Lydia's Charm

Lydia's Charm

4.7 56
by Wanda E. Brunstetter
     
 

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Visit Amish Country during the fall as Lydia King attempts to make Charm, Ohio, feel like home after losing her husband. But is her heart ready to open back up to love when gifts appear on her porch from a mystery source? Could it be from the widowed father of four energetic boys, or is it from the man who has rejected romance to be his family’s caregiver?

Overview

Visit Amish Country during the fall as Lydia King attempts to make Charm, Ohio, feel like home after losing her husband. But is her heart ready to open back up to love when gifts appear on her porch from a mystery source? Could it be from the widowed father of four energetic boys, or is it from the man who has rejected romance to be his family’s caregiver? Find the answers in this signature edition of a beloved title from a New York Times bestselling author that includes history of the Amish of Charm, recipes, photos, and a bookmark.

Editorial Reviews

Romantic Times

Brunstetter crafts realistic characters and a storyline that will lift up the reader's spirit. The Amish deal with the same struggles as the "Englishers," but they seem to have a sense of inner peace, which is not always evident in the fast-paced, technology-driven English world. (4-Star Review) -- Leslie L. McKee, Romantic Times, October 2010

— Leslie L. McKee

Book Reviews by Molly

Wanda fills this 5 star book with everything from sadness to love and hope. She weaves God's love and grace through her amazing work, make this novel unforgettable. If you are new to Amish fiction, grab a copy of Lydia's Charm now....you'll be forever hooked! If you're already a Brunstetter fan, then you MUST add this book to your fabulous collection!

— Molly Edwards

Mom's Pace

Most Amish love stories I've read revolve around one female and one male. You know in the end they will most likely get together. But, this one is different...I was intrigued and kept trying to figure out which one Lydia would want to marry. Along the way I gasped, cried, and laughed at all the story's twists and turns. If you are a lover of Amish fiction, this is one book that you won't want to miss!

— Jodie Moore

A Book A Day

This book definitely has periods of sadness, but it is a beautiful story of a woman trying to heal from the tragedies of life when more tragedy hits, and how her faith helps her get through...I think it's a beautiful book worth the read!

— Chamille Buffenmeyer

Coffee Time Romance and More

Wanda E. Brunstetter portrays a wonderful detail of life in an Amish community. This story is about loss and love, strength and weakness, and sadness and hope. At times, I found it so heartbreaking that it bought me to tears but in the end, it is balanced with hope and love. The characters are so realistic I felt as if I stepped out onto my front porch one or more of them would ride up in their horse and buggy. I enjoyed the fact that the author did not shy away from the not so nice aspects of some people's personalities. It was with depth and insight that we were able to see why Mae behaved as she did. The way Ms. Brustetter handled the introduction of the Stutzman family and the way they dealt with their special circumstances was a testament of how we all deal with prejudices and carry on with our lives. This is a well-written tale of faith and hope and if you are looking for a solid story about starting over when faced with tragedy and despair, this is one to read.

— Venus Cahill

Long and Short Romance Reviews

Wanda E. Brunsteller skillfully incorporates the Amish way of life into the actions of a community of people who work hard to make a living, but still find time to have fun and to nurture and “practice-what-they-preach” in their religious beliefs.

Lydia's Charm is an amazing story about living by faith. Ms. Brunsteller’s straightforward style of writing and her character development create an uplifting story of love and highlight the best of human nature while revealing the imperfections that are overcome. She gives the reader a most satisfying happy-ever-after.

— Camellia

Fangbooks

This was my introduction to the world of Amish Romance and I was delighted; Heart-warming, heartbreaking, intense and surprising, Lydia’s Charm was a lovely read. I’m looking forward to reading more in this style and from this author.

— Alison Sammes

Hottbooks.com

Oh, my goodness!! This books dealt with so much I just don't know how the author kept everyone straight and crammed all of those situations into one book. I laughed out loud in the first fifty pages. I was crying before I was a third of the way through. I even got angry a couple of times. Let me tell you - if you want an emotional rollercoaster this is the books for you!!I'd recommend this book to just about everyone. It's one I'll share across the board - mom, sisters, grandma, and my nieces. Grab it, today!

