04 December 2012

Bibliotherapy Review of Kelly Long's A Marriage of the Heart


A Marriage of the Heart
by Kelly Long
(Thomas Nelson, 2012)

Five Stars *****

I have read and previously reviewed two of the novellas in this three Amish novella collection.  I purchased my book in CD format.  Excellent narrator.  The two novellas I already reviewed were my favorites in those books.  Following is my review of the last novella in the series--A Marriage of the Heart.

Abigail Kaufman, the most beautiful girl in her Amish community, is also a lonely girl whose mother died leaving the only child with an uncommunicative father.  Joseph Lambert has demons of his own and has only just returned to the community and has only just been received back as a member, staying with physician friends.

SPOILER ALERT
Desperate to leave the emotional neglect she receives at her father's hands, Abigail claims that the handsome bespectacled Joseph has compromised her. Hauled before the church elders, by her father, and confronting Joseph, she is shocked when he submits to marrying her despite him having done nothing wrong.  In fact, it was his deliberate attempt to ignore the beautiful girl that piqued her interest in him. Abi gets another surprise when Joseph offers to come help Mr. Kaufman with his farm.

The married couple now live in the same stifling household Abi has sought to escape.  But little by little, Joseph brings light and love to the farmhouse--from the tiny kitten to engaging his father-in-law through side-by-side work, help the man has solely needed. 

In her characteristic style, Kelly brings thrilling romance to the pages of the novella, too!  But just as Abi and Joseph are really falling in love with each other, his old flame shows up.  And she has something with her straight from the pits of hell.  You can smell the smoke on all this gal's scenes.  Only by submitting to God's will and with the love of his wife does Joseph resist the allure of dropping back into drug use--which almost killed him previously. Addiction is addiction, whether you are Amish or whatever, and Kelly does a great job of describing the pull that drug addiction can have.

Lovely job of weaving a redemptive thread of the relationship between father and daughter and Kelly drops in just enough information to help show how Abi never got to be a child because she took her mother's place around the farm. Many elements in this book that could be used for bibliotherapy. And it is a great read!  Highly recommended.

Kelly's books can be found on CBD, Amazon, Barnes and Noble and other bookstores.

Question:  Have you had to deal with drug abuse in your extended family?  How have you coped?

Giveaway: Poor Teresa was sick with flu last week for her own party.  Answer the question and put T by your name if you left her an encouraging comment on her anniversary with OWG post or go leave her a message now and come back!  This book or any of Kelly's books, choice of format to the winner. (Ebook only outside of the U.S.)

77 comments:

  1. I love finding new authors (new to me) to read!

    missionwife@hotmail.com

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    1. I added a comment to Teresa's blog. I had prayed for her when I heard she was feeling cruddy but forgot to encourage her through words!

      missionwife@hotmail.com

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    2. Thanks, MELODY, and we are enjoying having you on the blog this week, too! People are going to be delighted to see your awesome recipes on Saturday!!!

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    3. Thank you for the prayers, MELODY! She has been a sick little cookie. :(

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    4. Thank you, Melody for being a spiritual leader!
      Kelly Long

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  2. Well this review is wonderful as CARRIE'S always are, and I'm sure I will enjoy reading this book! That cover is sooo pretty!

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    1. Diana, this was a great listen. Did you read Kelly's other novellas?

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    2. The one you sent me had one of Kelly's and two other authors which I have read theirs -- but not the one of Kelly's. So will enjoy reading that! :)

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  3. Excellent review. I will have to put this book on my list of must reads. I love amish stories. Hoping Teresa feels better soon.

    Bonnie (T - I left Teresa a comment)
    taskczar@thebelgiumco.com

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    1. Thanks, Bonnie! Teresa seems on the mend but keep prayin! Yes, you do want to read this book, it is great!

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    2. Thanks for thinking of my writing.

