13 November 2012

Diana Flowers Reviews The Amish Bride by Mindy Starns Clark


The Amish Bride

The Amish Bride
By Mindy Starns Clark & Leslie Gould
Harvest House Publishers, 2012

Reviewed by Diana Flowers


~4.5 stars*****


A Thoroughly Wunderbar Book!



In The Amish Bride, the reader is swept away to beautiful Amish country -- the picture of idyllic living with blooming daffodils, grazing cows in emerald green pastures, and clean clothes flapping in the breeze -- but underneath the guise of tranquility lie secrets, pain, and betrayal.

Ella Bayer is a lovely, young Mennonite woman who wants only to attend baking school, start her own bakery, and become the wife of her Amish sweetheart, Ezra Gundy. Seeking to separate the two, Ezra's family arranges for him to leave Lancaster County to work at a dairy farm in Indiana, although Ella has made it clear that she is willing to join the Amish church.

Meanwhile, Ella's grandmother gives her a book filled with mysterious codes and secrets, and entrusts Ella to crack the code for reasons of her own. To do so gives Ella the perfect opportunity to go to Indiana with Ezra, where the author of the book had lived, and her mammi has prepaid for her to go to baking school there as well. While there, Ella meets Luke, a shy, but kind Amish man and ends up working in close proximity to him.

Upon discovering that the two of them are together, Ezra's family immediately summon him back home, leaving a heartbroken Ella in Indiana. When a mysterious man shows up in Ella and her family's life, and disturbing secrets come to light -- will Ella stay where she is, or return to Lancaster to become Ezra's wife? Will she crack the code in the book and what are the consequences should she do so?...and if she leaves Indiana what of her friendship with Luke? Have they become more than mere friends?


Ok, I'm ashamed to admit it, but this is the first Amish book by Mindy Clark that I have read and I loved it! Although this is the third book in The Women of Lancaster County series it can be read as a stand alone. Her writing technique (I love how she pays so much attention to detail) and storyline is intriguing -- her characters -- all too human. Interspersed with a thread of suspense, and tough topics such as adultery, spousal abuse, and abandonment, this is one not to be missed!

 

The Amish Bride may be purchased at CBD, Amazon, and Lifeway.



Winner this week must be a follower of OTT-WGH. Just go to right of my review and click on to Google Friends Connect to join! Fast and simple! 
Simply put OF after your name if you are a follower, and add your email address unless we know you well (and over time, we hope we do!!!)
Also answer the following question: Have you ever had to forgive someone who betrayed you?









81 comments:

  1. Great review, DIANA! I have enjoyed the previous books in this series as well.

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  2. Certainly does sound intriguing DIANA, thanks for that insightful review!! In answer to the question on betrayal, I sure have... more than once too but different circumstances. I truly believe it is one of the most difficult things to overcome which is why we need God's help with it!

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  3. Yes, and it was someone I trusted more then anyone else.
    would love to win. Thanks

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  4. yes, I have definitely had to do plenty of forgiving! It is not easy....a true process, not a simple act and requires prayer! (for me,at least) Love Mindy's books and I always loan them to one of my daughters as she too loves them. rhonda_nash_hall@comcast.net

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  5. MARIAN, thank you! I have wanted to read the previous books as well, but didn't get the chance. I now will have to squeeze them in, b/c this one was good!

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  6. Rhonda, so true! Sometimes it can happen instantly and supernaturally as in the case of me forgiving my dad for a lifetime of abuse. Other times it takes us longer to become willing to make that choice to forgive -- but forgive we must.

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  7. PAT, those are the ones that hurt us the very most and I'm so sorry that happened to you, but am glad you chose to forgive.

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  8. NOELA, definitely not something we can do on our own, I quite agree! And sometimes it takes awhile to even get in the mindset TO forgive b/c we are so hurt by the betrayal we can't think straight!

