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Posted November 21, 2013
Marianne Ellis brings readers the latest inspiration romance in her Amish Seasons series, Autumn Grace. This is tender love story between a quiet, man of God and a young Amish school teacher. Readers of Amish fiction will love Ellis' attention to detail and characterizations. With strong values and a call to a simpler life, readers would think there will be no ups and downs for this couple, but that's not the case. Ellis provides an enchanting story set against the backdrop of the Amish religion that will keep readers reading long into the night.
It's no secret... I love Amish fiction! As a young girl I started out reading inspirational fiction and though I have branched out into a lot of other genre's, I still love the simple and beautiful love stories created by authors who understand that faith and love are often meant to be shared. Most of the inspirational fiction I have reviewed has come from the big names in Christian Fiction, Revell Books, Bethany House and others. Autumn Grace comes from Berkley and I was interested in seeing what they had to offer readers of this genre. I was definitely not disappointed.
Autumn Grace features a young woman named Ruth that has had a difficult time living up to the rigors of the Amish life. Her father is a deacon and a lot is expected of his children and the eyes of the community often rest on them. Ruth has a way of looking at life that is refreshing and joyful. She has a lively spirit, which is not always a good thing, when it comes to the Amish. She doesn't feel as though she fits in and is waiting for God to show her where she needs to be. I loved Ruth, she was such a breath of fresh air. Ellis does a fantastic job of showing the reader that Ruth is not doing things that are against her faith, it is just how she does things that seems to be at issue. I thought she was a wonderful character and readers will find her irresistible and infectious.
Levi is a quiet man, shy and unassuming. I liked the fact that he lived his faith openly and tried to help his community in any way he could, including serving on the school board. His passion for wounded and sick animals was another thing that drew me to his character. He was the kind of man you wished had a good woman at his side. It was almost as if he deserved that. I thought Ellis brought the Amish lifestyle and faith to life through this character and made readers fall in love with him. An excellent hero!
When Ruth is asked to take a position as a teacher, she feels as though she has her answer. But the road to her destiny isn't an easy one. Her school is across the road from Levi's farm and he helps her as she faces the school board on one occasion. The romance that blooms between them is both confusing and joyful to Levi and exactly what God had in mind for both of them. Their road isn't easy, as they are very different and I thought Ellis really brought out that point well. Even those who are living a life of faith, don't always have it easy. It's how they weather the storm that is often different.
I loved the good clean romance that Ellis has written here and I believe readers will find it enchanting. I have great respect for the Amish people and their faith. I often think we would all be a little better off if we were less concerned with the things of the world and more concerned about the things of heaven.
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