Treasuring Emma (Middlefield Family Series #1)

( 39 )

Overview

Emma always put the needs of others ahead of her own. When will it be her turn to be treasured?

Adam was her first love and best friend. But then he went away. Determined to experience the freedom of living in the Englisch world, he left Emma heart-broken. How could he have chosen the world over her?

Now Adam is back in Middlefield and Emma can't seem to keep him away from her family's farm. But this time ...

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Treasuring Emma

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Overview

Emma always put the needs of others ahead of her own. When will it be her turn to be treasured?

Adam was her first love and best friend. But then he went away. Determined to experience the freedom of living in the Englisch world, he left Emma heart-broken. How could he have chosen the world over her?

Now Adam is back in Middlefield and Emma can't seem to keep him away from her family's farm. But this time she's determiend to guard her heart. It might be love that keeps him there . . . or perhaps just guilt.

When a newcomer arrives in town and shows an interest in Emma, she dismisses Adam's insistence that she be cautious. All this attention is new to her and she doesn't know quite how to accept it. Emma knows her Heavenly Father treasures her. But will her new beau?

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Fuller launches her third series about the Amish community of Middlefield, OH, after "The Hearts of Middlefield" and "The Mysteries of Middlefield." Adam and Emma chose different paths in life; Adam's took him away from Middlefield and his first and only love. In the meantime, Emma lost her parents and raised her siblings. Now she's free to make the dream of opening a yarn store a reality. But when Adam returns home, the long-buried feelings she had for him are rekindled. Emma has never loved anyone else, but can Adam convince her to give him a second chance? VERDICT Well-drawn characters and a homespun feel will make this Amish romance a sure bet for fans of Beverly Lewis and Jerry S. Eicher.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781595547750
  • Publisher: Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
  • Publication date: 8/2/2011
  • Series: Middlefield Family Series , #1
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 352,287
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Kathleen Fuller is the author of several bestselling novels, includingA Man of His Word and Treasuring Emma, as well as a middle-grade Amish series, The Mysteries of Middlefield. Website: www.kathleenfuller.com Twitter: @TheKatJam Facebook: Author Kathleen Fuller

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Read an Excerpt

Treasuring Emma

A MIDDLEFIELD FAMILY Novel
By Kathleen Fuller

Thomas Nelson

Copyright © 2011 Kathleen Fuller
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4016-8616-1


Chapter One

"Emma, I'm so sorry."

Emma Shetler lifted her gaze to meet Moriah Miller's eyes. Moriah had been a good friend to her over the past year, and Emma had never noticed until now how blue her eyes were. Blue like the summer sky, and at this moment, full of compassion.

Emma tried to swallow down the thorn of grief that blocked her throat. "I appreciate you and your familye coming by this afternoon."

"Your mammi was a very special fraa." Moriah laid a hand on Emma's shoulder. The warmth of the gentle touch seeped through the thin fabric of Emma's black dress.

The color of mourning. Of death.

Despite Moriah's comfort, that's what Emma felt inside. Dead.

She glanced around the living room. As expected, most members of the church district were here to pay their respects and show their support. Dark dresses and white kapps for the women, black pants and hats for the men—all of them in mourning clothes. They milled around the living room. Conversation and movement blurred into a meaningless cacophony of sound and motion.

Emma tapped her toe against the polished wood floor of the old farmhouse, her nerves strung tight as a barbed wire fence. She should have been in the kitchen, preparing and serving the traditional meal. But her sister, Clara, had taken over the cooking and banished her to the living room. This was supposed to make her feel better—stuck here, doing nothing?

She spied her grandmother Leona across the room. Clara must have chased her out of the kitchen too. Several women between the ages of fifty and seventy created a circle of support around Grossmammi. Emma smiled to herself as she noticed the women's ample hips drooping over the seats of creaking wooden folding chairs. They spoke in low tones, nodding and shaking their heads. The thin ribbons of their white prayer kapps swayed against the stiff white aprons covering their dresses. Emma had no doubt they were offering comforting passages of Scripture and words of encouragement to their old friend.

During the seventy-five years God had granted her, Leona Shetler had loved her family deeply. But that love came with a cost. Three years ago her son—Emma's father, James—had passed away. Now she had to deal with the death of a daughter-in-law she loved as her own.

Emma felt the grief stab at her. First her father, then her mother. It didn't seem fair. She wished she could muster even a small measure of the grace and peace her grandmother demonstrated. But instead she simply felt bereft, abandoned, and confused.

"Emma?"

She turned her attention back to Moriah. "Sorry. Did you say something?"

"I asked if you needed anything else."

"Oh, ya. I did hear you say that." The words clanged around in her head, empty noise. "Nee, I'm fine."

"All right." Moriah lifted an eyebrow. Her concern echoed that of her sisters, Elisabeth and Ruth, along with everyone else who had passed by Emma's chair. The same question over and over: How are you holding up?

How did they think she was holding up? She had nursed her mother through a painful, deadly cancer. She buried her today.

Emma fought to contain her emotions: Anger. Resentment. Guilt. The community's heartfelt concern didn't deserve such rudeness. But nothing anyone said could penetrate the emotional wall that was growing around her, inch by excruciating inch.