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  9. Yes I have! A very dear friend. Forgave but not a trusting relationship anymore. Would love to win this sounds really good.
    joeym11@frontier.com

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  10. DIANA, I'm so glad you chose to forgive. It may not free the person who betrayed you, but it definitely set you free! Love your first name by the way! ;)

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  11. Great interview Diana! Please put my name in the drawing. Yes, I have had to forgive someone who was a dear friend--it is much easier to forgive and hold a friendship than not to and hold anger that can eat you alive!! I'd love to win this great sounding book. Blessings! Darlene spangldlady[at]gmail[dot]com

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  12. Yes, and there was great freedom that followed ~ for me. Thank you for this interview. Please enter me in the drawing. Kathleen ~ Lane Hill House
    lanehillhouse[at]centurylink[dot]net

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  13. DARLENE, I'm so glad your friendship withstood this tremendous test! Sometimes we can forgive but have to leave the relationship, b/c it's toxic. Glad that didn't happen in your case!

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  14. KATHLEEN, got you entered, sweetie! I'm so glad for the freedom you experienced thru forgiveness!

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  15. I would love to win!! makeighleekyleigh at yahoo.com

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  16. Yes and its even harder when its someone you trusted so much.
    Please enter me in the contest. I would love to win. Thanks
    Katie J. (Johnsonk133@yahoo.com)

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  17. Welcome, KATIE! That is the most difficult for sure! Imagine the sorrow Jesus must have felt when Judas betrayed him with a kiss. :(

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  18. MEGAN, thank you for coming by! Do you have an answer to my question above concerning forgiveness? :)

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  19. It sounds like a great read! I ddn't know Mindy was writing a new series! Now I want to read them!

    Please enter me in the drawing.
    Swanson.cynthial@gmail.com

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  20. CINDY, Mindy has had so much to overcome with her injury (see older post), and I'm so impressed with all she has accomplished! She still keeps putting those books out one after another for us to enjoy!

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  21. I can't wait to start this series. Loving Amish books and the beautiful christian life they live.

    Thank you for the opportunity to win a book.

    God Bless,

    Alyson King Jenkins
    Alyson_jen@msn.com

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  22. ALYSON, welcome to our blog! This is such a wonderful book and totally exemplifies the life the Amish people live. They are human and imperfect, but they strive to please God just as we do!

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  23. Sounds like an awesome book.
    Would love the chance to read one
    of Mindy's books. I haven't ever
    read any of hers.
    I am an Amish book junkie so I
    am always looking for new authors to
    add to the ones I already love.
    Cheryl Baranski
    CherylB1987@hotmail.com

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  24. MINDY has a whole Amish series -- this is the 3rd in it, CHERYL! It would be great if you could start with the first one and read them back to back!

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  25. I've not read any books by this author yet but I plan on getting one right away! xstitchgranny2000@yahoo.com

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  26. XSTITCHGRANNY, perhaps you will win your first one here!! Thanks for coming by!

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  27. LESLIE, you're quite welcome!! Do you have an answer for our question above?? :)

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  28. I would love to win.Great review.Thanks for sharing.jackie_tessnair@yahoo.com

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  29. Enjoyed your review -- sounds like a very interesting read. Please accept my entry. I have had to forgive someone who betrayed me. I continue to make an effort to not hold a grudge. It is difficult as this is a close family member. They say "time heals all wounds". I hope so. I miss the closeness this person and I once had.

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  30. Thank you, JACKIE! It's always a pleasure to see you here and good luck in the giveaway!

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  31. I have had the same thing happen to me, MARY ELLEN! I miss the closeness, too, and depending on the circumstances some of that distance can be healed in time, and some it's best to let go. But at least by forgiving we stand clean before God.

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  32. Yes, I've had to forgive, honestly, I cannot post it on a blog. Would love to win this book.

    Loretta---OF

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  33. Yes yes I have and forgiving can be a process at times because if the person continues to do the same thing over and over again that is where God's grace comes in .Love to win a copy of this book please .Thank you ,Dana "Girl" Spille

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  34. LORETTA, good for you! And no, most of it can't be put out in the open, but God sees and knows all. :)

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  35. That's a toughy, DANA, and I do know what you are talking about! And it isn't always easy to remove yourself from that person either, depending on the circumstances. Thank you for sharing that with us.

