Published by Thomas Nelson on October 21st 2014
Genres: Amish & Mennonite, Christian, Contemporary, Fiction, General, Romance
Anne Marie and Nathaniel have been best friends since they were kids. Now things are evolving . . . in ways everyone else predicted long ago. But when her mother suddenly decides to remarry in another state, Anne Marie’s new chapter with Nathaniel looks doomed to end before it begins.
You know how I always, well OK sometimes, complain that a novella tries to be too much? I’ve been really lucky here lately with novellas understanding their amazing role in literature and stepping up to the plate in amazing ways. ‘A Gift for Anne Marie’ by Kathleen Fuller takes one for the team but almost, sorta, OK a little bit tilts to the opposite direction of my chief novella complaint. I feel like there was a tidbit too little history of some the characters in their given moment to fully grasp them. Not Anne Marie or Nathaniel but more her mother and the mysterious thing going on there. Like how long was she a widow? Who are her brother’s and how does her relationship with them play into her life? That kind of thing. My almost perfect snapshot of time had some blurry edges. Trust me, if I had to err on either side of that line I’d rather err this way than with a novella who thinks it’s a whole big book all on it’s own.
I know a few people feel like Anne Marie was the girl who protested too much. I didn’t see it that way. She was the girl who didn’t make assumptions. She also hadn’t yet started to view her friendships and relationships, despite being an adult woman of 20, as adult instead of the youth she was leaving behind. She just wasn’t in touch with her own feelings. Nathaniel really wasn’t either. Therefore I don’t feel like they were purposely obtuse or even protesting their burgeoning feelings overly much as a lack of total self awareness. There’s so much more than just a couple of new adults actually figuring out they are adults. And lifelong best friends. And that sometimes that makes for perfect couples. There’s family and friendship and changing lives and well for a mere 89 pages it’s got a lot going on in it’s snapshot.