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She should be the happiest young woman in Paradise.
But Naomi dreaded being asked about her upcoming wedding. She feared she'd scream if one more person asked her about it.
Marriage in her Amish community was more traditional than an Englisch marriage, to be sure. But she'd never thought she'd have to change so much to please the man she would soon marry.
Sighing, she set her quilting aside, got up, and walked over to look out the front window. Business had been brisk that morning at Stitches in Time, the shop where she worked with her grandmother and two cousins.
Stitches in time ... and place: she and her two cousins were working together as they had played and studied together all their lives. Their wise grandmother had bought this place and they'd all fixed it up, and now they created items for sale. Naomi quilted, Mary Katherine was a master weaver, Anna knitted, and their grandmother, Leah, created little Amish dolls and other crafts. They were two generations of Amish women who were bound by strong threads to each other as well as to their creativity and their community.
Here in this shop crowded with colorful quilts and hand-knitted items, with fabrics galore and every single thing you could ever need to quilt or knit or sew ... well, she should feel like she was in heaven—working on a quilt and helping customers at this very successful shop, with family members who loved her.
Instead, she felt more and more false, covering up how she felt, wearing a mask each day.
"Looking for someone?" her grandmother asked, smiling as she looked up from tallying the day's receipts. "Is John coming to pick you up after work?"
Everyone thought it was a sign of his attachment, his devotion to her, that he came for her nearly every day after work. In fact, it was a way of keeping track of her, of making certain that she didn't make other plans.
She'd become so cynical. It was enough to make her sigh but she noticed her grandmother was still watching her.
"Ya," she said, pasting a smile on her face.
She walked back to sit and stitch on her quilt. Its bright, cheerful pattern of watermelon slices with little black ants marching across it should have propped up her sagging mood. Anna had already said it would be perfect for the summer window display with some props to make it look like it could be used for a picnic.
Off she'd gone to plan what she'd knit for the display, then badgered Mary Katherine and her grandmother for what they'd make.
Naomi glanced over at Mary Katherine when she heard quiet humming. "What are you making?"
"Some fabric for big floor pillows," she said, looking up. "You don't think this looks or feels too ... rough or nubby, do you?"
"I think it looks really sturdy for a kid's room or for outdoor use. The pillows'll fly out of the shop."
Nodding, Mary Katherine went back to weaving and humming, weaving and humming.
That was what a woman who was happily married and had recently celebrated her first anniversary looked like, Naomi thought. Happy, content. Dreamy. She and Jacob were a good match. They'd been friends since they were scholars in the same school, and when he'd thought he'd lose her to Daniel, a charming Amish Mennonite man from exotic-sounding Florida, well, Jacob had woken up and shown her he was the mann for her.
And soon, Naomi would be marrying John. Two cousins married in two years.
Anna was still looking for the right man and enjoying flirting with several young men. The three of them were cousins who looked much alike with their oval faces and brown eyes. Well, Mary Katherine was taller and her hair was more auburn but they looked more like sisters than cousins.
However, Naomi mused, their personalities were so different. She'd often wished she was as outgoing and assertive as Anna or as creative as Mary Katherine, who'd even been invited to speak about her weaving skill at the local college of arts and design.
A shadow fell over her as her grandmother carried some bolts of fabric to the storage room. She heard her talking with Anna and then her cousin emerged, following Leah as she walked back to the cash register. Leah handed her a slip of paper and then opened the cash register and withdrew some money. Anna slipped out the shop door.
Then Leah went to stand at the shop window and she stood there for so long, staring out with an unreadable expression, that Naomi got up and walked over to her.
"Is anything wrong?"
"No, I just sent Anna for pizza for lunch. My treat."
"And you're watching to make sure she gets there?" Naomi asked, smiling indulgently.
"No," Leah said, shaking her head and laughing. "Although Anna has been known to dilly-dally."
Turning, Leah sighed. "I'm just feeling a little restless, maybe a little moody, that's all. I have to confess, I'm not usually pessimistic, but I'm not looking forward to another winter here in Lancaster."
"That's a ways off, Grandmother."
"I know. Just ignore me. Like I said, I'm a little restless and moody. This probably started it." She held up a postcard of a scene in Florida. "Daniel's mother is trying to get me to come down to Pinecraft for a visit."
"Well, maybe you should this time. It'd do you some good. All you do is work here and at home."
For the first time she noticed that her grandmother—just in her fifties—looked tired. Older.
Anna bustled in, carrying a pizza box that smelled of pepperoni. "Come on, everybody, let's eat it before it gets cold."
"Or before you eat it all," Mary Katherine teased as she got up from her loom. "I'm starved. I'm so hungry all the time lately." She stopped as she realized the three women were staring at her. "What?"
"All the time?" Leah asked, a hopeful note in her voice.
"I've been working a lot lately. It's not easy juggling a job here and being a farm wife, you know. Sometimes I forget to eat."
Anna shoved the pizza box at Naomi, who fumbled to catch it and winced as one of her wrists complained.
Walking over to Mary Katherine, Anna counted on the fingers of one hand. "You could be ..." she trailed off meaningfully.
"Could be what?"
Anna patted her cheek. "Think about it," she said. "You're a bright girl."
Mary Katherine followed her into the back room. "Oh, honestly, you all want me to have a boppli so badly that you started making comments a month after I was married."
"It can happen that fast," Naomi told her.
"Yes, and we know it can happen even before marriage, no matter what community people live in."
Mary Katherine goggled at Anna's words. "You're not suggesting Jacob and I anticipated our vows, are you?"
"No, dear, although some of those looks the two of you exchanged when you thought no one was looking were quite sizzling." Anna waved her hand as if she were overheated. "I wondered if flames would erupt."
She took the pizza from Naomi and sailed toward the kitchen.
"Well, she's certainly not moping around today," Naomi remarked.
"She never is, especially this particular month," Leah noted, jerking her head toward the calendar. "I don't want to see her depressed but there's such a thing as covering up your feelings that can be harmful. I'm hoping she's not doing that."
Frowning, she walked toward the back room. Naomi followed and helped get out plates and soft drinks.
She and Anna knew all about covering up their feelings, Naomi thought as she nibbled on her own piece of pizza and found it tasteless.
"Is something wrong with your pizza?" Mary Katherine asked.
"I'm just not very hungry today." She pushed the box closer to her cousin, who took a third piece.
They chatted about the weather—it was the time of year between the too-brief Pennsylvania spring and the always-long summer that drew customers. They'd be returning after they enjoyed a big Amish lunch.
Mercifully, her wedding plans weren't a topic of conversation today. She managed to force down a few bites of pizza, then covered what was left on her plate with her crumpled paper napkin. She rose and walked to the sink to wash her plate and place it in the drying rack.
"Done already?" Leah asked.
"I'm full. I'm going to get back to the quilt. I promised it to a customer by next week."
She sat by herself and sewed on the wedding ring quilt and tried not to think of how one day she and other women would gather around the big quilting frame and stitch hers.
Someone knocked on the window and she jumped. She looked up and saw John staring at her through the glass. But instead of gesturing for her to open the door, which they'd locked so they could eat lunch, he waved carelessly and walked on.
"Who was that?" Leah asked as she walked over to sit in a chair next to Naomi.
Surprised, Leah stared at her. "He didn't want to come in?"
Naomi shook her head. "He was just making sure I was here."
"Where else would you be this time of day?" Leah pulled her chair up to the quilting frame and threaded a needle.
"He likes to make sure I'm where I said I'd be." Her voice sounded flat.
Leah's hands, which had been busily threading her needle, stilled. Her eyes searched Naomi's face. "There's something wrong, isn't there? It's not my imagination."
