This collection of three Beth Wiseman novellas could not have been more aptly titled. "Healing hearts" renders perfectly the themes of these Amish romances and, indeed, most of Wiseman's work. The fictions, now available for the first time in a one collection, are Healing Hearts, A Change of Heart, and A Choice to Forgive. Each of the three inhabits a pastoral world of long-held spiritual values and shared community. Editor's recommendation.
Healing Hearts: A Collection of Amish Romancesby Beth Wiseman
Three hope-filled stories about second chances, trusting your heart, and the power of forgiveness.
Healing HeartsEmpty-nesters Levina Lapp and her husband Naaman have no children under their roof for the first time in 30 years. When Naaman leaves to visit cousins in Ohio, Levina never expected him to be gone a year. Now that he's back, will/b>/b>… See more details below
Three hope-filled stories about second chances, trusting your heart, and the power of forgiveness.
Healing HeartsEmpty-nesters Levina Lapp and her husband Naaman have no children under their roof for the first time in 30 years. When Naaman leaves to visit cousins in Ohio, Levina never expected him to be gone a year. Now that he's back, will they be able to move beyond this estrangement and rekindle the fire of the love they once shared?
A Change of HeartLeah is a writer in a community that does not encourage such fruitless endeavors. She lacks the skills necessary to be a good Amish fraacooking, cleaning, quilting, and gardening. Aaron is aware of Leah's short-comings, but his heart is captured by this spirited young woman. Will Leah's role as an Amish wife and mother force her to set aside her creative lifeor will Aaron make an offer she never dreamed was possible?
A Choice to ForgiveLydia has loved two men in her life. Daniel, who disappeared one Christmas Eve long ago, leaving only a note saying he wanted to live in the Englisch world. And Elam, Daniel's brother, to whom she had been happily married for 15 years. When Elam dies, Lydia gives up on ever loving again. But she is shocked when Daniel wants to return to the Order and her life. Is there enough forgiveness in her heart to overlook the past and move into a future that could fulfill her dreams?
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Healing HeartsTHREE AMISH NOVELLAS
By Beth Wiseman
Thomas NelsonCopyright © 2010 Beth Wiseman
All right reserved.
Chapter OneLydia opened the front door, expecting her friend Sarah or one of the children's friends. Instead, a ghost stood in her doorway, a vision from her past—Englisch in appearance, Amish in her recollection of him. A man long buried in her heart and in her mind, he couldn't possibly be real. But his chest heaved in and out, and his breath clouded the air in front of him, proof that he was no apparition. He was real. He was Daniel Smucker.
Up till this moment, Lydia was having a routine day, busying herself with baking and household chores. On this Thursday afternoon she was enjoying some solitude while her children visited her sister Miriam for a couple of hours. Chilly November winds whipped around the farmhouse, hinting of a hard winter to come, but a cozy fire warmed the inside of the hundred-year-old structure. Aromas of freshly baked pies and cookies wafted through the house—shoofly pie and oatmeal raisin cookies—just like her mother used to bake when Lydia was a child.
Lydia smoothed the wrinkles in her black apron, tucked strands of dark-brown hair beneath her white prayer covering, and headed to the front door, thankful to God for all that she'd been blessed with. Three beautiful children, a lovely home, and a church community that encouraged her to be the best Amish woman she could be, especially since the death of her husband two years ago.
Elam's fatal heart attack shocked everyone, especially since there was no family history of heart problems. After he died, Lydia had struggled to get out of bed each morning, but with the help of the Old Order district, she and the children were doing much better.
Today she was trying to keep her thoughts in a happy place, one filled with hope for the future, the promise of good times with friends and family during the upcoming holiday season, and a blessed Christmas to celebrate the birth of their Savior.
Then she opened the door, and this man's presence threatened to steal all that she'd been working toward.
He stood tall before her in black breeches and a black coat buttoned to his neck. His half smile was enough to produce the boyish dimples she remembered from their youth. His sandy-brown hair, now tinged with gray at the temples, reminded her how much time had passed since she had seen him—eighteen years.
His voice was deeper than she remembered. But his slate blue eyes were unmistakably the eyes of her first true love, tender and kind, gentle and protective, reflective of a man she'd known as a nineteen-year-old girl. And now he stood shivering on her doorstep, clearly waiting for an invitation to come in out of the cold.