Throughout the rest of the afternoon, people paused to talk. Relived special moments they'd shared with Emma's mother and father. Assured Emma of God's will, His plan. Phrase after empty phrase about God's comfort and mercy.

She nodded and smiled and tried to look peaceful, while her foot went on tapping incessantly against the floor she'd scrubbed on her hands and knees. Why wouldn't they just leave her alone? That's what she wanted.

No, that wasn't the truth. There was one person she longed to have by her side. Only one. His words, spoken in a soft, deep voice that never failed to affect her, had the best chance of soothing her broken heart.

But he wouldn't come. He had walked out of her life two years ago, and she had no hope he would walk back into it now.

Emma stood and stretched and walked around, but kept herself apart from the rest of the visitors. Moriah and Gabriel Miller were the first to leave, followed by a steady stream of other guests. Clara stood by the front door and thanked each person for coming. The perfect hostess.

When the last guest disappeared, Clara turned to Emma. "Where 's Grossmammi?"

Emma looked at her grandmother's empty chair and shrugged. "She probably went upstairs to her room."

"I'm sure she's exhausted. It's been a long day. For all of us."

Peter King, Clara's husband, came inside wearing his hat and a navy blue jacket. A burst of cool October air wafted in behind him. The screen door shut, and he looked at Clara. "Buggy's ready. We should get back to the kinner."

Clara's lips pressed into a quick frown. "There are a few more things I need to do in the kitchen."

"I can finish up here, Clara," Emma said. "I haven't done anything all day."

"It won't take me long. Just five, maybe ten minutes."

"Clara."

That one word commanded the attention of both Clara and Emma.

"We need to geh home. Now."

Clara didn't protest; the pinch above the bridge of her nose was response enough. "I'll get my shawl." She disappeared from the living room.

Peter turned to Emma. "Are you okay?"

Would she have to hear that question for the rest of her life? "I'm fine."

"You'd tell me and Clara if you weren't, ya?"

Emma nodded, but she didn't mean it, and neither did he. His questions arose more out of duty than familial concern. She never had confided in her sister or brother-in-law, and the death of their father and their mother's ensuing illness had made the sisters' relationship tenuous at best. Now that Mammi was gone, Emma doubted she'd see much of Clara and her family, except for church service every other Sunday.

Peter stepped forward. "I wanted to ask you something."

The low tone of his voice surprised her. "What?"

"I'd like you and Leona to consider moving in with us." His voice was nearly a whisper now. "As soon as possible."

His question shocked her. She started to shake her head. "There's not enough room—"

"I can add on. It wouldn't take me more than a couple of days."

She thought about their tiny house. Her nephews, Junior and Melvin, shared a room, and as far as she knew baby Magdalena's crib was still in Clara and Peter's bedroom. "You and Clara have your own familye to take care of."

"You and Leona are part of that familye, Emma. I've figured everything out. You and Grossmammi can share Junior and Melvin's room. They can sleep on the couch until the addition is finished. It's not a problem."

"What's not a problem?" Clara appeared, her black bonnet tied in place, the bow perfectly formed under her pointy chin. A large safety pin fastened the corner of her black shawl to her shoulder.

He let out a deep breath. "I've asked Emma and Leona to move in with us."

"Without telling me?" She spoke the question softly. Politely. But the edge was there.

"I don't need your permission."

"We could have at least talked about it." She turned to Emma. "Do you and Grossmammi want to leave this haus?"

Emma wasn't fooled. Her sister knew how much the place meant to her and their grandmother—the old farmhouse, with its five acres of farmland, sturdy barn, and wood shop. Grossmammi would never leave, nor would Emma. Besides, Clara didn't really want them to move in with her.

"We'll be fine here."

"But what about the work it takes to run this place?" Peter asked. "I know Norman Otto has been a big help, but you can't always count on him to be there for you."

"God will provide." The words came out of Emma's mouth automatically, without any feeling or conviction behind them.

"Like He provided a cure for Mammi's cancer?" Clara said. She scowled and crossed her thin arms over her chest, then glanced away. "Sorry."

Emma knew she should reach out to Clara. Hug her, or at least give an encouraging touch on the shoulder, as so many of their family and friends had done for her throughout the past few days since Mammi's death. Yet her body wouldn't move. "You should get back home. I'm sure the kinner miss you."

"Maybe you shouldn't be alone." Peter looked at Clara. "Mei fraa can stay the night, at least. It wouldn't be a gut idea for you and Leona to be all by yourself tonight."

Clara looked at her husband, her dark eyes narrowing. "Ya," she said, with about as much enthusiasm as a cat volunteering for a soapy bath. "I can stay."

"It's the least she could do," Peter added.

Emma glanced at Clara. The least she could have done was to help with her own mother's care during the long and painful process of dying. The least she could have done was to be a sister when Emma most needed one. But none of that happened. Emma had been taking care of things by herself for a long time, and she didn't much need or want Clara's help now.

"That's not necessary. Grossmammi is probably asleep already." For added effect, Emma yawned. "I'm tired too."

"It looks like you don't need me, then." Clara straightened her shoulders and uncrossed her arms.

"But she'll be by in the morning," Peter said.

"Ya. I'll be by in the morning."

