards and her mortgage is behind. Cecelia has been getting money from Natalie, but that is her college fund. After attending a housewarming party at Mary and Levi's, she gets a job with Moses Schwartz, the Shetler's neighbor. Cecelia's dream job soon turns into a nightmare that disrupts the lives of those around her. I liked this addition to the story as it gave the story added depth and interest. I enjoyed seeing the changes in the characters as the story progressed especially in Cecelia and Helen. My favorite phrase is "Listen to God and follow His lead." Listening to Love is an absorbing story about family, faith, friendship, and love.
Sandra Burson4 Stars Out Of 5Lovely ReadSeptember 9, 2019Sandra BursonQuality: 4Value: 4Meets Expectations: 4I found Listening To Love, the second in Beth Wiseman's An Amish Journey Series, to be an exciting read. I have read several other books by Ms. Wiseman and have enjoyed every one. She does not disappoint. This is such a sweet story of faith, family, beliefs and love. Beth is an incredible storytelling. She writes carefully crafted characters that you can't help but fall in love with. Lucas Shelter and Englischer. Natalie Collins are two of the sweetest young adults you will ever meet. They have formed a very strong friendship that all their friends and family are worried will develop into something more serious. They gave been warned several times that being from two different worlds, it can only bring heartbreak. I finished this book in one sitting, I could not put it down. I received a complementary copy from Zondervan Publishers through NetGalley. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.
arkmom5 Stars Out Of 5Amish Journeys...September 6, 2019arkmomQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5This is the second book in the Amish Journeys series. What a joy to reconnect with some of the characters, Natalie Collins and Levi and Mary Shetler. This book is a great standalone for those who haven't read the first in the series.
Natalie loves and looks forward to the Friday night dinners at Levi and Mary Shetler's house. The food and company is wonderful! Levi's brother, Lucas, also attends the dinners. Natalie and Lucas have became very good friends. In addition to the Friday nights, they meet on Wednesday's at the library to visit and talk about the books they are reading. They also talk each night before bed on their cellphones, which are not allowed in Lucas' Amish community.
Levi and Lucas express their concern that Natalie and Lucas' relationship may be more than simple friendship, and that it will never work as Natalie is Englisch and Lucas is Amish. While Lucas has yet to be baptized into the Amish church/faith, it would break his family's heart if he were to walk away from them and their community.
Both Natalie and Lucas attempt to give assurance that they are only friends. Until one day...they both realize their feelings for one another go deeper than they had thought.
Lucas has taught Natalie about God and she now has a relationship with Him and feels Lucas has been very instrumental in that. But...is that why God put him in her life? To lead her to Him and nothing more? Natalie realizes she cannot leave her world. Is it fair to expect Lucas to leave his and try to adapt to things he's never had and has been taught against? Air conditioning, cars, music, etc?
Great story and characters! Another winner by Beth Wiseman!
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Zondervan through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Deana5 Stars Out Of 5wonderful storySeptember 3, 2019DeanaQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5I am so glad to have the honor of reading and reviewing a book that is an example of God's love. The characters are wonderful and very east to relate to. Natalie is hungry to learn more about God and her best friend Lucas is guiding her through scriptures and his own experiences to help her. There is a little bump in their friendship as Natalie is English and Lucas is Amish.
I loved how the author shows the uneasiness that their family and friends have when the two seem to grow closer. Natalie is heartbroken when everyone steps in to break their relationship up. There is a reason for everything that happens in life. Natalie believes that God put Lucas in her life to help her grow her relationship with God. Now she wonders if that was all or is there more that God has planned for them?
The author also gives us a look into a broken relationship between mother and daughter. Natalie is bitter at times because her mother is taking the divorce from her father so hard. Having to continually give her financial support is causing a strain on her own finances. I loved reading how they each had to let God soften their hearts and understand that bitterness was destroying their relationship.
I have to mention Helen, Lucas's mother. She is very protective of her family and has a dislike for Natalie and her mother. It was kind of funny to read about her using binoculars to spy on her neighbor. I won't say why she was but it made me understand how we can push our views onto others and judge them. There were times I just wanted to tell Helen to stop interfering and let God handle the situation. How many times have we judged people? I did like how the author does give us a glimpse of the differences between English and Amish beliefs.
The story is such an emotional journey through compromise, forgiveness and acceptance.It explores what true love is and questions how to tell if you will have the kind of love for another person for a lifetime. It is never easy to know if a love will last. but I have learned that love between two people is a commitment that calls for patience, compromise and including God in the relationship.
One thing I found interesting is that Amish don't believe in divorce so they just stay together and work things out. In society people walk away everyday from a marriage without trying to sit and talk it out. We sometimes don't include God in our marriage and the enemy gladly takes that as an invitation to break up a family.
There is an unexpected twist in the story that causes chaos in several lives. The author took me by surprise and I loved how the twist leads to compassion and forgiveness. I have to say the author has surpassed my expectations in a story that reminds us to listen to God and the meaning of a love that never fails.
I received an arc copy of this book from the author. The review is my own opinion.
sgreene015 Stars Out Of 5Great ReadSeptember 3, 2019sgreene01Quality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Sometimes friendships lead to interesting lifestyle changes. Englischer Natalie Collins and her Amish friend, Lucas become best friends as they share their love of books and he helps her in her love and growth of God in her life. Can they just remain friends, or will their closeness as best friends grow into love? Their families are very concerned about the direction their relationship might take.
As they try to listen to God's voice direct them in their lives. many twists and turns to this storyline make this a very enjoyable book. Love, judgment, accusations and forgiveness play important parts to this book.
I highly recommend this book. I received a complimentary copy of this from Zondervan through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.