Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Book Review: Seek Me With All Your Heart by Beth Wiseman
What would cause the Amish to move to Colorado, leaving family and friends behind?
Some Amish are making the trek to Colorado for cheaper land. Others are fleeing strict bishops with long memories.
For Emily Detweiler and her family, the move is more personal. Tragedy struck Emily in Ohio, shaking loose everything she believed was firm, including her faith. Her family took the bold step of leaving Ohio to resettle in a small Amish community in Canaan, Colorado, where they hope the distance will help erase painful memories.
David Stoltzfus's family moved to Colorado for reasons he doesn't understand. But Canaan is turning out to be something other than the promised land they all anticipated. Fearing that a health condition will cut his life short, David plans to return home to Paradise, Pennsylvania, as soon as he can. But then he meets Emily, who stirs feelings in his heart despite his apprehension about the future.
Emily's growing love for David surprises her, but she fears that he will find out the truth about her past and reject her. But what if the truth is that they are made for each other? And that God longs to give them the desires of their hearts if only they will seek Him first?
Oh, my...I think this was one of the best books I read all year! I already know that whatever words I can come up with to describe how much I enjoyed this book will be so insufficient. It had beauty and tenderness, along with sadness and pain, but with definite joy at the end of the journey.
I've said so many times that Amish fiction has reached a point where so many stories are similar, and for something to really reach out and grab me, it needs to have a little something extra. This is that book! First of all, the setting is brand new for Amish fiction fans. This is the first book that I know of set in the mountains of Colorado. That was very intriguing simply because of adjusting to the different weather conditions there compared to Pennsylvania. Second, Emily and her family have to deal with a situation that is almost unheard of in their communities. I won't mention what it is because I don't want to spoil anything, but I've only ever seen it mentioned in one other Amish series. Seeing Emily overcome her past, while also trying not to be attracted to David, is a very beautiful thing to watch unfold.
I also want to give some love to some of the secondary characters. Martha....loved her to pieces!! The scene where she introduces her parrot to David and Emily grabbed ahold of my funny bone, and wouldn't let go! And I wish that something had developed between her and certain gentleman, but I'm thinking (and hoping) that story will be featured in a future book. Another character that had an integral role in the story was Katie Ann, and I couldn't help but feel sorry for her from the get-go. Her story was never really a part of the Daughters of the Promise series, so I'm glad that she will be the primary focus of Beth's next book set in Canaan, Colorado.
If you've not read Beth's Daughters of the Promise series, then I strongly encourage you to do so before reading this book. There are a handful of things in this book that build upon the previous books, and unless you are okay with a few spoilers, the entire story is best appreciated if it's read in order.
That said, I don't know how in the world I'm gonna wait until the end of 2011 to find out what happens next in Canaan!! I'll be able to get my Beth Wiseman fix in March (thankfully, that's not far away) when she releases the next book in the Daughters of the Promise series, Plain Proposal. Listen now, when I discover a new author that I love, you better get out of my way at the bookstore...this woman can write!
**This book was purchased by me, and I was not influenced to write a review.