I find the Amana colonies enthralling and everything I know about them is courtesy of this amazing author and her incredible research skills. I really enjoyed viewing the colonies through Andrea's eyes -- as an outsider looking in. I struggled right along with her as she tried to find a place to belong. Miller has crafted a compelling story of loss and hope in the midst of a fascinating setting.
Join Judith Miller as she takes us back in time to the Amana colonies. The story begins in the year 1890 in Baltimore Maryland where Andrea Wilson receives the life changing news that her husband has been lost at sea. Andrea makes the decision to return home to Iowa with her young son where she learns that the family farm has burned down and her father has died, leaving her with without a home or money.
The people in the nearby Amana village learn of her plight they invite her and her son Lukas to stay with them for a time until she can find a way to move elsewhere. Andrea begins to love the simple life and finds herself be drawn to the village tin-smith Dirk Knefler, who has taken her son under his wing.
Andrea must of the make the decision on whether or not to give up the comforts and freedoms of the outside world to stay in the village. When Andreas new life is turned upside down by some shocking news, what will she do?
Ms. Miller immerses us into the Amana colonies using vivid descriptions and strong characters. Life is the Amana colonies is vastly different from anything Ive ever experienced yet, Ms. Miller has a way of making us feel like we are there.
The story is full of suspense, love and lessons of Gods love. We learn how each person has their own personal journey in trusting God and how to trust Him and His plan for our lives.
Andrea Wilson returns to her father's farm after receiving news that her husband has died. When she gets there she discovered the home she grew up in has burned to the ground and her father died in the fire. Her father had sold his farm to the nearby Amana village. As Andrea has no money and no place to stay, the Amana village take her and her young son in. Her young son, Lukas, is taken under the wing of the tin-smith Dirk, who is starting to fall in love with Andrea. Andrea is beginning to adjust to the simple life the Amanda people live and is looking at a possible future with Dirk when a visitor arrives that could change everything for Andrea, Lukas and Dirk.
Andrea lived in a time where women had few rights. She had lived a hard life with her husband who was not good to her or her son. She had an opportunity of a new life and to start over again with the Amana people. She was slowly learning to love again and growing closer to God.
I really enjoyed this story. I hadn't ready any books by Judith Miller before and I am looking forward to reading more by her and especially reading the first two books in this series as this was the third!
I did find myself turning to the internet to look up about the Amana people. I had never heard of them before, but felt they sounded a lot like the Amish people. It was very interesting reading about the Amana Colonies and how they started.
I received this book free from Bethany House Publishes for purpose of this review. I was not required to write a positive review, the opinions I have expressed are my own.
Andrea Wilson is anxious to return to her father's home after receiving news of the death of her husband at sea. She can now ask her father's forgiveness for marrying without his blessings or permission. Andrea and her son Lukas's lives have been nothing short of starvation. poverty and abuse at the hands of her husband. Now she can give her son a better life living with her father in Iowa. But when she arrives at her father's farm her hopes for a better life seem out of her reach.
She is offered help by the elders of a local village of Amanans. She finds herself at their mercy. They give her and Lucas much more than food and shelter, they find peace and an abundance of love.
Lucas finds a mentor in Dirk Knefler as he learns the values and ways of the Amanans. This is does not go unnoticed by Andrea as she finds many good qualities in this kind man.
The village receives a surprise visitor that could end any hope or happiness for Andrea and Lukas's future in Amana.
I found this story heart wrenching. This woman felt that for lack of better judgement in men she had caused her and her son to suffer. Women did not have many if any rights back in the day. The life offered to her in Amana was God send bringing them into the fold of his loving and faithful people of Amana. I love the character of Dirk with his patience and tender love for the boy and his mother. Also Dirk's trust in God's plan for his life.
The author has captured me with this series. Looking forward to reading more from this author.
Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from Baker Publishers/Bethany House for an honest review.
I really appreciated the author's way of working through belief and prayer in real life disappointments, situations, and unexpected appreciation for God's plans - even when the goodness might seem elusive. I love the way of life depicted in the Amana village - similar (kind of) to the Amish. I think my draw to the lifestyle is because it is a slower and community based lifestyle; rather than our individual way of life, at break neck speeds.
I didn't realize this was a book 3 in the series until I was posting this review. I'm bummed I missed books 1 & 2, but I don't feel as if the story was lacking because I hadn't read them.