I'd like to introduce you to a new author from Whitaker House. Laura Hilton has just released Patchwork Dreams, the first in The Amish of Seymour series. Here's a little about the book and what I thought of it.
Becky Troyer has committed the ultimate sin, and finds herself on the edge of her Amish community. Jacob Miller believes he was sent to the Old Order Community in Missouri to help out a distant cousin. Instead, he discovers he was part of an arranged swap—sending men from his Pennsylvania district to the Missouri district to bring new blood into the Amish community. Becky dreams of marriage, but doesn't dare hope that anyone would choose her—not with her history. Can God use the lies that have affected Becky and Jacob to bring them together? Or will Jacob rebel and head home to his first love?
This is a story of hope for two young people who had assumed their futures were all figured out for them, whether they liked it or not. But when they met each other, hope rekindled when each realized they didn’t have to be confined to what they had assumed their future might be.
Becky has a fondness for McDonald’s “fancy” coffee, a.k.a. cappuccino. She and Jacob looked for any opportunity to take the buggy to McDonalds for a coffee. The plot has a few twists and turns, misunderstandings that almost lead to ruined relationships and a sweet love story that will capture the hearts of many readers. It’s a quick, light read for those who enjoy Amish fiction.
What I liked: I liked that this wasn’t just another Amish book. Unlike some, where the main character meets “an Englischer” and struggles with the decision to leave the order or stay, this book takes a refreshing break from that story line. It also shows a less idealized and more raw side of Amish life in that it depicts a young woman who has had a child out of wedlock. Readers will discover more about this circumstance as the story unfolds. The family has a warm and loving relationship that's endearing.
What I didn’t like: I though that Becky and Jacob fell in love unrealistically quick and Jacob acted way too familiar with her. It was only a day or two after they met that he was calling her Bex, and not too many more when he reached across the table for her hand. He often did things like wink at her. I would think that since she was an unwed mother, her parents would have protected her more from instant male attention, even if it was from an Amish man (one whom they barely knew).
I was also disappointed that most Englischers in the story were evil and worldly. The story felt a little imbalance in that so few were trustworthy. It also seemed like Becky’s annoying former Englisch beau had a habit of showing up at McDonalds every time she was there. Incidents similar to that made the story a little too predictable.
Laura Hilton graduated with a business degree from Ozarka Technical College in Melbourne, Arkansas. A member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, she is a professional book reviewer for the Christian market, with more than a thousand reviews published on the Web. Prior to Patchwork Dreams, she published two novels with Treble Heart Books: Hot Chocolate and Shadows of the Past, as well as several devotionals. Laura and her husband, Steve, have five children, whom Laura homeschools. The family makes their home in Arkansas. To learn more about Laura, read her reviews, and find out about her upcoming releases, visit her blog.
Watch for my Friday blog entry where you can read an interview with Laura and find out how you can enter into a drawing for a fabulous prize basket.