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  4. Thank goodness I have not dealt with drug abuse in my family.
    Amy C (T)
    campbellamyd at gmail dot com

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  5. Carrie, I have not had to deal with drug abuse in my family. I thank GOD for that. I did comment to Teresa for the Anniversary. That was a horrible hat. Not sure I'd have worn it. Ha! A good poem she wrote is good. I hate ALL spiders. Hope I can win one of Kelly's books. I love this site! Love all you girls. T Maxie ( mac262@me.com ) OWG

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    1. MAXIE!!! I gave T that BEAUTIFUL hat, lol!!!! We had a lot of fun with that hat when I was down in SC and finally got to meet the gorgeous Teresa in person, and believe me when I tell you she really is beautiful inside and out. HUGS!!!!

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  6. Wow new author to me to Diana, Look forward to reading this it sounds really good. Sorry will pray for her I to have been really sick for 3 weeks. God Bless her with a healing. Thanks for the chance to win! joeym11@frontier.com

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  7. Well, I have a few family members that think that alcohol and pot abuse are a way of life. I've already voiced my opinions to them, to no avail. Now, all I can do is pray for them.
    I am so happy that Teresa is feeling better. I will be praying for her strength to come back quickly. I posted on her anniversary post before and went back and posted again. Oh...."T" Debbie :)
    Hugs to all you gals! debsbunch5@jesusanswers.com

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    1. Sometimes it is like spitting in the wind, DEBBIE, when dealing with an addict! Thanks for your prayers for T!!! Hugs right back!!!

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    2. Debbie...yeah, it's so hard to warch someone you love suffer and destroy the life they have...But, I've learned it's their life to waste and I cannot save them...

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    3. Yes, and unfortunately alcohol was a huge factor in my brother's death. You would think that others would learn from his mistake, but nope............pray pray pray.....that's all I can do.

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  8. My oldest son was on drugs and went to jail for several months he is now out got a great job and is drug free for 3 years. Praise the Lord for answered prayer. T Sharma Darby rdarby@roadrunner.com

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    1. Yes, PRAISE GOD.....used to teach in men's prison..those guys need mercy and grace.

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  9. One of my sister's children got into drugs at a pretty young age (about 14). I tried to be really supportive to my sister and loving to my niece. It was especially difficult, when my sister made the decision to enter my niece into rehab at the age of 17. She totally refused to see my sister, at first, but my sister knew she had done the right thing. We prayed a lot. The Lord was gracious. My niece did so well, after the initial treatment, that she was offered further help due to her progress. She was able to be admitted into another facility (across the country), where she got her GED. She came back home and got a job in a retail establishment. Now--about 8 years later--she recently was promoted to manager of her own store.

    may_dayzee (AT)yahoo(DOT)com
    T-comment to Teresa

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    1. Praise God for that good report! Thanks for sharing Kay! Those prayers availeth much!

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    2. THank God for walking her through...

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    3. Kay,
      Congrats on Winning a Kelly Long book! Check your email! Blessings!

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  10. I have not had anyone in my immediate family who has had a drug problem. Thank goodness.

    I also left a comment for Teresa

    Thank you for the chance to win

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    1. Sometimes we are spared...GREAT GOD OF MERCY!

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    2. Sometimes we are not and we do have to rely on our Great God of Mercy, amen!!!

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  11. My oldest brother died of a drug overdose with prescription drug and alcohol combination when he was 33 and I was 21. Families apart is hard. T Kathleen
    lanehillhouse[at]centurylink[dot]net

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    1. Kathleen, that is so sad. We have issues in the extended family and we've come close to losing a loved one from an overdose. It is a horrible feeling. I've seen several cases, when I was a psychologist, of parents dying from a mix of meds or meds and alcohol, and it is so tough on the ones left behind.

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    2. Kathleen...maybe you need to hear this year that, although suicide is so painful and drawn with mixed feelings for the ones left behind, your brother can still experience God's grace and be with you. NOTHING CAN SEPERATE US FROM THE LOVE OF GOD IN CHRIST JESUS....not even death

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  12. We haven't had anyone in our extended family to have drug abuse. But one cousin told me that she is an alcholic, that took a lot of courage. She goes to AA and is doing very well.


    CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

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    1. Good for your cousin, Carol! AA is a great organization, lot of great Christian precepts used.

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  13. Thank you everyone for all your kind words and prayers. I am feeling a little better...still feels like I'm breathing through mud though. Hopefully that will go away in a few days!

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    1. CARRIE this is a great review sure makes me want to read this book.

      I am sad to say my family has had to deal with a drug addiction. My father as a young boy was very sick and as a teenager he broke his neck and he had an auto-immune disorder too so he had a lot of pain through the years. To deal with that pain his doctor kept giving him narcotics. Thank God after quite a few years Dad was delivered from his addiction through a lot of prayer.

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    2. My grandfather had to take narcotics after suffering from a broken back and I think he may have had spondilitis before that, too. My grandpa got off the morphine but then he died from a heart attack shortly thereafter.

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    3. Teresa,
      I wrote that story based on personal experience...it was very raw and close to the bone. But Joseph understood his weakness and need for Jesus...

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  14. nice cover. thanks for chance to win

    ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

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  15. My youngest son was on drugs and got into a lot of trouble. Hoping he has learn to stay completely away from them. Both he and his wife were into this and no good came from it at all. They live in another state so I don't always know what is going on with them. Just what they are willing to share. I would love to win this book to read. Thanks for the chance of winning.
    Hope you are feeling better Teresa Mathews.

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    1. Juanita, I am sorry to hear that. Sometimes all you can do is pray! We've had issues in our extended family, too.

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  16. Great review as always. I'm really looking forward to reading this book. I loved your descriptions. Will see what I can do about an encouraging for Teresa. Blessings, Susan Fryman susanngarrylee@yahoo.com I knew her blog was postponed, guess I didn't understand why.

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    1. Hey, Susan, I left you the link to T's anniversary post. Thanks for your kind comments!!!

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  17. I personally have never had to deal with drug abuse in my family, but I know friends that have. I have had to deal with alcoholism. It maybe along that same lines. I have to make sure I am VERY careful around alcohol. It is genetic on both sides of my family. Though I'v NEVER care for the smell of it, nor the taste of any "alcoholic" beverage I've sipped.

    Amada (pronounced: a.m.a.th.a) Chavez

    amada_chavez@yahoo.com

    T!

    I'm SO sorry you where sick Teresa! :( That's NEVER fun!

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    1. Good for you for being aware and avoiding alcohol use. Even before they had the info about the strong genetic nature of alcoholism, my mom avoided all alcohol because of my grandfather's alcoholism. I think that was rampant in those lumber camps, though.

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  18. First of all, I sure hope you are feeling better Teresa !!! You have been in my prayers every day !!!

    Yes, I have witnessed drug abuse, my husbands brothers, had my husband for a while also.. you get to where you just about lose everything, and you can't go to anyone, you actually feel embarrassed.. sometimes we blame ourselves because we aren't strong enough to make them stop, but that's not true.. we have to be strong for ourselves and they for themselves.. I am a survivor.. With God on my side, I survived it all !!!

    Rosemary Foley rfoley@salemstate.edu

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    1. What is amazing, Rosemary, is the whole smell of the pit on these addictions because the father of lies entangles the addicted until everything about it become a lie.

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    2. Rosemary...great name for a book, I may snag it!!! You are so right about being a survivor! Shine on!

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  19. Praying for you Teresa.
    I have family who abuses drugs, been in rehab, but don't seem to learn.
    Would like to read this book.
    T Carolyn
    carolynj63@att.net

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    1. It is so hurtful, Carolyn--but God is right there for those who will turn to Him!

