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West Amana, Iowa, 1890
After Andrea Wilson receives the devastating news that her husband has been lost at sea, she returns home to Iowa with her young son, Lukas. But what she finds there causes more heartache: The family farm has burned and her father has died, leaving Andrea ...
West Amana, Iowa, 1890
After Andrea Wilson receives the devastating news that her husband has been lost at sea, she returns home to Iowa with her young son, Lukas. But what she finds there causes more heartache: The family farm has burned and her father has died, leaving Andrea with nothing.
Andrea must rely on the kindness of the people from the nearby Amana village who invite her to stay with them for a time. She discovers much generosity and contentment among the Amanans--especially from the tinsmith, Dirk Knefler, who takes her son under his wing. But is the simple, cloistered life in Amana what Andrea wants for Lukas's future? Is she willing to give up the comforts and freedom of the outside world? And when yet another round of shocking news comes her way, will Andrea ever be able to find the serenity and hope that have eluded her for so long?
Posted September 16, 2014
Join Judith Miller as she takes us back in time to the Amana colonies. The story begins in the year 1890 in Baltimore Maryland where Andrea Wilson receives the life changing news that her husband has been lost at sea. Andrea makes the decision to return home to Iowa with her young son where she learns that the family farm has burned down and her father has died, leaving her with without a home or money.
The people in the nearby Amana village learn of her plight they invite her and her son Lukas to stay with them for a time until she can find a way to move elsewhere. Andrea begins to love the simple life and finds herself be drawn to the village tin-smith Dirk Knefler, who has taken her son under his wing.
Andrea must of the make the decision on whether or not to give up the comforts and freedoms of the outside world to stay in the village. When Andreas new life is turned upside down by some shocking news, what will she do?
Ms. Miller immerses us into the Amana colonies using vivid descriptions and strong characters. Life is the Amana colonies is vastly different from anything I’ve ever experienced yet, Ms. Miller has a way of making us feel like we are there.
The story is full of suspense, love and lessons of Gods love. We learn how each person has their own personal journey in trusting God and how to trust Him and His plan for our lives.
Posted May 6, 2014
Home to Amana.
Andrea Wilson is anxious to return to her father's home after receiving news of the death of her husband at sea. She can now ask her father's forgiveness for marrying without his blessings or permission. Andrea and her son Lukas's lives have been nothing short of starvation. poverty and abuse at the hands of her husband. Now she can give her son a better life living with her father in Iowa. But when she arrives at her father's farm her hopes for a better life seem out of her reach.
She is offered help by the elders of a local village of Amanans. She finds herself at their mercy. They give her and Lucas much more than food and shelter, they find peace and an abundance of love.
Lucas finds a mentor in Dirk Knefler as he learns the values and ways of the Amanans. This is does not go unnoticed by Andrea as she finds many good qualities in this kind man.
The village receives a surprise visitor that could end any hope or happiness for Andrea and Lukas's future in Amana.
I found this story heart wrenching. This woman felt that for lack of better judgement in men she had caused her and her son to suffer. Women did not have many if any rights back in the day. The life offered to her in Amana was God send bringing them into the fold of his loving and faithful people of Amana. I love the character of Dirk with his patience and tender love for the boy and his mother. Also Dirk's trust in God's plan for his life.
The author has captured me with this series. Looking forward to reading more from this author.
I highly recommend this book.
Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from Baker Publishers/Bethany House for an honest review.
Posted April 28, 2014
Home to Amana Book 3: A Shining Light
April 27, 2014 3:10pm
My review on A Shining Light, Book 3 of the Amana series is written on the late side of April. I wanted to read the complete series of Amana before I wrote my personal view.
A Shining Light is the 3rd and final book the Home to Amana Series and is written by Judith Miller, published by Bethany House.A Shining Light is the 3rd and final book the Home to Amana Series and is written by Judith Miller, published by Bethany House.
I have read other books by Judith Miller and I really enjoy her books.
The representation of the book cover does catch your attention and makes you want to take a peek and see whats insideAgain, I have read all three books to get a feel on how the books flowed together. You might be surprized to learn that you do not need to read these books in order. Each book is written independently of each other. I read them in order because I thought the series would continue with some of the characters into book 2 and in book 3. I think I understand why the author approached this style of writing.
I believe, the author wanted to put more emphasize on the History of Life inside the Amana Colonies. So if you are looking to read this book by itself, then you are in luck!
However, I do recommend you do read all the books in the Amana series. I have enjoyed reading all of them.
With that being said, there are a couple minor things for me on this series that I would consider as needing improvements.I have read books by other authors on Amish and Older Amish stories.
When I finished the book, it left an assumption that the people in Amana were Amish because of the similar styles of living between the Amish and Amana Colonies. This is my personal view because of the similarities to the Amish Life. I wish the author would have included some history facts at the end of the book to explain more about the Amana Colonies. I know there was a credit the author gave and mentioned a fact or two about her research, but nothing to leave the viewer with a distinction between Amana and Amish people.