But Lydia couldn't speak. She couldn't move. And she didn't want to ask this man into her home—this man who had once promised to marry her, then disappeared from her community and her life in the middle of the night. And on Christmas Eve, no less.
But that was a long time ago, and she'd gone on to marry his brother. Thank goodness Elam had been there to comfort her after Daniel's desertion. Elam, the man she was meant to be with, whom she'd married and shared fifteen wonderful years with.
"Do you think I could come in for a minute?" Daniel finally asked, teeth chattering. "My ears are frozen." His smile broadened.
Lydia swallowed hard and took a deep breath. She was trembling, but not from the frigid air blowing in from behind him. Had he come to ask for forgiveness after all these years? Curiosity compelled her to motion him through the threshold.
As he brushed past her, he began to unbutton his coat and then hung it from a peg on the coatrack near the door—the coatrack Elam built. She scowled as she reached for the garment to move it, but stopped herself when she realized there was nowhere else to hang it up. Her arm fell slowly back to her side, and she watched Daniel walk toward the fireplace as he scanned the room—a room filled with memories of the life she'd lived with Elam.
Daniel warmed his palms above the flames for a moment and then focused on her husband's collection of books on the mantel. He gingerly ran his finger along each one, studying the titles. Lydia cringed. Those are Elam's things.
"You've made a fine home, Lydia." He pulled his attention from the books and turned to face her.
His striped Englisch shirt reminded her that his Amish roots were long gone.
"You are more beautiful than I remember."
Lydia couldn't recall the last time she'd thought about Daniel, but suddenly old wounds were gaping open. "What are you doing here, Daniel?"
He walked toward her as if he might extend his arms for a hug. She backed away and walked to the other side of the room.
He raked his hand through his shaggy hair, hair not fit for an Amish man. He wasn't Amish, she reminded herself, and hadn't been for many years. What length he chose to wear his hair was of no concern to her.
"I just thought you should know that I have talked to my family, and also to Bishop Ebersol. I'll be baptized back into the community two Sundays from now."
Lydia's heart was thudding against her chest. Had she heard him correctly?
"I'm back for good," he went on. "I'll be making my home at the old Kauffman farm up the road, eventually. Right now, I'm staying with my parents." He smiled again.
"Ach, I see." She nodded, then turned away from him and took a few steps. She folded her arms across her chest and tried to steady the quiver that ran from her toes to the tip of her head. "What made you decide to come back?"
She heard his footsteps close the space between them, and as he hovered behind her, she recognized his scent. Oddly, it was as though he still used the same body soap, toothpaste, and whatever else made him smell the way he did. She breathed him in, closed her eyes, and imagined his arms wrapped snuggly around her waist, his lips nuzzling her neck, the way he'd done so many times back behind the barn following the Sunday singings.
Lydia silently chastised herself for having such thoughts. She blinked away any signs of distress and turned to face him.
Daniel shrugged. "It's time. My family is here. My roots. I want to live out the rest of my life here."
He sounded like an old man on a course with death, not a man of a mere thirty-eight years.
"But you can't just go be Englisch for eighteen years, come back, and expect to just—to just be welcomed back into the community. You've been shunned, for goodness' sake." She shook her head. "I don't understand."
"You know as well as I do that if I seek forgiveness from the bishop—which I have—and commit myself to the Ordnung, then I can be rebaptized into the community. And that is what I choose to do."
This can't be happening, Lydia thought, as she soaked in what he was telling her.
"I'm hoping you'll forgive me too," he said softly, with pleading eyes.
Lydia knew that forgiveness freed the soul of an unwelcome burden, and she'd forgiven Daniel many years ago. So what were these resentful feelings spewing to the surface now?
"If God can forgive me, if the bishop can forgive me ... maybe you can too."
"I forgave you a long time ago, Daniel." Even though you left me one night without a word.
Daniel breathed a sigh of relief. "I'm so glad to hear that. I know that leaving a note wasn't the best way to handle things."
It was a terrible way to handle things. Lydia recalled Daniel's hand-scribbled missive. He'd left a similar letter for his parents, telling them all that he could no longer adhere to the strict guidelines of the Old Order district and that he would be heading out into the Englisch world.
