Amish fiction is still quite new to me, and even newer are three of these four authors (the exception being Kathleen Fuller, whose A Love Made New I enjoyed earlier this year), so it is not one I am overly familiar with. That said, I do believe that this is an excellent collection of novellas. Each one can stand alone as a complete story and each has a unique take on the themes that unite them.
In A Cup Half Full, Beth Wiseman tells the story of a young Amish couple struggling with the after effects of a traffic accident.
Amy Clipston’s Home Sweet Home refers to a daadihaus (small house that grandparents live in) a young Englischer couple are allowed to rent after the hospital bills for their child’s birth leave them homeless.
A fire leads to a Flicker of Hope for an unhappy couple in Ruth Reid’s story, alternating between the happy beginnings and current struggles.
And Kathleen Fuller gives us the story of two carpenters, one professional and one not, who are both struggling with grief and a need to prove themselves in Building Faith.
Each author has crafted a portrait of a couple in crisis in an ultimately heart-warming story of a struggle with faith and bitterness when life has not turned out as expected. And each in some way has shown a different definition of home.
With novella collections, there are usually some that stand out as favorites or as being slightly below par, but this is a strong group of well-crafted stories. I found each of them surprising in different ways, which may be partly due to my being new to Amish fiction. The main issue I had in reading them is the German dialect that is integral to this sub-genre, but hopefully this will be less of a stopping point and no longer throw me out of the story as I expand my reading of Amish fiction.
Highly recommended if you enjoy, or would like to try, Amish fiction. Novellas are a great way to experience an author or a genre/sub-genre, and these would definitely have peaked my interest had they been the first I read in the Amish sub-genre. I look forward to reading more.
An Amish Home: Four Novellas by Beth Wiseman, Amy Clipston, Ruth Reid, and Kathleen Fuller | Thomas Nelson, Feb. 2017 | paperback, 400 pages
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This review refers to a finished copy received from Thomas Nelson and Zondervan’s Fiction Guild, in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.