My heart grew quickly attached to the young widow and son in this beautiful story as their plight brings surprising challenges and forces hard decisions upon their shoulders. After a surprising loss, Andrea uproots her child and returns to her father’s Iowa farm, only to meet with further devastation and have her last hopes snuffed out. Life has officially left her penniless.
Just when it seems things are at their darkest, a ray of hope and benevolence lights up the page. The author sweeps readers away to the beautiful, quaint Amana colonies where we watch our leading lady battle disappointments from her past while guarding herself from these foreign, yet generous people eager to show her and her son unconditional love, friendship, and acceptance. Taken under their wing, she begins to find healing, faith in God, and even a surprising love for the kind village tinsmith.
Disregarding society’s view of success and prosperity, Andrea finds true contentment and joy here in Amana and I celebrated this fresh start with her. I could have stayed within these pages awhile longer actually. My heart was touched at her boy’s enthusiasm to soak up the delights of childhood and the fascinating new world around him. And my heart blushed with Andrea as her attraction to Dirk began to bloom. My favorite part was watching how God worked through these characters to show a hurting woman His love. How He provided miraculously for her in the story reminds me how He provides for each of us every day in more ways than we can count.
A big surprise near the end will catch you, like it did me, reading furiously fast to find out just how Andrea handles her greatest trial yet. I never saw it coming and I loved watching how it played out. I had never read any plot twist like this one before. The author delicately wove matters of the heart together with painful realities to a rewarding end. The drama and danger is certainly there in this fragile love story, but there is also victory and strong faith for readers to take away with them. I know you’ll enjoy it.
This review is my honest opinion. Thanks to the author and publishers at Bethany House for my copy.
ABOUT THE BOOK: The kind people of Amana have been her guiding light, but her greatest trial is yet to come… West Amana, Iowa, 1890 After Andrea Wilson receives the devastating news that her husband has been lost at sea, she returns home to Iowa with her young son, Lukas. But what she finds there causes more heartache: The family farm has burned and her father has died, leaving Andrea with nothing.Andrea must rely on the kindness of the people from the nearby Amana village who invite her to stay with them for a time. She discovers much generosity and contentment among the Amanans–especially from the tinsmith, Dirk Knefler, who takes her son under his wing. But is the simple, cloistered life in Amana what Andrea wants for Lukas’s future? Is she willing to give up the comforts and freedom of the outside world? And when yet another round of shocking news comes her way, will Andrea ever be able to find the serenity and hope that have eluded her for so long?
Judy has authored or co-authored more than twenty-five books since she began writing in 1996. She is an award-winning author whose avid research and love for history are reflected in her novels, several of which have placed in the CBA and ECPA top ten lists. It is her deep desire to point readers to the love and grace of Jesus. Visit her website to learn more.