Emma shrugged. She could disagree, but what was the point? Peter would make sure Clara would be here. It was the Amish way, and Peter was nothing if not thoroughly Amish. He opened the door, and the three of them stepped onto the front porch. Layers of grayish-blue hues stretched endlessly across the dusky sky. Peter hurried down the steps to the buggy, pausing to motion for Clara to follow.

Clara turned to Emma. She could barely make out her sister's sharp features; only her stiff white kapp contrasted against the shadowy evening.

"I know Peter offered to let you stay with us," Clara said, "but let me talk to him about it first. It's not that you and Grossmammi aren't welcome, of course."

Emma knew perfectly well that her sister didn't want them living under the same roof, but she kept silent.

"There are other things to consider," Clara continued in a rush, "and we haven't had a chance to discuss them. You know Peter. He can be impulsive. But he means well." She paused. "He always means well."

Peter hesitated before climbing into the buggy. "Clara."

Clara hurried toward the buggy. Emma waited until they disappeared down Bundysburg Road before she sat down in her father's old hickory rocker in the corner of the warped front porch.

The back of the rocker touched the peeling white siding on the house. Flakes of old paint dotted the backrest of the chair.

Emma ran her fingers over the worn wood of the smooth, curved armrest. She glanced at her mother's matching chair beside her. So many evenings her parents would sit in these chairs, talking as they rocked back and forth. Or sometimes they said nothing at all, simply gazing at one another now and then, or touching fingertips as the rockers moved back and forth. It was the closest they ever came to expressing outward affection.

Bright headlights appeared. She looked up. A car moved slowly down Bundysburg Road. The hum of the engine faded in the distance, replaced with the shrill chirping of crickets and deep throaty moans of bullfrogs.

Shelby the cat jumped into her lap and added her purring to the night music. Emma rubbed the cat behind her ears. Yet even the presence of one of her beloved pets couldn't keep the emptiness at bay.

For the past eighteen months her sole focus had been to care for her mother. The animals—two cats and three dogs, plus the chestnut mare, Dill—had received less attention than normal. Now Mammi was gone, and what kind of future did Emma have? Living with her sister for the rest of her life?

Exhaustion rolled over her in a wave, and her stomach churned. Marriage was an option. Maybe. But she was twenty-four years old, an old maid by some Amish standards. Besides that, she wasn't even sure if she wanted to marry. Not after what happened with Adam.

She closed her eyes and tried to push him out of her thoughts. Still, the split second of attention she gave to him made her heart twist. Two years since he left Middlefield. How long would she continue to love him?

"Emma?"

The timbre of the deep male voice sent a shiver through her. Shelby leapt from her lap.

"Adam?"

As soon as she said his name, her cheeks heated with embarrassment. How foolish could she be? The man who stood at the foot of the porch, holding a rusted, old-fashioned gas lantern, was not Adam Otto.

"I'm sorry," Norman Otto said. "I didn't mean to startle you. I thought you heard me coming."

Emma stood from the chair and went to the edge of the porch. "I guess I was deep in my own thoughts."

To her relief, he offered no comment about what those thoughts might be. "I see Clara and Peter left."

"Ya."

Norman glanced at the ground, then looked up at her. "Just watered your horse and put down some straw in her stall. The dog bowls still had food in them, so I didn't add any more. The three of them were curled up on a pile of hay in the corner when I left. Also filled the cat bowls. One of them put a dead mouse at my feet."

For the first time in what seemed like weeks, Emma mustered a half smile. "That would be Tommy. He likes to give presents."

Norman nodded but didn't say anything more. A man of few words, that was Adam's father. He'd been their neighbor for years, and she 'd never heard him string together more than a sentence or two.

Norman's help with the animals and chores, however, wasn't merely a neighborly gesture. As a deacon of the church, the responsibility fell on him to take care of the poor and widows in their district. He'd been helping the Shetlers since her father died.

"Emma." Norman's voice cracked. He let out a sharp cough. "No matter what you need, let me know. I'll take care of it for you."

"Danki," she said. But there was only one thing she needed. One person. And both of them knew Norman couldn't do anything about that.

"I best be getting home now. Carol said to let you know that she'll be over in the morning with breakfast."

"She doesn't have to do that."

"You know she wants to." He paused. "Your mammi ..." He cleared his throat again and straightened his yellow straw hat. "We'll all miss her." He turned and headed for his house, the light from his lantern flickering with each step.

Emma's eyes burned. Memories broke through her fragile defenses again—this time not only of her parents but of times she and Adam spent together as kids. She remembered how they played on the front porch, games like Dutch Blitz or checkers. The times they chased fireflies in the front yard and put them in a glass jar, its lid filled with holes he 'd poked using an awl. The night she 'd noticed him as more than a friend. The dreams she 'd had of marrying him.

She could still remember details, like how his honey-colored eyes were a shade lighter than his straight, dark blond hair. The way the dimples in his cheeks deepened when he flashed his lopsided smile. The natural huskiness of his voice, so like his father's.

The emptiness gnawed at her. She sat down in the rocker and pressed her palm against her forehead. She should be grieving her mother, not thinking about the man who broke her heart. Her eyes grew hot, yet she couldn't bring herself to cry.

Hadn't she wept rivers of tears when her father died? When Adam left? As she watched life slowly drain from her mother over the past few months?

Now she couldn't generate so much as a single tear. She didn't have anything left. Nothing at all. Her life, at one time full of excitement and hope, had shattered into a broken, empty shell.

