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Sunday, August 26, 2012

Book Review: Faithful to Laura (A Middlefield Family Novel) by Kathleen Fuller

This is an engaging story set in an Amish community that explores issues of life-style choices and forgiveness.

  • File Size: 699 KB
  • Print Length: 303 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1595547762
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (August 7, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
Genre: Inspirational, Amish
My Rating: 4.0 of 5.0

Book Description
Publication Date: August 7, 2012 |
Series: A Middlefield Family Novel

Laura’s Amish faith requires her to forgive, but she can only think of revenge.

Laura Stutzman leaves her Kentucky community for Middlefield, Ohio, with one purpose: to find Mark King, the man who pledged his love to her, then left. She can’t move on with her life until he explains why.

Sawyer Thompson wasn't born Amish, but has lived in their community for years. Now he must commit to the Amish church or return to the Yankee world. Having suffered loss at a young age, he understands Laura’s anger, but is determined to follow God’s will and forgive. As their friendship grows, Laura begins to let her guard down.

But new information surfaces about Sawyer’s past and threatens the couple’s budding relationship. Both Laura and Sawyer will need to release the anger in their hearts and forgive the people who’ve harmed them. As Laura struggles to trust God, can Sawyer remain faithful to Laura?

Laura Stutzman thought she had found the man who would be her husband and help mate in her family’s bakery. Instead the young man, Mark King, had deceived her, stolen her family’s life savings and even tried to kill her. He set a fire and glass that blew from a window has scarred her face. Those scars are healing but the scar to her soul and confidence has not healed. She moves to the Middlefield, Ohio Amish community seeking to find Mark and have revenge against him.

Sawyer Thompson is a young man who was adopted by an Amish family when he was 14. After the loss of his parents he suffered abuse in the foster care system. He loves his adoptive parents and is trying to decide if he is ready to leave the Yankee world behind and commit himself to the Amish lifestyle.

Laura takes a reception, clerical job at the woodcrafting store owned by Sawyer’s father. Sawyer sees the beauty behind her pain but she has built a wall to keep others out.

Sawyer’s extremely wealthy grandmother locates him and arrives to take him back to New York to become her heir. Sawyer is angry that she thinks she can walk in and that her money will lure him away from the parents who have taken him and sheltered him for the past six years.

Can Laura release her anger and find a way to forgive Mark? Can she open up to allow Sawyer’s interest or should she return home to her own parents?  Will Sawyer stay with the Amish community or will he be drawn away by his grandmother’s money?

I really enjoyed the warm story as it developed around Laura and Sawyer. Ms. Fuller created strong characters in the Amish people and in the ‘Yankee’ grandmother. I was a little less enthralled with a side drama of betrayal in another family that required confession and forgiveness. It is a situation that acknowledges that we are human and sinners - all needing grace.

The writing flows well with clear descriptions. It was particularly interesting to me to see how the author portrayed the grandmother’s reactions to the simpleness of the Amish community. Since I was raised in 'Pennsylvania Dutch' country near an Amish community, it was strange to think there are people who have no idea of the Amish culture.

The faith based messages are expressed through the life choices of the characters as well as sometimes being shared outright. Anyone who enjoys inspirational themes set in the Amish world and developed around 'real people' should enjoy this story.
There are inner scars that are harder to treat than surface ones:
...the daily applications of Vitamin E oil were helping the scars fade. But there were deeper scars, invisible ones. No cosmetic treatments could heal a soul. Location 93.
I liked this message of sovereignty:
Once we accept that God is in control of our lives, then we can work on understanding his will. Location 1511.
Wise words on mercy:
“I don’t deserve it.”
Leona shook her head. “None of us do....  If we deserved it, it wouldn’t be mercy....” Location 1553.
Thank you to Ruthie at Thomas Nelson for providing this title through NetGalley.  Please watch for a Giveaway with ALL THREE of the Thomas Nelson titles I reviewed this month. The Giveaway will post tonight or Tuesday depending on when I can complete the post (as I am still preparing for our trip). :-)
This story was set in Ohio for my Where Are You Reading Challenge. I will also list this on my ARC and New Author lists.

1 comment:

  1. I am learning about the Amish only through bloggers. It must be tough trying to maintain a lifestyle like this in mainstream America.


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