Paperback, 272 pages
Expected publication: March 6th 2012 by Penguin Group (USA)
It's a busy day in the Amish community of Cedar Creek, Missouri as close to four hundred family members and friends gather at the Lambright's for the wedding of Zanna Lambright and James Graber. James, a thirty year old buggy maker, is excited to marry his seventeen year old neighbor, Zanna. Unfortunately, Zanna proves not to have the same feelings.
No one can find her but they do find her wedding dress slashed to ribbons on her bedroom floor. Her older sister, Abby, and her Mamm are beside themselves with worry but her older brother Sam, now head of the household, is extremely angry that Zanna has put them through such expense and work bringing humiliation and shame on the family. When Abby does find Zanna, it doesn't take too much to find out why Zanna acted as she did but now she has to figure out how to break the news to James and her family and where to go from there.
In an Amish community, this is not just the immediate family's problem but it is the entire church's concern. Abby takes it upon herself to look out for Zanna, make James, Sam and the rest of her family understand and do what is right, not what is expected. It takes some doing but eventually the church and the Bishop agree to the best course for Zanna even though it is not easy.
It takes a near tragedy in the community to put Zanna's concerns to the side and focus on what is really important for the whole community; their deep abiding faith in God, their love of family and the invincible power of forgiveness.
This is Naomi King's first Amish novel; I think she's written a real winner with these characters. Most of the females are strong women, Abby in particular. Being a single maidel, she runs her own sewing business along with helping her brother in the local mercantile. Abby is also tender-hearted and totally selfless. She seems to be the community peacemaker when emotions run high at times, faith can be sorely tested and tempers get out of hand. Ms. King has developed her characters so well, it's as if the reader can see into their hearts and minds. I just fell in love with the whole community and can't wait for the sequel, Rosemary Opens Her Heart, coming in October of this year. 4****
If you'd like more info about Naomi and her background, please visit her website.
Disclosure: A review copy of the book was provided by Penguin Group USA in exchange for my honest opinion.
Thanks to the generosity of Penguin Group, I am allowed to host a giveaway for 2 copies of this delightful new book to US residents only. Deadline to enter is 03/14/12 at 5 PM (est)
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