She quickly reminded herself what a wonderful life she'd had with Elam for fifteen years, a life she wouldn't have known if she had married Daniel. Nor would she have Anna Marie, now sixteen; Jacob, who'd just turned twelve; or nine-year-old John. "I suppose everything turned out as it should."
Daniel's brows drew together in an agonized expression, but he didn't say anything.
Lydia studied him for a moment, wondering exactly how much his being here would affect her and her family. Quite a bit, she decided. And she knew that to harbor any bad will toward Daniel was not only wrong in the eyes of God, but it would also hurt her more than anyone else. She would need to pray hard to keep any bitterness away.
"I just thought you would want to hear the news from me," Daniel finally said.
Lydia nodded, then walked toward the door, hoping he would follow.
Daniel reached for his coat on the rack. He looked like he had more to say, but Lydia didn't want to hear any more. His presence was enough of an upset for now. As she reached toward the doorknob, the door bolted open, almost hitting her in the head. She jumped back and bumped right into Daniel, whose hands landed on her hips. She slid sideways and out of his grasp instantly.
"Aenti Miriam sent this lemon pie," Anna Marie said. She handed Lydia a pie as Jacob and John bounced in behind her.
John closed the door behind him, and all three of her children stood barely inside the doorway, waiting for an introduction. And Lydia realized that Daniel's return was going to complicate her life in more ways than one. Her children had a right to know their uncle, but did Daniel really deserve to know her children? He hadn't even shown up for Elam's funeral. His only brother. But her children were waiting, and so was Daniel.
"Children, this is Daniel, your daed's bruder."
Lydia watched as Anna Marie, Jacob, and John in turn extended a hand to Daniel, who smiled with each introduction. Lydia wondered if maybe she was dreaming all of this. A disturbing dream, one she hoped to wake up from any minute.
"Very nice to meet you all," Daniel said.
"Your Onkel Daniel will be making his home here in Paradise, at the old Kauffman place," Lydia said. Not even a half mile down the road. "Right now, he is staying with your mammi and daadi." Lydia steadied her voice and tried to appear casual in the presence of her children. "He is being rebaptized into the faith."
Lydia's sons nodded, then excused themselves. But Anna Marie eyed Daniel with suspicion. "You are dressed Englisch," she said.
Daniel shifted his weight. "Uh, yes, I am. I haven't been in town long, but I'll be stocking up on the traditional clothes."
Anna Marie narrowed her eyes into a scrutinizing gaze. "Where've you been?" She paused, but before Daniel could answer, she added, "Why weren't you at mei daed's funeral?"
Good question, Lydia thought, as she waited to hear Daniel's answer. Elam had told the children that their uncle chose a life with the Englisch, and that he was shunned for doing so after baptism. But he never told them that their mother almost married his older brother before she married him.
Daniel rubbed his forehead, and Lydia could see the regret in his expression. "It's a long story," he said.
Anna Marie, a spirited girl in the midst of her rumschpringe, questioned everything around her. Daniel's return was no exception. "I have time," she said. She edged one brow upward and lifted her chin a tad.
Lydia cupped her hand over her own mouth to hide the grin on her face. Anna Marie reminded her so much of herself at that age. She glanced at Daniel, who seemed rattled by the inquisition.
"I'm sure I'll be seeing lots of you. We can talk later," he said to Anna Marie. His eyes shifted to Lydia.
Lydia pulled from his gaze, and his words echoed in her mind. I'll be seeing lots of you.
She and the children had remained close to Elam's parents and his two sisters and their families. Of course, his family would be including Daniel in all of their activities from now on, which would indeed mean that Lydia and her children would see him often. It wouldn't be fair to the rest of the family to keep away just because Daniel was in the picture now. Lena and Gideon had been wonderful to their grandchildren, and to Lydia, since Elam's death. So had the rest of the family. But they all had to realize how strange this was going to be for her.
"Fine." Anna Marie responded flatly to Daniel's offer to talk later. "Mamm, I'm going to go finish sewing Jacob's shirt upstairs." She studied Daniel hard for a moment. "Nice to meet you." And she headed up the stairs.
"They're beautiful children," Daniel said when Anna Marie was out of earshot. His tone was laced with regret.
"Ya, they are." Lydia pulled on the doorknob and swung the door wide, allowing the chilling wind to coast inward. She had no parting words.
Daniel pulled his coat from the rack and slipped it on. When the last button was secure, he looked down at her, towering over her five-foot-five frame. "I know this is a shock for you," he said.