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  36. This sounds like it would be a AWESOME book to read .Would love to win a copy .Thanks ,Dana "Girl"Spille

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  37. Gotcha entered, DANA girl!! Love your posts on FB by the way!

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  38. Yes, I've had to forgive someone who betrayed me: my husband who chose to become my ex husband. I doubt he cares I've forgiven me but it was necessary for me. I didn't want to become bitter! Forgiveness isn't easy but it is so freeing.
    I enjoy Mindy's books, though I've not read any of her Amish ones.

    pmk56[at]sbcglobal[dot]net

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  39. Thanks so much for the great review. I'm glad you enjoyed the book!

    Just to clarify for anyone who is interested, the books in this series, in order, are:
    1. THE AMISH MIDWIFE (Christy award winner for Best Contemporary Novel in a Series)
    2. THE AMISH NANNY
    3. THE AMISH BRIDE
    4. THE AMISH SEAMSTRESS, which will be coming out next summer. Each book focuses on a different member of the same family, so that's why they're more fun to read in order but you can also read them as standalones without any problems. Because Amish families are so big--and the ones in these books are no exception--I have some family trees for the series available on my website, at http://www.mindystarnsclark.com/amish-midwife.php. (Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on the links to the various family trees there.)

    I've been soooo fortunate to have as my co-author on this series the amazing Leslie Gould. She's such a gifted writer and a delightful person, and we've had great fun working together. She's also just come out with Courting Cate, the first book in a new Amish series of her own, and it's wonderful.

    As for your question, DIANA, wow, that's a tough one. Have I had to forgive someone who betrayed me? Hmmmm.... I guess it's a good sign that nothing comes to mind right away! Will have to think on it a bit...

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  40. Oops, I didn't type that quite right. I meant to say I doubt he cares I've forgiven HIM. Actually, I've had to forgive myself too, so there is some truth in the statement above.

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  41. Yes I have had forgive. I think it's easier to forgive then to live with the remorse in your heart. I think the Amish set a good example to forgive. God forgives each and everyone of us and we should do the same to others!

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  42. PAM K. I'm sure that was very tough, but as you said very liberating for you! Forgiving isn't necessarily for the person who wronged us, but it is necessary for us!

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  43. MEGAN, that is one very good lesson we can learn from the Amish! They are a very forgiving people, but I'm sure they struggle with unforgiveness too at times. People are human and that's why I enjoyed Mindy's characters so much. Though Amish or Mennonite they were very flawed...like we are!

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  44. I am certainly old enough to have had to forgive people. it may not be easy at times but it is God's way.

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  45. Thank you so much for listing the titles of your series, MINDY! And gosh, you can't think of anyone right offhand who has betrayed you and you had to forgive them?! You are blessed! I've had too many.

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  46. LORI, indeed it is His way! Thank you for coming by!

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  47. Still trying to think of a betrayal. I was blessed with such loving parents, and my husband has a real servant's heart, he's a one of a kind. So in those most important of relationships, I have been truly blessed.

    Beyond that, I think I'm naturally sort of a discerning/skeptical person, so I tend not to trust easily. That's probably why I can't come up with anything, because it's hard to be betrayed if you haven't trusted in the first place! My mother calls me a cynic, but I think I'm just a realist. Maybe it's not the best tendency to have, but I suppose it has kept me from getting too hurt in the past. Wow, does that make me sound weird? I really do have some deep and trusting friendships, I promise. :) The biggest betrayal I can think of wasn't actually against me at all--but it was against someone very close to me and that ended up causing a divorce that had a big impact on my world. So even though nothing was done to me, I still needed to forgive too.

    Anyway, I've been reading everyone's comments, which are fascinating but also in some cases heartbreaking. I'm so sorry for those of you who have been betrayed in the past. Forgiveness can be such a tall order, and yet there is such freedom of the spirit once it has been done!

