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.
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.)