Book Review: A Dream of Miracles

A Dream of Miracles by Ruth Reid* I Never planned to skip blogging last week but my husband had just gotten out of the hospital and among other things, blogging fell by the wayside. Lesson learned: plan ahead for the unexpected! On the upside, I did get some reading done and here is my review of A Dream of Miracles.

From Book Description

Amish widow Mattie vows never to love again . . . until a suspicious outsider with a shadowy past comes crashing into her fragile world…

Bo Lambright is a fast-rising social services investigator whose high-society mother won’t rest until she finds his Mrs. Right. Despite Bo’s worldly success, the raw ache of a shadowy past and a series of unsettling dreams have left him reeling.

When Mattie and Bo cross paths, all signs point to disaster. Yet as they face a crucible of trials and tragedies together, longings begin to stir that seem destined only to end in more heartbreak. Is a miracle possible—not only of healing but of forbidden love? What secrets lie in Bo’s dreams? And will Mattie find the courage to face her uncertain future . . . or will she simply run away?

My comments

Ruth Reid is sort of “new to me” author. I vaguely remember reading a novella or novel of hers and liking it so I decided to give this book a try.

One of the things that surprised me about A Dream of Miracles is the topic. It is very rare that a love-inspired novel focuses on the prejudices and dark side of Amish life. In fact, I don’t think that I have ever read a novel that does this. However, in this book the main character, Mattie Diener, is falsely accused of child abuse. Mattie and the Amish community is look upon as some sort of cult and many of their ways are misinterpreted and misunderstood. I think that Reid does a great job handling this topic in a way that is not condemning or patronizing to either side (“Englishers” or Amish).

Having said that, I am not a huge fan of the story. I think the book is well written but it is slow in some places and hard to get into. There are some parts of the story that have a level of suspense which kept me turning the pages, but over all, I had a hard time finishing the book.

I also had trouble making a connection with the characters in the book. Don’t get me wrong, the main characters, Mattie and Bo, are likable and certainly deal with their share of trouble; however, they were just characters in a novel and nothing more. In other books I’ve read, when I connect with the characters, they often become “real” and I am sorry the book is over. And, as happy as I am that the book ends on a good note, I was just glad it was over.

That doesn’t mean I won’t ever read a Ruth Reid novel ever again. I wish I could remember the story of hers that I read a long time ago because I remember liking it very much. I will definitely read another one of her novels.

I give A Dream of Miracles two (2) stars.

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Book Review: An Amish Year by Beth Wiseman

From Book Description

“Spend a year in Amish Country with four sweet romances.”

An Amish Year by Beth Wiseman

My comments

Beth Wiseman has done it again with lovely Amish country settings, engaging story lines, and memorable characters. This particular collection of novellas include “Rooted in Love,” “A Love for Irma Rose,” Patchwork Perfect,” and “When Christmas Comes Again.” Each story is endearing and enjoyable to read. Of course, as is often the case with Beth Wiseman books, An Amish Year was hard to put down.

Also, the book includes discussion questions which is great if you are in a book club and recipes. One can never have too many recipes, right? A couple of these sound so good, like the paprika potatoes. 🙂

If you are looking for a book to read after a stressful day or something to whisk you into another world, I highly recommend you take a gander at An Amish Year. I give the book four (4) stars.

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Book Review: Amish Christmas at North Star

*This post is not part of the write 31 days writing challenge. This post contains affiliate links, please see my disclosure policy.

From Book Description

“In the town of North Star, an Amish midwife delivered four babies one winter night. In four novellas by four Amish Christmas at North StarChristian fiction authors, the children’s paths align two decades later.”

My Comments

I received a complimentary galley copy of Amish Christmas at North Star  to read and review from one of the Senior Publicists at the Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group. I am so glad that I had the opportunity because to read this book because I enjoyed each story so much.

The first story, Guiding Star, by Katie Ganshert tells the story of Noelle (Elle) McAllister and Chase Wellington. Elle is adopted with no knowledge of her background until she meets Chase. Elle goes to North Star and meets her Amish Family and finds love in the process.

The second novella, Morning Star, by Amanda Flower, is a mystery story revolving around Eden Hochstetler. Eden works at a candy shop and when one of her favorite customer dies, Eden’s best friend, Gina decides to investigate.

The third story, In the Stars, by Cindy Woodsmall, tells the tale of Savilla and her beloved, Kore. Unable to conceive, Savilla breaks up with Kore, believing she is doing the right thing. Unfortunately, she doesn’t explain to Kore her reasoning which causes all sorts of misunderstandings.

The final story, Star of Grace, is all about Andy Danner who leaves down after his girlfriend, Nellie breaks up with him. His brother, Sam, wanting Andy home for Christmas no matter what, does all he can to make it happen. Yet troubles come making the return trip almost impossible.

Each story is so different, and yet they are equally wonderful, engaging, and so fun to read. To be honest, I am a little biased given that Cindy Woodsmall is one of my favorite authors, so I sort of gravitated to her story right away. However, after reading them all, I couldn’t pick a favorite among the four novellas – even if I was pushed.

The characters are lovely, and I felt almost an immediate connection with the main characters. As I was reading each story, I felt like I could be friends with some of the characters if they were real. It is a bit of a shame that they are not. 🙂

In addition, I so loved how the book ended with the epilogue which weaved all the characters from each story together. It was so well done and such a sweet ending to the book.

I know it is a little bit early, nevertheless, if you are looking for a fun, easy book to get you into the Christmas spirit, you will enjoy this book. I give Amish Christmas at North Star four (4) stars.

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