And she didn't know if she 'd ever feel whole again.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Treasuring Emma by Kathleen Fuller Copyright © 2011 by Kathleen Fuller. 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.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 39 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(18)

4 Star

(11)

3 Star

(6)

2 Star

(3)

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(1)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 39 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 26, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Highly Recommend

    This is a book that you want to get to the end to find out what happens, but you never want it to end! It is Emma's and Adam's story, along with a lot of family! The book opens at the home of Emma and her Grandmother, just after burying Emma's Mom Mary.
    Adam has left being Amish and was embracing the English life, or was he? When Leona, Emma's Grandmother, writes him to tell of Mary's passing and that his Mom Carol has not been well, he decides to come home for a visit.
    Emma is trying to figure out what to do now that he Mom has passed, and she has a lot of bills to pay. Her sister Clara, now wants to turn her Grandfather's shed into a Fabric Shop. Adam was her "lost Love", her heart is torn in so many directions. Makes you wonder if things are ever going to work out? Enter Clara and Peter's cousin Mark, who appears to have taken an interest in Emma?
    There is a lot of suspense and scary things going on, you will not be able to put it down.

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishing. 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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2013

    Loved

    Each of the characters were at different places in their lives. None were perfect but then none of.us are. Each struggling to find what God's plan is for their life. Seemingly at odds with each other. Longing for what we all do in our own lives. Love, loss, trust, forgiveness and faith. Having lost my.parents within 15 months of each other and being at pdds with my younger brothers, Emily and Clara's struggles and frustration with each other as they try to find common ground was

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  • Posted October 25, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Loved this story Emma Shetler doesn't know if she'll ever get u

    Loved this story

    Emma Shetler doesn't know if she'll ever get used to losing those she loves, first her father three years ago, now her mother to cancer and in between, two years ago, the love of her life Adam Otto walked away to go live among the Englishers. She did still have her beloved grandmother, her father's mom, and her sister Clara, who she didn't get along with very often, and her family. Leona, her grandmother, and Emma have piles of medical bills to pay along with the expense of keeping the farm up, her horse, Dill, is lame and can't pull her buggy. Things don't look good, the bills just seem to keep piling up.

    Unbeknownst to Emma, Leona has written to Adam to let him know about Emma's mom and to tell him that there is something wrong with his mother. She isn't sure what, but she thinks it would be a good idea if he came to check up on her. Adam does come to Middlefield against his better judgment, when he left it was not on good terms with his dad, but he had to see his mom for himself.

    To say the least, Emma is surprised to see Adam and even more surprised when she finds out it was her grandmother that asked him to return. He tries to help her by checking on Dill and anything else she needs, she refuses any help. She's afraid to let herself get used to having him around only to have him leave again. Clara dislikes Adam even more than Emma, she has contempt for him.

    After the funeral Peter King, Clara's husband, invites Emma and Leona to move in with them. This irritates Clara because they can't afford two more mouths to feed. Peter's been out of work for a long time, their pantry is about empty and they only have two bedrooms, one for their two boys and baby Magdalena was still in their bedroom.

    When Peter's cousin Mark shows up on their doorstep she gets mad that Peter asks him to stay on with them. She'd just explained things to Peter about their situation, as if he didn't know, but since he's family Peter feels he has to offer. Now Peter, Clara, Junior, Melvin & Magdalena were all in one bedroom. Mark soon befriends Clara though and backs her up about an idea to turn her grandfather's wood shop into a yarn and fabric store. Emma strongly disagrees, that would mean selling her grandfathers tools and she couldn't stand losing all the memories after just losing her mom.

    Even though Adam is back and trying to be her friend again and help her around the farm, Emma knows he'll leave soon. Clara doesn't trust Adam and thinks it might be a good idea for Mark to get to know Emma, after all he's family and Adam isn't. Adam doesn't trust Mark, Mark doesn't like the way Adam acts around the family, and Emma really wants nothing to do with either of them.

    When Emma's grandmother gets sick and has to stay in the hospital for two weeks a lot of things happen around the farm, some very devastating things. You will want to find out for yourself.

    I really enjoyed this book, it always interests me when people leave the Amish and have to come back home when they are under the bann. I have seen banned people treated different ways and it's interesting as to why they left in the first place and what their feelings are once they return.

    I purchased this book because I received the second one in the series, Faithful to Laura, to review and I think it's so much better when you can read the books in order. I will say that I'm looking forward to reading the second book and I'm not telling you how she fits in the first book.

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  • Posted July 14, 2012

    I just loved the realistic, worldly problems in the Amish setting.

