This 416-page trade paperback and NOOK Book original consists of a quartet of Amish novellas by talented authors. These engaging tales touch issues of love, unexpected challenges, and accepting God's gifts. A full bounty of faith-packed fiction. Editor's recommendation.
An Amish Gardenby Beth Wiseman, Vannetta Chapman, Kathleen Fuller, Tricia Goyer, Rebecca Gallagher (Narrated by)
Rooted in Love by Beth Wiseman: Rosemary Lantz is doing her best to run her family’s household. She excels at all her tasks except one: gardening. Saul Petersheim has pursued her for years, but Rosemary keeps turning him down. What Saul doesn’t know is that she has a good reason, but it's something no one can know/i>/i>
Rooted in Love by Beth Wiseman: Rosemary Lantz is doing her best to run her family’s household. She excels at all her tasks except one: gardening. Saul Petersheim has pursued her for years, but Rosemary keeps turning him down. What Saul doesn’t know is that she has a good reason, but it's something no one can know — especially him.
Flowers for Rachael by Kathleen Fuller: Rachael Bontrager’s flower garden is beautiful, but she’s lonely. Gideon Beiler fell in love with her almost at first sight. One day Rachael finds her garden in shambles, but she won’t accept Gideon’s offers of help. She must learn that she doesn’t have to do everything on her own — God is in control.
Seeds of Love by Tricia Goyer: Sadie Chupp finds her greatest joy in the greenhouses of her Montana community. A company is interested in buying her heirloom seeds, but they are the only things she has left from her deceased parents. Eli Plank is a traveling bachelor who believes he can help Sadie, but a misunderstanding leavers her heartbroken. Will she trust him again and let the seeds of a new relationship take root?
Where Healing Blooms by Vannetta Chapman: When widow Emma Hochstetter discovers a runaway teenager in her barn, and the bishop asks her to provide a haven for a local woman and her two children, she finds her quiet life interrupted. Then her mother-in-law reveals one of her garden’s hidden secrets — something very unexpected.
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An Amish Garden
By Beth Wiseman, Kathleen Fuller, Tricia Goyer, Vannetta Chapman
Thomas NelsonCopyright © 2014 Elizabeth Wiseman Mackey, Kathleen Fuller, Tricia Goyer, Vannetta Chapman
All rights reserved.
Rosemary crossed her legs, folded her arms across her chest, and tried to focus on the bishop's final prayer as he wrapped up the worship service. Saul Petersheim was making that a difficult task. She'd made it clear to Saul that she was not interested in dating him, but the man still gave it his best shot from time to time.
"He's doing it again," Rosemary whispered to Esther. "Smiling and staring at me."
Her best friend grinned. "Are you ever going to give that poor fellow a break and go out with him?"
"We've been through all this, Esther. Saul and I dated when we were sixteen. It didn't work out then, and it wouldn't work out now." Rosemary clamped her mouth closed when she realized that Bishop Glick had stopped talking and was staring at her, along with most of the congregation. She could feel the heat rising from her neck to her cheeks, so she sat taller, swallowed hard, and didn't breathe for a few seconds.
"See, Saul even gets me in trouble at worship service," Rosemary said once the bishop had recited the final prayer and dismissed everyone. She stood up, smoothed the wrinkles from her white apron, and shook her head.
Esther chuckled. "You're twenty-one years old. I think you're responsible for your own actions at this point."
Rosemary sighed as they waited for several of the older women to pass by before they eased into the line that was forming toward the kitchen. "I guess. I just wish Saul would find someone else," she whispered as she glanced over her shoulder toward him. "Someone better suited to him." The words stung when she said them aloud.
"Saul only has eyes for you." Esther smiled. "And I don't understand why you won't give him another chance. It was five years ago."
Rosemary bit her bottom lip, tempted to tell Esther the whole story. But every time she considered telling her friend the truth, she stopped herself. There was once a time when Rosemary couldn't picture herself with anyone but Saul.
All the men had gone in the other direction toward the front door, most likely to gather in the barn to tell jokes and smoke cigars while the women prepared the meal. Rosemary shrugged. "It just wouldn't work out."
Esther picked up a stack of plates from the counter and shook her head. "I don't understand you, Rosemary. Saul is one of the most desirable single men in our district. The fact that someone else hasn't already snagged him is mind-boggling." She nudged Rosemary's shoulder. "But I really do think he is holding out for you."
"Well, he is wasting his time." Rosemary picked up a pitcher of tea and followed Esther out the kitchen door and onto the porch. As they made their way down the steps toward the tables that had been set up in the yard, Rosemary commented to Esther that the Lord couldn't have blessed them with a more beautiful day. She wasn't going to let thoughts about Saul ruin it.
It seemed like spring had arrived overnight following a long winter that had seen record-low temperatures in Lancaster County. The Zooks were hosting church service today, and their flower beds were filled with colorful blooms. Rosemary glanced to her right at the freshly planted garden, then sighed, knowing how disappointed her mother would be if she were still alive. Rosemary hadn't planted a garden in four years. She'd tried to maintain the flower beds, but even that effort had failed.
She'd filled up most of the tea glasses when she saw Saul walking toward her. She swallowed hard. All these years later, Saul still made her pulse quicken.
"You look as pretty as ever, Rosie." Saul pushed back the rim of his straw hat, then looped his thumbs beneath his suspenders. There was no denying that Saul was a handsome man with his dark hair, deep-blue eyes, and boyish dimples. He had a smile that could melt any girl's heart. Aside from her father, Saul was the only other person who called her Rosie, and a warm feeling filled her when he did. But she'd never tell him that.
