Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Healing Hearts by Beth Wiseman - Review

Three Amish Novellas
by Beth Wiseman
What a great job Beth did on these stories! All three of them were good, I really liked "A Change of Heart" and "Healing Hearts" kept me captivated.

Lydia gets a second chance at love, with her first love, but only if she can forgive Elam and Dan of their cover-up from years ago. Engaged to Dan, he leaves her on Christmas Eve with only a note and no explanation. Elam, Dan's brother, consoles her and they end up falling in love and getting married. After 15 years and three children, Dan dies of a heart attack. Elam, lived in the Englisch world all that time and didn't hear about his brother until it was too late to return for his funeral, he then takes more time before he returns to his Amish roots. Lydia knows she will now be in close contact with Dan often, through Church and family gatherings. Can she forgive him and love him once again or will she forgive but not forget. She knows what her heart wants, she knows what her mind it telling her, that he kept a secret from her before, would he do it again. She has to depend on God and her faith to make the right decision.

My heart goes out to Leah, she is completely different from her sisters, who along with her parents just don't understand her. I was brought to tears reading this story. Leah just keeps doing what she knows she wants to do, when her Dad tries to force her to change, her whole family laughs at her when she makes a mistake.  She finally starts seeing Aaron as a way to get out of the house. Aaron's Auntie Ruth helps her Dad to see that maybe he was wrong all along about Leah. Leah's life gets turned around while being able to continue being herself. With Amish families being so close knit, it's surprised me when they laughed at Leah and everyone tried to change her, sometimes it isn't the other person that needs to change, but maybe our way of thinking is what needs to change.

A lot of  couples experience the 'empty nest' syndrome, but you don't usually hear about Amish couples going through that. Naaman does just that, goes to visit his cousin and doesn't return for about a year. When he returns, he knows it'll be hard for Levina (his wife) and his grown children to forgive him, but he asks for that forgiveness when he apologizes to them. The problem is they are having a hard time, as Naaman doesn't have a reason as to why he left, why he stayed so long and what he did during that year, other than staying with his cousin's family in Ohio. Levina finally comes around and they are like newlyweds again, then a Sheriff shows up in town looking for Naaman. I could not put this book down until I found out what he wanted Naaman for, I had my ideas, which were 'kind of' the reason, you'll have to read it to find out. Everyone in town knows the sheriff is looking for him, except Naaman. The children try to keep it from him so he won't leave again. He even loses a contract with a furniture company, where his son works, because of the rumors that are spreading.

I would recommend this book as a very good investment.

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