    My prayer is that those who have forgiven have also managed to establish healthy boundaries with those who hurt you. Sometimes we think forgiving means reconciling, but it doesn't; one has nothing to do with the other. You can totally forgive someone yet choose to break ties, if need be. Forgiveness means giving over to God the right to retribution, it doesn't mean blindly putting yourself back into a bad situation. Sometimes, yes, you can forgive and go on as before, but sometimes it's important to forgive and then walk away entirely from the person you have forgiven. If you're wondering where to draw the line in your own situation, I highly recommend the Boundaries books by John Townsend and Henry Cloud. I also like this quote from Steve Arterburn: "Forgiveness is required of us as believers, but reconciliation is optional and depends on the attitude of the offender." So true!
    Anyway, a few responses on your comments...

    RHONDA, how fun that you and your daughter both read my books. I hear that a lot, my books tend to get passed around in families between grandmothers, mothers, and daughters. Not sure what that means, but I think it's neat!

    ALYSON and CHERYL, I'm glad y'all enjoy reading about the Amish. Learning about them through my research has really deepened my own Christian walk. There is much to emulate.

    Thanks again for all the comments. This is so interesting to hear about everyone's experiences in this area.



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  48. I haven't read this one and am looking forward to getting a copy from the library. Yes, I've had to forgive several people who betrayed me, but thankfully God's grace was sufficient. Blessings, Susan Fryman OTT susanngarrylee@yahoo.com

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  49. SUSAN, I hope you will win it here! And kudos to you for forgiving those who hurt you! God loves that trait in a person and when one chooses to forgive, God's favor abounds towards us so much the more! So it is so worth it!

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  50. Yes, I have had to forgive people who have betrayed me and not just once but on a number of occasions. I think we all end up betrayed by someone in our lives because we are all human. God's grace, like SUSAN Fryman said, is sufficient! But we have to grab onto that and not onto our own means!

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  51. Looks like a great book!
    Yes, I was betrayed by one whom I trusted most....and in some ways it felt like a part of me died. Forgiving them was the beginning of healing. There will always be pain associated with the memory, but when our Heavenly Father forgives us of everything, we must at least try.
    Lynn Brokaw

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  52. Thank you for sharing that with us, LYNN. God doesn't cause these things, but He does allow them to come in our lives for reasons we can't understand. And when we CHOOSE to forgive -- it certainly causes us to grow in the Lord! So maybe that is why He allows it!

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  53. Haven't read any of these books yet, but they sound really good, s I hope I win one to get me started. ;-) Have I ever been betrayed. I have trouble thinking of anyone who has betrayed my, but I DO have a couple people who come to mind, that did hurt me, without even realizing they had done so, and I have had to learn to forgive. Forgiving is one of the most difficult things that God asks us to do, but is also one of the most important things that we MUST do! If we do not forgive, we can not go past that which hurts us.
    vmarney(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  54. I have had to forgive someone who betrayed me. Though it was not major, it's still hard to not let bitterness seep into your heart.

    marissamehresman(at)aol(dot)com

    ~Marissa OF

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  55. Diana what a great review I haven't read an Amish book lately, sounds like this should be the one I read next! In answer to your question...yes I have had to forgive others for the uncaring and mean things they have done to me, today alone it was probably a couple of times. I had a rough day! :)

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  56. Yes, I have had to deal with betrayal and forgiveness. And, it really is hard to forgive when the other parties won't even admit to what they have done, but, GOD tells us to forgive anyway. So, I do, but have a hard time with the thoughts of what they did coming up now and then. I want to enter this contest. Have been wanting to have this book so maybe you girls will be lucky for me. OF Maxie ( mac262@me.com )

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  57. Dianna, you did good with the review. Maxie

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  58. MAXIE, thank you so much for your kind words! It's true when we make that choice to forgive, satan will make sure he brings it up before us time and again. But the less we feed those thoughts the smaller they grow, until we realize we aren't thinking about that so much anymore!

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  59. TERESA, we had such a good time Monday, I guess that ole boogieman, satan, tried to steal it from us yesterday. I had a rough day, too, and am praying today will be a wonderful day for the both of us -- filled with God's presence and joy! And I KNOW you forgive, T., because I have witnessed you doing that very thing -- several times!

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  60. MARISSA, it surely is and that's when the Lord comes in and drives that bitterness away -- doing what we can't do ourselves! Thank you for your honesty!