Rosemary looked up at him and forced a smile, wishing things were different. "Danki, Saul." She turned to walk away, but he was quickly in stride with her. "Can I help you with something?" she said as she continued to walk toward the house. She kept her eyes straight ahead and masked any facial expression.
"Nee. Just going inside." He scratched his chin. "And trying to figure out how long it's been since I asked you out. Wondering if I should try again."
Rosemary stopped midstep. She glanced around to see if anyone was in earshot, and after waiting for one of her brothers to jet past them, she said, "I–I just don't think it's a gut idea for us to date. I'm very busy trying to run a household full of boys and take care of mei daed." She locked eyes with his, knowing she'd do better to avoid looking at him altogether.
"Did I hear hesitation in your voice?" He grinned, and Rosemary's knees went weak. Saul wasn't just nice-looking, he was also well respected within the community and known to have a strong faith. He was sure to be a good husband and provider since he ran a successful construction company. He'd taken over his father's business when his father never fully recovered from back surgery. But there were two reasons Rosemary wasn't going to get involved with Saul. And one of them was walking toward them. Her five-year-old brother stopped in front of her, his face drawn into a pout.
"I can't find Jesse or Josh." Abner stared up at Rosemary.
"They're around here somewhere." Rosemary straightened her youngest brother's hat, making a mental note to cut his blond bangs when they got home. "We'll be eating soon, and neither Jesse nor Joshua is going to miss a meal."
Saul squatted in front of Abner. "Anything I can help you with, buddy?"
Abner shook his head. "Nee."
Rosemary looked down at her feet for a moment. Saul was born to be a father. She'd watched him with the kinner in their district over the years. The man was loving and kind to anyone he came in contact with. She needed to get away from him before she threw herself into his arms or said something she'd regret. She held up the empty pitcher and focused on Abner. "I've got to go refill this and help get lunch on the table. Don't go far." Then she turned to Saul, and a sadness weighed so heavy on her heart, she couldn't even force another smile. "I have to go."
* * *
Saul scratched his chin again as he watched Rosemary walk away. Most days, he wondered why he continued to pursue her since she always turned him away. But every now and then he would see something in her beautiful brown eyes that made him think he might still have a chance. Or like today ... he was sure he'd heard regret in her voice.
Sighing, he turned and headed back to the barn. As he pulled open the door, the stench of cigar smoke assaulted him. He'd never cared for this recreational activity that some of the men practiced. It used to be reserved for after the Sunday meal, but somewhere along the line, a few of the men began having a smoke before they ate. Saul enjoyed the jokes and company of the other fellows, but considering John Zook had already lost one barn to a fire, Saul was surprised he allowed smoking in his new one. The men were already walking toward the door, so Saul turned around, and they all made their way to the tables.
Saul took a seat at the table beneath a large oak tree, mostly because Rosemary's father, Wayne Lantz, was sitting there. Wayne was a leader, a fair man, and someone Saul had always looked up to. Saul wouldn't be surprised if he became bishop someday. He was also the first person on the scene of any emergency and available whenever a neighbor had a crisis. Saul glanced toward the Zook barn. On the day of the barn raising, Wayne had spent more time working than any of the other men. And even after his wife died four years ago, he continued to do for others.
"Any luck with that dochder of mine?" Wayne's face was void of expression as he picked up his glass of tea, then took several large gulps.
Saul had never been sure if Wayne approved of his pursuing Rosemary. "Nee. She still won't give me the time of day." He reached for his own glass, took a large drink, and hoped that his answer had sounded casual enough.
One corner of Wayne's mouth lifted into a subtle grin. Saul wasn't sure if the man was impressed with Saul's persistence or if he was happy that Rosemary wouldn't have anything to do with him. Wayne was quiet.
Rosemary walked up to the table carting a full pitcher of tea. She'd stolen Saul's heart the summer they'd both turned sixteen. That was the year she had blossomed into a woman, and the maturity fit her perfectly, both her figure and her personality. She'd been full of life, always laughing, and a bright light wherever she went. Saul was pretty sure she'd stolen a lot more hearts than just his that summer. He was blessed to have dated Rosemary for three months. But then one day after worship service, she'd broken up with him without giving him a good reason why. Through her tears, she'd mumbled something about the two of them not being right for each other, and she'd run off before Saul could get a better answer. She'd refused to talk about it in the months that followed.
Then her mother died the following year, and everything changed. She withdrew from everyone, and responsibility swallowed her up as she tended to her father and siblings. But Saul had seen the woman Rosemary was meant to be.
She walked around the table topping off glasses with iced tea, and when she got to her father, she set the pitcher on the table, then brushed lint from the arm of his black jacket. Wayne glanced at her and smiled, and in a rare moment, Rosemary smiled back. She left the pitcher on the table before she walked away, not one time glancing in Saul's direction. The six other men at the table were deep in conversation about a new buggy maker in town, an Englisch man who was building the buggies cheaper than anyone else. Saul was only half-listening when Rosemary's father leaned closer to him.
"I'd tell you to give up, but I'm guessing that isn't going to happen."
Saul shook his head and grinned as they both watched Rosemary walk across the yard to the house. "Nee."
Wayne ran his hand the length of his dark beard that was threaded with gray. He didn't look at Saul, but kept his eyes on Rosemary as she walked up the porch steps.
"Will be a blessed man to win her heart." Wayne kept his eyes on his daughter. "She's so much like her mudder, though. Hard to tell what's going on in her head." He turned to Saul, and the hint of a smile formed. "But she will be well worth the time invested if you are that man."