Maybe, if you read heavily into Amish books, you might have noticed that the people in the book are not Amish.The second thing I noticed is there really wasn't anything new added to the 3rd book in the series regarding the lifestyle of Amana people. The Plots and Characters were beautifully written and I enjoyed them tremendously.
I just wished there would be a few new snipets introduced in the book that was not mentioned in previous books. Once you fall into the Amana routine from previous books, you kind of know what to expect for the third one.Overall, I really enjoyed the book and the series. I give credit to the author, she did an amazing job with the plots, characters, and historical information on the Amana Colonies. I am glad she chose to write about the Amana people because I never heard of them. I did google more about them after reading the bookThank You Bethany House for publishing Judith Miller Books.
Also, for supporting viewers with free books.
*I received A Shining Light from Bethany House for free, in return for my opinion.*
Posted April 27, 2014
A Shining Light by Judith Miller takes place in West Amana, Iowa, and is a most enjoyable story. Andrea Wilson and her young son Lukas leave Baltimore to return to her father’s farm in Iowa after she receives news that her husband has been lost at sea. Unfortunately, Andrea’s father has sold the farm and then died when the house burned and he was trapped inside. The generous people of the Amana community invite Andrea and Lukas to live with them for a while. Andrea finds that she really likes the way of life in the community and dreads the day when she and Lukas will be asked to leave. Dirk Knefler, the tinsmith, is attracted to Andrea and he forms a very strong friendship with Lukas who is in desperate need of a father figure in his life. Andrea and Lukas are happy in the simple life when another problem rears its ugly head.
All the characters in the story were extremely well developed with most of them being very loveable but one was impossible to love. I liked the way the author had the story told from the perspective and in the voice of the main characters with the name of the character at the beginning of a chapter. Although I loved the entire cast of characters, well except for one, my favorite was Lukas for he was such an adorable little boy with a heart full of love. There were several surprises in the plot but they only made the story more interesting. I appreciate how the author had God as a very important part of the story and how God working through Dirk, helped Andrea find peace and have her faith restored. I thoroughly enjoyed learning about the workings of the Amana community.
I definitely recommend this book to anyone that loves a great story with a happy ending.
Bethany House provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
Posted April 22, 2014
This made a fantastic read. I really enjoyed reading about west Amana. I lived in main Amana for about 6 months after I was first married. It was always an interesting place.
This story is about Andrea and her son Lukas who live in the projects of Boston while the father travels the ocean. They are told he has died so they travel back to Iowa to see if her father will take them back.
Instead , they find him dead and move to west Amana where they can work and live until they can decide what to do.
They meet Dirk and he helps them to live again. Then, bad things happen and she needs to learn to trust in God. I really enjoyed this. I received this from Bethany House for a fair and honest review.
Posted April 21, 2014
*** I received this book from Bethany House for my honest opinion and review.
Andrea Wilson has received devestating news of the death of her husband. She has nothing to live on in Baltimore, Maryland. Her son Lukas is young but very impressionable. Andrea decides to go home to live with her father but once she arrives home, she gets news from Brother Dirk that her father died in a house fire. He had also sold the farm to the West Amana colony.
Brother Dirk brings her into the colony and has made arrangements for Andrea and Lukas to live with Sister Erma and work in the kitchen. Sister Greta has some drama going on in her life but eventually comes up with a plan.
What will happen with Andrea and her Son?
Will Sister Greta's plan work out?
Will Fred come back into the picture?
What is God's plan be the one that is glorified?
Posted April 17, 2014
I received a copy of this book from Bethany House to review for myself. All opinions posted here are mine and mine alone.
I consider myself to be a pretty knowledgeable person when it comes to American history, but occasionally I run across something that I've never heard of before. The Amana Colonies were one of those things- and I'm so glad that the novel, A Shining Light, introduced me to them. It's a really fascinating part of US history.
I really enjoyed this book a lot. The main characters were well-written and are backed up by a nice cast of supporting characters as well. This book is mainly about Andrea finding her place in the world, but there's also romance, drama and even mystery! It is part of a series called Home to Amana, but definitely stands well as solo book as well. Very good read!
Posted April 14, 2014
This is a sweet, sweet story. The author paints a vivid picture of life in the Amana colonies. It's a different world, for sure. I can't imagine living in a community where everyone shares everything. The author's words made me feel like I was experiencing this community and life right along with Andrea.
The characters are well written. Andrea's situation is sad, but probably very common in this time period. Her growth as a person is amazing to watch. Dirk is such a patient man. He is kind and understanding. Their relationship was very natural, and I loved that the author took it slow with them. It helped to show Andrea's growth spiritually and as a person. I would have loved to hear more of Fred's story, though. I was devestated for Andrea when Fred came back.
The faith of this community is different, but strong and amazing. They really try to live what the Bible teaches and their willingness to help is something we can all learn from. Overall, this was an enjoyable story! I look forward to reading more from this extraordinary author!
*Thank you Bethany House Publishers for providing a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.*
Posted April 13, 2014
In the vast bookshelves filled with romance novels, this one is just as refreshing as a walk in the sunshine! From the front cover to the end, I could not put this book down. Judith Miller is an extraordinary writer. Her writing style is expressive and her character descriptions are so vivid
you feel as if you are in the story right there with them.
