Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Book Review: "The Amish Blacksmith" by Mindy Starns Clark and Susan Meissner

I was given an advance reader copy of "The Amish Blacksmith" by Mindy Starns Clark and Susan Meissner through netgalley in order for me to review it.

Jake Miller is in his final year of apprenticeship at the blacksmith shop.  He has plans to be in business for himself as a blacksmith one day and work with horse gentling as well.

Priscilla Kinsinger has been away for the past 6 years following her mother's tragic death.  Her uncle asks Jake and his girlfriend to take Priscilla under their wing and help her rejoin the community.

As Jake and Priscilla get reacquainted, they realize that sometimes people, like horses, are chained to a past event that holds them captive.

"The Amish Blacksmith" is written in first person from Jake's perspective.  I liked the story line and idea well.  The story had a choppy feel to me and didn't really flow easily.  I have not read any of the other books by either of these authors, and that might be their style.  It wasn't a style that suited me well, though.  I originally thought maybe it was a freshman novel, but Ms. Clark has written over 20 novels.

I disliked how the book kept repeating some things like I hadn't "heard" the first time.  It mentions the layout of the houses many times and that one was connected to another via a breezeway and the other used to be Priscilla and her mom's.  I didn't need to be told these many times.  The book also states that Jake is four years older than Priscilla but then goes on to mention that at one point Jake was 16, which would make Priscilla 12.  It happens other times as well.  Subtracting 4 from Jake's age isn't that difficult and I didn't feel it needed to specifically point out how old the other person was when they mentioned the other's age since it was already known how far apart in age they were.

Being an advance reader copy, I expected some formatting/editing issues but not quite as many as I encountered.  There were missing spaces (especially preceding italicized words) and words.  There was also issues with the paragraphs.  It made the conversations hard to follow when there was more than one person talking in the same paragraph.  I also found at least one misspelling (Priscilla was buttering a role)

I don't think I would buy this book personally as it didn't mesh with my reading preferences.

You can buy a Kindle edition ($9.39)

  • File Size: 909 KB
  • Print Length: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Harvest House Publishers (August 1, 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00KYB453I

or paperback ($10.35)

  • Series: The Men of Lancaster County
  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Harvest House Publishers (August 1, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0736957367
  • ISBN-13: 978-0736957366

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