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Natalie never thought her circus career as an aerial silks artist would end with a blown-out knee at the age of 25. She ...
Natalie never thought her circus career as an aerial silks artist would end with a blown-out knee at the age of 25. She also never knew her late mother had a secret—that she was once Amish.
When Natalie meets the Millers at the Sarasota hospital, she is attracted to their warm hospitality and simple ways—and soon wonders if they can help her find her mother’s family. As Jacob and Natalie fall in love, their worlds collide. Will their differences tear them apart? Or will their love be strong enough to blend their clashing cultures?
Posted July 1, 2014
A Season of Change is a heartwarming story and left me with a feeling of goodness. With the addition of Rebecca and Zeke, there was a note of humor and a touch of wonder at the thoughts of the children.
I was a bit disappointed in the amount of errors in the early chapters of the book, but they were easily overlooked because the story was so interesting.
***I received this book from the publisher/author in return for an honest review.
Posted June 12, 2014
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This was the first book that I have read by Lynette Sowell. I really enjoyed her writing style and the way that the story was told from many view points. I felt like I had a glimpse inside several of the characters and as such, was able to get to know them a little more. The story moved along at a nice pace, taking time to paint the picture but also keeping the story progressing. The struggle that both Natalie and Jacob experienced with their emotions and need to be true to themselves was very real.
I am excited to see that there is another book planned for this series that will be published later this fall. It revisits one of the characters that was introduced in this story...and I hope that we get to see a glimpse of the continuing story of the main characters from A Season of Change.
A complimentary review copy was provided.
Posted June 10, 2014
A Season of Change by Lynette Sowell is a thoroughly enjoyable read. The characters are so well developed that you find yourself
crying with them, holding your breath, and rejoicing. And sometimes all on the same page!!
Ms. Sowell uses her gift of writing to produce an Amish tale with a decided twist. Setting the story in Pinecraft and plausibly drawing
in the circus world makes for a fresh look at both ways of life as seen through the eyes of the wonderful characters.
I found myself racing through the book to get to the next page and trying to slow down to put off getting to the end.
Well done, Lynette Sowell! I certainly hope we get to visit with the Millers and the Yoders in another novel.
Posted June 9, 2014
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When I read that this book somehow combined the Amish with circus performers I knew I had to get my hands on it - it certainly didn't disappoint. I loved reading about how Natalie fell more in love with the Amish culture the longer she spent time with the people of Pinecraft. As I read I was wondering how Jacob and Natalie's story would play out since they came from vastly different backgrounds, Sowell crafted a beautiful love story and found a way to work it all out. This is the second book I've ready by Lynette Sowell and I plan to read many more!
Disclaimer: I was provided a copy of this book in exchange for this review. All thoughts are my own.
Posted June 7, 2014
A Season of Change is a unique Amish story that is filled with a fresh plot line. Within its pages, you will find quite the twist of unusual characters and events. I really enjoyed the fresh approach in an Amish fiction. I also enjoyed the familiarity of a nearby Ohio Amish community.
Lynette Sowell does a very good job of sharing the likes and differences between the Amish, Mennonite, and Christian faiths. Comparisons are also made between the Pinecraft community in Florida and other Amish communities. I felt the author did a good job of including those likes and differences within the story as well as in an additional author’s note.
I was disappointed in Abingdon Press in the poor editing of the book. There are several spelling/grammatical errors within the book.
A copy of the book was provided to me by the publisher in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Posted June 6, 2014
Amish and the circus, quite a mix --
I found this book pretty interesting, from the start it has a catchy storyline. Amish and circus performers in one story, now that is a strange mix. It reminds you about how children see people and can build relationships when you don't have your 'adult' guard up. Lynette came up with a good idea for a book and I'm anxious to see what the next book in the series will be about. Ohhhh, I just looked on her blog for the second book in the series and boy does it sound 'yummy', "A Path Made Plain", and it looks like it will be out in November of this year!
Posted June 6, 2014
I first decided to review this book because it was an Amish book (which I love) placed in a non-Amish place: Florida (which I also love!). I thought it would be interesting to read about how the Amish people interacted outside of their communities.
I didn’t know there was a large Mennonite and Amish population in Sarasota, Florida, so that captivated me. I also enjoyed reading about the subtle and not-so-subtle differences between the two groups of people. However, children from any religious background have many similarities and I liked to see that shine through in Rebecca and Zeke.
Also fascinating was the competition between Natalie and a young Amish girl, Betsy, who is more than willing to step into the spot left by the death of Jacob’s wife. While there is no out-and-out brawling, the tension is pretty thick at many points. I applaud Sowell’s creation of this dynamic between the two women who both yearn to be part of Jacob’s life.
Book 2 in the series, A Path Made Plain, is set for release in November of this year. This book focuses on Betsy and is one I’ll be sure to read even if it’s not part of a book tour! Betsy is a baker and I can’t wait to read all about her delicious creations.
I received this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own.
Posted June 4, 2014
An accident lands Jacob Miller's daughter in the hospital and a lady clown comes to cheer up his children. Seems straight forward, right?
