A Wedding for Julia completes the Pebble Creek Amish trilogy by Vannetta Chapman, but I wish it weren't ending. The story line could definitely continue. This novel picks up the story of the Wisconsin Amish community following A Home for Lydia (book two) and A Promise for Miriam (book one). They are best read in order since past protagonists' stories are intertwined, but if you haven't read the others you will still enjoy this touching tale. And you'll find yummy recipes in the back.
Julia Beechy, age 37, has lost her father and her elderly mother's health is failing, along with her mind, it seems. Julia has devoted her life to caring for her parents, but dreams of opening her own restaurant in their spacious home. When she learns of her parents' decision regarding her future, her dream appears crushed and her life uncertain.
Forty-year-old Caleb Zook has followed his cousin from Indiana and works among the Plain folk. He longs for a friend and believes God has answered his prayer in Julia, but could the Lord have even more in mind? Something that would meet both their needs? This sweet story tugs at the heart strings.
A second plot line involves Caleb's teen cousin, Sharon, who finds herself in trouble at home. Her parents decide a change would be in her best interest and send her to Pebble Creek to help and be helped there. Who would have thought the ailing Ada Beechy could minister to this hurting girl?
Relationships are the focus of this book, but extreme weather also complicates their lives. I love a story that makes me ponder life and how to grow as a person. Thanks, Vannetta, for another fine novel.
I have enjoyed all three of Vannetta Chapman's books in the Pebble Creek Series. I have to say that I absolutely fell in love with the characters of Julia and Caleb in A Wedding for Julia. They are two truly nice people who are willing to give their all in this new marriage. I really enjoyed reading about their developing relationship and how they became a family, along with Ada, who is Julia's mother and Sharon, who is Caleb's niece.
This is a wonderfully romantic story of how true love does not always begin the way we expect it to and how amazingly good things can come to those who wait.
Previously in books one and two, Vannetta Chapman inserted us into the lives of Pebble Creek residents and newcomers. We met Lydia and Miriam and now the community story is rounded out with the story of Julia. Each of these ladies has obstacles to overcome in their daily life. We know that life in the Amish community is plain, not easy, not luxurious, not complete with conveniences we deem necessary to life. But these three ladies each has unique lives and must meet their struggles square on.
Julia is the daughter of Ada and they have just lost the father and husband. Now Ada has informed Julia that Julia's dream of opening a restaurant or cafe in their family home is not to be because Ada and Julia's father have determined that since Julia is unmarried she can not live alone so the house must be sold and she must move to another Amish community - unless she marries.
Julia's story rapidly progresses through the phases of unbelief, horror, inspiration, solution, and marriage. Through all of this, sweet Ada's failing mental capacities are worrisome but her ability to quote the Psalms and inspire those around her with these and other wise sayings is phenomenal.
"Courage is fear that has said it's prayers." page 129
When Sharon, a troubled teen from another Amish community, comes to live with them, her troubled spirit is comforted by Ada's quoting Psalms and stroking her head as she brings relief from fear. (page 158)
I found encouragement in things to ponder (page 257)...... perhaps you will, too. Put a name in the blank/s and apply to yourself.
______ and _____ love me.
_____ is a gift from God.
_____ and _____ are a joy.
_____ makes me smile.
_____ is special.
and then affirm..... God has taken care of me.
The Pebble Creek Series is worth reading. For your pleasure and for your encouragement. True it is a work of fiction. But sometimes fiction can bring forth truths that make real life more liveable.
DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy of A Wedding for Julia in exchange for my honest review. No compensation was received for writing this review.
This is one of those book that you wish would go on forever. It is the third one in the series, and yes it can stand alone, but don't deprive yourself.
Trying to put myself in Julia's place. How would I feel soon after my Dad dies, my Mom is ill, and I learn that the home I have always lived in will be sold. Yes, when her Mom passes, she will be homeless. Not really, provisions have been made for her to move elsewhere. All because she is unmarried at 38. Huh??
What a start of a sweet, almost like a mail order bride, when word gets out, but not quite. This is Amish style. This story becomes a sweet love story, also a home for a wayward teen, and a warm heart feelings for an older woman, Ada.
You are going to journey through some great Amish cooking, helping ones neighbors, and surviving life storms, literally! Don't miss this great read that will leave you wanting more!!
I received this book through First Wild Card Book Tours, and was not required to give a positive review.
The good news -- A Wedding for Julia is an awesome conclusion to Vannetta Chapman's Pebble Creek Amish Series. The bad news -- A Wedding for Julia concludes the series.
As in the other Pebble Creek Amish books, Vannetta's characters make the story come to life. Julia and Caleb each have their own problems and questions about their future but come together in such a special way. Sharon is a young lady with a tough exterior that covers a deep need for understanding and love. And how could you not love Ada with her keen insights and a Psalm ready for every occasion. It was fun to have visits from Miriam, Lydia, and other "old friends" from the first two books in the series.
One of my favorite lines in the book was in the letter Julia received from her new mother-in-law: "Remember, Julia, courage is fear that has said its prayers." That statement seems to sum up so much of what Julia and her family and friends learned as they worked through their fears, hopes, and dreams -- and it also serves as a challenge to anyone reading the story.
I highly recommend A Wedding for Julia to all fans of great Amish fiction. It is a great story on its own, but it is even better as a follow-up to A Promise for Miriam and A Home for Lydia. I am anxious to see what Vannetta has to share next.