Everyone had thought Wayne Lantz would remarry quickly after his wife died. Widowers and widows were encouraged to marry another as soon as possible. But Edna Lantz had been a fine woman. Saul figured Wayne was having a hard time finding happiness with someone else.
Even though Rosemary never did tell Saul why she broke up with him so suddenly, he couldn't imagine spending his life with anyone else. He'd tried to bring up the subject from time to time, but it had just put even more distance between them. But realistically, how long could he go on pursuing her?CHAPTER 2
Rosemary was giving the kitchen rug a good thrashing against a tree on Monday morning when a buggy turned into the driveway. Squinting against the sun's glare as it peeked over the horizon, she watched as Katherine Huyard slowed down and stopped. Rosemary bit her tongue, reprimanded herself for allowing ugly thoughts to creep into her mind, then put the rug down in the grass and walked toward the buggy. Katherine stepped out toting a basket that was most likely filled with fresh vegetables from her garden.
Rosemary glanced at the healthy weeds she was growing within what used to be a fenced garden, determined not to let Katherine get under her skin. The first few times Katherine brought vegetables, Rosemary had been grateful that she didn't have to buy them in town. But now Katherine came at least two times a week, and the woman made Rosemary feel inferior. Her tomatoes were the biggest and tastiest Rosemary had ever had. So were her cucumbers, zucchinis, squash, melons, and spinach. And Katherine was always dressed in a freshly ironed dress and apron. Even her kapp looked just pressed, and there wasn't a hair out of place. Rosemary blew a strand of her own wayward hair from her face as she took her wrinkled self toward Katherine. She waved, hoping the visit would be short.
"Your daed told me at worship how much he's been enjoying my vegetables, so I've filled the basket." Katherine flashed her perfectly white teeth as she handed Rosemary the produce. It seemed Katherine was always smiling. Rosemary wondered how that could be. Katherine had lost her husband to cancer a year ago. It had been four years since Rosemary's mother died, and only recently did her father show any signs of joy.
"Danki, Katherine." Rosemary accepted the gift, knowing her father and the boys would be grateful. "Would you like to come in for kaffi or tea?"
"Nee. I've got some mending to do for mei nieces and nephews. I try to help Ellen as much as I can."
For a few seconds, Katherine's smile faded and she got a faraway look in her eyes. Rosemary never knew why Katherine and her husband, John, didn't have any children. Rosemary was about ten years younger than Katherine, who was in her early thirties. In a flash, Katherine's smile was back. Rosemary wondered what it would be like to switch places with the woman for a day, to have no one to tend to but herself. Even though Rosemary longed for a husband and children of her own, having even one day to herself sounded like heaven.
"Anyway ..." Katherine bounced up on her toes, then glanced around the yard. "I just wanted to get out this morning to enjoy the beautiful weather and drop off these vegetables."
Rosemary looked around. In addition to the eyesore that used to be a garden, the flower beds were overgrown, the yard needed mowing, and Abner had left toys all over the place. There just wasn't enough time in the day to take care of everything. "Ya, okay. Well, danki again for these." She lifted the basket as she managed a small, tentative smile.
Katherine looked around again, and Rosemary shifted her stance. "I'm a little behind on my outside chores."
Katherine shook her head. "Not at all. I think everything looks nice." She gave a quick wave and turned to leave. Rosemary had to give her credit. She almost sounded sincere.
She walked back to where she'd laid the kitchen rug in the grass, gave it a final slap against the tree, then headed inside with the rug and veggies. She was thankful that Abner, Jesse, and Joshua were all in school. But school would be out for the summer in a few weeks. The older boys would likely help Daed tend the fields, but Abner would be in her care all day long, which would slow her down even more.
As she pulled out a chair and sat down at the kitchen table, she wondered why she was allowing bitterness to consume her. Her mother had died, and these responsibilities were God's will for her. To tend to her family and to have very little time to herself—and certainly no time for a relationship.
The sooner Saul found someone else and got on with his life, the better for both of them.
* * *
Saul got his brother lined up first thing in the morning on Lydia Jones's house. The Englisch woman wanted her entire downstairs painted. Saul thought it was an awful color, a dark burgundy that made the house look even smaller than it was. But Joel was the best painter he had on his six-person payroll. He'd dropped off the other four fellows at another Englisch home where they were putting in laminate floors. He'd been blessed to have plenty of work the past few months, but after these two jobs, he didn't have anything else lined up, which was a little worrisome.
"Why would anyone paint the inside of their house this color?" Joel finished covering a hutch by the door with plastic as he eyed the one wall he'd painted last Friday.
Saul shrugged. "I don't know. But it's her haus." He quickly inspected the work Joel had done last week. As usual, it looked good. Joel was only sixteen, but he was a perfectionist, and Saul was thankful he could leave him in a customer's home, knowing his brother would do a gut job.
"I'll be back for you at five." Saul maneuvered around furniture that he and Joel had moved to the center of the room. "You'll probably have half of it done by then." He sighed and stretched out the tightness in his back. Some new job opportunities needed to come up by the end of the week.
A few minutes later he was pulling onto Lincoln Highway and heading toward Bird-in-Hand. He had a few errands to run this morning, but he'd barely stepped out of his buggy at the market when it began to pour. He hurried to tether his horse, then took off running across the parking lot. He tipped the rim of his hat down in an effort to shield his face from the heavy pelts. He wasn't paying attention when he rounded a big blue van and slammed right into another person. Hard enough that it brought them both down onto the hard cement. He felt his arm sliding across the pavement, but he was more concerned that the person he'd slammed into wasn't moving.