Naomi started to say it was nothing, but her grandmother placed her hand over hers.
"Tell me," she said quietly. "Tell me."
That's all it took. The floodgates opened.
"John's turned into—into someone I don't know," she said, reaching into her pocket for a tissue. "He tells me what to do and where to be and checks on me all the time. Just like now."
She dabbed at her cheeks. "I want to be obedient and learn to be a good fraa," she said. "But he—he scared me the other night."
"How?" Leah asked, her voice almost a whisper. "How did he scare you?"
Naomi couldn't look her in the eye.
"Tell me, how did he scare you?"
"I went to walk away from him and he grabbed my wrist and hurt me."
Leah reached over and unerringly chose the very wrist John had grabbed. Naomi winced. Her grandmother didn't release it but pushed the sleeve of Naomi's dress back, exposing a bruise.
"I thought you were favoring it," she said, frowning. She looked up at Naomi.
"It only hurts a little," she said, wiping at her cheeks again with her tissue.
"It only hurts a little there, but a lot in your heart." Leah's eyes were damp and filled with sympathy.
"He said he was sorry."
Leah pulled down the sleeve. "And how many other times has he said he's sorry?"
Sobs rose up in her chest. "Too—too many," she admitted.
There was a knock on the door. Naomi jumped.
"You go wash your face," Leah said. "Then let's go in the back room and talk."
"We don't have time. We have to work."
Leah stood. "We'll make time."
True to her word, after Leah opened the door and took care of the customer, she got Anna and Mary Katherine to run the shop while she and Naomi talked.
"You have to break it off with him."
"Counseling is a good idea. For you."
"Me? I'm not the problem."
"But how you responded to John's treatment of you worries me. I want you to think about it. Really think about it." She hesitated, then forged ahead. "I know that some people who act like John can be helped, but I wouldn't count on it. And it's a terrible way to start out in a marriage. I don't want to be harsh or seem unforgiving. But it's too big a risk to take."
Naomi nodded. "I know."
"Next time it could be a bigger injury."
"I know. Don't you think I know?" she burst out. "That's why I kept it to myself."
"Which is what he counted on, so he could exert more control."
Leah got up and paced. "It's so important to make a good match. There's no divorce. You'd be with him until one of you dies."
Naomi shuddered and got up to take some aspirin for the headache that was pounding behind her eyes. She turned to her grandmother. "I don't think I love him anymore."
"Yes, you do," Leah disagreed gently. "Otherwise, you would have spoken up by now."
The door opened and Anna poked her head inside. "Everything okay? We heard Naomi raise her voice."
She glanced at her cousin and saw the tears. "What's wrong?"
Naomi started to say it was nothing but then realized that holding everything in was how all of it had started. "I'm breaking up with John."
She watched one emotion after another chase across Anna's face. "I thought something was wrong, but I could never get you to talk."
"I didn't want to burden anyone."
"You thought I wouldn't understand, didn't you?" Anna asked her. "Happy, carefree Anna hasn't got the depth to understand, right?"
Shocked, Naomi stared at her. "No, I didn't think that at all. But you've had enough sadness."
"You have no idea what I've experienced," Anna said. "Maybe I haven't wanted to face it myself."
With that, she spun on her heel and went out, shutting the door firmly behind her.
"I need to go after her."
Naomi stood but Leah put her hand on her arm, stopping her.
"Let me. I think I know what's wrong. And I've let her get away with it for too long."
Leah hurried after her and Naomi followed, watching helplessly as her grandmother opened the front door of the shop, stepped out, and slipped and fell.CHAPTER 2
Naomi rushed out the door and found her grandmother sitting on the concrete in front of the shop.
Mary Katherine was right behind her. "What happened?"
"Are you all right?" Naomi asked her grandmother as she knelt before her.
"Ya," Leah said quickly. "It was just a little fall. Stupid of me. I wasn't watching where I stepped."