"It's fine." She tried to sound convincing, unaffected. There was a time when Daniel knew her better than anyone. She wondered if he could see past her words now and into her heart, where everything was anything but fine.
He walked out the door, then turned to face her.
Lydia started to close the door, but Daniel put his hand out, blocking her effort. "Lydia ..."
Her cheeks stung from the wind, but she waited for him to speak.
"I've come home to start a new life." He paused, fused his eyes with hers. "Thank you for forgiving me."
Lydia forced a smile, then pushed the door closed. She stood still and faced the door, not moving, as an angry tear rolled down her cheek.
Had she really forgiven him?
Chapter TwoNothing about Daniel's life had felt right since the day he left Lydia. But leaving Lancaster County was the right thing to do all those years ago, no matter how much the separation had pained him and hurt those he loved. If Elam were still alive, Daniel would have never returned home, despite his longing for family. His love for both his brother and Lydia had overshadowed his own desires.
He regretted not receiving his mother's letter in time to make it to Elam's funeral, but he'd moved too many times for his forwarded mail to catch up with him. By the time he'd gotten word, the funeral had long since passed. He recalled his sobs of regret, his feelings of despair at the news, and his confusion as to what Elam would want him to do. But it took another two years before he was ready to come home. Hopefully, he could be a friend to Lydia and a good uncle to the children. To speculate about more after so many years seemed far-fetched and out of reach at the moment.
Daniel parked the rental car in the designated parking area at Avis. It was strange to think this was the last time he would drive an automobile for the rest of his life. Change was on the horizon, and he continued to hope and pray that he was making decisions that were right in the eyes of God.
His parents openly wept when Daniel told them the truth about the night he left the community—that Christmas Eve so long ago. Their forgiveness partially plugged the hole that had been in Daniel's heart since then. But if things were going to be right for all of them, Lydia would need to know the whole story too—a secret that Daniel had carried for eighteen years, and one that Elam took to his grave. Daniel worried whether his confession was a betrayal of his brother. He could only pray that now Elam would want him to step forward with the truth.
Lydia's olive skin still glowed, just as he remembered. The dusty rose of her cheeks and full pink lips lent a natural beauty to her delicate face, a face that reflected the perfect combination of strength and femininity. Her dark-brown hair, barely visible from beneath her kapp, hadn't speckled with gray over the years like his own, and her deep brown eyes still reflected her every emotion. She still moved with grace and poise. And she still rubbed her first finger and thumb together when she was nervous, something she'd done more than once today.
But did Lydia have enough forgiveness in her heart, not only to forgive him, but also to forgive her own husband—a man no longer in a position to explain his choices? Could she forgive two brothers who had betrayed her one Christmas Eve so long ago?
Daniel climbed out of the car and closed the door.
I hope so.
* * *
Lydia heard a knock at the door shortly after Daniel left.
Please don't be Daniel again.
She was relieved to see Sarah Fisher, but one glance at her friend's face told her that Sarah had heard the news of Daniel's return. Sarah scooted past Lydia into the den. Lydia followed her in and closed the door behind them.
"Have you heard?" Sarah asked, breathless.
Lydia gulped and fought the tears welling on her eyelids. "Ya. He was here."
Sarah put both hands to her mouth. "Oh no. Are you all right?"
"Ya. It was a shock though." Lydia shook her head, then stared hard into her friend's eyes. "It was so long ago, Sarah. But after seeing him, it feels like just yesterday that he left. How can the pain bubble up after all these years?" She swiped at her eyes and hung her head.
Sarah walked to one of the wooden rockers near the fireplace and sat down. Although fifteen years Lydia's junior, she and Lydia were close friends, and Lydia knew Sarah would sympathize with her distress. Lydia took a seat in the other chair.
"You were in lieb with him once," Sarah said soothingly. "It's only natural to have these feelings."
Lydia yielded to the tears as heaviness settled in her chest. "I will have to see him all the time. His parents are the children's grandparents. He'll be at church services, family gatherings, social get-togethers—" She searched Sarah's eyes for answers. "It will be awkward."
