Edith Riehl lives with her sisters and dat Cornelius, who is the new deacon in Willow Ridge. Having been left unable to conceive from an early age, its a true blessing when a set of twins is left under her care.
She's not quite sure what Asa Detweiler's story is, but she knows she is as taken with him as he seems to be with her. With one simple vow, Edith and Asa's destinies are intertwined. But her dat will have none of it. Will God bring their hearts' desires to fruition?
If you love Amish fiction, you simply can't go wrong with a book by Hubbard. She knows her genre and she masterfully tells her stories, drawing you in from beginning to end.
When her Seasons of the Heart series ended, I was so sad. I had come to love many of the residents of Willow Ridge and couldn't believe I wouldn't be reading about them again. The Simple Gifts series is somewhat of a continuation of that series. Its focus is slightly different, but it's still set in the same place and many of the characters that readers are familiar with appear. I can't say I've ever seen this done before. I love it!
What I have always appreciated about Hubbard's style is that she creates real characters. They are sinners...just like me. They doubt...just like me. They stumble and fall, but through the grace of God find what they need...just like me. With this novel you even get a surprising plot twist too.
If you enjoy Amish fiction and haven't read Charlotte Hubbard's work yet, make a plan to change that soon. You won't regret it.
Series: Simple Gifts
Mass Market Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: Zebra (May 31, 2016)
I received a free digital copy of this book from the author. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.
Edith stood beside her bed gazing down at the twins in awe. So small they were, and so sweet—like little angels—now that they’d eaten and fallen asleep. She’d arranged them in large cardboard boxes padded with towels, and finding them beds and more clothing was her first priority. Will’s box of supplies had included a very short stack of cloth diapers, half a dozen onesies, a blanket apiece, a half-used canister of powdered formula, and a few baby bottles—not much, considering she had two babies to look after. Molly had probably been too ill to sew for them, and not able to nurse them because of her cancer.
What a heartache that must’ve been for Molly—and for Will as he watched her weaken and die. Edith sighed. So much about Will’s situation and these children was a sorrowful mystery.
I’m watching out for your best interests, Daughter. You entered into this agreement without considering the long-term consequences.
Edith frowned as her father’s words taunted her. Dat was right about her tendencies to nurture hopeless souls and underdogs, but wasn’t that what the Bible urged Christians to do? What doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God? The verse from Micah had been one of the earliest Edith had committed to memory—the watchword of her faith. Even as a child she’d rescued little birds that had fallen from their nests and had bottle-fed baby rabbits and deer after their mothers had been hit in the road.
Edith sighed. What future would these poor motherless children face if she didn’t care for them? She had to find a way around Dat’s refusal to keep them in the house . . . in her life. Already her heart swelled with love as she gazed at Leroy and Louisa.
The clatter of footsteps downstairs alerted her to her sisters’ arrival and she hurried down the hallway. “Shh!” Edith insisted as she leaned over the stairway railing. “I just got the babies to sleep!”
Many moons ago—like, in 1983 while she was still a school librarian—Charlotte Hubbard sold her first story to True Story. This launched her into writing around seventy of those “true confessions” stories over the years, and she’s been a slave to her overactive imagination ever since. Over the course of her writing career, she has sold nearly 50 books—most recently, Amish romance series she’s written as Charlotte Hubbard or Naomi King.
Charlotte lived in Missouri for most of her life, so her Amish stories are set in imaginary Missouri towns. These days she lives in St. Paul, MN with her husband of 40+ years and their Border collie, Ramona.
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I read this book for the following challenge: