Softly Blows the Bugle (The Amish of Weaver's Creek Book #3) - eBookJan DrexlerRevell / 2020 / ePub$9.99 Retail:4.5 Stars Out Of 5 23 Reviews
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FayeAge: 18-24Gender: female4 Stars Out Of 5Forgiveness and Second ChancesDecember 19, 2020FayeAge: 18-24Gender: femaleQuality: 4Value: 4Meets Expectations: 4Elizabeth Kaufman was relieved to her that her husband would not return from war, now a widow she has returned to her Amish roots and is determined never to marry or be under man's thumb again.
The end of the war brings the return of her brother, and along with him an Englisher friend, Aaron Zook, who is bent on heading West. Also new to the valley is Solomon Mast, who has bought the neighboring property, and has his eye set on marriage.
The third in a series, but it can be read as a stand alone. Well researched I think that it did a great job of showing what Amish communities might have been like in the later 1800's. The story was engaging and fast paced, I like how it follows up on characters from the previous books. But it was very difficult to see Elizabeth headed into a disaster after already having gone through so much. Plus, I strongly dislike being inside the bad guy's head, especially this one. He was so cold and calculating, I know why his chapters were important to the plot, but I just hated him as a person SO much!
Overall, this was an engaging read, with well developed characters, and an entertaining plot making for a quick read. Strong themes of faith, and community. A wonderful read for fans of historical and Amish fiction!
I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Fitzysmom4 Stars Out Of 5Review from Rambles of a SAHMDecember 13, 2020FitzysmomQuality: 4Value: 4Meets Expectations: 4I enjoy Amish fiction and Jan Drexler is one of my favorite authors in this genre. Her stories aren't cookie cutter but instead come from a unique angle that brings interest that can sometimes be lacking in this category.
Softly Blows the Bugle is the third and final book in the Amish of Weaver's Creek series. The story picks up from the previous books just after the Civil War has ended. We've already met the main character Elizabeth Kaufman so we know some of the grief that she has experienced. We are introduced to Aaron Zook. He comes home from the war with Elizabeth's brother Jonas but plans to move on and explore the West.
The story is full of grace and redemption for two emotionally and physically broken people. That brokenness is what makes the story relatable. We've all made bad decisions. And we've all had circumstances that have left us scarred.
I am of the opinion that you would enjoy this book the most by reading the previous two first. Having said that I do think the author gives enough information that you could probably read this book only and still understand the plot. But you'd be cheating yourself! I'm looking forward to Jan's next series and hoping that some of these characters will pop up again.
I received a copy of this book to facilitate my review.
thegirlwithhernoseinabook4 Stars Out Of 5Take a drive down the back roads of Weaver's Creek...December 10, 2020thegirlwithhernoseinabookQuality: 4Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Elisabeth Kaufman is a shy young Amish widow, still restless and uneasy with her position in the community. She was married once to an "Englischer" as they called the non-Amish, and some in the community seem to have never forgiven her for marrying outside their overly strict Amish boundaries of the "church". She feels that she doesn't deserve a chance at love and a family of her own. But God's not done with her broken heart and spirit. When her brother returns home from the war, he brings along wounded Southerner, Aaron Zook too. An Amish gentleman called Solomon Mast also moves into the community, and makes himself right at home. But secrets and rumors fly quickly about the tight-knit town of Weaver's Creek, and people are not always what they first seem to be. And trust misplaced can be a very dangerous thing.
This is the first Amish book I've read in a long time, and the one I've liked the most. Their rules and regulations are irritating and abrasive in most any Amish book, but this had the least of any I've read. After I got through the first few chapters, it was much more enjoyable, and actually exciting to the point I was on the edge of my seat lol!
I received this book free from Revell for an honest review, and the thoughts and opinions listed above are my own.
Stardust FiddleAge: 25-34Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5God Will Make You WholeNovember 22, 2020Stardust FiddleAge: 25-34Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Amish fiction is a somewhat newer subgenre of Christian fiction for me, one that I've been reading for only a few years. Growing up about an hour and a half from Ohio Amish Country and visiting there often, I had some familiarity with the culture, and reading well-researched novels has offered additional insight. I do, however, find Amish historical fiction to be just as fascinating. This series is the first that I've ever read about the Amish during the Civil War era, and this third book especially sheds light on the unique impacts on their communities.
