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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Book #Review and #Giveaway: An Angel by Her Side by Ruth Reid

This is a delightful, sweet story where two souls learn to trust God's plans with the tangible help of an angel.
An Angel by Her Side
by Ruth Reid

  • File Size: 540 KB
  • Print Length: 366 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (January 1, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008GVYY8Y
Genre: Amish Romance
My Rating: 5.0 of 5.0

Book Description
Publication Date: January 1, 2013 |
Series: A Heaven On Earth Novel

Katie has lived through tragedy and heartache. But with the angel Elias by her side, the best years of her life are just ahead.

A Heaven on Earth Novel, #3

When Katie Bender’s fiancé died in a tragic accident, so did her hope of finding love. Though heartbroken, Katie is also practical. In the years since the accident she has discovered her gift for teaching. But when a tornado destroys her small Amish settlement, including the schoolhouse, Katie doesn’t know how she will provide for herself.

Seth Stutzman arrived in Hope Falls days before the storm. And when he helps usher Katie and the children to safety, sparks fly. But Seth is only in town to help his brother, Amos, get back on his feet following the death of his wife. He can’t afford to have feelings for Katie.

Rebuilding the community is a huge task, and soon, Katie and Seth are working side by side. As they privately wrestle with their feelings for each other, another silent—and ultimate—battle for their hearts rages unseen.

Katie Bender has accepted that she would never be a wife and mother. She has found contentment working as the teacher (teetshah) at the one room Amish school in her community. The school is located next to the property of Amos Mast who has left the Amish community in anger and grief after the death of his wife. Amos blames Katie for creating discordance in his family over the learning difficulties of one of his young sons.

Seth Stutzman arrives at the community to help his brother-in-law, Amos, and gets caught in a tornado. He seeks shelter in the school cellar where the children and teacher have taken refuge. The storm destroys the school and many homes in the community.

The leaders meet to set priorities and begin to pool their resources to rebuild. While hoping the school will be rebuilt Katie helps take care of the children, first a little girl whose father is missing, and then Amos’ teenaged daughter who has run away because she feels banned from home.

Seth has talents as a builder but will not use them due to a prior accident he believes was caused by his difficulties reading and identifying numbers. Still, he is drawn to help with other tasks at the work sites. Several times he finds himself being assisted by an elderly man, Elias, who is always cheerful and encouraging.

When Amos suffers an injury, Seth convinces Katie to come to the house to take care of the toddler daughter and help with meals and chores.  Katie struggles to pray blessings on Amos while his anger continues to spew bitterness towards her.  Seth struggles with his feelings of not being good enough and being afraid to reveal his secrets even as he grows closer to Katie every day.

Ms. Reid has created beautiful, warm characters and developed a plot that shows growth through seeking God’s wisdom, offering grace and accepting forgiveness. The story has strength in the faith shared, gentleness in the love and protection offered and joy in the miracles guided by Elias.

I loved how Ms. Reid portrays the angel and demon as real and impacting the lives and decisions of those who will listen to their whispers, whether good or bad. (This reminded me of Frank Peretti’s This Present Darkness where I first read this concept.)

This worked well as a standalone although it is apparently the third book in a series. I would like to read the other books too. This is an easy, uplifting and delightful read that I recommend to those who like sweet romance in an Amish setting.

An example of Elias' ‘touch’:
Elias approached Katie. “God has not given you a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of  sound mind.” Elias hoped his words resonated with his charge. “Be prepared to give account for the hope that is within you. You will be used to encourage the weak.”  Location 464.
I received this to review for Thomas Nelson through NetGalley.



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  1. I learned that the author became interested in the Amish after living in Michigan near them. Interesting thing to me is that I live down the road from the Amish and I live in NY. I just wonder how different the sects are. I know that some are more conservative than others. Ours, for example, can ride in cars (as long as they are not driving) and can purchase goods from the local stores as well as going out to restaurants.
    Thanks for the giveaway!

    mestith at gmail dot com

  2. her first purchase upon graduation from pharmacy school was a dog. she named him Zoloft, in memory of the answer to the last question on the last test in pharmacy school.

    tiramisu392 (at)

  3. Thank you for the great review.
    I found out that Ruth is married and has three children.

  4. I learned that while she was living on the outskirts of the amish community that is what inspired her books.

  5. How she skipped school to watch a barn raising and was amazed by it. Growing up I would lay in our front yard and watch our Amish neighbors do the same thing.

  6. This is a new to me author and the book sounds fantastic. Thanks for offering it as a giveaway too.

  7. I learned that while Ruth was attending college at Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Michigan, that she lived with retired dairy farmers and had the opportunity to meet many of the Amish in the areas.

  8. When she worked for an ambulance service, she was often teased that her run reports were as long and detailed as a novel.

  9. The author lived with retired dairy farmers

  10. This sounds like a very good book. I love the Amish communities and their values.
    Thanks for the giveaway


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