Wayne Lantz. Saul's heart pounded in his chest as he reached over and touched Rosemary's father on the chest. The older man was flat on his back with his eyes closed.
Excerpted from An Amish Garden by Beth Wiseman, Kathleen Fuller, Tricia Goyer, Vannetta Chapman. Copyright © 2014 Elizabeth Wiseman Mackey, Kathleen Fuller, Tricia Goyer, Vannetta Chapman. Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Meet the Author
Beth Wiseman is the award-winning and bestselling author of the Daughters of the Promise, Land of Canaan, and Amish Secrets series. While she is best known for her Amish novels, Beth has also written contemporary novels including Need You Now, The House that Love Built, and The Promise.
Kathleen Fuller is the author of several bestselling novels, including A Man of His Word and Treasuring Emma, as well as a middle-grade Amish series, the Mysteries of Middlefield. Visit her online at www.kathleenfuller.com, Twitter: @TheKatJam, and Facebook: Kathleen Fuller.
USA Today bestselling author Tricia Goyer is the author of more than 40 books, including the novelization for Moms’ Night Out. She has written over 500 articles for national publications and blogs for high traffic sites like TheBetterMom.com and MomLifeToday.com. Tricia and her husband, John, live in Little Rock, Arkansas, where Tricia coordinates a Teen MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) group. They have six children.
Vannetta Chapman is author of the best-selling novel A Simple Amish Christmas. She has published over one hundred articles in Christian family magazines, receiving over two dozen awards from Romance Writers of America chapter groups. In 2012 she was awarded a Carol Award for Falling to Pieces. She discovered her love for the Amish while researching her grandfather’s birthplace of Albion, Pennsylvania. Visit Vannetta's website: www.vannettachapman.com Twitter: @VannettaChapman Facebook: VannettaChapmanBooks
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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Sweet Amish romances all based around a garden theme. Kathleen Fuller’s Flowers for Rachel is the only one I wish were a longer book. Really enjoyed both Rachael and Gideon’s characters and would have enjoyed watching the story develop around them.
i wish her books would go on forever. I never want these to end
I completely enjoyed relaxing with this collection of Amish novellas! Gardening is something I've always enjoyed and it was a lovely theme throughout these stories. It seemed there was more focus on family relationships rather than romance, but there was still enough for me to feel satisfied and all the stories wrapped up nicely. (Thank you to Thomas Nelson Publishers for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)
Nice enjoyable stories -- I can't say enough about how much I love these omnibus novels. I like that the stories are short and they usually have one thing in common which is nice. There was one that I thought had a slow start, not naming titles, lol, but it ended up being just as good as the other three. I would like to thank the authors for doing these. I like longer books and enjoy series of books, it's just nice to read something like this once in awhile. Each of these authors did a great job!
Written by four authors - four stories. I love and have read all four authors and reviewed books for all of them. All stories involve gardens. Each has a different message. In Rooted in Love, I felt love was endured until it was time for God's plan. In Flowers for Rachel, Rachel had a hard time accepting help. Gideon had a hard time expressing himself as a lot of men do around women. In Seeds of Love, it is about giving to others even if different from you and the giving will return to you. In When Healing Blooms, there is lots of healing to be done. Grief, women and kids needing a safe place, runaway boy, and a ministry started. Each book could have a special review but I'm trying to cover all. You can read one story. Take a break. Read another.
MY REVIEW of Planting a Future by Beth Wiseman--"He's doing it again," Rosemary whispered to Esther. "Smiling and staring at me." Rosemary and Saul are being offered a second chance at love and so is Rosemary's father, Wayne. When an accidental run-in between Saul and Wayne results in both men being injured, Wayne is unable to complete his farm work and Saul offers to do it for him as well as planting a vegetable garden for Rosemary. Rosemary hasn't had time for planting a garden since her mamm died and she has had to bear responsibility for her brothers, daed and the home so Saul and Rosemary will be thrown together quite a bit. This is a 5-star novella and really kept me reading and cheering the couples on! Read to see how misunderstandings can mess things up for couples until they are resolved. “Flowers for Rachael” Kathleen Fuller Rachael’s garden is beautiful, but she is lonely. Gideon is in love with Rachael, but when Rachael finds her garden in shambles after a crisis, she rejects his help. Will she realize she doesn’t have to do everything on her own? MY REVIEW of Flowers for Rachael by Kathleen Fuller---"Arranging a bowl of flowers in the morning can give a sense of quiet in a crowded day--like writing a poem or saying a prayer."--Anne Morrow Lindbergh Gideon and Rachael both care for the other and they're both afraid to express it. Rachael is living next door to Gideon while caring for her grandfather, Eli, who suffered a stroke. Rachael loves flowers and soon a secret admirer is sending flowers daily with one word notes attached to them. She hopes it's Gideon. Will he be the one who is secretly sending flowers ? if not Gideon, who is sending them? This is another 5-Star Novella that is simply delightful. I learned many new things about plants and flowers as I read this work of Amish fiction. “Seeds of Love” Tricia Goyer When a corporation shows interest in buying Sadie’s heirloom seeds, she panics. They are all she has left of her Dat and Mem. Eli believes he can help Sadie, but a misunderstanding leaves her heartbroken. Will she trust him again, and will the seeds of a new relationship take root? MY REVIEW of Seeds of Love by Tricia Goyer---Can planting and tending tomatoes lead to love for a grieving young Amish woman and the Amish bachelor? or is it simply too far-fetched an idea for these two who seem to be doing fine on their own? Poor Sadie Chupp worries too much about what her sisters think about her life and plans. She needs to learn to listen to her own heart. Eli Plank is having an incredible time travelling around the country and writing as the scribe "The Amish Bachelor" for The Budget, an Amish newspaper which includes little stories of interest from many Amish communities in the world. Another 5-Star Novella!!!! Wow, I have been having such a great time reading these works of Amish fiction and romance and learning so many new things for a self-proclaimed "brown thumb". “A Place of Healing” Vannetta Chapman Emma discovers a run-away teen in her barn, and the bishop asks her to provide a haven for a woman and her two children. Then her mother-in-law reveals a secret about her garden. Will Emma choose loneliness or learn to accept God’s gifts? MY REVIEW of A Place of Healing by Vannetta Chapman---This last novella in the book may have touched the most nerves with me as I am also an empty-nester in my early 50's like the main character, Emma. Danny and she dated a long time ago and went their separate ways for Danny to travel, research, and write and for Emma to marry and raise a large family. Emma is now a widow and Danny has returned permanently and is living next door. Will they be able to put the past behind them and begin a new future and start a new ministry? or will they stay stuck in the past? This one is another winner and another 5-star novella to finish the book. All four novellas are wonderful and I highly recommend this book to fellow readers as it has something for just about everyone. Get a copy and give it a try! I don't think you'll be disappointed.
