I love this series, especially how the author makes each book complete in itself but familiar characters run thru the background. This book had a fascinating intrigue into a character's background. I was eager to finish the story but sad to reach the end.
Tyler Anderson has grown up Amish yet feels a pull on his heart that causes him to feel unsettled. Explaining his concerns to his intended, Rachel, as well as his grandparents who raised him, Tyler prays for a sign which may show him where he belongs_either in the Amish life or the Englisch world. The Amish Groom is the first book in The Men of Lancaster County series.
A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
Both new authors for me, I am wondering how I missed them. As a reader of Amish fiction, I was intrigued to find an Amish novel written from a different point of view- that of a man's. Though not sure what to expect, this story just flowed naturally through different struggles, faith, family bonds, confusion, indecision and following the heart. Along with the storyline, the writing was so well done, I often had a hard time finding a spot in which to stop reading. (I happened to be reading a book on Amish faith concurrently with this novel and found The Amish Groom to be closely on track with the Amish beliefs/ ways of life_something I appreciated.) I definitely plan on reading the next book in this series!
4.5 (out of 5) pennies
*I received a complimentary copy of The Amish Groom from Harvest House Publishers for my honest review*
Many of you know that I am not that big a fan of Amish novels. Too many just seem to have the same plot and I can't read them or I get bored. Not so with this one! Mindy Starnes Clark is an author well known to me and Susan Meissner is not far behind. This book is a bit different than most Amish plots as a young man, Tyler, goes on a search to find out why his mother left the Amish faith. Tyler is fitting in well but feels himself restless. He enjoys the same spots his mother did before she left and one of them happens to be a secluded pond. In that pond he sees an image of himself and yet different. So who is he really? Could he be destined for a life outside the Amish? And if so, what will happen between him and Rachel, the young woman who loves him and is looking to marry him in the near future?
We take a trip alongside Tyler as he leaves to find himself. We see as he starts to fall for another woman, an Englischer, and the relationship he has with his brother. That part kinda broke me a little when you see how Brady felt about him. And some of the parts between Tyler and his step-mother were just soul searching. As in, wow! One of my favorites is when Liz doesn't want Tyler taking care of her. She has broken her leg and needs some assistance. He proceeds to tell her the following, "The way I see it, the needier you are right now, the more blessed I am to be able to care for you. It's really that simple. And in the caring, the bonds we share are strengthened and renewed. That's how the community works." The ending was super sweet and I loved how things came together. Perfect!
I received a copy of this book in exchange of an honest review. All thoughts are 100% mine.
After six long years, it's time for Tyler Anderson to come to some hard decisions about his future. He's thankful that Rachel Hoeck hasn't decided to find someone else to marry, after all she's been baptized into the Amish faith and has waited patiently for Tyler to finally propose to her now that he is twenty three but he can't just yet. He doesn't know what is keeping him from moving forward. Is it the fact that he was left with his Amish grandparents when he was six after losing his mother unexpectedly and watched his father walk away to continue his military career? Or is it because he wonders what made his Amish mother walk away from her faith at eighteen and marry an English man?
It seems Tyler is at a crossroads and no matter how much he prays for God's guidance, he senses that God is quiet on what he should do. All he knows for certain is that Rachel deserves more from him. She is everything he could ever imagine in a future wife. He has a strong stable job working for his grandparents Buggy shop, he has developed a long standing relationship within the Amish community and it seems like his English dad, has moved forward in his new life with his wife and son. But there is just something nagging at the back of Tyler's mind that keeps him from moving forward in either life.
After careful consideration, he mentions his feelings to Rachel who wonders if Tyler will ever commit to her and wonders if she has been wasting her time waiting for him. If he heads back to the English world, he may never come back. But if she doesn't give him this time to discover what has been holding him back he will always wonder if he did the right thing in marrying her. She wants to marry Tyler for all the right reasons and pressuring him to commit won't make either of them happy in the long run.
So Tyler heads to Southern California to take his father up on the offer to housesit and watch over his 14-year-old brother Brady who sits on the cusp of being the next NFL hopeful and his dad believes Brady isn't taking his potential opportunity seriously enough. Without some guidance, he fears Brady will simply quit and later have regrets on the future he gave up. Tyler agrees to spending the time in Southern California hoping that time in the English world will give him the time and perspective he needs to know which path he should choose, Amish or English for his future.
I received The Amish Groom by Mindy Starns Clark and Susan Meissner compliments of Christian Fiction Blog Alliance and Harvest House Publishers for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions are strictly my own. I love combined genre's and in this case it's contemporary romance coupled with Amish fiction. I love that Mindy and Susan decided to complicate a typical Amish romance with the fact that Tyler is struggling to come to terms with his English roots and the unresolved questions he has about his mother leaving the Amish faith. I think it's a valid question for Tyler to consider and I applaud how it all came together in the end. Thank you for answering Tyler's questions in the manner you did. Now I can't wait to see what happens in the next book! I easily give this one a 5 out of 5 stars and this is the first novel in the Men of Lancaster County Series. You have me as a fan now!