Monday, December 7, 2020

101. An Amish Winter

An Amish Winter (Stranded in the Snow and Caring for the Amish Baby) Vannetta Chapman and Carrie Lighte. 2020. Mills & Boon, Love Inspired. 192 pages. [Source: Review copy]

First sentence of Stranded in the Snow: Snow fell heavily as Elijah King directed his horse toward the center of Shipshewana. The streets were virtually empty of buggies and cars. Most sensible folks were already tucked in for the night.

Premise/plot: Elijah King, our hero, spots a young woman and her baby out in the cold waiting for a bus, I believe. He offers her a buggy ride to the local bishop whom he is sure will offer her hospitality for the night--or for however long she may need. The weather has caused all the roads to close, I think? Faith Yoder, our heroine, is skeptical but determined. Recently widowed, she knows she needs help but fears becoming too dependent. She knows that she needs to stand on her own two feet if she's to raise her baby daughter on her own. She doesn't want to rely on the kindness of strangers--not long term, not when she has the skills she needs to make her own way. But will she convince a reluctant town that she knows what she's doing. She's an accountant with a gift for making long-term business plans. Elijah, for one, needs a little convincing. Will these two come together at last?

My thoughts: I liked this one for the most part. I will admit I don't know all that much about the Amish community. But Elijah's business of installing solar panels for the Amish seemed a bit questionable? I'm not saying that it definitely could not happen--maybe Amish people really want solar panels on their roofs? But it seems a little too modern and contemporary. But again, what do I know??? 

First sentence of Caring for the Amish Baby: Leah Zehr clipped her seat belt buckle into place and waved to her niece, nephew and sister-in-law Catherine as the van pulled down the driveway. Catherine was frowning but Leah could hardly contain her glee. One month. She would be gone for one marvelous month.

Premise/plot: Leah is off to Florida to vacation for one whole month....or is she???? On her way she stops over at her sister and brother-in-law's house. They have a cute little baby, but, both parents are very ill. Leah doesn't really "like" children--one reason why she doesn't ever ever want to marry--but she knows a lot about babies. And it's the sisterly thing to do, right? To stay a week or two or three until they are well enough to care for their baby. Helping her out is the baby's uncle--her brother-in-law's brother, Jonathan. The two of them have an incredible amount of fun in just a few weeks. But she senses that all is not right with him. Can she help him live his best life ever?

My thoughts: Again, I liked this one for the most part. I liked seeing Leah and Jonathan work together. I loved the scenes of him caring for the baby AND doing the housework. More romance novels like this, please! But it definitely had the feel of a "problem novel." And the problem in this one is mental health. Which I suppose is a good topic--always--to address. And perhaps dealing with mental health in the Amish community is something that needs to be encouraged? Perhaps there is still a lot of stigma and shame attached? 

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

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