The best book
I was excited to see this book - several of my favorite authors, and a subject that is dear to my heart - and it did not disappoint! In "Rooted in Love," Beth Wiseman shows the age-old cost of eavesdropping. Will Rosemary miss out on the love of her life because she thinks she knows what's best for her future? The chemistry between her and Saul is true to life. I couldn't put this book down as I ached for them to experience God's best. In "Flowers for Rachel," Kathleen Fuller writes a love story of shy and awkward Gideon and Rachel. Each chapter begins with a quote related to flowers, and they nicely summarize the growing relationship between these Amish young people. I felt this story was a bit predictable, but I like the ways the characters learned to show their love for one another. Tricia Goyer gives us another glimpse into the Amish community of West Kootenai, Montana in "Seeds of Love"(If you haven't read her "Seven Brides for Seven Bachelors series, or the "Big Sky" novels that preceded those, this is a good excuse to start!). Sadie Chupp and Eli Plank are strangers who meet in a small Amish settlement when he travels west seeking adventure...or are they? It turns out their families knew each other in Indiana, and the connection wasn't always so friendly! Eli is a scribe for "The Budget," an Amish newspaper featuring letters from writers living in scores of different Amish communities. His wit and skills of observation make him well-suited to handle Sadie and her reservations. As usual, Goyer has a few twists up her sleeve, and gives a satisfying ending to this garden tale. Last but certainly not least, Vannetta Chapman shows us "Where Healing Blooms." This is more than a romantic love story - it also describes the deep love and friendship between a woman and her mother-in-law (not unlike Ruth and Naomi in Scripture). This story of faith and redemption and yes, buried treasure, revolves around the family garden. As wise mother-n-law Mary Ann says, "Gardens are a reflection of God's love for us," and how gently and winsomely we see Emma and Danny discover that truth in a new way. This story describes the Amish commitment to the good of the community, not just one's own prosperity. I was delighted to watch these characters lean to deal with their pasts and come together for a common future. As Chapman quotes, "There is a time for everything, and a season for every purpose under heaven." I loved that this novella was based on mature characters, and not the usual fresh-faced 'maedel.' Any one of these authors cold have written a full book on her storyline, but I really enjoyed having these nuggets together in one book. The time you spend here in these "gardens" will be fruitful time indeed.
This wonderful book, which entails four Novellas, written by four wonderful authors, shows how the gardens in our lives help us to move ahead and as stated in the final novella by the very talented author, Vannetta Chapman, Gardens will bless your soul. “They are a place to rest, to draw near, and to heal.” I especially loved that line and marked it as I was reading the book, because that is how I truly feel about gardens, as well. My Review: 1. Rooted in Love, Beth Wiseman Rosemary Lantz is the main character in this story. She is a talented young woman except that gardening has its challenges for her. In her courting days, she was together with Saul until she hears a secret about him that at her age of 16, causes her to separate from him. This was a hard thing for both of them, but Rosemary knows that a life with Saul under these circumstances would never work. As they begin to work together in her garden, they share work and laughter together. I especially liked the part with Rosemary’s father and there was a part that brought me to tears as I read the feelings between the two of them. 2. Flowers for Rachael, Kathleen Fuller Rachael has a beautiful flower garden and spent most days tending to it. She loves her garden and even finds herself talking to her flowers, perhaps because she is lonely. She apparently has a secret admirer, however, as suddenly and daily a beautiful flower appears for her with a very short note. She has no idea who is bringing the flowers, although she hopes it might be Gideon. Yet, it appears not to be as he seems unaware of the flowers’ meanings when she gives a flower to Gideon. Rachael cares for her grandfather and finds him collapsed one day, which leads to a hospital stay and Rachael feels she needs to be her grandfather’s caretaker. Her grandfather insists she needs to tend to her life and that God will take care of things all in their due time. Rachael still is worried about her grandfather but discovers that she must learn to trust. 3. Seeds of Love, Tricia Goyer This novella takes place in Montana and the main character is Sadie Chupp who is a young woman whose late mother left her with a legacy, heirloom seeds that are her special remembrances of her dear parents. She seems to harbor some unhappy feelings towards her siblings, who, after the deaths of their parents, sold the family home. Sadie being the youngest was heartbroken and moves to her uncle in Montana to start fresh. She brings her mother’s seeds and plans a garden to continue to keep the feeling of her parents close to her. A company has wanted to buy the heirloom seeds, but Sadie’s mother had not wanted to do so, because the seeds had belonged to her family for generations. She meets Eli who wants to help her with her gardening. As time passes she and Eli have a misunderstanding and Sadie is beyond sad. Her garden undergoes lots of damage and the heirloom seeds have all been planted. How will she ever be able to repair the damage that a bear cub has done? The biggest surprise yet occurs when Sadie meets Eli’s grandfather. 4. Where Healing Blooms, Vannetta Chapman Emma is a widow who lives with Mary Ann, her mother-in-law. Mary Ann has a beautiful garden that she lovingly tends. Emma tries to find a purpose in life now that her children are grown. She learns that a runaway Amish boy has been hiding in her barn. She tries to know how she can help him at this troubled time of his life. She leaves food and hopes that he will feel that he can trust her to help him. She also is asked by the bishop to house an abused Amish woman and her two children. They find a safe refuge at Emma’s and begin to work together. Emma begins to find some meaning to her life and purpose Her old friend, Danny, has returned home after many years absence. She had once hoped that they would marry, but Danny had disappointed her by moving away to pursue his life’s plans leaving Emma alone and to marry another. Emma feels she is too old now to find love again in her life. Mary Ann’s garden holds a secret which she reveals to Emma and Danny that may just change both of their lives. These four stories will touch your heart. These four authors share how gardens can help you find peace, faith, endurance, hope and healing. I loved them all!
