Saturday, April 9, 2016

Book Review: "An Amish Market" by Amy Clipston, Kathleen Fuller, Kelly Irvin, & Vannetta Chapman

"An Amish Market" contains four novellas that feature markets in them. The stories do not go with each other, but may follow characters in that author's other books.

Love Birds by Amy Clipston: It has only been a month since Ellie Lapp’s brother Seth died. Ellie takes a job at a gift shop to help cover the household expenses. Seth’s friend, Lloyd Blank carves intricate wooden birds, but his dad doesn’t approve, but Ellie is sure that they would sell well at the gift shop. As they spend time together, their feelings grow , but when Ellie betrays his trust, will they have a future together?

I had met Ellie in “The Secret Recipe” and it was fun to see her story. Some of the characters from that book are mentioned, but none of the storyline is mentioned (other than Seth’s death plays a big role in that book) I liked Lloyd and Ellie and their desire to do the right thing, but not always doing it. The romance moves quite quickly, but with it being a novella, that  is to be expected. It didn’t seem unbelievable, though, since Ellie and Lloyd had known each other their whole lives.
A Bid for Love: by Kathleen Fuller: Hannah Lynne Beiler always looks for Ezra Yutzy when she brings her butter to the market and every week, he always buys a pound of butter from her. Hannah Lynne has like Ezra since she was twelve, but he doesn't seem to notice her. When he pays a large amount of money for a quilt she wanted and then gives it to her, she starts to think that maybe he does like her.

I enjoyed this story and the interactions between Ezra and Hannah Lynne. I have read books by Kathleen Fuller before, but don't think I've meet any of the characters from this story.

Sweeter Than Honey by Kelly Irvin: Isabella Shrock is new to Bee County and dropping a jar of pickled beets on the floor of the Combination store is not the impression she wanted to give, especially with the cold reception Will Glick gave her. Will is still hurt and bitter over his cousin leaving the community and for Leila choosing Jesse over himself. What is it about Isabella that makes him want to start living again?

I had met Will Glick before as he has a prominent role in "The Bishop's Son" and I even was hoping for him to win the girl then, but now he gets his chance at love in "Sweeter than Honey". I liked this story and it was nice to be in the Bee County community again. There seemed to be something wrong with the "Featured Families" pedigree at the beginning of the story. There were married children of a family that were listed as if they were the parents.

Love in Store by Vanetta Chapman:
David Stoltzfus has recently moved to Nappanee, Indiana and his perpetual good mood rubs Stella Schrock the wrong way. When strange things start happening at the Old Amish Mill where they both work, they will need to work together to figure out what is going on and why. Will they find that God still has more in store for them?

I have read books by Vannetta Chapman before, but none of these characters seemed familiar to me, although there was a David Stoltzfus in a book by Suzanne Woods Fisher, which sort of confused me at first. I guess there are only so many Amish surnames that there is bound to be a repeat name sooner or later. I liked the pace of this story until the last chapter, and then things just seemed rushed. I think that it would have been better to add an epilogue and wrap it up that way, especially since the story started with a prologue. This story had a bakery, but not a market, so it didn’t seem to fit the theme as much as the other stories.

The back of the book includes recipes for each story and there are
also discussion questions following each story. I think that my favorite story was “A Bid for Love”, although I was glad to get Will Glick’s story in “Sweeter than Honey”.

"An Amish Market" is available in paperback:
  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (February 2, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0529118688
  • ISBN-13: 978-0529118684
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.1 x 8.4 inches
and in Kindle edition:
  • File Size: 1770 KB
  • Print Length: 403 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (February 2, 2016)
  • Publication Date: February 2, 2016
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Christian Publishing
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B010R5RL1I

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own and no other compensation was received.

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