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  61. Hi, VICKI! You and Jon are such loving people I can't imagine you ever holding a grudge against anyone. And you are so right -- we must forgive to get past the hurt and also b/c God commands us to.

    Vicki didn't put OF by her comment, but she just did become a follower! Welcome to OTT, my friend!!

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  62. I forgot to answer the question yesterday. I have yet to truely forgive someone. Years ago our home was burnt down by an neighbor. Everytime I see that person that was responsible I get so mad.
    I know I need to let it go, I just don't know how.
    CherylB1987@hotmail.com

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  63. Thanks Diane--I forgot to add that...
    Like I said, the two times I thought of happened years ago and one of them never even knew she did anything to hurt me--and in fact it wasn't something she did, it was what she didn't do...

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  64. You're welcome, Vicki! What a great point -- sometimes it isn't what someone does necessarily, but it can be what they DON'T do that they should have done!

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  65. Oh, CHERYL, I am so sorry that happened to you! That's awful and it isn't easy for me to sit here and offer advise to you when something that horrible hasn't happened to me. But I do know that forgiveness is a choice, not a feeling and if you will just come b4 the Lord and tell Him you choose to forgive and ask Him to help you to forgive the perpetrator with His forgiveness, He will do that supernaturally. I had to do that with someone who abused me for years and God is miraculously healing the wounds.

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  66. I can't say I know of anyone that has betrayed me. love to win this book though thanks

    GFC follower

    ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

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  67. Great review! I've heard great things about this one.
    I've had to forgive someone who had betrayed me. I won't go into details, but I've had to learn to let go and forgive.
    Amy C OF
    campbellamyd at gmail dot com

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  68. Never, APPLEBLOSSOM? You are one blessed lady then!! And we are blessed to have you here!

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  69. AMY, I'm so glad you have been able to do that. It's hard, but when we're willing to let it go Christ enables us to do just that!

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  70. Thank you Diane.
    God Bless,
    Cheryl Baranski

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  71. I would love to win this book.Thanks

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  72. CHERYL, I hope that helped, honey.

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  73. JACKIE, I hope you get the chance to read this one ASAP and thank you for dropping by!

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  74. LYNN, you said of forgiveness, "when our Heavenly Father forgives us of everything, we must at least try." So true! I remember an Amish man telling me about his response to the school shooting at Nickel Mines. He said in a situation that huge, forgiveness was by no means a one-time thing but in some ways a DAILY thing. I understood what he meant.

    APPLE BLOSSOM, thanks for posting, I'm glad I'm not the only one. :) I was starting to feel like the odd man out.

    Thanks to all who have been posting! Wish we could give out books to every one of you!

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  75. I've never had anyone betray me before so I can't answer your question.
    We do have all of Mindy's books in the Church Library.
    Thanks for entering me in the contest.
    Janet Estridge
    von1janet@gmail.com

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  76. I've always meant to read some of Mindy's books, but haven't managed to do so. If I do win this book, I would probably like to read the first two in the series, before beginning this one.

    Yes, I have had two experiences, when I felt betrayed by friends. I was so devastated by unjust and untrue accusations. It was extremely difficult to forgive, and I was only able to do so by God's grace and encouragement. It was an ongoing process and took about a year for me to put it behind me and move on.

    may_dayzee[AT]yahoo[DOT]com
    OF

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  77. Yes, I've had to forgive someone who has betrayed me and tried to destroy someone dear to me. I must admit it has taken time and God's grace to let go.
    I'd love to be entered for The Amish Bride.
    worthy2bpraised at gmail dot com
    Merry- OF

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  78. MERRY, it's so nice to see you again! Forgiving is one of the hardest things to do, but the benefits are out of this world!

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  79. KAYM, I'm so glad you were able to put that behind you by God's grace. Betrayal by friends, especially when they say untrue things is something I have personally dealt with. Now I can look back on it and say they weren't really my friends or they wouldn't have said those things in such a manner. But at the time it's so devasting!

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  80. JANET, thank you for coming by! I wish I could say the same thing, but it has been a growing, learning experience for me.

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