Jacob's Amish world was so peaceful... why did this beautiful, spirited English woman have to come into his life?
Jacob has no idea how to relate to the wonderfully kind but entirely off-limits Natalie Bennett. How did his simple life as a widower with two children have to change so suddenly?
But then again, maybe it hadn't been so simple after all...
When I saw this book I thought "An Amish man and a circus performer? Whoa. Now that's a surprise!"
Well, Lynette Sowell manages to make it work, and she tells quite an enjoyable story along the way.
Season's of Change includes a tiny peek into the lives of circus families through a lovable heroine, and gives a glimpse into an Amish community where friendships last and lost people may just be found.
I think this book's theme could be "God sets the lonely in families." Natalie, AKA Bubbles the Clown, lacks one thing that the Amish Millers have in abundance- family. And it's the one main thing she wants. She needed loving people in her life, and she never expected to find them when she entered a hospital room to make an Amish girl laugh.
Theme two, for me, was always be prepared for something good to come along, and never expect it to look a certain way.
Thank you Litfuse for my review copy. Amish Romance fans will delight in this tale... perhaps partly because of Jacob's intense awkwardness around Natalie! :)
Posted June 4, 2014
Just picking up this book, I couldn’t imagine what was between its covers, but it intrigued me, and so glad I read it. You read the back of the book and find out that Jacob Miller is a widower with young children, and still mourning his wife. Also he travels to Pinecraft Florida, which I’ve heard of, with a lot of trepidation, and as it turns out it is good and bad that he is there.
Jacobs’s path crosses with Natalie Bennett, and Englisher and former circus performer, as she visits the hospital dressed as a clown to help cheer the children. Not exactly how you picture a strict Amish man and a circus/clown meeting, and becoming intertwined in their lives.
Now Jacob’s community is pressuring him to remarry and present a mother for his children Zeke and Rebecca. There is a young woman who is also visiting Florida that would love to take that position, but Jacob is not interested. You know of course, who he and the children choose, yes, Natalie, but can that ever be? Who will be willing to give up all they know, and are familiar with?
There are some really big surprises here, and some you will never see coming. I sure didn’t! There are other characters we meet and fall in love with, and I am so happy that they were there and enriched the book. Be ready for a really wonderful and loving read and a very different love story!
I received this book through Litfuse Publicity Book Tours and Abingdon Press, and was not required to give a positive review.
Posted May 28, 2014
I thoroughly enjoyed this Amish/English novel! Pinecraft was such a fascinating place with interesting people, Amish and English alike!
What attracted me originally to this novel was Natalie's job with the circus and her involvement with the Millers. I was definitely not disappointed! It was mind-blowing to me in reading about an Amish community in Florida and the different groups of Amish there! It was even more awesome to see how they embraced Natalie who was not even Plain as if she was no different then a fellow member of the Amish society!
I absolutely fell in love with Rebecca and Zeke, Jacob's children! They sounded so adorable even if they did get into a little bit of mischief! Natalie was one of my favorite characters too with her thoughtful ways, but with an outgoing personality! Jacob was a little bit harder for me to relate to since he had so much on his plate! It was interesting to hear his story and the questions he had concerning faith!
Overall, I really enjoyed this unique story! I learned a lot about the Amish community in Florida as well as the importance to trust God to work out everything according to His will! We just have to trust Him and thank Him for friends that help us along the way as they did for Natalie and Jacob! I can't wait to read more in this series!
I give A Season of Change by Lynette Sowell a 5 out of 5 stars!
*(I received a complimentary copy from Litfuse Publicity in exchange for an honest review! All thoughts expressed are my own and I was not required to write a positive review!)*
Posted May 27, 2014
Hard to believe you might find a common ground with the life of a circus performer and an Amish family in the latest novel from author Lynette Sowell. Yet that is what you will find as the basic premise in A Season of Change in the first novel in the Seasons of Pinecraft series. Both of the main characters are going through their own "seasons of change" with being in Pinecraft, Florida, a place where the Amish generally come in the winter months from their towns up North.
Jacob Miller had only planned on being in Pinecraft for two weeks to celebrate Christmas with his grandparents and in hoping to distance himself from the painful memories of losing his wife Hannah. Now it seems as if everyone expects him to move on and find a new wife, hopefully a young Amish girl like Betsy Yoder who has expressed more than a passing interest in Jacob. But when an unexpected accident he didn't plan or see coming lands his daughter in the hospital, it looks as if his stay in Pinecraft is going to be extended for quite some time.
Miss Bubbles, the clown always loves to spend her free time visiting children that are stuck in the hospital during Christmas and this time is certainly no exception. What she doesn't plan on is finding an Amish family dealing with the miracle recovery of Rebecca Miller. She is confined to a hospital bed just grateful to be alive after being hit by a car she didn't see coming. Now it seems that happiness has found its way into her room, Natalie Bennett is utilizing her skills coming from the circus to dress up as a clown and bring smiles to the faces of children like Rebecca who are confined in the hospital. She is more than happy to make her smile and offers a small juggling lesson of oranges to both Rebecca and her brother Zeke who is beyond fascinated by Natalie. What she didn't plan on is falling head over heels for their father Jacob whose blue eyes can captivate and steal your heart.