Sarah seemed to be choosing her words carefully. She reached over and touched Lydia's arm. "Mei friend, is there any chance that you and Daniel—"
"No! I could never have a life with Daniel. I don't even know him anymore. He lived his life in the Englisch world, the world he chose." Tears ran down her face, and her voice choked in her throat. "Besides, I loved Elam with all my heart. We had three beautiful children together. We had a gut life. I would never, never ..." She shook her head, determined to stay true to her words.
Excerpted from Healing Hearts by Beth Wiseman Copyright © 2010 by Beth Wiseman. 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. You can read the first chapter of all of Beth’s books at www.bethwiseman.com. Facebook: Fans of Beth Wiseman Twitter: @bethwiseman
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Healing Hearts is composed by three novels in one book, all as previously published in different anthologies. All stories are about the Amish people, a community of descendants of Germans who live in small towns in the U.S., living as in the nineteenth century, without electricity, cars, etc.. The first novel "The Choice to Forgive" tells the story of Lydia, who during adolescence falls in love with Daniel, they live a romance. They are planning to marry soon when he mysteriously runaway and goes to live in the Englischers (ordinary people, non-Amish) world. Lydia ends up marrying Daniel's brother and laying her life with Elam, and when 15 years have passed and her husband died, Daniel reappears in the community, then they may have a new chance to be happy together, but how can she forgive him for to have abandoned her years ago without leaving any explanation? The second novel is called "A Change of Heart" and it tells the story of Leah, a very sensitive Amish teen who likes to write more than learning how to be a good wife. Her family continues pressing her to learn to cook, sew and do household chores that will be necessary when she'll be the owner of her own home with her husband, but she can't see herself doing all this and leaving aside the stories that are so fond of writing. She will need to change who she really is if she wants to seriously take a chance with Aaron, for those she's just starting to feel strong feelings. The third story, which names the book, tells the story of the couple Lapp, Levina and Naaman. When he decides to travel to visit relatives nor his wife nor his children thought he'd be a whole year away from home, and on his return the relationship with the children and the wife gets tricky, because all require an explanation for Naaman have been so long far, an explanation that even he has. Each needs to be able to forgive the faults of others, so that everything returns as they were before the trip. Beth Wiseman writes in a charming way, her stories have a strong spiritual base and a positive content, almost bordering on self-help, to encourage her readers and try to help them with problems similar to their characters. A book really inspiring and adorable, that helps us better understand a different culture.
This book contains three amish novellas: Healing Hearts, A Change of Heart, and A choice to Forgive. A choice to Forgive tells the story of Lydia who has loved two men in her life Daniel who disapperd into the Englisch world and Elam his brother whom she was married to for 15 years. Elam has died and Daniel returns she must make a decision can she find in it her heart to forgive him? A Change of Heart - Tell the story of Leah a writter in a world that does not encourage such pastimes. Leah also lacks the skills needed to be a good Amish Fraa (Wife). Arron is captured by Leah even though she does not possess the important skills needed to be a good Amish Fraa. Will Leah be able to make it in the Amish community and still be able to write the stories that fill her heart? Healing Hearts- Levina and Naaman are empty nesters alone in their home for the first time in 30 years. Naaman leaves to visit cousins in Ohio and is gone for a year. He's back can Levina and Naaman rekindle the relationship they once shared? I love these stories. Each one had be connected and involved from the start. I really liked that two of them were about older women you don't find that much in inspirational romance. Wiseman has a way of writing that really draws you into the stories. You feel these women's pains, frustrations, joys, peace, turmoil, and excitement. I must say Leah in A change of heart was my favorite of these characters. I longed to see her both succeed as a good Amish Fraa as well as see her writing be accepted and cherished. I felt her heart ache as she longed to be able to do the chores and cooking properly, but always seem to fall just short. I rejoiced when Aarom came into the picture and was able to over look her imperfections in the domestic department. I enjoyed that the book used some amish words and provided a glossary with the words and their English meaning. I enjoyed trying to guess the meaning of the words before looking them up in the glossary. I give this book 5 out of 5 stars it is a must read! Disclaimer: I was provided a copy of this book from the company for review purposes, all opinions in this post are mine and were not influenced by the company.