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  20. Praying that you feel better soon, Teresa! That was a wonderful review, by the way! My oldest daughter has been an alcoholic/drug abuser for most of her life, beginning in her early teen years. She has numerous psychiatric problems with an addictive personality disorder. There have been days in the past that I couldn't function due to the anguish, despair and grief that I suffered, trying to deal with a teenager with major problems, and still trying to raise 3 other daughters, and train them up in the way they should go. In the meantime my mother passed away as the result of cancer, and at that point in my life I clung to God like never before. Without Him in my life, and the women in my Bible study group I don't think that I would have made it through all the years of upheaval. At this point in time, at age 41, my daughter has been "clean" for nearly 2 years, and I praise God every day for his mercies and grace.
    Nancee
    quiltcat26[at]sbcglobal[dot]net

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    1. Thank God you daughter is clean and sober! And that you have your Bible study group to support you, Nancee! What a blessing!

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    2. Nancee,
      So good to hear...Yes, only Gott can cleanse us and make us clean!!

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  21. (T)
    Thankfully I have never had any drug abuse in my near family though I have several distant cousins who have. The closest addictions that I have witnessed were gambling, smoking, and a little alcohol, and none of those were in my immediate family. God has been very good to us in that area. When I did have to deal with it face to face I simply did the best I could and tried to lean on God.
    Jasmine A.
    montanamade(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Leaning on Him is always a good idea. Thanks for sharing, Jasmine!

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  22. The interview was great Carrie and I'd love to win this book.
    Sad to say I have a grandson who is now 30 and still is away from the family and is involved with drugs and alcohol. I am also sad that his 2 little boys are growing up without really knowing him and on very few occasions when they do see him he usually "messes up." All I can do is pray and speak to him of love and his responsibility.
    I do hope this finds Teresa on the mend. Blessings to all! Darlene [T]
    spangldlady[at]gmail[dot]com

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    1. It is so good to know that on the occasions when we cannot be the father to our children that God steps in and FATHERS for us!

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  23. Yes I have had to deal with drug abuse with member in my family .It has been a on going thing for many many many years .You can only help a person so far they have to want the help and want to change .It has got to the point that my parents, sisters and other family member have to cut them out of our life we have to love them from a far .They lie ,cheat,steal and do nothing but cause strife and drama to others . Love to win a copy of your book please .Thank you ,Dana {T}

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    1. Hey, Dana--I saw somewhere that you are a preacher's wife so you get to deal with all kinds of issues. And you've had to deal with stuff in your family, too--I bet it gives you more empathy for parishioners. Sometimes that is what has to happen, Dana, is tough love!

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    2. I love Carrie's tough love thing...But it is hard to do and can only be done through Jesus!

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  24. Yes we have someone in the family that is an addict and it is hard to deal with it. I cope by praying and believing in God! makeighleekyleigh at yahoo.com

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    1. Hang in there, Megan, and keep trusting God!

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  25. What an intriguing plot idea, and with that great review, I really want to read this too! Sorry I'm so late in commenting CARRIE, wasn't in a good way myself yesterday after going Christmas shopping the previous day!
    Fortunately I haven't had to deal with drug abuse in my family circle, but my heart goes out to all those who have and pray for strength and wisdom for those who have family affected.

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    1. Oh, I saved your gifts to open, still, so I can have something to look forward after my drive tonight but now I am tempted to open now!!! Hugs!!!

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    2. Hi Noela...yes written from my heart, my life...truth is harder than fiction...

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  26. Kelly is a great writer! I would love to read these novellas.

    I sure hope y'all stay healthy through this Christmas season. No more being sick allowed :) T

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    1. Praying for you, Anne, and hoping you get good results!

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    2. Thank you, Miss Anne...bless your days!

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  27. yes, I have dealt with alcoholism among several family members. Several went to treatment center and AA and quit drinking-PTL!!! It is a hard thing for all involved!! God gets us through. One day at a time!

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    1. And that is all we get anyways, Rhonda! Just one day at a time!

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  28. Thankfully, I don't know of anyone in my family with a drug problem. I can only imagine how difficult it must be for everyone involved. shopgirl152nykiki(at)yahoo(dot)com

    Veronica-T

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