Tag Archives: unwed mother

REVIEW: Amish Cooking Class – The Blessing by Wanda E. Brunstetter

Heidi is back as a cooking teacher, giving much more than just cooking lessons.  Six students from all walks of life take her class and learn more about themselves than they might about actually cooking.  Heidi and her husband are barren and the cooking class allows her an outlet for her talents as she waits on God for direction.  Her faith is demonstrated to the class members as she shares wisdom and Scripture each session.

Characters from book 1 are mentioned in the story.  Other than Heidi’s storyline, it is possible for a new reader to start the series with this book.

Thanks to Shiloh Run Press for providing me an ARC for a review in my own words.

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REVIEW: A Tapestry of Secrets by Sarah Loudin Thomas

This is the third book of the West Virginia series by Sarah Loudin Thomas.  She gives the reader a juicy slice of mountain life in West Virginia. The latest one follows Ella as she moves back home to help out with her grandmother, Perla, following Perla’s stroke.  Ella has a history with a wrong-for-her man who continues to pursue her, to her chagrin.  It doesn’t help that Ella’s mother seems unable to listen to her daughter about the need to be away and done with this selfish lawyer.  Finally we learn the secret of Sadie’s birth to unwed mother Perla.  What scandal!  What redemption!  Ella also finds new romance blossoming with Richard and also Seth.  Which is the right guy for her?  Wonderful story by a great storyteller.

Thanks to Bethany House for providing me an ARC for a review in my own words.  I will be watching for more stories from Sarah Loudin Thomas.  I find them engaging.

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REVIEW: The Opposite of Maybe by Maddie Dawson

Gotta say that I really like Rosie.  I was worried about her at the starts as she seemed a pushover for so many years.  As her unexpected pregnancy grows, so does Rosie’s confidence.  She has a 15+ year boyfriend who seems unable to commit to her.  And, she has an outspoken grandmother, in her late 80’s, who raised Rosie.  What a cast of characters!

Jonathan is Rosie’s baby daddy and reluctant other half.  Jonathan drives me crazy and I think he makes Grandma Soapie nuts, too.  He makes a comment to Rosie about him needing her to keep his social life put together and yet he’s completely nerdy about his teacups.

Tony, what a guy.  Yes, he has his issues in not standing up for himself or Milo.  Like Rosie, his confidence grows in the story, too.

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REVIEW: When Love Returns by Kim Vogel Sawyer

This is book 3 in the Zimmerman Restoration trilogy.  Follow the story of Alexa and Suzanne as both women come to terms with their relationships.  There are several explored in this book as Alexa wishes to find her birth mother.  Suzanne longs to talk to Anna Grace as more than a friend.  And, Alexa and Suzanna have work to do on their mother-daughter relationship.  I felt there was a lot going on in this “episode.”  I believe the reader would need to read books 1 and 2 to understand this one best. We also have the relationship of Paul and Suzanne as they struggle to work out their adult friendship.

This is a Mennonite community, though some readers may think it’s in the Amish fiction genre.  There are differences and I found I enjoyed this community.

Thanks to Waterbrook Press for providing me an ARC for a review in my own words.

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REVIEW: Hope Harbor by Irene Hannon

Michael Hunter of Chicago drives into Hope Harbor searching for peace after the death of his wife.  Although she’s been gone 18 months, he’s just now spending time on his healing.  With a leave of absence from his non-profit job in Chicago, he heads to the beach town that his wife remembered fondly from her childhood.  While there he befriends Anna who becomes his landlady.  She, too, has grief to overcome.  The female lead of the story is Tracy Campbell who struggles with her uncle and aunt to keep the family cranberry farm going.  Also widowed, Tracy is afraid to love again and uses work as a way to cope. For a small town, Hope Harbor has an amazing cast of characters.  I found the writing to move right along and I ended the book wanting to keep following all these great people.

Thanks to Revell for providing me an advance copy to review in my own words.

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REVIEW: The Happy Hour Choir by Sally Kilpatrick

The Happy Hour ChoirFollow the story of Beulah, Ginger and Tiffany as three different women find themselves tied together as a family.  Beulah is the main character and she has been struggling for over 10 years to make peace with her circumstances.  Ginger is the wise, older woman who gives and gives of herself.  Tiffany, just finishing high school, has her life tossed apart.  These three form a family and the nurturing it provides to each of them is awesome.

Of course, we have the story of the happy hour choir which is exactly as it sounds…a church choir is formed from patrons of the next-to-the-church bar.  The effects of that ministry thread through the book, too.

It’s a unique story that’s worth reading. Thanks to Kensington Press for providing me an advance copy to read and review in my own words.

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REVIEW: The Brickmaker’s Bride by Judith Miller

Ewan McKay, a young man with ambition and a great work ethic, travels to West Virginia with his uncle to take over and run a brickyard.  Laura Woodfield, daughter of the prior brickyard owner, works with Ewan to familiarize him with the area and the contacts needed to earn brick contracts.  A daughter of privilege, Laura is down-to-earth and seems completely at ease in a variety of social circles.  I suspect this is true of many post-Civil War Americans.  War changed things.  Ewan has immigrated from Scotland/Ireland and needs to work to find his place.  There were some twists and turns in the book with Ewan’s crazy, gambling Uncle Hugh and his super-demanding, hard-to-please Aunt Margaret.  There are several other female characters who probably deserve books of their own. Although I thought it had a slow starts, by page 70, I was hooked.

Thanks to Bethany House Publishers for providing me an advance copy for a review in my own words.

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