Beth Wiseman, Amy Clipston, Ruth Reid, and Kathleen Fuller. An Amish Home: Four Novellas. Thomas Nelson, 2016. See here to buy the book.
An Amish Home contains four novellas. Each novella is by a prominent author of fiction about the Amish.
I have read my share of such collections, and this one stands out. The other collections that I have read focus on romance. An Amish Home,
by contrast, looks at the problems that married couples experience,
such as financial security and losing a baby. The fourth story, the one
by Kathleen Fuller, has more of a romantic focus, in that the two main
characters are unmarried. But they cannot stand each other throughout
much of the novella, so calling that novella a “romance” may not be
entirely accurate! In short, the characters in this novel were real,
and their struggles were multi-dimensional. While I enjoy Amish
anthologies, this collection was especially good.
The Amy Clipston novella stood out to me, for a variety of reasons.
For one, the two main characters in that novella are not even Amish.
The Amish element to the story is that an Amish couple is helping them.
Second, the story was different from the Amy Clipston stories and
novellas that I have read. How many other Amy Clipston stories have an
antagonist? I cannot think of any! Amy Clipston’s stories also have a
tendency to dwell on the same problem over and over, but her novella in
this book had a little more variety in how it addressed the problems
that the characters were facing.
If I have a critique, it is that the characters’ problems got hastily
wrapped up near the end, and that looked rather artificial. Life
worked out a little too neatly! Yet, I realize that the novellas could
not go on forever but had to end at some point. Moreover, the end of
Amy Clipston’s novella, in which someone from the body of Christ reaches
out to the vulnerable mother, was inspiring. Real life can be like
that, if people choose!
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through Netgalley. My review is honest!