In Jan Drexler's "Softly Blows the Bugle," book three of The Amish of Weaver's Creek, the Civil War has recently ended, and Jonas Weaver returns home. With him is Aaron Zook, a former Confederate soldier who lost his leg in battle and his faith when his mother died years earlier. Two generations removed from his Amish heritage, he is determined to head west to escape all that he's lost. Likewise, Jonas's sister, Elizabeth Kaufman, struggles under the burden of her own tainted past. When a stranger arrives in town, he may hold the key to helping them both move on.
While this book can be read as a standalone, I would encourage readers to go through the series in order for the most fulfilling experience and to meet all of the main characters in depth. Each story makes more of an emotional impact if readers understand the background. The Weaver's Creek community, by and large, serves as an example of what the body of Christ is meant to be: welcoming and loving, without compromising its convictions. The kinship is so heartwarming! Despite his previous sympathies and being an Englischer, Aaron finds loving care and acceptance, which in turn allows for healing of more than just his physical body. In a similar manner, the Amish response to slavery and segregation plays out through interactions with the former slave named Dulcey. Another interesting aspect of this story is the disagreement between the Weaver's Creek traditionalists and the more liberal Amish from other districts. In so many ways, these kinds of situations and issues reflect what we are dealing with today, reminding us that everyone has hardships and struggles, and that we are not as different from each other as we may seem.
Redemption and second chances are themes heavily interwoven into "Softly Blows the Bugle." Drexler takes her characters through the emotions and doubts of the journey to forgiveness and to surrendering to God, and one of the beautiful facets of it is how God can use other people to draw the hurting to Himself. As Aaron begins to realize, "Grandpop had always told him that the Amish were high and mighty, bragging about their special place in God's eyes, but Elizabeth didn't seem to be like that at all. Her whisper-maybe he wasn't meant to hear it-but her whisper betrayed a brokenness as deep as his own." With brokenness comes pain and messy situations. Sensitive readers may want to be forewarned that there are a few brief scenes of violence and brief discussions about past trauma. In my opinion, they are not graphic and do fit in with the time period and plot. There is one scene that stretched credulity for me, but it didn't detract from the story overall. I think that Casper Zook says it best: "No man is whole when he is by himself. All of us are broken on the inside until we find our place with God-broken, sore, and weary. Your brokenness is visible, but the solution is the same as it is for any other man. God will make you whole."
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell and was under no obligation to post a positive review. All opinions are my own.
AEASand4 Stars Out Of 5Series Book Stands AloneNovember 19, 2020AEASandQuality: 4Value: 4Meets Expectations: 4When Elizabeth Kaufman's brother, Jonas, returns from the Civil War with a friend in tow, Aaron Zook is a broken man. His missing limb is the only visible reminder that life after the war is very different from his life before, but it is not the only thing gone from Aaron's life. His father, grandfather, and family farm are gone as well, leaving Aaron as untethered and unsure as he is unsteady. Elizabeth knows she shouldn't be glad that her husband, Reuben, is a casualty. However, she is relieved that she is no longer subject to his cruelty. She has found peace in her singleness and is prepared to live the rest of her life taking care of her parents, siblings, and their families. She certainly has no feelings for Aaron Zook, and Aaron has no intentions to stay in Weaver's Creek. Of course, our feelings and intentions are pliable in the Author's hands.
Jan Drexler offers up this story as the third installment in her series, The Amish of Weaver's Creek. While I try to read series books in order, even going to the very beginning before reading a book for review, I managed to look over that tidbit before beginning Softly Blows the Bugle. I was well into the book before I realized the oversight, and too committed to stop long enough to read the first two books, The Sound of Distant Thunder and The Roll of the Drums. There were a few instances that I felt I might have gained some insight by reading those books first, but Softly Blows the Bugle reads well as a stand alone book. The author builds Weaver's Creek in a way that is beautifully mapped in my mind. Her characters have depth and quickly become familiar to the reader.
Thank you to the publisher and the author for allowing me a copy of this book to read and review. All opinions within this review are my own and are completely genuine.