This novel is a collection of four stand alone novellas. The stories take you into the lives of the Amish communities. You begin in Lancaster Co, PA with young love that faded into a garden of blossomed love, then you travel to Middlefield, OH where love is shy but blooms. Afterwards you are taken to West Kootenai, MT and watch a grieving character find a love that sprouts and lastly we enter the state line of Indiana where a runway hidden in a barn alone with a secret hidden in the garden. All of the stories are interesting, well written and blooms delightfully. I read them each while sitting in my sunroom over looking my small garden awaiting work to be done. Each story has an innocent love brewing and ends wondefully. I look forward to reading more from each author. I recommend this novel for readers that enjoy wholesome Christian fiction reading with a pitch of history. The bonus recipes located at the end of the novel and the list of Amish vocabulary words in the beginning of each chapter were wonderful additions. Kudos to each author.
An Amish Garden Rooted in Love by Beth Wiseman Beth Wiseman has written a poignant Amish story of love and loss based on a conversation the main character overheard. Two people's lives are fraught with dismay that honesty, openness and trust would have assuaged. The author paints a realistic portrait of Amish life, creating characters with emotion and sensitivity. I enjoyed this short story of relationships and the developments that resulted despite a misunderstanding. Flowers for Rachel by Kathleen Fuller Kathleen Fuller has depicted Rachel and Gideon's friendship in a very tender and expressive perspective. The Amish lifestyle is well described, and Rachel's relationship with her "grossdaadi" is amusing and entertaining. The author used very touching quotations at the headings of each chapter, appropriate to the content and very thought provoking. I enjoyed that addition to the story. The development of Rachel and Gideon's relationship was very charming and endearing. Seeds of Love by Tricia Goyer Considerable loss and loneliness are pivotal factors in the life of Tricia Goyer's protagonist. Life-changing events set the mood for this expressive narrative. Heirloom tomato seeds are all that remain from Sadie's past, and a misunderstanding affects her attitude toward immediate family members. The young man depicted in this story is presented with compassion and a depth of character. The events throughout this novella are heartrending and poignant, and misconceptions are emotive. Where Healing Blooms by Vannetta Chapman Spring has arrived in Shipshewana, and Mary Ann's garden is once again her haven. Her daughter-in-law, Emma, joins her in weeding and tending to the garden, more expansive and prolific with each passing year. The garden haven holds secrets that no one could suspect. Vannetta Chapman weaves a story with depth and perception that places her in a category all her own. Her characters are strong and the setting picturesque. There's no guessing the ensuing events in this well-written novella. Much diversity is revealed in this extraordinary short story and I craved more, but the author wrapped up all loose ends bringing closure to this impressive novella. Faith, hope and love are strong elements in each of these novellas, and God's timing is always perfect, making for four well-written and very enjoyable novellas in this compilation. I highly recommend this collection of Amish garden stories, each containing very enjoyable story lines in their own right. Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own, and no monetary compensation was received for this review.
Delightful! An Amish Garden is a collection of four novellas written by four outstanding authors. Rooted in Love by Beth Wiseman This is a story about loss and love. I enjoyed the characters in this book because they were so realistic. Rosemary is a very lovable person but I wanted to tell her to open your eyes! Open your heart! God’s timing is always perfect as you will see in this story. Flowers for Rachael by Kathleen Fuller When a family member becomes ill the natural thing is to take care of a loved one the best way you know how. Rachael does just that in this story. Also, a lesson well learned is, it is o.k. to let someone help you when disaster strikes. Will Rachael’s stubbornness ruin her chances for friendship and love? Seeds of love by Tricia Goyer Sadie saddened by her parents death and her sibling’s treating her like a child moves to Montana to get away from it all. Was the move the right decision? Grief, starting over, and not having the trust of others weighs heavily on Sadie’s shoulders. So, is there room in her heart for love? Where Healing Blooms by Vannetta Chapman I fell in love with Emma and this storyline. Healing, don’t we all need some kind of healing in our lives? Love and acceptance, aren’t these pretty important to us too? As the story unfolds and God’s will for Emma’s life is made known, the reader can feel the beginning of the healing process. I enjoyed living with Emma and Mary Ann. Well, I didn’t actually live there physically but I did mentally. I could feel everything they felt. I loved these characters. I didn’t want this story to end. It was that good! I hope those who read this review will pick up a copy of An Amish Garden. You will be Blessed and perhaps your healing process will begin too.
