Friday, April 29, 2016

Amish Fiction at its Best!

    "An Unbroken Heart"
        By Kathleen Fuller

"An argument. A crash. In an instant, Joanna's world is changed forever."

This statement, appearing on the back cover , immediately grabbed my attention. That, along with the most beautiful cover, told me that this was going to be an excellent read. Kathleen Fuller, a favorite author, has never let me down and this book was no disappointment!  If anything, I think it was her best book yet!!!

The story grabs your attention from the first chapter, giving you a bit of background and enticing you to read more and more and more and.......
Joanna, the main character, was in the midst of an argument with her parents and in the next moment , her parents were taken from her forever in a hit and run accident. Her body is broken but even worse , her heart is in deeper pain. Her very last words to her beloved mother and father were said in anger. 

Due to injuries suffered in the accident, Joanna is forced to live for an extended time in a rehabilitation centre. The most intense problems she must deal with begin when she re-enters her Amish life. Nothing is the same!! Her life, her family, her relationship with Andrew Beiler have all been affected by this tragedy. 

Joanna has loved Andrew since a young age of twelve . These feelings grew as she turned into a young lady. She is thrilled when Andrew wants to marry her , but questions whether it is really love he is feeling or pity. As the wedding dates comes closer and closer, Joanna is not experiencing the joy and excitement that most brides feel. Instead, she is overcome with  anxiety and guilt. 

As a faithful Christian, Joanna hears the faint whispering of her God. "Be strong and courageous" but she is afraid that courage for her, may be walking away from her dreams and into the plan of her Heavenly Father. 

What is God's plan for this dear young Amish woman??? Will God's plan take away everything that she has dreamed and hoped for??? Could God be changing the desires of her heart?????

I have enjoyed  every one of this author's books but this one especially so as it appealed to  a very deep sense of my emotions. The characters are described so thoroughly and realistically that I could feel every hurt, pain, disappointment , worry as well as moments of happiness. For me , the criteria for a good  book is one in which I can closely identify with at least one of the characters. This novel was a real winner !! I had such empathy for both Joanna and Andrew. They both had such dedication to their faith and it seemed as if God's plans had gone awry. Why would a loving God do this to a wonderful couple?? My feeling were so intense that at times, I wanted to step into the story and give Joanna a big hug and tell her that everything would be alright. However, deep down, I worried that maybe it wouldn't be!!!

The plot moved at a fast pace with just enough twists and turns to keep the reader engaged. Just when I relaxed and thought everything would work out, another complication would arise. The world passed me by as I read this book from beginning to end with only time out to eat and sleep. I must admit, the sleep was less than usual, as I just HAD to find out what would happen next  in this story. 

Definitely a five star book!!  This book is high on my list of recommended books to be read! It will appeal to lovers of Amish fiction as well as all others who enjoy a book in which they can escape their own reality for a short time. 

This book was provided by the author in exchange for a fair and honest review. 

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