    I know the book was supposed to be about Emma, but my first major thoughts about the book were, what in the world is going on with Emma’s sister, Clara? She lived in an Amish community where I thought materialism was frowned upon. Yet here was a woman who seemed obsessed with finances. I loved how human she was. I completely sympathized with Clara and her husband, Peter. I’ve been were Clara was, fretting over the lack of money, wondering what I could do to relieve the financial stress, feeling trapped in a situation with no respite. It was nice to see members of the Amish community portrayed as less than pure. This does not mean at all I want to see them fail. It’s just comforting to know they face similar demons as the Englisch, yet still find the Godly strength to overcome the trials. Then there was Clara’s wandering eyes. Truly she seemed like a fair weather friend: with her husband during good times, but seeking elsewhere for companionship during rough times. She wasn’t at all endearing, yet I felt sorry for her and her inability to find joy. Lucky for Clara, Mark (Peter’s cousin) was more than willing to fill her need for companionship… maybe. Mark was an anomaly in the story. I didn’t get him. Was he a sociopath? I remember thinking at one time, the only thing which could keep this from being a 5 star read is if Mark didn’t pan out. He did well and had sufficient motivation for his villainous ways. So I’ve talked about everyone but Emma… almost. Granny was awesome too. So Emma. The poor girl was tugged in every direction. She knew what she wanted (most of the time) and had no problem expressing herself. Yet she was constantly bombarded with the desires of others, and put under pressure to make a choice between what she thought was best for her peace of mind and what would please others. She faced a tough struggle. She knew others imposed on her unfairly, but her Amish upbringing valued putting others before self. I just loved the realistic, worldly problems in the Amish setting. The introduction of a final character toward the end, Laura, was a bit shaky in the presentation, but overall, I quite enjoyed myself. I’m definitely curious about this Laura gal. Hopefully she’ll be the star in the sequel. 4.5-5 out of 5 stars. I received this work from the publisher in exchange for a review.

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  • Posted October 31, 2011

    Avoid this if you're an Amish fiction fan

    I read Treasuring Emma, by Kathleen Fuller, in a single day, almost in a single sitting. I love it when I get books I just cannot put down, and in not being able to put them down I finish them quickly. The problem with Treasuring Emma is that it wasn't one of those books. I was able to read it in a few hours because it was mindless and overly plain in its quality of writing.

    A quick plot summary: Emma, an Amish girl who, at 24, is considered to be an old maid because she is still single, must care for her mother, who is dying. Eventually her mother passes away and Emma is left to care for herself. Her mother and grandmother managed to keep the family running after the death of Emma's father by doing work of their own, and now it's Emma time to confront her life and figure out how to survived on nothing. Things are complicated when Emma's childhood beau, Adam, returns, after leaving town years ago to live among the English. But that's not all - Emma's sister Clara is having financial issues of her own after her husband Peter loses his job.

    There were a few things I liked about this novel. One, it had some Amish people in it. That sounds like I'm joking, but I really do love novels about Amish people. And there are certain parts of Emma's characterization that endeared her to me - the fact that she is both single and slightly. rotund. I'm in the same place in my life, and while it's hard sometimes to deal with my singleness, it is what it is and it's nice to read about characters who remind me of myself.

    That said, I pretty much disliked the rest of this book. For starters, it was way, way too much like an Amish soap opera. Tragic deaths and lost loves aside, I got super annoyed when Peter's friend Mark came back to town and started scheming to take advantage of Emma in her needy situation. I also was expecting an entirely different book based on the back cover, which mentions Emma's desire to open a shelter for stray animals. In a lot of ways, this book had nothing to do with Emma's dreams and everything to do with Clara's, and as such is really titled incorrectly.

    Another thing that left me scratching my head is the history between the sisters. There is just so much backstory we need to know, and are either given the backstory in tiny pieces that aren't helpful at random times throughout the novel, or we're never given them at all. There were countless times where I'd read something and flip back a few pages trying to figure out what just happened, when it was Fuller who just dropped the ball entirely.

    While I do love a good Amish novel, this is one I can't endorse. There are too many problems, both big and small, to make it a good read.


    I received this book for free from Book Sneeze in exchange for a review. I was not asked to provide a positive review, just an honest one.)

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  • Posted October 6, 2011

    Treasuring Emma Is A Great Read!

    Treasuring Emma had me from page one. When I had to put the book down I couldn't wait to pick it back up. Emma Shetler's story begins with the death of her Mother. Emma feels completely dead inside. It was Emma and her Grandmother Leona now. Of course there was Clara, her Sister, but they had never gotten along. Clara, her husband Peter and their three children lived in their own little house not too far from Emma and her Grandmother's. Emma's first love and best friend Adam left the Amish community two years ago breaking Emma's heart. She had loved Adam. Adam didn't feel the same way or he would never have left. Emma knew she was a little on the heavy side and thought of herself as homely. Who would love her? The author from the beginning of the book and throughout the book right up until the end made it a point to teach us that God will provide if we only allow Him to. It is about turning everything over to Him in complete Faith. As you will read in the book several characters in the book were not doing this. Will they eventually do this? I think another lesson to take away from this book is lasting love. Do we treasure the love we share in our own relationships? Did the characters in this book treasure the love in their relationships? This is a book you won't want to miss!

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  • Posted September 9, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Amish with a twist

    I love books about the Amish. For some reason, their lifestyle & faith are very interesting to me. I imagine what it would be like to live that life but then realize it would be impossible after growing up Englisch.

    Treasuring Emma adds a twist to the usual Amish book. It's not the straight-forward young Amish girl looking to find a husband and how they make their romantic journey together. The "bann" has always intrigued me and how the Amish people can disown their own family. And if they have "banned" that person, how they can take them back into the fold and not cause disharmony among them. I believe in forgiveness and that people can change but treating them as if nothing happened is hard for me to comprehend.

