THE SOUND OF DISTANT THUNDER

22 10 2018

distant thunder cover

Book One in “The Amish of Weaver’s Creek Series”
Katie Stuckey and Jonas Weaver are both romantics. Seventeen-year-old Katie is starry-eyed, in love with the idea of being in love, and does not want to wait to marry Jonas until she is eighteen, despite her parents’ insistence. So much can happen in a year. Twenty-year-old Jonas is taken in by the romance of soldiering, especially in defense of anti-slavery, even though he knows war is at odds with the teachings of the church. When his married brother’s name comes up in the draft list, he volunteers to take his brother’s place. But can the commitment Katie and Jonas have made to each other survive the separation?

To admit it, it was difficult for me to get going in this book.  So, that is why I give it a 4-star.  It seemed dragged out for the introductions.  But later on, you understand why Jan Drexler took her time in the introductions.  You got to know these people in a personal way.  

Katie and Jonas are so in love with each other, but she is young yet.  Her father has told her she has to wait until she is 18.  But also for Jonas, there is the Civil War.  He believes strongly against slavery.  He wants to help – somehow.  He prefers not to shoot anyone.  When his brother ends up on the draft list, Jonas feels the only option is to take his brother’s place.  This definately turns 2 families upside down.  Katie feels as if he is going to get killed.  The question is: will he?  You will need to read the book to find out.

So, I give this a 4-star because of the slow beginning, but once I got into it, was hard to put down.

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Jan grew up surrounded by books and storytellers. With Pastors and Teachers populating both sides of her extended family, we aren’t surprised that she wanted to be a first-class storyteller herself.

Born and raised in Michigan, Jan is the descendant of Amish, Mennonite and Brethren immigrants who settled in Berks, Somerset and Lancaster Counties in Pennsylvania in the mid-1700’s. The descendants of these immigrants pioneered in Maryland, Ohio, and finally Elkhart and LaGrange Counties in Northern Indiana in the 1850’s.

During the years when Jan was raising and homeschooling their children, she and her husband moved nine times in thirty years, finally landing in South Dakota where they enjoy incredibly Michigan-like weather. A northerner is always a northerner!

The ideas for Jan’s books come from the stories told by her parents and grandparents, seasoned with a lot of research and imagination.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher for this review.





A SIMPLE SINGING

14 09 2018

A Simple Singing cover

For years Marie Bachmann thought of herself as the “good” daughter. She was the most loving to their mother, the most dedicated to their Amish way of life. But when a Mennonite farmhand, Gordon Martin, shows interest in her she can’t help but be flattered–until her mother sends her off to Florida. While there, Marie begins spending time with bad-boy Eli Jacob, the bishop’s son from back home.

When Gordon shows up in Florida to volunteer in a homeless shelter, her life becomes even more complicated. At the same time her aunt begins telling her of a Civil War-era ancestor and the woman’s uncommon bravery . . . a story that begins to work at Marie’s heart.

Marie hopes returning home may simplify life, but Eli soon follows. As Marie grapples with whether she should court Eli or leave the church for Gordon, the story of Annie Bachmann shines a light on what God has for Marie’s future.

This is one of the best books I have read in a long time.  A Simple Singing has two of my favorite types in one book – Amish and the Civil War.  When Marie’s aunt begins telling her about her ancestor, Annie, who lived through the Civil War, I was enraptured.  Leslie Gould has a flair about her writing that pulls you right in, as if you were Marie yourself.  You understand her learning to be more thoughtful of others instead of herself.  She was so wrapped up in the rules and regulations of the Amish faith that she forgot about God and what He wanted her to do.  There were times you felt she was going to go one way and she ended up going another.  You begin pulling for her.  Your heart goes out to her to learn a very valuable lesson.

L Gould

Leslie Gould is the coauthor, with Mindy Starns Clark, of the #1 bestselling The Amish Midwife and The Amish Nanny. She is also the author of numerous novels including two Lancaster Amish series. She holds an MFA in creative writing from Portland State University and has taught fiction writing at Multnomah University as an adjunct professor. She resides with her husband and four children in Oregon. Learn more at www.lesliegould.com.  

Look for the third book in this series, A Faithful Gathering, set to be published February 5, 2019.

I received a copy of this ebook from NetGalley for this review.

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