The Gift by Wanda E. Brunstetter – Releases on August 1, 2015!

The Gift by Wanda E. Brunstetter – Releases on August 1, 2015!The Gift by Wanda E. Brunstetter
Published by Barbour Pub Incorporated on August 1st 2015
Genres: Amish & Mennonite, Christian, Fiction, Romance
Pages: 320
Format: eBook
Goodreads

Follow the heart-wrenching story of Adam Beachy, whose mother walked out on him and his family–and away from the Amish faith. Now he balks at the idea of ever marrying and having a family of his own. But when tragedy strikes, Adam is suddenly a father figure to his three nieces and finds himself needing a wife. Despite their differences over her practice of reflexology, Leah Mast seems the best option to fill that role. Can they make it work in a modern-day marriage of convenience? 

In March of this year, I was walking into the local big box store when someone handed me a flyer informing me that Wanda Brunstetter was in the store signing books. I vaguely knew the name because my mom LOVES Amish books, so I headed over to the book area, bought her current book, had her autograph it for my mom and I put away my Mother’s Day gift until it was time to mail it! Mrs. Brunstetter’s husband was there taking pictures and in fact, they posted one on her Facebook page of the two of us (see below).

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So when I saw this book available, I signed up because I wanted to check it out. Unfortunately, I just don’t think the Amish books are my cup of tea after all.  I ended this book feeling like it ended kind of abruptly. Perhaps my struggles with this book are caused by the fact that this is actually Book 2 in the Prairie State Friends series, and I have never read Book 1, The Decision (although I think that might be the book I purchased for my mom).  

What this book did make apparent to me was that the Amish have just as many problems with relationships as others have, and that everyone needs to rely on God. While the story line did bring elements of love, tragedy, heartbreak and struggle that most readers could relate to, I was lost on the whole Coral situation. When she is first introduced into the book, I thought maybe I missed a chapter or something and even tried to find her previously mentioned in the book. The details of her life really weren’t necessary in this book. (I’m not going to further explain it, because I don’t want this review to be a spoiler.)

I really liked Leah’s character, she was very kindhearted and family-oriented. It was interesting to learn that that the Amish practiced reflexology. I also didn’t know anything about hummingbirds, so I also enjoyed reading about how they were captured, banded and released. And then there’s Adam – Adam seemed like a nice enough guy given the difficulties in his life, but I thought he was kind of judgmental and mean spirited in places. From the get go, Adam and Leah have nothing in common – except that Adam hires Leah to take care of the children he is left to raise. There doesn’t seem to be any attraction or love growing between them.

Mrs. Brunstetter does a great job tying most all of the little stories into the one master story, but there are a few stragglers like how Adam and Leah are professing their love to one another when they leave the funeral, how there doesn’t seem to be any closure regarding Coral and Adam. I had questions too like do Elaine and Jonah ever get together again, was it the younger brother who defaced Adam’s barn? I guess maybe you need a little more imagination than I possess to enjoy these books.  Alternatively, maybe because it’s a book in a series, those stragglers and questions get wrapped up in the next book to the series.  Either way, I’ll be sharing some vacation time with my mom in a couple weeks and I’ll make sure to let her read this second book while we’re together because I’m sure she will love it!

I received this eBook without cost in exchange for my honest and unbiased review from NetGalley.

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