— Regina Hott

A Chick Who Reads

Lydia's Charm is an Amish story that really has its roots based in real life. It was hard to fathom all the hardships that Lydia faced in this story...Wanda really brings her characters to life in her stories and she makes them real. They suffer losses just like the rest of us. Lydia even goes through some unemployment in this book. Again, its all very real.

— Andrea Guy

Christian Book Reviews

Mrs. Brunstetter does a fantastic job at instilling the simple truths into stories. If you’ve been through hard times recently or are going through hard times I highly suggest this book. It will bring hope to your heart and remind you that God never leaves you nor forsakes you regardless of what’s going on in the world around us.

— Sharise Toombs

Good Reads

I was mesmerized as I learned not only more about Lydia, but also about the Amish culture. This is a truly fascinating story as we gain a better understanding of the Amish culture and how they truly embrace their sense of community. The trials and tribulations that Lydia endures after she returns to Charm will simply rip your heart out and make you weep. But Lydia is a strong woman, who is a survivor. Despite everything that she’s lost, she’s still a caring, giving woman who is an inspiration to us all.

Lydia’s Charm will make you laugh, cry, and at times want to scream as these characters learn how to co-exist. This mesmerimizing story of faith will bring Joy to your heart and will make you beg for more with the turn of every page. It’s obvious that Ms. Brunstetter has done her research on the Amish culture, which I found extremely intriguing. In fact, I can’t wait to read more of Ms. Brunstetter’s stories regarding the Amish culture. Lydia’s Charm is Christian romance at it’s finest and will warm your heart.

If you’re looking for a heart-warming story that will bring tears and laughter to your heart all at the same time, where community, faith, unconditional love, and forgiveness are the key factors that makes this story so capitvating, then Lydia’s Charm is definitely the book to read. I will absolutely be picking up more of Ms. Brunstetter’s books as they are enlighting and such a joy to read. I’m completely fascinating by the Amish culture and am eager to learn more. Bravo Ms. Brunstetter for creating such a wonderful story.

— Vicki Krivak

Romantic Times - Leslie L. McKee

Brunstetter crafts realistic characters and a storyline that will lift up the reader's spirit. The Amish deal with the same struggles as the "Englishers," but they seem to have a sense of inner peace, which is not always evident in the fast-paced, technology-driven English world. (4-Star Review) -- Leslie L. McKee, Romantic Times, October 2010
Coffee Time Romance and More - Venus Cahill

Wanda E. Brunstetter portrays a wonderful detail of life in an Amish community. This story is about loss and love, strength and weakness, and sadness and hope. At times, I found it so heartbreaking that it bought me to tears but in the end, it is balanced with hope and love. The characters are so realistic I felt as if I stepped out onto my front porch one or more of them would ride up in their horse and buggy. I enjoyed the fact that the author did not shy away from the not so nice aspects of some people's personalities. It was with depth and insight that we were able to see why Mae behaved as she did. The way Ms. Brustetter handled the introduction of the Stutzman family and the way they dealt with their special circumstances was a testament of how we all deal with prejudices and carry on with our lives. This is a well-written tale of faith and hope and if you are looking for a solid story about starting over when faced with tragedy and despair, this is one to read.
Book Reviews by Molly - Molly Edwards

Wanda fills this 5 star book with everything from sadness to love and hope. She weaves God's love and grace through her amazing work, make this novel unforgettable. If you are new to Amish fiction, grab a copy of Lydia's Charm now....you'll be forever hooked! If you're already a Brunstetter fan, then you MUST add this book to your fabulous collection!
Mom's Pace - Jodie Moore

Most Amish love stories I've read revolve around one female and one male. You know in the end they will most likely get together. But, this one is different...I was intrigued and kept trying to figure out which one Lydia would want to marry. Along the way I gasped, cried, and laughed at all the story's twists and turns. If you are a lover of Amish fiction, this is one book that you won't want to miss!
A Book A Day - Chamille Buffenmeyer

This book definitely has periods of sadness, but it is a beautiful story of a woman trying to heal from the tragedies of life when more tragedy hits, and how her faith helps her get through...I think it's a beautiful book worth the read!
Long and Short Romance Reviews - Camellia

Wanda E. Brunsteller skillfully incorporates the Amish way of life into the actions of a community of people who work hard to make a living, but still find time to have fun and to nurture and “practice-what-they-preach” in their religious beliefs.