I received A Season of Change by Lynette Sowell compliments of Abingdon Press and Litfuse Publicity for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions expressed here are strictly my own. I love how Natalie is provided with an outlet of finding out more about her family roots when her father mails her mother's belongings to her and she realizes she has an Amish history. It creates hope for both the characters of Natalie and Jacob that even though they are vastly different in respects to how they have grown up, there exists a possibility that they can make things work between them in time. I love the aspect of using a tie of with Natalie having a circus background which makes the story all the more interesting and not something I have encountered in Amish fiction before. I easily give this one a 4.5 out of 5 stars and look forward to the next book in the series due this fall. A Reading Discussion Guide is included in this novel.
Posted May 26, 2014
This is the first book of this author that I have read. I found her style engaging, and quickly got hooked with the story line. Her unusual pairing of characters...a former circus performer and an Amish family...was interesting. I can imagine this situation happening, humans being human and life being complicated sometimes. I appreciated the look into life in Pinecraft, FL. I would gladly get the second book of this series when it comes out.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 25, 2014
Present Day - Florida
"It's hard to know how much compromise is too much, and what's not a big issue at all. Most of us who aren't Amish could argue all day about what's a compromise to our faith, and how 'separate' from the world we should be. For them, being separate comes from the inside as well as out." -Natalie
I really like Amish fiction but sometimes it can tend to have a lot of similarities from one book to the next. A Season of Change really breaks away from the normal and, for me, that really added to the appeal of the story. Natalie Bennett is a former aerial silks artist for the circus and now teaches kids and adults at the local circus school founded by her best friend, Grace Montgomery. She also goes to hospitals dressed as a clown to entertain sick children. She has recently discovered that her mother was Amish and when she meets Jacob and his family she feels drawn to them immediately. I really loved the circus aspect being included in the story. That is something I have never read in Amish fiction before. I found it to be a very interesting change and it really drew me into the story.
Jacob Miller is a fairly recent widower and is being pressured by his family to marry again. Only he feels no connection or pull towards the traditional Amish girl they are trying to direct him to choose. Even though he feels there is no chance of a relationship with Natalie Bennett, she is the one he is drawn to. He loves the way Natalie is with his children and how much they love her in return. Jacob is a traditional Amish man. Quiet, not prone to displays of affection and very protective of his children. I loved his character and his quite charm. I also loved the way he doted on Rebecca while she was recovering. He was a model father and a very endearing character.
I also loved the community of Pinecraft. It was so diverse and charming. I have never read about a place that had such a wide range of Amish and Mennonites. Some were very old order Amish that adhered to the traditional rules of their faith. But others were more lax with the rules and did things like having electricity, riding on the city buses, dressing in normal clothing and everywhere you looked they were riding bicycles. Not your average Amish on horse and buggy with long dresses, aprons and prayer kapp. I can't think of one thing I didn't like about this book. It literally renewed my interest in Amish fiction. I had gotten in a bit of a rut when it came to reading it but it made me look forward to my next book. The storyline is spot on. It's fun and lighthearted but at the same time it has all the depth you expect from Amish fiction. It puts a fun twist on the Amish faith and takes you to places you've never been. This is my first book by Lynette Sowell but I am definitely looking forward to the next book in this series. If you like Amish fiction with a slight twist on the traditional you'll love this book and I highly recommend it!
Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for my honest review and no monetary compensation was received.
Posted May 13, 2014
Lynette Sowell writes a love story like no other. Typical love stories plot along with the two parties falling in love the conventional way. However, the two people in this love story are far from typical.
In the Amish world, many say "What happens in Pinecraft stays in Pinecraft". Jacob is an Old Order Amish who decided to visit Pinecraft, Florida with his two children. Having lost his wife and newborn son, he is struggling to find his way. He has questions which he knows he should not ask according to his Bishop, family and community. Feeling pressure to remarry, Jacob wants to marry for love and not convenience but is afraid.
Enter Natalie Bennett aka: Bubbles the clown. She is an English woman searching for her path. Set adrift with her Mother's passing and her Father's attention on his new family, an unusual box from her Father sets Natalie on her own search. She has lived in Sarasota, Florida but has never been to Pinecraft. Has she found her past or possibly her future?
I loved how Ms. Sowell had Jacob questioning. So many times in Amish books, we see the characters just follow the rules and not question. Jacob has questions. Even though he knows he should not ask, he does anyway. Both Jacob and Natalie want to follow God's lead, even if that means not being together. Both are willing to sacrifice happiness and love for the other. They want what is God's path. Natalie cannot ask Jacob to give up his world. Jacob cannot ask Natalie to give up hers. Is there a middle path? Is there a compromise? With help from some of the people in Pinecraft, Sarasota, and Ohio, can this middle ground be reached? Makes we remember: "If you love something set it free". Will these two be willing, if it is God's will, to set each other free?
Great story and looking forward to the next book!!!