But her face looked pasty white and perspiration dotted her forehead. She reached out her hands. "Help me up. Please."
Naomi and Mary Katherine looked at each other. "Maybe we shouldn't move you."
"I'm fine. The only thing that hurts is my ankle. I probably twisted it a little."
They each took one of her arms and lifted her, but when Leah stood she winced and cried out. "Oh, my ankle! I must have sprained it."
"You could have broken it," Mary Katherine told her.
Slipping their arms around her waist, they guided her slowly back into the shop and set her carefully into a chair. Mary Katherine pulled another chair over and gently lifted Leah's foot and placed it on the seat cushion.
Naomi hurried to the shop telephone.
"Who are you calling?" Leah wanted to know.
"Don't you dare!" she said. "You put that phone down now!"
Shocked at the vehemence in her voice, Naomi did so and nearly said, "Yes, ma'am!"
"You call Nick. Ask him to come take me to the doctor."
Naomi looked at Mary Katherine, who nodded. Resigned, she made the call.
A few minutes later, he was striding into the shop. He was a handsome Englisch man, tall and dark-haired, with piercing green eyes. Although those eyes lit often with laughter as he drove them around, Naomi felt uncomfortable with the way he always seemed to be observing her—studying her.
He was a favorite of Leah's and she often found him visiting her grandmother, clearly enjoying her company as well as the baked goods and coffee she'd fix for him in her kitchen. Naomi often heard him asking questions about the Amish faith in a way that didn't seem like prying or idle curiosity. The two of them seemed to enjoy discussing a passage or a person from the Bible.
Leah looked up from supervising the application of ice on her ankle. "Well, that was quick."
"I happened to be in town. Aren't you the one who's often said there's no such thing as coincidence?"
She nodded, looking serious. "Ya. Well, shall we go? Naomi's already called the doctor and he insisted we go to the hospital and get an X-ray."
"Could have just let me call for an ambulance," Naomi muttered.
"No need to pay for something like that when our Nick is around."
He winked at Naomi. "Let's get you in the car, Leah."
Before she could say anything, he scooped her up in his arms and carried her to the shop door. Naomi hurried to open it.
"Now there's no need—" Leah began.
"For you to fuss," Nick finished for her. "Gets you up and out faster than helping you and hurting your ankle more."
He gave her one of his intense looks. "Did you hit your head when you fell? Truth, now!"
"I'd say if I did," she said with some tartness. Then her face softened. "Just like you to ask such a thing."
Naomi felt a stab of guilt. She and Mary Katherine had asked their grandmother if she was hurt anywhere besides her ankle, but neither of them had thought to ask that particular question.
He paused at the door. "You coming?"
Excerpted from The Heart's Journey by Barbara Cameron. Copyright © 2012 Barbara Cameron. Excerpted by permission of Abingdon Press.
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.
Posted October 4, 2012
Print does not expand to legible font size in any of font styles! Why struggle? TOO MANY LEGIBLE
Minute font size really strains eye and patience. Why bother until nook fixes this. Save your money.
4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 2, 2013
Proluge of Jaywing's Journey
Jaykit wriggled next to her two sisters,Ripplekit and Puddlekit.Her mother,Larksong slept beside them.Jaykit finally gave up,and went limp.She could feel the faint rise and fall of her mother's flank.The day had been fun and long.Jaykit and her sisters played snow burrows that day.They had made really good burrows,actually.The night stars glistened out and around the nursery.The night fell so hard and so fast,Jaykit didn't see it coming.Jaykit wondered if she would ever become a warrior.She was only two moons old,that was true.But her body already surged with energy.
Posted August 1, 2013
Posted June 7, 2013
Posted May 8, 2013
I am such a fan of Barbara Cameron!!!! They are such heart warming books and The Heart's Journey is no
exception!!! In this book we get to know Naomi and follow her path to love. You can read this one first; however,
it is so much fun to read them in order. It's is the 2nd in the Stitches in Time series. ENJOY!!!!!