Lydia's Charm is an amazing story about living by faith. Ms. Brunsteller’s straightforward style of writing and her character development create an uplifting story of love and highlight the best of human nature while revealing the imperfections that are overcome. She gives the reader a most satisfying happy-ever-after.

Fangbooks - Alison Sammes

This was my introduction to the world of Amish Romance and I was delighted; Heart-warming, heartbreaking, intense and surprising, Lydia’s Charm was a lovely read. I’m looking forward to reading more in this style and from this author.

Hottbooks.com - Regina Hott

Oh, my goodness!! This books dealt with so much I just don't know how the author kept everyone straight and crammed all of those situations into one book. I laughed out loud in the first fifty pages. I was crying before I was a third of the way through. I even got angry a couple of times. Let me tell you - if you want an emotional rollercoaster this is the books for you!!I'd recommend this book to just about everyone. It's one I'll share across the board - mom, sisters, grandma, and my nieces. Grab it, today!
A Chick Who Reads - Andrea Guy

Lydia's Charm is an Amish story that really has its roots based in real life. It was hard to fathom all the hardships that Lydia faced in this story...Wanda really brings her characters to life in her stories and she makes them real. They suffer losses just like the rest of us. Lydia even goes through some unemployment in this book. Again, its all very real.

Christian Book Reviews - Sharise Toombs

Mrs. Brunstetter does a fantastic job at instilling the simple truths into stories. If you’ve been through hard times recently or are going through hard times I highly suggest this book. It will bring hope to your heart and remind you that God never leaves you nor forsakes you regardless of what’s going on in the world around us.
Good Reads - Vicki Krivak

I was mesmerized as I learned not only more about Lydia, but also about the Amish culture. This is a truly fascinating story as we gain a better understanding of the Amish culture and how they truly embrace their sense of community. The trials and tribulations that Lydia endures after she returns to Charm will simply rip your heart out and make you weep. But Lydia is a strong woman, who is a survivor. Despite everything that she’s lost, she’s still a caring, giving woman who is an inspiration to us all.

Lydia’s Charm will make you laugh, cry, and at times want to scream as these characters learn how to co-exist. This mesmerimizing story of faith will bring Joy to your heart and will make you beg for more with the turn of every page. It’s obvious that Ms. Brunstetter has done her research on the Amish culture, which I found extremely intriguing. In fact, I can’t wait to read more of Ms. Brunstetter’s stories regarding the Amish culture. Lydia’s Charm is Christian romance at it’s finest and will warm your heart.

If you’re looking for a heart-warming story that will bring tears and laughter to your heart all at the same time, where community, faith, unconditional love, and forgiveness are the key factors that makes this story so capitvating, then Lydia’s Charm is definitely the book to read. I will absolutely be picking up more of Ms. Brunstetter’s books as they are enlighting and such a joy to read. I’m completely fascinating by the Amish culture and am eager to learn more. Bravo Ms. Brunstetter for creating such a wonderful story.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781630588496
Publisher:
Barbour Publishing, Incorporated
Publication date:
04/01/2015
Edition description:
Special edition
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
547,902
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.10(d)

Read an Excerpt

Lydia's Charm


By Wanda E. Brunstetter

Barbour Publishing, Inc.

Copyright © 2010 Wanda E. Brunstetter
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-60742-203-7


CHAPTER 1

The teakettle whistled. Lydia started to rise from her chair, but Mom beat her to it.

