On the back cover: Just As Hope Runs out the Door, Love Softly Peeks In
What a precious book! A Wedding for Julia is the third book in this series, which is proof that the number 3 is a great number and that Chapman saved the very best for last (can't you tell already that I loved this read). Its been 6 months since Julia's father passed away when her mom, Ada, reveals the news that she must marry or move away to live with distant relatives. Julia is horrified and devastated at this news, she has been devoted to her parents for most of her life and has no desire to move away but she has no idea what choice she has.
Enter Caleb_..he has lived in the area for one year, is a hard worker, and has been praying for a companion because he has too much freedom and it has become lonesome for him. Then he has a simple encounter with Julia where he learns of her dilemma and everything seems to fall in place after that.
There is nothing rushed, unrealistic or shocking about this story. Caleb has his flaws, but he doesn't treat Julia with sympathy or criticism regarding her situation. In fact, he immediately grows attached to Ada and fits right into the harmonious picture they have as a family. I was also deeply touched to see the characters from the previous two books jump right in to help Julia plan her wedding like it's the most natural thing to do without overstepping their limits or pressuring the bride to be.
Julia has no misunderstanding about the commitment she's entering into and she doesn't do so lightly. She seeks God with her whole heart as does Caleb. They communicate every concern to one another with respect and Caleb proves himself even before the vows have been taken. I admired his patience and his heart regarding Julia's doubts and wants her to be comfortable with him in every area. He is a true leader, gentleman, and God fearing man that comes through for Julia, understands her, and supports her. I understood so much of what Julia experiences, although I didn't relate to the cooking part of her character, and I was pleased with her maturity and faith throughout the book.
My two favorite parts of the book are Ada and the Elliott family neighbors. Ada is aging quickly in the story, but has rock solid faith and understanding at all times. She brings more peace, safety, and support than I ever thought possible. The Elliott family are Englischers who have moved from Chicago to find a simpler lifestyle and they end up being Julia and Caleb's neighbors. Their two daughters, elder son, and adorable dog enhance the story perfectly. They also bring healing and restoration effortlessly to Sharon, Caleb's cousin who comes to stay with them. Between Ada's scripture comments and the joy of the Elliott family: Caleb and Julia find a wonderful haven and family environment with Ada and Sharon that proves how blessed they are throughout the story.
When the storm hits at the end, I felt every bit of it! Any adversity Chapman writes about in this book only enhances the story as the characters overcome it. There is so much love, community support, tenderness, friendship, miracles, humor and healing in the plot but everything was balanced perfectly! This book really is hard to put down and the reader experiences every bit of Julia's journey as if you were there with her. This book illustrates in such depth that learning to trust someone happens as you love them and God carefully guides that love when the time is right. You do not have to be a fan of Amish fiction to enjoy this book or relate to its characters. And even though this book is the third in the Pebble Creek Amish Series, it's definitely a stand alone. It took me longer to read than usual but I was grateful not to rush through it so I could enjoy this wonderful community of Pebble Creek at its finest moment. I highly recommend this book to new and regular readers of Vannetta Chapman, it will give you hope and be an enhancement for all booklovers. The book also includes discussion questions, glossary, and recipes (the cinnamon flop cake sounds wonderful).
I want to thank the author and publisher for the free review copy I received, I was not required to write a positive review.
Vannetta Chapman has done it again. She has written another truly wonderful Amish novel. In A Wedding for Julia, the story and characters grasp readers on the first page and don't release them until the final page is turned. Actually, the bond between reader and characters is so strong that Julia, Caleb, Sharon and the other charaters tend to live on in the reader's mind even after the story concludes.
Julia Beechy learns that, upon her mother's death, she must marry or leave the only home she has known. Her dream of opening a cafe seems lost forever. When Caleb Zook, a relatively new resident of Pebble Creek offers a solution, Julia must decide what to do. What is the right thing?
Sharon Zook, Caleb's willful seventeen-year-old cousin from Indiana, is sent by her parents to live in Pebble Creek. What has happened to force Sharon's parents to send her away? Will living in Pebble Creek help Sharon or alienate her further from her parents?
Julia, Caleb, Sharon and the other residents of Pebble Creek must weather their internal storms as well as the violent forces of nature to learn about trust, love, and God's goodness and grace. I highly recommend A Wedding for Julia. I promise you will become attached to the characters and will laugh and cry with them as you would with members of your own family.
A Wedding for Julia is my favorite book in Vannetta's Pebble Creek series. I was able to identify strongly with Julia. Her mother's decree flipped her world upside down, and Julia's shy nature and insecurity caused her to think people were too busy to care about her. I cheered Caleb on as he slowly won Julia's heart and drew her out of her shell. I also loved Sharon, as she fought to find her way past the consequences of her decisions. One of the most powerful moments that touched me deeply was Ada praying Psalm 23 and placing Sharon into the Psalm to bring comfort to Sharon. Wow!
Vannetta's vivid descriptions of Pebble Creek, Cashton, and the various places drew me in. I read the book while on vacation in the mountains of NC, so there were many itty-bitty creeks around to remind me of Pebble Creek. We had a bad storm while I read the end of the book, but it was a sun shower compared to the storm described in A Wedding for Julia.
With thanks to the author and Harvest House Publishers for my review copy.
I find it very difficult to describe this book!! ONLY, because , there was simply nothing in this work of art that I didn't love!!! Vannetta continues The Pebble Creek Series with this third book and I must say that she has ended her series with a bang!! I am one disappointed reader that this series is over, however, I DO look forward to more winning books from Vannetta!
My attention was immediately grabbed on the very first page of the Prologue. It was rather like putting your hand in a box of your favorite donuts and knowing that any one you choose will be the BEST! I opened this book and KNEW it would be as good, if not better than previous ones! AND this book was fantastic. and met my every expectation ! My only regret was when I reached the last page, that the story was over, and I wanted it to go on and on and on and........
The character development was outstanding. To me, a truly great book has to allow me to identify with at least one of the characters. This book met this need in a big way. Julia's hurts, shocks, challenges , dismay, as well as her joys , became part of me. I could feel them all!! BUT, and this is the shocker, I could do the same with her mom, and her new beau, Caleb. They became my family and friends as the plot developed.
The plot is full of unexpected twists and turns. Just when you think you know how one problem is going to be solved, you encounter a surprise ! A complication, a change, certainly does not make a predictable conclusion. I was totally entranced as I read. This book is definitely a page turner. I could not put it down. The results???? Well, a dirty house, meals late and not much sleep one night!!
Just don't expect to read a couple of chapters , then you will read the rest later. It just won't happen!! It is a compelling story of a young lady and her struggles! Will she allow God to work through her and comply with His plan??
Definitely a five star book!! You just HAVE to read it!!!
Way to go, Vannetta!! I can hardly wait for your next creation!!