Healing Hearts By: Beth Wiseman Healing Hearts is a collection of three Amish novellas. These three very different stories, which will leave you wanting to travel into the pages of the book so that you can walk along with the characters, carry a deep meaning that crosses cultures. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and found myself staying up too late, saying just one more page. The first story, A Choice to Forgive, tells the tale of a widow who must forgive her first love who left her so many years ago. Saying one forgives and putting that forgiveness into action can be two very different things. The second story, A Change of Heart, tell of a young girl struggling between who she is and who she is expected to be. Learning to use ones God given talent in a way to reach others is a life lesson each of us my learn. The third story, Healing Hearts, tell of a couple with an empty nest that must relearn how to be a couple again. Often times, people don't see the intricate thread of God's plan. Learning to see how the hard, hurtful times are used for God's glory enriches our lives. Thanks to Thomas Nelson, Inc. for the digital copy of this book to review.
This book was a surprise to me when I noticed three different stories within it. All the stories are heartfelt and meaningful. I have never read a book about Amish Romance, however after reading these stories I felt as if I knew and understood their ways. The Author shows compassion and knowledge of the Amish with great detail. The descriptive language engulfs you as you read thru each page. You have a sense or feeling of actually living their lives. Each story brings to light a sense of love, heartbreak and laughter and forgiveness toward the road of healing. I found myself not wanting to put this book down. I had to know what the next chapter brought to light in many different situations. The first story "A Choice to Forgive" involves Lydia and two men she has loved in her life. Danielle, the man she loved over 18 years ago and his brother Elam, whom is her deceased husband. There is a turning point in which Danielle left the Order so long ago on Christmas Eve for the Englisch world, but has now returned to the Order. Only to find a woman who is hurt and heartbroken. She has to find a way to forgiving him as that is the Amish way. Her choices begin to take a toll on her and the road to forgiveness can only be healed by the secret that Danielle holds, and wants so much to tell her. The story holds you to the end when things begin to unfold right before your eyes. "A Change of Heart" is the second story of the book filled with details that make your mind imagine a world with few amenities most of us are accustomed to feel as though it is peaceful and a great place to live. Leah is a free spirited young lady who loves to write stories, but is not a very good prospect to become a good Amish Fraa. Her father pushes her to become something she does not want to become. She is not interested in getting married or learning to cook. Aaron is somehow head over heels for Leah, she wants to know his thoughts about her writing. In the meantime an unexpected friendship occurs. On her road to finding her true calling she has many experiences with the Englisch world that allows her and others in the story to find their real happiness. "Healing Hearts" is the last story of this book; it has a deep feeling of heartbreak and learning to love again. Levina and Naaman have been married for 30 years. Now that all the kinner have left home to lead lives of their own, they find themselves alone. Naaman left to visit cousins in Ohio and Levina thought he would not be gone long. He was gone for almost one year and now Levina and Naaman have to learn to love one another all over again. The mistrust that Levina has for her husband after returning home is straining their relationship. This is a great story that shows you believing in God, and his plan, will lead you down the right path. There were many paths to be chosen, but because of Naaman's choices, he is able to make sense of why God would lead him to what he believed to be a mistake and in turn make it a lesson to others to make the right choices. As I stated before, I could hardly put this book down. The love you feel and the pictures you see in your mind are painted by the author with a sense of true knowledge of the Amish and their ways. Not only will you feel what the author is trying to bring to the table but you will feel the love and warmth of forgiveness. There are several lessons to be learned as you read through this book and you will be touched by all o
These three, wonderful, Amish stories will surly find a place in your heart. "A Choice to Forgive" is about loss, love and starting over. A mighty change from within transpires when past memories become reality. "A Change of Heart" is about learning to accept who we are and enjoying the gifts with which we have been blessed. Recognizing new feelings of the heart can change the world around us. "Healing Hearts" entangles forgiveness, understanding, and love mixed up with misunderstandings, misjudgments, and the deep desire to rediscover that which was lost. Great reading for Christian Romance lovers.
Combine faith, love, and alot of forgiveness and you have a wonderful mixture for "Healing Hearts." This book contains three Amish stories that all deal with having enough faith and forgiveness to move on and let love and happiness into their lives. The first, "A Choice to Forgive, " has Lydia moving on after the death of her husband of fifteen years and coming to terms with the deception that he went to his grave with concerning her first love, his brother. The second, "A Change of Heart," weaves a tale that shows that not only good home-making skills are necessary to bring and keep a young couple happy anmd closer to their faith. The stories Leah creates by her mind and pen put her family and the one she loves on the right path. And lastly, "Healing Hearts," tells the story of a man and his wife coming to terms with a voluntary separation that showed them how much they really mean to one another. Following their hearts brings love and forgiveness into their lives and happiness for their future. This was a very enjoyable book for me. I love Amish romance and this one is just overflowing with it. The underlying tone of forgiveness runs through these stories and I believe it is a very important lesson that is to be learned in these trying times of today. Beth Wiseman does a really wonderful job at creating her characters in these stories and I really enjoy how easy they are to get to know. It was just an all-around good book!! I would highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a sweet collection of Amish romance. This book was provided to me by the publishers through Booksneeze for my honest review.