"I'm glad you decided to move here," Mom said, removing the teakettle from the stove. "Your grossdaadi doesn't talk much these days, and I get terribly lonely sometimes." Lydia noticed the dark circles under Mom's pale blue eyes as she poured hot water into their cups. Mom's flaxen hair was streaked with gray, and the wrinkles in her forehead were more defined. She was only fifty, but she'd aged quite a bit since the last time Lydia had seen her.

"Unless someone comes to stay with Dad, I don't get out much these days," Mom explained as she dropped a tea bag into her cup. "Even then, I worry about how he's doing, so I don't stay away any longer than necessary."

Lydia plopped a tea bag into her cup, bounced it up and down a few times, and placed it on her saucer. "Maybe now that I'm here, you can get out a little more."

"Don't you want your tea to steep awhile longer? It looks awfully pale in your cup," Mom said.

"My tea's fine. I like it weak." Lydia held her voice in check, determined not to give in to her frustrations. Some things never changed. Mom telling her what to do was one of them.

Maybe I'm being oversensitive, Lydia told herself. I've been used to being on my own for the past year and doing things pretty much the way I choose. Hopefully, things will get better after Josh and I have been here awhile. I just need to keep a positive attitude and ignore the things I find irritating.

She glanced around the small kitchen and noticed a pot of primroses sitting on the windowsill. That was something positive—a sign of spring.

Mom reached for the jar of honey sitting on the table and put a spoonful in her cup of tea. She pushed the jar toward Lydia, but Lydia shook her head. She'd always preferred her tea unsweetened and figured Mom should know that. But then, Mom had more important things on her mind these days, so maybe it had slipped her mind.

"If you don't need me for anything this afternoon, I'd like to take Josh into town to look for a new pair of boots," Lydia said. "His feet have grown, and his old boots are pinching his toes."

"Do you have enough money?"

Lydia nodded. Truth was she barely had enough, and she hoped she could find something within her price range.

"That's fine. I'll hitch my horse to the buggy for you whenever you're ready to go."

Lydia frowned. "I know how to hitch a horse, Mom."

"Yes, but Buttercup's kind of temperamental. She might not cooperate with you the way she does for me."

Lydia couldn't imagine any horse with a name like Buttercup being temperamental. "I'm sure I can manage, but if I have any trouble, I'll come in and get you."

The awkward angle of the gas lamp hanging overhead etched Mom's face in sharp shadows as she pursed her lips and nodded slowly. "You might try Charm Harness and Boot for Josh. If you can't find the right boots there, you should go to the Wal-Mart in Millersburg."

"It'll take too long to go to Millersburg," Lydia said. "Hopefully we'll find what we need at the local store. I might stop by Miller's Dry Goods, too. If there's anything you need, I'd be happy to pick it up."

"I can't think of anything right now," Mom said. "Since I spend most of my days taking care of your grossdaadi, I'm too busy to do any quilting, so I don't buy much from the dry goods store these days."

"I'm sorry to hear that. I know how much you like to quilt." Lydia took a sip of tea and let it roll around on her tongue. She loved the zesty taste of peppermint.

"With the exception of the new store Kiem Lumber built a few years ago, I think you'll find that things haven't changed much in Charm," Mom added.

"It's nice to know that some things haven't changed. So many things in our world have."

Mom nodded. "We do have a couple of new store owners in town."

"Which ones?"

"The woodshop on the outskirts of town is now owned by a man named Menno Troyer. He and his wife, Sadie, moved here from Pennsylvania about a year ago, but she died six months ago from cancer. That left Menno with four boys to raise on his own."

"That's too bad." As a widow, it was hard enough for Lydia to raise one child on her own; she couldn't imagine trying to bring up four boys without the help of her husband.

"Oh, and then there's the general store," Mom continued. "It's run by a family of—"

The back door slammed shut, and Mom jumped, nearly spilling her cup of tea.

"Ich hab ken halt draa grict!" Josh hollered as he raced into the kitchen.

"What couldn't you catch hold of?" Lydia asked.

