Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Amish Groom by Mindy Starns Clark and Susan Meissner - REVIEWED

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
The Amish Groom

About the Book:
New from bestselling authors Mindy Starns Clark and Susan Meissner, The Amish Groom (Book 1 in The Men of Lancaster County series) explores the men of an Amish community in Lancaster County, how their Amish beliefs play out in their unique roles, and the women who change their lives.
Born to an ex-Amish mother and an Englisch father, 23-year-old Tyler Anderson was raised as a military kid until the age of 6, when his mom passed away. His dad, shipping off to yet another overseas post, placed Tyler in the care of his Amish grandparents, an arrangement that was supposed to be temporary. It lasted a lifetime.
Rachel Hoeck is the young woman waiting for Tyler’s proposal. She senses that though he loves her and wishes to make a commitment to her and his Amish beliefs, part of him still wonders whether an Amish lifestyle is truly for him.
When an opportunity to connect with his father unexpectedly arises, a visit to California causes Tyler to question everything, including a future with Rachel. Will the new girl in his life, Lark, cause him to remain in the Englisch world? Or will he choose to be an Amish groom after all?
A poignant novel of hoping for romance and searching for identity, set in a beloved Amish community.
My Thoughts:
Truly, my desire was not to know the world.  I just wanted to know my place in it.”  (p 166)

Tyler Anderson’s search for God’s will is as plain and straightforward as his Amish faith.  When he begins to feel restless, he approaches the leadership of his church about the unease in his heart.  He is advised to fast and pray and listen for God’s answer.  The answer comes in the form of  a phone call from his Dad – the one who left him on his grandparent’s Amish farm eighteen years earlier.

Tyler isn’t seeking to leave the Amish community that he loves – the people most dear to him.  Rather, he is seeking God’s will for his life. He is given time to explore his father’s Englisch world in a very up close and personal way.  He is given the chance to know his half-brother, Brady, and he learns the intimate details surrounding his mother’s death and his dad’s decision to allow him to grow up Amish.

Tyler’s look outside the Amish community is done in the biblical context of seeking God’s will, and to me, that makes it a relevant and powerful novel in many aspects.  I love the openness and honesty of the characters in the story, and I especially loved Lark’s character. This is a very multi-layered story and is told tenderly and with a prayerful and contemplative feel to it.  I was drawn in completely and came to care deeply for all of the characters.  Tyler Anderson is an honorable man throughout his search, and I believe readers will be left well satisfied with the conclusion of the story!
It is with pleasure I recommend The Amish Groom! This is the first in the Men of Lancaster County series.
About the Authors:

Mindy Starns Clark is the author of many books, which include the popular Smart Chick Mysteries, Whispers of the Bayou, Shadows of Lancaster County, and Under the Cajun Moon. In addition, Mindy’s plays and musicals have been featured in schools and churches across the United States.

Susan Meissner was born in San Diego, California, the second of three. She spent her childhood in just two houses.  Her first writings are a laughable collection of oddly worded poems and predictable stories she wrote when she was eight.
She attended Point Loma College in San Diego, and married her husband, Bob, who is now an associate pastor and a chaplain in the Air Force Reserves, in 1980. When she is not working on a new novel, she is directing the small groups ministries at The Church at Rancho Bernardo. She also enjoy teaching workshops on writing and dream-following, spending time with my family, music, reading great books, and traveling.

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