Kathleen Fuller. Written in Love. Thomas Nelson, 2017. See here to buy the book.
Written in Love is Book 1 of the “Amish Letters” series. One of the book’s main characters, Jalon, was in Fuller’s “Amish of Birch Creek” series. Readers can still understand Written in Love without having read the “Amish of Birch Creek” series.
Jalon and Phoebe are pen pals. On some level, they are honest and vulnerable with each other in their letters. Yet, they are not telling each other the complete story about themselves. Jalon is a recovering alcoholic, and he is dealing with guilt because his friend, Adam, fell out of a tree and became crippled, when the two of them were climbing a tree. Phoebe is an unmarried mother of a little boy named Malachi, and she lives with her stern, keep-up-appearances aunt after leaving her large family and the strict bishop of her family’s area.
The book was good, for a variety of reasons. The style was an easier read than other Kathleen Fuller novels I have read, yet the book’s plot was variegated enough to stay interesting. It did not dwell on the same themes over and over, but the themes were still there, as life occurred. The book vacillated between a sense of safety, warmth, and acceptance and the characters’ struggles to find their place and to relate to one another. The book ended well, as characters were allowed to contribute, according to their talents and the doors that were open to them. The book also had religious themes, such as the question of whether bad times are an indication of God’s punishment, and the discipline of the Ordnung. And, as a cat lover, I liked Blue, as Malachi did!
Any criticisms that I have of the book are minor. There was one scene in which Phoebe is talking with her dad. Phoebe seems to dismiss the bishop’s advice to her father, right before offering her father similar advice. That made little sense to me! But the book was good, overall.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through Netgalley. My review is honest!