I just finished the "An Amish Garden" collection by Beth Wiseman, Kathleen Turner, Tricia Goyer and Vannetta Chapman. This collection of 4 novellas is one sweet way to pass the time! Each story prominently features a well-loved garden, and the importance of that place in the lives of each woman featured. I thoroughly enjoyed each story, and it's an especially nice collection to grab when you have just a little while to spend with a book. Sometimes you just want to enjoy the time, and I certainly did, and recommend it!
An Amish Garden is a collection of stories from four talented and popular authors: Beth Wiseman, Vannetta Chapman, Kathleen Fuller, and Tricia Goyer. Uplifting and encouraging, these stories emphasize aspects of faith and simple living. I started reading this book in the middle of an extremely busy time in my life, and found it so relaxing and enjoyable, peaceful and inspiring. Each story is well written, with characters and plot that left me wanting more. This is one of the best collections I've read in a long time. Vannetta writes: "Gardens are a place of comfort for many of us. For Amish families, they are also a source of nourishment, a family gathering place, and sometimes a place where healing can be found." And she is exactly right, because when I reflect on the word garden, this is what comes to mind: beauty, sustenance, new life, God's provision, sanctuary. Let me first confess that I am not a gardener in any sense of the word, yet I love to gaze on the beauty of a simple daffodil that my husband picked for me. And vegetable gardens remind me of the years when my Dad came home from a long day's work and delayed his supper until he had spent several hours tilling and planting our family garden. Or working beside my mother and grandmother in the canning/freezing process. So while An Amish Garden entertained and inspired, it also brought back treasured memories with loved ones I look forward to seeing in heaven someday. “Rooted in Love” Beth Wiseman - I was drawn to Saul and Rosemary, loved the chemistry between them. Many readers will identify with Rosemary's spiritual growth as she comes to realize that she can't have it all, but that's okay. Contentment only comes from a close relationship with God and finding that what He provides is more fulfilling than anything we could desire. "Flowers for Rachael" Kathleen Fuller - This sweet story has a delightful twist toward the end. I also loved the way Kathleen began each chapter with a quote. This one by Martin Luther was a favorite: "God writes the Gospel not in the Bible alone, but also on trees, and in the flowers and clouds and stars." “Seeds of Love” Tricia Goyer - An enchanting bachelor scribe character, heirloom tomato seeds passed down through generations, Amish proverbs - there's so much to learn and enjoy in Tricia's story! How true this proverb is: "A garden is a way of showing that you believe in tomorrow." This story also has a surprising twist at the end, and a lesson that we often find difficult to accept in Sadie's words: "What I tried to hold on to, I lost. What was given up - shared - is the only thing that was saved." “Where Healing Blooms” Vannetta Chapman - I can't put my finger on how she does it, but Vannetta has a unique way of writing that makes me care about the characters on the page and feel their emotions. And she injects a subtle humor that kept me smiling as I turned each page. I love it when an author uses an older couple as leading characters, and I don't see how anyone can help but be drawn to Emma and Danny. The relationship between Emma and her mom, Mary Ann, is touching, almost hitting a little close to home for me at times - but in a good way. Of all the things that spoke to me in this story, I think it's the idea that no matter our age, God isn't through with us. If we can just be completely open, we might be shocked at how God blesses and uses our surrendered lives! An Amish Garden is a thoroughly enjoyable read, one that I highly recommend. Thank you to Vannetta Chapman and Thomas Nelson Publishing for providing a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
Four of my favorite authors have gotten together to write a book of four individual stories. Each story has a different setting, in Amish Communities. One theme is prevalent in each of the stories, and that is gardening. I read my book on my kindle and each story was just about 25%, so you could read a little while and actually have time to finish and know the ending quickly. Of course, having read most all the books by these authors, I am familiar with the communities they reside in. Loved being back in each of the places I have loved reading about previously. First novella is by Beth Wiseman, Rooted In Love, and a garden plays a big part in this love story. We also find that we should not be listening to conversations that we have no part in! The second story by Kathleen Fuller, Flowers for Rachael, we meet a young but very independent Amish woman, learns a big lesson. This one is so very sweet, but not everything is the idea of the person doing the deed. Oh my, I love these! Then we have Tricia Goyer, Seeds of Love. We are back in beautiful Montana with the bachelors, and this time we have one who travels around writing for the Amish paper The Budget. In this rather cold climate, where we have Rachael and her mother’s heirloom tomato seeds, while trying to accept the tragic death of her parents. The last, but equally good, is Vanetta Chapman’s , Where Healing Blooms. Here we have a few generations of strong Amish woman, and a neighbor Amish man who has spent his life traveling among communities. I adored the interaction and the caring these people showed for each other. Some good lessons here of respecting your elders, and showing compassion to others. This story can bring you to tears, so have some tissues handy. I really recommend this book as a great read, and a wonderful way to read and a great way to travel around to different Amish communities. I received this book from the Publisher Thomas Nelson through Net Galley, and was not required to give a positive review.