"Derr katz!" Josh jumped up and down, his dark eyes big as saucers.

Mom put her finger to her lips and frowned. "Be quiet, Josh. You might wake your urgrossvadder."

A gray cat with four white paws zipped into the kitchen and hid under the table, curling its bushy tail around its fluffy body.

Josh dove under the table and grabbed the end of its tail. Meow! The cat let out a screech and raced across the room. Josh tore after it, but his feet tangled in the throw rug in front of the sink, and he dropped to the floor with a grunt. He sat a few seconds, then scrambled to his feet. Dashing across the room, he grabbed for the cat, but it sought refuge under the table again.

"Ich hab ken halt draa grict!" Josh hollered.

"I told you to be quiet!" Mom raised her voice as she pointed to the cat and then to the back door. "Duh die katz naus!"

Josh's lower lip trembled, and his eyes filled with tears as he gathered up the cat and took it outside, as Mom had asked.

Irritation welled in Lydia's soul. Josh wasn't used to his new home or having to be quiet when his great-grandfather was sleeping. What harm could there be in letting him play with the cat in the house? Mom was being too harsh and critical of his behavior. Didn't she realize the boy was only four years old? Besides, if Josh was supposed to be quiet, then why was it all right for Mom to raise her voice?

Lydia grimaced as she thought about how many times Mom had been critical of her when she was a child. She had never been able to do anything right, and whatever she'd done, Mom had usually ended up redoing.

I need to remember that this isn't my house and that Mom and Grandpa are doing us a favor by letting us live here, Lydia reminded herself. As long as we're staying in this house, we'll need to do things Mom's way, or there won't be any peace.

When Josh returned to the kitchen with his head down and shoulders slumped, Lydia gave him a hug and quietly said, "Why don't you go back outside and play with the katz?"

Josh nodded and scurried out the door.

Mom took a sip of tea and released a lingering sigh. "Der grossdaadi hot net genunk scholof grickt lescht nacht."

"I'm sorry Grandpa didn't get enough sleep last night. I'll make sure that Josh doesn't disturb him when we get home from shopping this afternoon."

"I appreciate that. Dad's not doing well, and he isn't used to having little ones in the house running around, making noise."

Lydia stared into her half-empty cup and blinked back tears. So much for her resolve to remain positive and ignore the things she found irritating. If Josh had to keep quiet all the time, she wasn't sure how long they could stay here. What Lydia needed most was to find a job so that she and Josh could eventually have a place of their own.

* * *

Menno Troyer stepped into the kitchen and groaned. Not only were the cabinets old and in need of repair, but the rest of the kitchen looked messy, as well. A stack of dirty pots and pans from last night's supper had been piled up in the sink, and the dishes they'd used for breakfast this morning still sat on the table.

He flung open the cupboard door under the sink and grimaced. The garbage can was heaped with even more trash than it had held last night. Since it was late spring and there'd be no school for the next few months, his boys would be home by themselves most of the time while he was at work in his woodshop behind their house.

This morning before Menno had headed to the shop, he'd given the boys a list of chores to do. Here it was almost noon, and they hadn't completed anything.

Menno moved into the living room. It needed a fresh coat of paint, and the cracked windows had yet to be replaced. He frowned when he saw his two dark-haired boys, five-year-old Kevin and seven-year-old Carl, sleeping on the floor. Nine-year-old Dennis, who had reddish-blond hair like his mother's, sat in Menno's recliner with his scruffy-looking mutt, Goldie, draped across his lap. Ike, who'd turned twelve a few weeks ago, was sprawled on the sofa, reading a book. This was ridiculous!

Menno clapped his hands, causing Dennis and Ike to jump, but the two younger boys slept on. "Get yourselves up and be quick about it! I'll be heading to Kiem Lumber soon, and if you want to go along, then you'd better get with it."

"You don't hafta shout, Papa." Ike sat up and yawned. "We ain't daab, ya know."

"I know you're not deaf, but you sure do act like it sometimes." Menno pointed to the kitchen door. "Doesn't look as if you heard a word I said this morning about doing your chores."