    As with non-Amish, Emma grows through turmoil and seeks God's help in her life's plan. We think that Amish families are perfect and don't know heartache and family issues, but we see in Treasuring Emma that it's just not true. Emma's faith will help her through these issues and she realizes it's HIS plan and he will reveal it to her eventually.

    While the story line was good, there were a couple disconnects with a couple characters. I think the author could have done more with with a couple story lines about Emma's sister's relationship as well as Adam's mother. Maybe they are left open for a second book in the series? But like many Amish novels, the ending seems to get all wrapped up in a bow and is over in an instant. Life doesn't always happen that way but then again it may be that another book may be coming to clear it up.


    I'd like to thank BookSneeze for making a review copy available via NetGalley. All opinions are my own and unbiased. A positive review was not required. 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."

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  • Posted August 12, 2011

    Pleasant enduring book

    This was a pleasant book. Struggles of young love, while Adam struggled to find himself in life, Emma was crushed to loose him to the english world (yankees), and Emma lost her Momma to cancer. Adam returns to home and they struggle to find eachother again as well as Adam struggling to find his place with his tight lipped Pa, family & church.

    Naturally at the end of the book, all falls into place, however, this book left a few strings un-tied with Adams Mom being sick (with what), and also the yound girl from the hospital coming to their home needing a place to live (why can't she go home), also with Mark running away to NY after he scammed everyone (why wasn't he held accountable for his actions with the law, church, & his family), Gladly both Clara & Peter came to middle ground and resolved their marital financial problems, but how will Emma & Grandma support themselves???

    I sure hope there is another book to this set tieing up all the loose ends, Don't leave us hanging here... smile

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  • Posted August 10, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    'Treasuring Emma' by Kathleen Fuller

    'Treasuring Emma' by Kathleen Fuller is a heartwarming, emotionally layered story, aiming to discover the truth that lies hidden within every heart. It plumbs the deep-rooted depths of the Amish faith and explores the most intimate struggles of the human heart in relation to its faith. When Adam, Emma's first love, goes away in search of better pastures, Emma is heartbroken. Later when Adam finally returns, Emma is determined to keep her heart and emotions under firm control, as she struggled to cope with the thorn of grief that pierced her heart. First her father's death and then, her mother's. It almost seemed too much to bear. Left bereft and confused, Emma fought to control her rapidly changing emotions. She built a thick, emotional wall protectively around her, for her own safekeeping. All she wanted was to be left alone as she struggled to come to terms with her incessant grief. With both her parents gone, Emma was forced to face a bleak future. Poignant memories left her helpless and defenceless. An emptiness gnawed pitifully at her heart. Emma didn't have anything of value left in her solitary life. There was absolutely nothing at all. Her life, once so full of hope and faith, had been shattered into the bare core of an empty shell. Would she ever feel whole again? Emma longed for her life to be restored to the way it was when her parents were alive and well. Those were the days of peace and serenity when life was tranquil, and there were no cares at all. Would the good old days ever come back again? There was only one person in the world whom she wished to see. Only his kind-hearted words could soothe her broken heart and assuage her grief. But he had walked out of her life two years ago, and she had absolutely no hope that he would ever walk back in again. If Adam and Emma were ever to be together, God would have to make that happen in His own time and way. An invisible aura of dejection hung over Emma. This certainly was not the brave and courageous Emma everyone knew. She had a dare-devil reputation for never refusing a challenge, and she adamantly refused to accept difficult circumstances without attempting to change them for the better. Emma's heart ached pitifully. She knew that she should be taking her worries to God. But on second thoughts, why should she even bother when apparently God had taken so much from her? Strange thoughts plagued Emma's mind and gave her no respite. Emma knew deep down in her heart that God loved her and wanted the very best for her life. She had lost everything that was dear to her heart. And it suddenly occurred to her that now she would be expected to be thankful to God because of it. She was immersed in sadness and grief. Time stood still for her, the one thing that had not been taken from her. She was hurt, shattered and grieving. She clung to the memories she had left. Like her grandmother, Emma had lost the ones she loved most in her life. Yet her grandmother could thank God in her deepest sorrow and celebrate His mercy in her grief. Emma struggled to emulate her good example.

    © Miriam Jacob

    To comply with new regulations introduced by the Federal Trade Commission, I would like to mention that, as part of every Web or retail site review, BOOKSNEEZE has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book from THOMAS NELSON PUBLISHERS.

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  • Posted August 9, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Treasuring Emma

    In Kathleen Fuller's newest book "Treasuring Emma,"the plot revolves around Emma Shetler. She is a twenty five year old Amish woman who seems to always be in the role of caregiver. She took care of her mam until she passed away from cancer, and is still taking care of her grandmother and the farm. Her sister Claire isn't much help, her family is struggling financially and she is trying to figure out a way to make money for the family. Emma also guards her heart, because it was broken when her beau Adam left the faith, but now he has returned, why has he come back? Not only that there is another man who has come to town, his name is Mark King and he has a few secrets. Just who is he and whats he all about? I thought this was an interesting story, the plot moved along at a good pace. There was a bit of romance mystery and intrigue along with family drama that kept my attention. I thought it was interesting to learn about Adam's time while he was outside the faith. The money issues Claire and her family were dealing with was a twist that I hadn't read about in any of the other Amish stories I had read. I really think this is a great Amish read, and its quite helpful that the author includes a glossary for Amish words used in the story. There are discussion questions included that would make this book a perfect selection for a reading group. Fans of Amish fiction will certainly want to read this one! A complimentary copy of this book was provided by Thomas Nelson's Booksneeze program for an honest review.

