Series: Brides of Webster County #1
Published by Barbour Publishing on March 1st 2015
Genres: Amish & Mennonite, Christian, Fiction, Romance
Faith Stutzman Andrews left her Missouri Amish community ten years ago to pursue her career as a comedian. Now widowed, Faith shows up on her parents’ doorstep with her six-year-old daughter in tow. Will the lure of the English world prove too strong for Faith, or will she discover that home is where her heart is? Confirmed bachelor Noah Hertzler often bakes desserts that he gives to others, attaching verses of Scripture to each culinary delight in the hopes of soothing the soul as well as nourishing the body. Can Noah’s tactics heal a shattered Faith before she runs away again?
Before I even talk about this book let’s talk about the setting. Living in Southwest Missouri my entire life (I was born in Springfield) I am familiar with the local Amish communities. I’ve moved just a bit north of Springfield and enjoy visiting the local (smaller) Amish community in Dunnegan. Mainly, the bulk foods store (hello spices!) and the bakery (hello extra pounds!). There are a few small communities in this rural area of both Amish and Mennonite. This book was set in a much larger community near Seymour which is south of Springfield. When Mom and dad rebuilt the barn, or as I call it My Inheritance, they hired Amish from this community. It was refreshing to read about things that I am so very familiar with between the shows in Branson and things around Springfield (Bass Pro Shops and Fantastic Caverns – can you believe I’ve lived her my entire life and have never been there, despite driving past it twice a day to and from work!). It was a definite squee moment for me to realize that this was my stomping grounds, my comfort space, my home. OK, enough of that, let’s talk book.
I truly loved this book and it was a great break from the suspense and mystery I’ve been reading lately. I need to mix it up frequently to prevent me from getting overly burnt out on any one genre (anyone remember my romance melt down late last year?). This book touches on a couple of difficult topics (domestic assault and alcoholism) but keeps it to such a minimum that I almost feel like glosses over it to some degree. I had a hard time with the idea that when Faith reveals that tidbit from her past it’s never explored at all. ‘No man should ever do that’ kind of mentality without the deeper exploration of how it is currently effecting her life and her idea that marriage is not for her because of it. When she does go on to fall in love and choose marriage it’s still left unaddressed. I found that a touch uncomfortable. If you mention it, it bothers you. If you are against marriage because of it, it bothers you. You don’t not take steps to heal from that and expect everything to turn out rosy. That felt a bit glossed over but it didn’t take away from the bigger picture.
Let’s face it, we knew from the get go that Noah and Faith were going to explore a future together. They went through the same thing that ever reluctant couple goes through that really brings out the Gibbs’ smack in me. She might leave. I want to leave. She was with that tall English man. He must have a girlfriend. She might leave. I can’t trust another man. She might… STOP! Yes, she might leave. Yes, he’s a man and you haven’t had a great experience there but for the love of gravy stop. If you don’t actually talk to each other and let other people make your plans you are only digging your own misery. Communication people. True, deep, lasting relationship are build first on communication. Once they all (Faith, Noah, even her family) learned how to communicate their feelings and hurts then things can move forward. It took a long time (kinda like life right?) but communication lead to so much greatness. I loved the returning of Faith to the idea of faith. Not necessarily the Amish faith but a trust and relationship with God. Something she had left behind because of the hurts her she left her family with. And stayed away from because of the hurts her husband had heaped on. And a reconciliation of those hurts into the arms of God.