"I fed and watered the horses," Ike said.

"And I fed Goldie." Dennis stroked the golden retriever's ears and offered Menno a freckle-faced grin.

"That's fine, well, and good, but no one cleared the breakfast table or did last night's dishes."

Ike motioned to his sleeping brothers. "That was their job."

Menno's patience was beginning to wane. "Who said?"

"Ike said so," Dennis spoke up before his older brother had a chance to reply. "He thinks he's the boss when you ain't home."

"Ike's supposed to be in charge when I'm working in the shop." Menno turned to Ike and snapped his fingers. "Being in charge means you need to see that everyone gets his chores done before I come home from work every day. It doesn't mean that you get to lie around while your brothers do all the work."

"But you're home early today," Ike said. "So you didn't give us a chance to get everything done."

"I'm home early because I'm goin' to Kiem's. I told you this morning that if you wanted to go along, you'd need to have your chores done by noon."

Ike frowned. "Sorry, Papa, but my lazy brothers won't listen to anything I say."

Menno felt overcome by a sense of guilt. Ever since Sadie had died, he'd put a lot of responsibility on the boys—especially Ike. It was either that, or he'd have to hire someone to come in and do the household chores, and he really couldn't afford that right now. He'd just gotten Sadie's hospital bills paid off and had been trying to put some money away for future needs they might have. With the tourist season starting up again, Menno figured he might sell more furniture and that would help their finances. But he had two employees he needed to pay, not to mention four growing boys who had to be fed and clothed. At the rate things were going, he'd never get this old house fixed up like he'd promised Sadie when they'd first moved to Charm.

Menno glanced at the rocking chair he'd made for Sadie soon after they were married. A wave of sadness washed over him. She'd used that chair to rock each of their sons.

As much as Menno hated to think about it, he really needed a wife—a mother for his boys. But the only widowed women in the area were much older than him. A few younger women weren't yet married, but they seemed so immature. What Menno needed was someone who'd had experience raising children. The question was, who?

CHAPTER 2

Do you like your new schtiwwel?" Lydia asked Josh as they left Charm Shoe and Boot.

He grinned and pointed to the pair of shiny black boots on his feet. "Sei nett."

"Jah, they're very nice." As Lydia helped Josh into the buggy, his stomach growled noisily. "Are you getting hungry?" she asked.

He patted his belly and gave a nod.

"All right then, we'll stop over at Grandma's Restaurant and get some lunch."

Josh's eyes widened. "Grossmammi has a restaurant?"

Lydia chuckled. "No. That's the name of the restaurant where we'll be eating. It has nothing to do with your grandma."

As they traveled the short distance to town, Lydia noticed that the picturesque landscape looked the same as she remembered it: Same curving, hilly roads with many Amish farms scattered along the way. Some had been built close to the road, while others were set farther back. Some had their place of business connected to their homes, and some were in separate buildings.

As they continued along County Road 70 with Buttercup behaving herself quite nicely, Lydia noticed that the roots of several old-looking trees were exposed along the edge of the road. They'd probably been there for a good many years, just like the little town of Charm, which had been founded in 1840. It was originally named Stevenson, but when the first post office was opened in 1885, the town's name was changed to Charm. Lydia remembered her father saying that some folks had given the town the nickname of Putschtown, which meant "a small clump."

A bird fluttered from one of the trees and swooped in front of the buggy. Josh let out a whoop and ducked his head.

"It's all right, son," Lydia said. "The voggel can't get in our buggy. I think he's just trying to make it to one of the trees on the other side of the road."

Josh flashed Lydia a grin that nearly melted her heart. Oh, how she loved spending time with her precious little boy.

As they came down the hill into Charm, she spotted the building for Kiem Lumber, which had been built a few years ago and was more modern than the last one had been. She was anxious to see what it looked like inside.