An Amish Garden By: Beth Wiseman, Kathleen Fuller, Tricia Goyer, and Vannetta Chapman We have four Amish Novellas from four great authors. Each can be read alone . I think these authors have done some excellent writing on these novellas . You will read about love , hope, and trusting God through these novellas. Rooted in Love By: Beth Wiseman After Rosemary Lentz mother died she takes over running the household for her father and siblings. She is good at everything except gardening . Rosemary was sixteen when she walked away from Saul , the man she loved and thought she would marry. Five years later Saul still has feeling for Rosemary and has no idea why she stopped seeing him. What did Rosemary learn that caused her to stop seeing the man she loved? You will love this story and I felt so sorry for Saul. Flowers For Rachael By: Kathleen Fuller Rachael Bontrager moved to Middlefield to take care of her grandfather after he had a stroke. Now Rachael has a beautiful flower garden, but she is lonely. Gideon Beiler is Rachael's neighbor and once he see's Rachael he falls in love with her. He cannot tell Rachael his feelings. Do you like matching ? Well you will read about some in Flowers for Rachael. I loved this story and it is romantic with the matchmaking that goes on. Seeds of Love By: Tricia Goyer Sadie Camp has inherited her mom's heirloom seeds. She has a beautiful garden until something happened to it one night. Eli Plank has become her friend, but can she trust this traveling bachelor again with her heirloom seeds? Eli tells her he can help her. Will she listen to him and trust him with her heirloom and her life? This was a wonderful story to read and I loved it . Where Healing Blooms By: Vannetta Chapman Both Emma and her mother-in-law Mary Ann have lost their husbands. They share a home together in Shipshewana. They have a beautiful garden that they spend lots of time in. One day Emma finds a runaway teen in her barn. The Bishop ask Emma to take in a woman and her children. Now her mother-in -law Mary Ann has a secret about her garden that she has been keeping to herself for years. The two of them was contented with their lives , but now everything has changed. Will Emma ever find her place where healing blooms? I was given a copy of this book by the publisher and the author for my honest review.
An Amish Garden by Beth Wiseman, Kathleen Fuller, Tricia Goyer and Vannetta Chapman***** This is an Amish novella, four-in-one book: Rooted in Love, Flowers for Rachael, Seeds of Love and Where Healing Blooms. A garden theme is sewn throughout each story. Hope, healing, challenges and trusting in God are woven throughout the stories. ~~~ Rooted for Love by Beth Wiseman: Rosemary Lantz had dated Saul Petersheim when she was 16 but broke off their courtship without giving him the real reason why. Now five years later she finds that Saul is still interested in her and she is not sure what to do about it. Her heart longs for him but the secret she carries keeps her from following her heart. Anyway she has much to do caring for her dad and siblings since her mother's death years ago. And then there is the vegetable garden that she just can't seem to master. Their neighbor, Katherine, comes over each week with produce from her vegetable garden to share with them. However, Rosemary wonders what the real reason is for her frequent visits. Saul doesn't plan to give up on Rosemary, she is the only one for him. It seems her father, Wayne, is agreeable to the match. But how to get Rosemary to talk to him and work things out? What secret does Rosemary keep? Secrets are revealed, misjudgments, eavesdropping can lead to wrong conclusions and heartache; but healing, forgiveness, faith and trust is possible. Lovely story. ~~~ Flowers for Rachael by Kathleen Fuller: A year ago Rachael Bontrager moved from Indiana to Middlefield to care for her grandfather after his stroke. Each day she works lovingly in her flower garden producing a beautiful garden. Gideon Beiler is a neighbor who is very much interested in Rachael from the first day he met her. He wants to court her but is not sure how to go about asking her. What if she says no to his courtship? His sister, Hannah decides to help him in his pursuit of Rachael, but things don't go well. A little matchmaking, secret admirer, faith and love all produce a beautiful story. ~~~ Seeds of Love by Tricia Goyer: Eli Plank is a bachelor scribe for the Budget, an Amish paper. He travels around the Amish community and writes articles for the paper. He comes to West Kootena, Montana for his next stop and meets Sadie Chupp. He finds her interesting and may plan on staying awhile in Montana. Sadie has only been in Montana for five months. She has heirloom tomato seeds from her mother that have been passed down for generations and needs to learn the weather and soil conditions in her new home before planting them. She starts them out in a neighbors greenhouse in preparation for planting. As in life, the characters must work through misunderstandings, challenges, trust, love and faith. A beautiful story. ~~~ When Healing Blooms by Vannetta Chapman: Emma Hochestter and her mother-in-law, Mary Ann share a home in Shipshewana, Indiana. Both of their husbands have died, but Emma's grown children live close by. They spend a lot of time in the large garden, a place of healing in many ways for the two women. One day Emma notices a young teenage Amish boy running from behind her barn. She discovers he has been sleeping there. Where has he come from and what should she do about him? The bishop asks Emma to take in a woman and her two children and provide a safe haven for them for a time. Mary Ann has a secret hidden in the garden and finally shares it with Emma. Emma is shocked at the discovery and ponders what to do. What does God have in store for these two women and their garden? What a delightful story. I love the relationship between Emma and Mary Ann and the way the characters lives are impacted by each other. Even though this is a short story there is so much packed into it: hope, healing and learning to trust God in their lives is sewn throughout making this an enjoyable read. Would like to see a follow up story of the characters. ~~Received a copy of the book from Vannetta Chapman for my review~~
For an Amish fiction lover like me, this book has it all! It is a collection of four novellas by some of my favorite authors. All of the stories stand independently from each other and since they are novellas, they are faster reads than a standard length novel. However, all four stories are very full and well-developed. I connected with the characters in each of the stories and felt invested in how things would turn out for them. In each novella, a garden is central to the storyline. The themes of hope and healing, and learning to let go and trust in God completely are woven with sweet romantic stories to make for a very enjoyable collection. I truly loved every single story. I received a complimentary copy of An Amish Garden in exchange for an honest review, which I have given.