About the Book:When a business offer turns into something more personal, Amelia is torn between what logic tells her is right, and the desire of her heart.
A widow with two small children, Amelia Beiler is struggling to make ends meet. She is running her late husband's business, but it's not what she was raised to do, which is run a home. When she gets an offer for the business from Eli Fischer, she's only too relieved to consider it-especially when it looks like Eli's interest might include more than just the shop. But when she begins to experience strange physical symptoms and is diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, it's difficult not to question God's will. If she pursues the treatment she believes in, she risks going under the bann. But how can she allow Eli to court her when she can't promise him a future?
Includes instructions to make the quilt block featured in the novel.
As a story, I enjoyed this book. Amelia has had a hard life lately. She's part of a culture that has clearly defined gender roles, yet she's forced to run her husband's business after he dies, in order to care for her sons. As she adapts to that, she is stricken with Multiple Sclerosis. She explores treatment options, deals with daily life, and struggles with conflicts between her will and what church leaders say is God's will. Everything works out in the end.
I'd say one of the biggest differences between the Amish as they are portrayed in most books I read about them, and those of us in more conventional faiths, is the strong sense of group identity. The odd clothes and the horse-drawn buggies reinforce that difference but from what I can tell, the oddities seem to be as much about maintaining the group identity as about avoiding bad things. Otherwise, there is little sense in a rule that allows one to ride in car, but not to own or drive one. That sense of group identity can be wonderful when it means that group members are there for you in times of crisis. It can be a problem when what appears to be best for you is not what is best for the group. Amelia isn't the only one who struggles with that in this book.
What I didn't like about the book was that Amelia discovered she did not have MS at all; but when I Googled her problem, I learned that as described in the book, most believe it is quackery.
This is the first of three books in a series, and in all three books, the three featured women are making a quilt. I'm not very good at imagining such things, so I would have loved to see a photo of the quilt on the cover or even a black-line drawing of it in the book.
I'd like to thank the publisher for making a review copy of this book available via NetGalley. Grade: B.