I was provided a complimentary copy of this book by NetGalley. I was not compensated for this review and all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. I was not required to write a positive review.Home All Along by Beth Wiseman
Published by HarperCollins Christian Publishing on September 26th 2017
Genres: Amish & Mennonite, Christian, Fiction, Romance
Charlotte has made a home for herself in Amish Country with Daniel. But unforeseen events rock their fragile world and may move them even further away from the life they long for.
Charlotte, an Englisher, is living in Amish Country, and she has formed strong and lasting bonds with the people in her new community. She has even fallen in love with an Amish man. But just when she is considering a permanent conversion to the Amish way of life, her world crashes around her. An unexpected death and a mysterious visitor unsettle Charlotte, and she begins to question her faith and her choices.
Daniel loves Charlotte and wants to share his life with her, even it if means leaving the only world he’s ever known. But as he walks alongside of her through her struggles, his own world is turned upside down when a loved one receives a grim medical diagnosis and a prodigal relative returns home. Will Charlotte and Daniel’s relationship succumb to the many pressures around them, or will their faith and the strong community around them allow them to weather the storms of their own lives in order to build a life together?
I am so not ready for this series to end. It’s not really over right? It’s like a teaser and then a pleasant surprise next year with another installment? Right? That’s the story I’m telling myself as I write this review anyway. Which, by the way, is my 100th review this year. I literally just hopped over to Goodreads and upped my reading challenge goal yet again. I can’t think of a better book to have that 100 book place of honor. Don’t get me wrong, I probably actually can but I’m glad it was an amazing book by an amazing author that holds that honor. There are so many choices that aren’t as amazing. I need more time with Charlotte and her extended adopted-ish Amish family. There’s so much unfinished business, in my opinion, that can’t be finished. Hint, hint. OK, I’ll stop whining and hinting and get down to the heart of the matter.
There are actually two points of contention that affected my rating of the book. One is story-line consistence oriented and the other… Well let’s start small. At the end of ‘Love Bears All Things’ Charlotte had a new friend at work that seemed set up to be an important person in her life. That friend? Andrea. At the end of the same book memories surfaced of a younger sister that had disappeared when they were very young. That sister? Dianda. Imagine my shock when the names were reversed in this story. And the friend (with a switched name) didn’t begin to play the role I anticipated. The way she read though leaves me to feel as though she started out bigger and slowly got edited out. Perhaps? OK folks, I got a much bigger fish to fry now. Huge. In my opinion. This could be spoilerish but I’ll try to keep it on the rails a bit. Amos and Lena play such a HUGE role in Charlotte’s life. Despite her initial falsehoods that but them together (go back to ‘Her Brother’s Keeper’) they have taken her into their lives as part of their family. They love her like her biological family never could. Things happen in this book that are huge. Massive. That involve Lena and Amos. Those things are glanced over. I felt like my heart was ripped out. I get the book is about Charlotte. And her family. Not just her biological family, in my opinion. Things happen in other families that garner a lot of limelight. It fights and it works and it bears on the story. But so does Lena. And Amos. And. I just felt like they were shortchanged in this book. And it broke my heart.
Let’s move on shall we before I get all weepy again and forget that outside of the fact that I was name confused and hurt over that other thing I did LOVE this book. I loved that Charlotte continued to move forward as a woman of faith. I loved that she found more bits of herself and became more centered as a human. I loved that she made choices that were best for her, without the need for a man (namely Daniel) to be her rock, her strength, or even her moral compass. Throughout all the books i this series she looked to others to help her figure out her path. Not always in an obvious way but she never really made choices for herself by herself. Seriously, Charlotte grew up a lot in this book. She grew as a woman and as a Christian. And at the end of the day she did it for herself. Not Daniel. Not Lena and Amos. Not her brother or the mysterious sister. Not even her biological mom. It doesn’t take away from m huge bone of contention above but it does make me love this story.