Wednesday, July 2, 2014

The Amish Blacksmith (The Men of Lancaster County #2)

New from bestselling authors Mindy Starns Clark and Susan Meissner, The Amish Blacksmith (Book 2 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.

Apprenticed blacksmith Jake Miller is skeptical of Priscilla Kinsinger's innate ability to soothe troubled horses, especially when he has own ideas on how to calm them. Six years earlier, Priscilla's mother died in an awful accident at home, and Priscilla's grief over losing her mother was so intense that she was sent to live with relatives in Ohio. She has just returned to Lancaster County.

Not that her homecoming matters to Jake, who is interested in courting lighthearted Amanda Shetler. But Jake's boss is Priscilla's uncle, and when the man asks Jake to help his niece reconnect with community life, he has no choice but to do just that. Surprisingly, he finds himself slowly drawn to the beautiful but emotionally wounded Priscilla.

Jake then determines to prove to her that it's not her fault her mother died, but what he discovers will challenge everything they both believe about the depth of love and the breadth of forgiveness.

My Impressions: 

I have fallen in love with Amish fiction. The life style, the simplicity and complexity of the life that seems so strange and wonderful at the same time you cannot help but fall in love with it. Even though this is the 2nd book in the series it stands alone easily. 

I would not necessarily describe this book as a love story, even though parts of it center on relationships.  The central themes are more of learning to hear Gods voice for your life, forgiveness of self, letting go of past pains, healing and moving forward in life. It is a bit different from other Amish novels I have read. This book is not filled with a deep history of Amish life, a lot of suspense or strong romance that you find in typical Amish books but instead is more of a life struggles type of story. 

The book is a bit slow in parts and goes a little too deep into horse history and whatnot for my taste, but it picks up enough to hold your interest and keep you engaged. The story follows a natural progression as things come together and you see where the author is taking you with the relationship with Jake, Amanda and Priscilla. I adored the end of following through with Gods will for your life and not your own no matter how scary and uncharted the territory may be.

About the Author: 

Disclaimer: I received an ebook copy of this title from Netgalley Publicity and Harvest House as part of their blogger review program. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 255 'Guides concerning the use of endorsements and testimonials in advertising. I was not asked to write a positive review and all opinions expressed are entirely my own.
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