Across Highway 557, she spotted Grandma's Restaurant. When she pulled Buttercup into the restaurant's parking lot, she was surprised to see so many cars. Since it was a weekday and an hour past noon, she hadn't expected so many people would still be having lunch. She hoped they could get a table right away, because she had a couple more stops to make before they headed back to Grandpa's place, and she wanted to get there in plenty of time to help Mom with supper.

When they entered the restaurant, Lydia was disappointed to see several people standing in the entryway, waiting for a table. She thought about leaving, but Josh was really hungry. As she recalled from her last visit several years ago, this was the only restaurant in the center of town. Of course, there was the Chalet in the Valley, but that was farther out. Also, she'd never eaten at the Chalet and wasn't sure if they'd have anything on the menu that Josh would like.

Lydia stepped up to the counter and told the hostess that they needed a table for two; then she took Josh's hand and stood off to one side. While they waited, Josh alternated between playing with the lever on the gumball machine and watching out the window, while Lydia read the names and comments in the guest book. One comment in particular caught her attention: I'm glad we came to visit this charming little town. There are so many quaint and unusual shops here; no wonder they call it Charm.

Lydia had never really thought about the quaintness of Charm or heard anyone who lived here refer to it is as charming. She supposed that most people who lived in a certain area for any length of time took everything about it for granted. People from outside the area, especially tourists, no doubt viewed traditional Amish towns like Charm in a much different way.

They waited about twenty minutes and were finally shown to a table. Several more minutes passed before a young English woman came to take their order.

"Sorry about the wait, but we're shorthanded right now and didn't expect such a big lunch crowd this afternoon." The dark circles under the waitress's eyes and the perspiration glistening on her forehead gave indication of her obvious fatigue.

Lydia smiled, hoping to encourage the young woman. "It's okay. We didn't mind waiting."

The waitress offered a faint smile as she looked at Josh, sitting on a booster seat with an expectant look on his face. "What can I get you to drink, little fellow?"

"A glass of milk." Lydia spoke for Josh, since he wasn't proficient in English yet. That would come after he started school in a few years. "And I'd like a glass of iced tea, please," she quickly added.

The waitress left the table, and when she returned with their beverages, she took their order: a hot dog for Josh and a turkey sandwich for Lydia.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Lydia's Charm by Wanda E. Brunstetter. Copyright © 2010 Wanda E. Brunstetter. Excerpted by permission of Barbour Publishing, Inc..
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


New York Times, award-winning author, Wanda E. Brunstetter is one of the founders of the Amish fiction genre. Wanda’s ancestors were part of the Anabaptist faith, and her novels are based on personal research intended to accurately portray the Amish way of life. Her books are well-read and trusted by many Amish, who credit her for giving readers a deeper understanding of the people and their customs. When Wanda visits her Amish friends, she finds herself drawn to their peaceful lifestyle, sincerity, and close family ties.
Wanda enjoys photography, ventriloquism, gardening, bird-watching, beachcombing, and spending time with her family. She and her husband Richard have been blessed with two grown children, six grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.
To learn more about Wanda, visit her website at www.wandabrunstetter.com. 