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  • Posted August 4, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Wonderful Amish Book!

    Emma has put everyone else first in her life. Now at nearly 25, has she missed her chance at marriage?
    Emma was Adam's first love but circumstances made them both choose different paths in life. Emma's heart breaks all over again when Adam returns to the Amish community of Middlefield, Ohio, years later.
    For the past ten years, Emma has been a care-giver. First for her mother who unsuccessfully battled breast cancer, and now for her grandmother who gets more frail with each passing year. Emma has always put the needs of others above her own. With more time on her hands, she determines to focus on herself and her dream of opening a rescue shelter for stray animals in the community.
    With Adam's return come feelings Emma's long buried. They're older and life hasn't turned out the way they thought it would. Adam's feelings for Emma are stronger than ever, but will he be able to convince her to put the past aside and give their love a chance?
    I really enjoyed once again immersing myself in the Amish world if but for a little bit. This story was a joy to follow but it left me wondering what happened to a couple of the characters in here. I do hope that there is another book coming out that explains some of the questions I have.
    BookSneeze sent me this book to read and review and all opinions are my own.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2011

    Treasuring Emma by Kathleen Fuller

    Hi guys! I've gotten a new book from booksneeze called "Treasuring Emma" by Kathleen Fuller. Before I get started though, I need to tell you all that I received this book for free from the Thomas Nelson publishing company through the booksneeze program, and I am under no legal obligation to give this book a good review. So whatever I say about this book is legitimately how I feel. Okay, so now, "Treasuring Emma" by Kathleen Fuller was a pretty good book. A well written Amish fiction book, "Treasuring Emma" hit home with me, mainly because the main character nearly always put others ahead of herself- even when it quite honestly wasn't the brightest idea (at least in my own opinion). I deal with being a people pleaser, and honestly, seeing this inward struggle isn't something I come across in my regular reading. It was kind of refreshing, seeing that someone else deals with this (even if they are fictional). But really that's not what this story is about. This is about, in my own opinion, a girl who realizes she has worth. That touched me because that's something I have struggled with in the past. As an Amish fiction book, I didn't really get the message, but as an encouragement, I loved this book (if that even made sense) I would recommend this book to anyone who likes those sappy stories where the good guy wins?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 26, 2011

    interesting read

    Treasuring Emma came to me threw book sneeze for free, as I have signed up to write reviews on any books I read for them. This book is written by Kathleen Fuller. I choose to read this book because a while back I read an Amish book and started to look into their life style and their way of living. Now from what I know the Amish would not allow their women to read romance novels. ( those dirty things. tehehe)
    So the very fact not only is there one of these book but a hole series just makes me giggle. I think I did pick a rather good book this time as it seem to have everything. The soon to be old maid at 24 years old, whose life is full of misery at every turn in the road. The difficult older sister already married off and with children. Loving and super intuitive yet sick Grandma, the banished ex love of her life. Last but not least a new man in town...... Good... or... BAD.....

    I found the story held my attention very well and rather enjoyed how the author jumped to each character, you never got bored. How ever being that it was considered a romance book I did assume there would be at least one or two heated scenes in the book. Being that is was Amish I knew that a sex scene might be a little too much to ask. Looking back I guess there was at least one Heat scene. For me how ever it was just not enough. To me a good romance novel must have sex inside some where, and the usual build up of sexual tension, ending of course with the ultimate sex scene. Ok now I'm just getting hope full aren't I.
    That being said I found this book more of a drama then a romance so I'm going to be giving it three star's out of five.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 25, 2011

    Treasuring Emma

    Treasuring Emma: A Middlefield Family Novel, looks at the life of Emma, and the difficulties she has been facing. Emma's mother recently died, and she is now responsible for her home she resides at along with her grandfather. Although she was once in love with a man named Adam, he left the Amish faith and Emma found herself without her best friend. When Adam returns to town, the difficulties in Emma's life escalate as a stranger attempts to manipulate her and those in her family.

    I really enjoyed this book since it wasn't a typical Amish book. It had suspense, mystery, romance, and, most of all, faith. I liked learning about the relationship between Emma and her sister, Clara. I understand what it is like to not always get along the best with your siblings, but I appreciate how these two sisters work through their problems.

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze 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."

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  • Posted July 25, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Great Read!

    Emma Shelters life is turned upside down when her mother passes away, leaving she and her ailing grandma to run her falling apart farm. Her only other family is Clara and her unemployed husband, Peter. Clara wants Emma to sale of the family tools, so she open a fabric store in the old workshop, but Emma isn't ready to let go of the past, until Adam Oto returns to town.

    Adam had left the Amish community years ago and moved to the big city where he took odd job. After buying a car, a television, DVDs, and ending his on and off again relationship with Ashley, he realized that his life was missing something. Then one day, he retrieved his mail and found a letter sent by an Amish friend, who informed him of Mrs. Shelter's death. He packs a bag and heads home. Despite Adam's shunning, his mother welcomes him home with loving arms, but his father gives him a cold shoulder.