When I requested this book for a review, I had no idea that this book contains 3 stories in it. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that there's more than just one story to read. I liked all of the stories, but the pace was rather slow for me in the beginning. Nevertheless, this book is a good Amish read and I come to learn more about the Amish society, their culture and their daily lives from this book. Overall, it's an entertaining read. I would recommend this book to those who loves Christian fiction or Amish fiction. You won't be disappointed. I rate this book 4 out of 5 stars. I received an ARC of this book from Thomas Nelson Publisher. I was not required to write a positive review for this book.
This book is actually 3 novellas so I'll talk about each novella separately. "A Choice to Forgive" - Lydia is a widow and mother of two in an Amish community. Suddenly, a man from her past, Daniel, shows up on her doorstep. He was her first love and vanished one Christmas Eve. As the mystery unfolds as to why he left in the first place, Lydia must also find the power in her heart to forgive the man she once loved. "A Change of Heart" - Leah is the second of four girls but she is not the typical Amish girl. She is a writer and that's all she wants to do. She can't cook, sew or garden and has no desire for a husband. Aaron knows this and doesn't seem to care that he may have to live off chicken salad for the rest of his life but their personalities are so different. Aaron is told that he is "boring" and Leah is too free-spirited for him. Are they mean to be or is the relationship going to blow up in their faces? "Healing Hearts" - Levine and Namaan successfully raised their five children and found themselves alone in their home. The realization that they hardly knew each other anymore hits Namaan too hard and he runs away for eleven mos. Upon his return, he finds that some of his children have decided they have no father anymore and his wife has trouble finding the trust she needs for their relationship to work. As the rumors and secrets start unfolding of what Namaan did while he was gone the community starts talking and Levine finds herself doubting her husband even more. Let me just say that I have NEVER read any type of Amish fiction before in my life but these books were amazing. I think "A Change of Heart" was my favorite. It had me in tears several times but all three stories were great. There really isn't much more that I can say about them. They were just awesome. Wiseman did an incredible job of writing them so the reader continually wanted more. I had to learn some Deitsch but there was a glossary in the front to help me figure it out and I only had to look back at it once or twice. I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review.
Healing Hearts ~ Beth Wiseman Three Amish novellas about forgiveness, following your dreams, and second chances.   Healing Hearts When Levina Lapp's husband, Namaan, left a year ago to visit cousins, she had no idea he'd be gone so long. When all of their children had grown and married, Namaan needed time away, or so he said. Can Levina find it in her heart to forgive the man she's always loved, and to ultimately trust him again -- or did the time away separate them forever? A Change of Heart Leah's dream is to bs a writer, and to draw people to God through her stories. But as an Amish young woman, her place is in the home and kitchen preparing to become a good wife. But Aaron Lantz doesn't see how under qualified she'd be for a wife, only her spirited way of living, sparkle in her eyes, and love for others. Will Leah have to set aside her writings to be a wife and mother -- or will Aaron make her an offered that could fulfill her dreams? A Choice to Forgive When Lydia's fiancé, Daniel, left 15 years ago, leaving only a not explaining that he wanted to live in the English world, Lydia's heart was broken. It began to heal when she married Daniel's brother, Elam. With Elam recent death, Lydia is certain she can never love again. But when Daniel return to mend the hurt he caused so long ago, could Lydia ever forgive him, and rekindle the love they once shared?
This is a set of three amish romance novels. I do not recommend it. Can't even finish reading them; only got through half of the second book. Don't waste you time. Character development is poor. Drags on too long. Characters are frustrating. Also, these books take place in an amish society so if you are lookng for a christian novel with a gospel presentation, it's not here. I received this complimentary copy from Thomas Nelson Publishing through their BookSneeze program. A positive review was not required and the opinions expressed here are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."