Andrea Wilson's life has not been easy. Leaving the safety of her father's farm,
she marries Fred and has her son, Lukas, who are the main characters of this book. They live a life of turmoil and abuse and Andrea doesn't know much happiness or security.
When a knock on the door from Mr. Shaw, her husband's employer, tells her he has died at sea,
she has no choice but to return home to her father's farm and start over.
Sadly, she makes the journey with her son only to find out that he has passed away
and the farm burned to the ground.
She finds refuge in the Amanan community and quickly finds her place working
alongside the women and cooking and helping until she can get back on her feet.
What she doesn't expect is to fall in love along the way.
The relationship with Dirk, an Amanan tinmaker in the community,
is so very sweet and tender and melts the heart to know that such goodness exists.
He loves her son as if he were his own and takes him under his wing.
Shockingly, Fred returns to find her and demand that she not only return with him to live but also give him all the monies from the sale of the farm.
This book has a wonderful plot, twists and turns.
While the book does prove to be predictable through-out,
the message of faith and love and purity is one that will melt your heart
and leave you with a smile.I received a copy of this book to review from the Bethany House. The opinions expressed are purely my own.
Posted April 10, 2014
I received a complimentary copy of A SHINING LIGHT by Judith Miller from Bethany House. It is the third book in the Home to Amana series. Sadly, I haven’t read the others in the series yet, but after finishing this one, I definitely will.
Perhaps you’re wondering how good this book is. Well, I got home from work and found the book sitting in my mailbox. It had been a tiring day, so I sat back with a cup of tea and decided to lose myself in a chapter or two before dinner. Five chapters later, I realized that I really did need to eat. While I ate, I researched Amana Colonies. I had never heard of them before.
The Amana Colonies were seven villages “built and settled by German Pietists,” according to Wikipedia. I researched them some more, and now have a strong urge to visit the tourist attraction of today.
Back to A SHINING LIGHT, Andrea Wilson is a widow who takes her son, Lukas, to stay with an Amana village. You will smile, you will sniffle, and you will fall in love with the characters you meet. You will also crave more knowledge about the Amana Colonies.
In case you’re wondering, I started the book back up as soon as I finished dinner and didn’t stop until I had turned the last page with a sigh.
Posted April 7, 2014
When I saw that Judith Miller had a new book, and again about the Amana Community, I knew I had to read it. So when the opportunity was offered to review this book, a hearty yes! I was not disappointing, only that it eventually ended, makes me want to live there, if it still existed!
As always we get to see the hard workers and yet the peace and rewards of communal living, and although it ended with the changes of society, it looks like one big family, with everyone caring for one another.
This is the story rather typical of a young girl who has her teenage disagreements with her parents and was easily swept off her feet. She marries against the approval of her folks, and embarks off to Baltimore from Iowa. She soon finds out that her husband is not what he appeared to be. Amanda Wilson is being abused by her husband and so is their young son Lukas.
We see evil at its finest and we find the righteous turning the other cheek and helping and praying for Fred Wilson. Oh how I loved the love of God these people showed in all that they did. There is also a love story, that although it cannot continue, you feel the warmth of it.
The story is a really quick page turning read, and I enjoyed it all, and right to the end. You never see what is about to happen, and probably a good thing. Thank you Ms Miller for sharing your gifts!
I received this book from the Publisher Bethany House, and was not required to give a positive review.
Posted March 28, 2014
My heart grew quickly attached to the young widow and son in this beautiful story as their plight brings surprising challenges and forces hard decisions upon their shoulders. After a surprising loss, Andrea uproots her child and returns to her father’s Iowa farm, only to meet with further devastation and have her last hopes snuffed out. Life has officially left her penniless.
Just when it seems things are at their darkest, a ray of hope and benevolence lights up the page. The author sweeps readers away to the beautiful, quaint Amana colonies where we watch our leading lady battle disappointments from her past while guarding herself from these foreign, yet generous people eager to show her and her son unconditional love, friendship, and acceptance. Taken under their wing, she begins to find healing, faith in God, and even a surprising love for the kind village tinsmith.
Disregarding society’s view of success and prosperity, Andrea finds true contentment and joy here in Amana and I celebrated this fresh start with her. I could have stayed within these pages awhile longer actually. My heart was touched at her boy’s enthusiasm to soak up the delights of childhood and the fascinating new world around him. And my heart blushed with Andrea as her attraction to Dirk began to bloom. My favorite part was watching how God worked through these characters to show a hurting woman His love. How He provided miraculously for her in the story reminds me how He provides for each of us every day in more ways than we can count.
A big surprise near the end will catch you, like it did me, reading furiously fast to find out just how Andrea handles her greatest trial yet. I never saw it coming and I loved watching how it played out. I had never read any plot twist like this one before. The author delicately wove matters of the heart together with painful realities to a rewarding end. The drama and danger is certainly there in this fragile love story, but there is also victory and strong faith for readers to take away with them. I know you’ll enjoy it.
This review is my honest opinion. Thanks to the author and publishers at Bethany House for my copy.
Posted March 21, 2014
No text was provided for this review.