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Lydia's Charm 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 54 reviews.
Taliasba More than 1 year ago
Wanda Brunstetter puts her readers in the Amish life with her books. In Lydia's Charm, the setting is Autumn and with her description of the area makes you feel like you are standing right there. This book has much sadness in it dealing with the loss of loved ones but it also has hope within God's love. If you enjoy reading books based in Amish country and the Amish people then you'll want to read this book as well as all her other books. you will never be disappointed. Taliasba
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
wfnren More than 1 year ago
Lydia King decides to accept her mother's offer of moving to Charm, Ohio after losing her job because of a slow down at the restaurant where she was working. It was her only source of income as a widow with a young son, Josh. Lydia and Josh would live with Mae, her mother, and her grandfather. Mae was a widow also and had moved in with her father to care for him since her two brothers had moved. Growing up Lydia always felt as if she couldn't do anything right, her mother always corrected everything she did, she hoped things would be different now that she was a mother herself. Lydia was never told that when Mae was growing up, her dad treated her the same way, she thinks it's because he lost Mae's mother when she was giving birth to Mae. Mae and her father still do not get along, and things between Lydia and Mae don't seem to have changed either. Josh brings joy to his great-grandfather's life, the few times Josh is able to sneak into his room anyway. Mae is constantly nagging four year old Josh to be quiet, to stay away from his great-grandfather and is jealous of their relationship. Lydia finds a job at the local restaurant and Mae babysits Josh. Mae has plans of Lydia maybe marrying Menno, a widow with four boys, but Lydia doesn't seem attracted to him in that way. Levi appeals more to Lydia but Mae hates the idea of her marrying him because, although Levi is normal height, the rest of his family are 'little people'. Mae won't even talk to Levi's family or shop in their store. As Lydia's grandfather is passing away, he finally makes peace with Mae. A short time later Josh is killed when he runs into the road and a car coming over a hill cannot get stopped in time and hits him. Now they have medical bills and two funerals so Lydia goes back to work after burying Josh, but they also have a guardian angel who mysteriously leaves them food and money. Mae gets her hopes up regarding Lydia and Menno as they are spending more and more time together. Shy Levi finally gets up enough nerve to ask Lydia out, but it seems every time he tries Menno comes and interrupts the conversation and asks Lydia out first. I guess you'll have to read this book to find out if Lydia marries Menno or Levi and if she stays in Illinois when she goes to be with a friend who loses her father in an accident. What happens to Mae after her father dies, does she move on with her life or continue to live in her fathers house by herself, or with Lydia? Does Mae convince Lydia to marry Menno? I really enjoyed this book, Wanda did not disappoint. I will say this is a good investment for anyone that reads Amish stories or Wanda Brunstetter books.
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MelissaMollasses More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed the book and am a huge fan of Amish Fiction and of Wanda Brunstetter. I loved how she draws you into the story and makes you feel as you are actually there, I could almost taste that silly stew (recipe included!). My only negative is there were alot of tragedies- but some of us simply live more tragic lives than others. I would definately recommend this book.
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MSantorum More than 1 year ago
very good book could not lay it down.
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mrsred49 More than 1 year ago
I love the way Wanda Brunstetter writes about the Amish, and this book will not fail to please. Lydia King is a young woman that has a four year old son but has lost her husband, then she looses her job in Arthur, Illinois with no way to make a living for herself and little boy, she moves to Charm and into the house with her Mother and grandfather. Lydia is a young independent woman and she and her mother does not see eye to eye, but the grandfather was disabled after having suffered a stroke so her mother was really taxed and then she was keeping her little 4 year old grandson while Lydia worked at the local diner. This book is so different that Wanda's other books that it seemed as though another author had wrote it. Instead of all the Amish way of life this one brought in a family of "little people", they ran a local store and their oldest son was a man the size of all others. He felt like he always needed to help his parents and his siblings and planned never to marry. Then there was a young man that had four small boys and had lost his wife to cancer, he just could not handle working his business, doing the housework, cooking and taking care of a farm and his sons. You can imagine that when Lynda came to Charm what he was thinking. Lynda had quite a bit of heartache in her young life as she lost others close to her but with God's help she tried her best to get through. If you love to read Wanda Brunstetter's books and want a little change then this book will fit right in. I have all of Wanda's older books but since I have started doing reviews I have not acquired many of her new ones, so this was a treat for me. This book was sent to me for review form Barbour Publishing for my honest review.
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Mamawof4 More than 1 year ago
This was one of those can't put down kind of books. I read it in 2 days. All of Wanda Brunstetter's books are great. She pulls you into the characters and stories right from the start and keeps you there until the end. This is a book I would recommend to anyone.
sml25dc More than 1 year ago
This book is another great example of God's faithfulness and love. It captivated me from the beginning and I could hardly put it down. Although it was really sad to know that Lydia lost her husband and then her son, Wanda Brunstetter does a great job of showing how God can take a tragic circumstance and use it for his glory and for his good. This book is a definite must read.