After Years of Hardship, Jenny’s Life Appears Perfect. So Why Does Something Seem to Be Missing?
Jenny Bontrager finally feels loved and cherished by her husband, Matthew, and his children. Life seems golden with both her family and career as a writer.
Then one day her grandmother, Phoebe, falls ill, and Jenny cares for her. As she reaches into Phoebe’s closet for a robe, Jenny finds a letter from her father dated the summer when she was nearly eighteen.
As she struggles to understand her father’s words, Jenny’s love for him, and her recently renewed faith and trust in God are thrown into question again. And without warning, her perfect life is thrown into question . . .
As someone who reads a lot of Amish fiction, I was eager to read a book by a fairly new Amish author, Barbara Cameron. Several reviewers have had wonderful things to say about her books, and I was curious to see if I would enjoy them for myself.
In my opinion, fans of Wanda Brunstetter and Shelley Shepard Gray would enjoy Barbara's stories and writing style because neither was really a fit for me with this book. Without going into a lot of detail lest I spoil the experience for someone else, there were several areas that seemed to need some improvement. For example, the first 60-70 pages were used to set up the story, and it could've been done in about 30-40 without the repetition that was present. Also, the faith aspect of the book was watered down and almost non-existant. I expected there to be at least one mention of them going to church, or a visit with the bishop about spiritual matters, but neither was a part of this book. Knowing that the Amish have a faith and belief system that is very important to them, it was a big surprise to see that it wasn't included.
Now, I've not read either of the previous books in this series, but that wasn't a problem. This book was great as a stand-alone, and I had no trouble following along with some of the other characters from those previous novels. Another bonus from this book was all the content in the back--a glossary (which is always helpful for those words you think you know, but don't), discussion questions (don't read them until the end because there are spoilers), and lots of yummy recipes (potato soup, here I come).
Even though it wasn't my favorite book, I do plan to read another of Barbara's novels in the future because I've always been a firm believer in giving an author a second chance. There's no telling sometimes when they'll surprise us!
Sass? Phoebe had just a touch of it...ornery old coot. :o)
**Many thanks to Maegan Roper and Netgalley for providing a copy for review.