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 Christmas Gift

An Amish Christmas Gift*This book is not part of the Write 31 Days Writing challenge.

About the book

An Amish Christmas Gift is a mini-collection of three Amish novellas. The first story, Naomi’s Gift by Amy Clipston,   is about a woman who lost two loves in the past; thus she believes that she is not meant to have a husband. However, someone comes into her life who changes everything.

The Second Story, An Unexpected Joy by Ruth Reid, is about a woman named Abigail who works as a companion to a man named Micah’s grandmother. Her talkative nature is off-putting at first but then the two form a bond that leads to more.

The Third story, A Christmas Visitor by Kelly Irvin, tells the tail of a woman, Frannie, who is sent away to Texas by her family because of her association with an “Englisher.” But, then he shows up at her door step, first to win back her affection, but then because he is looking for something more.

My Comments

I have to confess that I have two other books that I had on “queue” to read and review; however, I picked up the book (or rather, my Kindle) when I was out and about and looking for something to read while waiting for my son. Big “mistake.” It’s a mistake because once I picked it up I didn’t want to put it down. LOL!

Each story is as good as the last and I honestly can’t pick a favorite among them. The three authors, Clipston, Reid, and Irvin, are such good writers. They draw the reader in and keep the reader engaged throughout each of their stories.

The characters are so fun, humorous even, and so relatable. I know people like Abigail! All of the characters, even the minor ones, are well crafted and developedinspite of the short length of each book.

If you like Amish fiction, you will love An Amish Christmas Gift. Even though were are not quite there yet, this book is a perfect way to begin getting yourself into the Christmas spirit. I give this 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.”