Posted May 3, 2013
Posted March 9, 2013
Great story and easy read. Its great reading about the second cousin....there must be a third book about Anne. Love how the author tied these books into her other Amish series.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 22, 2013
Stitches in Time Series book 2
The Heart's Journey is the second book of the series. It is also the second one that I have read but I started with book 3 Heart in Hand. Even though I have read the books out of order I have enjoyed reading Stitches in Time. I have a feeling some of the characters in this book have been introduced in their own book. But I would like to read more of Barbara's novels in the future.
Naomi is engaged to be married to John but her choice is not the best. He is controlling where she is and what she does. He even hurt her some. Naomi is hiding how she feels from everyone.
Naomi makes quilts in the craft store that her Grandma Leah and her two cousins own with her. It is winter and Leah is thinking of going to visit her friend in Florida. Before she can bring it up she has a fall and sprains her foot badly.
Leah still wants to go even if she is on crutches. Nick is their english driver who gives them rides to and back from work says he will drive her to Florida and take a vacation too. Naomi says she will go with her grandmother too to help her.
Naomi fiance says she can't go but Naomi plans to go anyway.
Nick has had a crush on Naomi for awhile but he has not let her know it. He really likes Leah and is a good friend to her. Nick and Naomi spend a lot of time together and their friendship continues to grow. Nick even kisses her and she kisses him back.
Naomi fiance shows up in Florida to spy on her. This is the weak part of the story I felt that their was parts missed or cut out of how long was he actually in florida and the break up was too easy.
I like the characters and enjoyed reading about Naomi and Nick. Their joy at the simple things.( I like things simple but love electricity and microwave,cars ect.) I was drawn to their story.
I was given this ebook to read and in return give honest review of it by Netgalley.
Published October 1st 2012 by Abingdon Press 283 pages ISBN:1426714335
Posted February 15, 2013
Posted February 5, 2013
Posted December 18, 2012
Don't order this book unless you have a strong magnetizing glass.. Sits in my nook, unread .. over ten dollars down the drain ! Doesn't adjust to legal size font . RIPOFF !Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 14, 2012
This meeting with the Cousins Naomi, Anna, and Mary Katherine along with their Grandmother Leah, brings to light a dark subject of Abuse. Whether it is physical or verbal, it shouldn't happen, but does.
Naomi is now experiencing this from the man she gave her heart to, and is engaged to marry...John.
When Leah takes a tumble and hurts her ankle, Nick their driver is immediately there to take her to the hospital, and wait and help. He learns that she, Leah, has been feeling a bit down and wants to go and visit the Amish Community in Pinecraft, Florida, he decides to take a vacation and take her.
Naomi decides that this is a way to take a break from John, even if he has forbidden her to go. Will this finally give her the chance to examine her feelings, and maybe get away from this bad relationship?
What Naomi doesn't expect is finding feelings for Nick...that can't be possible. He is English and she Amish.
This is a really sweet story, that you feel a sense of danger lurking in the background. Will Naomi come to realize that John's abuse is not love? Enjoy this winter visit to Florida...experience Naomi's first glimpse of the ocean! Pick you morning breakfast off your Orange tree...yum! Think I'll pack my bags!! Enjoy!
I received this book from Pump Your Book Virtual Tours, and was not required to give a positive review.
Posted December 10, 2012
Posted December 3, 2012
The Heart's Journey from Barbara Cameron is the second book in the Stitches in Time Series, and one that everyone can relate to and a true delight if you're a fan of Amish fiction. In this one, the reader is once again transported to the charm of a delightful store, Stitches in Time operated by Leah and her grand-daughters whom we have met in her first book. This time the story deals with her granddaughter, Naomi who is wondering if her upcoming marriage to John is truly what God had in mind. It seems that John is taking his authority of being the man of the house to heart and tries to ensure that Naomi will obey him at all costs, even if it means man-handling her at times. No matter how hard Naomi tries to put on her best smile, however, her grandmother Leah can see right through it.
