Thursday, November 14, 2013

An Amish Miracle

by Beth Wiseman, Ruth Reid, and Mary Ellis
Thomas Nelson Publishers

Always Beautiful by Beth Wiseman
Becky Byler is eighteen and overweight. She is overwhelmed by the embarrassment she feels when comparing herself to other girls her age. Having lost all hope, she considers taking her own life. As she stands before rushing water, unable to swim, Becky begs God for a miracle. In just several months, Becky sees her prayers answered as food and temptation lose their hold over her. She’s finally pleased with how she looks, but does she like the person she has become? And has the man she has dreamed of been right beside her all along, loving her exactly as she is?
Always His Providence by Ruth Reid
Widow Rosa Hostetler has one month to pay her delinquent taxes before the county auctions her farm. She’s prepared to sell whatever is necessary to pay the lien, but she isn't willing to request money from the community’s widow fund. She’s embarrassed and refuses to admit she needs help. Rosa depends on income from selling eggs, but when that income is threatened, only a miracle can help Rosa accept the kindness of a neighbor.
Always in My Heart by Mary Ellis
Hope Bowman believes God is punishing her for giving up her firstborn son when she was a teenager. She’s hidden this secret from her husband, who is thankful for their daughters but longs for a son. Hope prays desperately, but the son God sends her isn't a new baby but the fifteen-year-old boy she gave up years ago.
Includes Reading Group Guide and Old-Order Amish Recipes
My Review:
In Always Beautiful, Wiseman portrays an all-too-common truth in America these days - too much good food. As good as Amish food is, I'm not surprised Becky ends up overweight and unhappy with herself. But I just about cried when I read she wanted to end her life - and was very relieved when she survived. I can speak from personal experience when I say I know exactly what's is like to be in her shoes, and I not only related to her as a character, but this story was a tool to remind me again that being beautiful on the outside is not important - it's what's inside that counts.

In Always In His Providence, Reid shows us that community is everything. So is love, if you'll only let God work through others to bless your life. When Rosa's husband dies in a fire trying to save his best friend, life as she knows it is over. As the surviving man in that fire, Adam feel responsible for his best friend's wife Rosa. So when Rosa is going to loose the farm her husband worked so hard for, Adam must find the courage to tell her about his feelings before it's too late.

In Always in My Heart, Ellis writes a heart-wrenching and moving story of a family affected by the past. I can only imagine telling my husband that I have a baby he doesn't know about. The characters never made me feeling that I had to choose sides, and I really enjoyed seeing relationships being repaired and restored, and lives being forever altered by ONE action. I did appreciate how Hope's husband reacted to the news...guess you'll have to pick up a copy and find out.   
This book was provided by the publisher for free in exchange for an honest review. 

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