Book Write-Up: An Amish Home

Beth Wiseman, Amy Clipston, Ruth Reid, and Kathleen Fuller.  An Amish Home: Four Novellas.  Thomas Nelson, 2016.  See here to buy the book.

An Amish Home contains four novellas.  Each novella is by a prominent author of fiction about the Amish.

I have read my share of such collections, and this one stands out.  The other collections that I have read focus on romance.  An Amish Home, by contrast, looks at the problems that married couples experience, such as financial security and losing a baby.  The fourth story, the one by Kathleen Fuller, has more of a romantic focus, in that the two main characters are unmarried.  But they cannot stand each other throughout much of the novella, so calling that novella a “romance” may not be entirely accurate!  In short, the characters in this novel were real, and their struggles were multi-dimensional.  While I enjoy Amish anthologies, this collection was especially good.

The Amy Clipston novella stood out to me, for a variety of reasons.  For one, the two main characters in that novella are not even Amish.  The Amish element to the story is that an Amish couple is helping them.  Second, the story was different from the Amy Clipston stories and novellas that I have read.  How many other Amy Clipston stories have an antagonist?  I cannot think of any!  Amy Clipston’s stories also have a tendency to dwell on the same problem over and over, but her novella in this book had a little more variety in how it addressed the problems that the characters were facing.

If I have a critique, it is that the characters’ problems got hastily wrapped up near the end, and that looked rather artificial.  Life worked out a little too neatly!  Yet, I realize that the novellas could not go on forever but had to end at some point.  Moreover, the end of Amy Clipston’s novella, in which someone from the body of Christ reaches out to the vulnerable mother, was inspiring.  Real life can be like that, if people choose!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through Netgalley.  My review is honest!

 

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About jamesbradfordpate

My name is James Pate. I study the History of Biblical Interpretation at Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio, as part of its Ph.D. program. I have an M.A. in Hebrew Bible from Jewish Theological Seminary, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. from DePauw University. This blog is about my journey. I read books. I watch movies and TV shows. I go to church. I try to find meaning. And, when I can’t do that, I just talk about stuff that I find interesting.
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