When she confronts Naomi about the relationship, she finally tells her the truth and that John is more than controlling. In fact, he has already hurt her physically but believes he can change, especially after how sorry he felt. Leah reminds Naomi that in the Amish world, once you marry the only way you can get out of a bad marriage is for one of you to die. That hits too close for home for Naomi and she agrees with Leah that perhaps they should break up. When Leah takes a nasty fall just outside of her shop, their Englisch driver, Nick comes to take her to the doctor. It is then that Naomi realizes that not all men can be as controlling as John and sees the true heart that lies within Nick.
Opportunity presents itself to head to Pinecraft, Florida with her grandmother to help her pass the time recovering from her fall where the climate is warm and oranges are as close as an arm's reach. Naomi is more than delighted when Nick offers to drive them from Paradise, Pennsylvania to Florida for a mini vacation and both Naomi and Nick discover that something is brewing beneath the surface for them both. However will they be able to find common ground with living in two different worlds or will John find Naomi and bring her back to her senses in more ways than one?
I received The Heart's Journey compliments of Abingdon Press and Pump Up Your Book Tours for my honest review and love the blending of the two worlds in the Amish fiction. Barbara Cameron takes the issue of abuse to a new level introducing it to her Amish character and then inviting the reader along for the ride to see how the Amish might deal with such an issue in their private world. I rate this one a 5 out of 5 stars in my opinion and can't wait for the third book in this series!!!
Posted December 1, 2012
Enjoyed the story line. Think it would be a great book for book club discussions. I liked that it really looked at what is God's will for us. I think anyone who lives a faith based life would enjoy the book. I would read other books by this author.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 26, 2012
Naomi is planning to marry John but he has started to scare her and she is not sure if they should marry. When her grandma decides to head to Florida for a vacation Naomi jumps at the chance to go along to help her grandma as well as figure out what to do with her relationship. Their faithful driver Nick offers to drive them to Florida and Naomi soon finds herself with confusing feelings for the driver. Even if Naomi ends her relationship with John a relationship with an outsider is forbidden. Can Naomi find love with out losing everything and everyone she holds dear?
This is book two in the series about three cousins. Over all I really enjoyed this book but there where things about it that seemed a bit far fetched.
What I liked: This book was a easy read and enjoyable. It also touched on some issues(spousal abuse) that people may not think the Amish deal with but very likely do. It was interesting to see how a person dealing with something like that would possibly think though and deal with it. I enjoyed the way Nick and Naomi interacted and how he helped her to respect herself.
What I did not like: Quite a few Amish fiction books that I have read in the last few months has dealt with a none Amish person coming into the faith. Even if a person was a simple person I think it would be very hard to give all modern things up and live Amish. I am just not sure it would be as easy as it can come across in books.
Over all I enjoyed this book and am looking forward to the 3rd and final book in this series. This is a very well written series. I really like the characters and the storylines are quite interesting.
Posted November 24, 2012
Naomi has mixed feelings regarding her upcoming marriage to John. His controlling ways have her backing away from the relationship. When her grandmother needs a traveling companion to Florida, Naomi volunteers to go along, but she never planned on a mutual attraction developing between her and their Englisch driver.
Barbara Cameron has written an Amish fiction novel with a new twist: domestic abuse. As much as we would like to believe that they live in an idyllic paradise, they have problems just as everyone else does. This is a topic that needs to be addressed in general Christian fiction more often, so finding it in this genre was definitely a breath of fresh air. It was handled sensitively, giving the reader real information in a fictional format. Very nicely done. I will be looking for Ms. Cameron's novels at my local bookstore.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the Pump Up Your Book book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed 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.”
Posted October 26, 2012
Posted December 18, 2012
No text was provided for this review.
Posted November 23, 2012
No text was provided for this review.