    Peter's cousin, Mark, also returns to the community and he is interested in one thing - stealing Clara away from Peter. Meanwhile, Emma and Adam reunite and their old feelings return, but will Adam's new life interfere with their future.

    Treasuring Emma is heartwarming story about second chances. I have read a few other books by Kathleen Fuller and this one doesn't disappoint. I was instantly hooked from the first chapter where Emma is dealing with her mother's death and ponders her future. Adam would have to be my favorite character from the novel, a young man who is lost in the world, but desires a family of his own. With all the economic problems in the world, I thought the character Peter was a nice touch, along with his wife, Clara, who loves and supports her husband despite the fact he cannot hold a job. I pleased to able to review this delightful novel that put a smile to my face.

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  • Posted July 22, 2011

    Pleasing...

    Treasuring Emma by Kathleen Fuller is a very pleasing book. This is my first Kathleen Fuller book. Emma is grieving for her mom who recently died from cancer. Although her sister was not able to help in taking care of their mother while she was sick. Clara, the sister have ideas to help with their financial situation. But Emma is not ready to tackle with it just yet. Emma loved Adam who left the Amish lifestyle and broke her heart. Then Adam came back, sparkling all of Emma's old emotions. Mark King showed up in their community and is showing interest on her. How is Emma going to cope with all these while also taking care of their grandmother and the farm? Is Adam back for good or is he going to break her heart again? This book provides a glimpse of the Amish world, some mystery and even suspence and love. A good book to relax with for all ages.


    Thank you to booksneeze for providing my copy free in exchange for a review.

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  • Posted July 20, 2011

    Amazing Amish Romance

    Treasuring Emma by Kathleen Fuller is a fantastic fictional account of an Amish woman's struggle with life, death, and love. Emma is a young Amish woman who is shattered by the death of a family member. While trying to cope with her loss and financial problems, Emma also finds herself dealing with unexpected male attention. Will Emma keep her heart open to God and the man she loves, or will she give up on her own life and simply do what others tell her to? This charming novel is one of several Amish romances that Fuller has written. Her detailed writings and knack for creating beloved characters make this book a must read for women of any age or religion. I certainly enjoyed not only the romantic aspects of the novel, but also the glimpse into Amish life. I received this book free from Book Sneeze publishing company for my review.

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  • Posted July 18, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Amish with a twist of suspense

    Emma had just buried her mother whom had died from cancer. She had been there to take care of her and also her grandmother. Her sister Clair had a family of her own but never once tried to help out so it had really been hard for Emma to care for her loved ones and to take care of the animals and the farm and home. She just could not keep up with all of it so she did what she could and let the rest go.

    Adam an old sweetheart of hers lived in Michigan but when he received a letter telling him his mother was not well, he packed his bags and headed to Ohio. He was born and raised Amish but as he saw how the English lived he just could not take it anymore, so he had been sunned. As Adam was Emma's old love how will they take meeting each other again as he had left her with a broken heart.

    As always Kathleen Fuller spins a great tale and this one is no exception. She has even added some suspense into this story and I though that it made the book more interesting.

    Thanks to Book Sneeze for providing me this copy to read and review.

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  • Posted July 18, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Enjoyable!

    Sorrow and grief follows Emma everywhere. First her father dies, then the man she loves leaves with no plan on returning, and finally her mother just recently dies after battling cancer. Now all the family Emma has left is her sister, Clara (who she doesn't get along with), and her ailing grandmother. Adam Otto couldn't leave Middleton and all his father's rules behind fast enough. But now, two years and many compromises later, he's not so sure that was the right decision. Adam didn't think he would ever return to Middleton, but a letter from Emma's grandmother, telling him that his mother is acting very strange, brings him back. 'Treasuring Emma' has many emotions: grief, romance, sorrow, love, guilt, forgiveness, and deception. When I first started reading this and saw the glossary page, I was like 'oh no!' I find that when books have glossary pages, you end up having to go back to that page to see what words mean - which is somewhat annoying. The characters in 'Treasuring Emma' were gripping and real. I found Mark King evil and mean. How he could purposely try to hurt Emma and Clara (Emma's sister) was just heartless and cruel. Adam Otto, however, was sweet and very likable. Yes he'd made bad choices, but he learned and had tried to not repeat them. Emma's story was sad, but it had a few highlights. Throughout the book I was hoping that Emma would forgive Adam and that somehow they would end up together. So many characters and they were so enjoyable to read about. I don't want to part with them. I will definitely read other books by Kathleen Fuller. The only complaint I have is the Amish language. It was annoying and difficult to read sometimes, but the story, plot, and characters were great! I recommend this if you enjoy romance with a hint of mystery. *I received a complimentary ebook copy from Thomas Nelson for my honest review*

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  • Posted July 16, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    an amish novel that sparks the interest...

    I'm not a big fan of Amish novels, but the few books that I've read from this genre were actually pretty good, and Treasuring Emma is not an exception. Emma's struggles through the years losing her loved ones in painful succession, with a pressing financial crisis on the side gave ample avenue for an inspiring tale of a young woman and how she rises through the conflicts in her life.

    Mark, the bad boy character out for revenge adds a little more spark to the story. He, along with all the other characters in this book are written in such as way as to make them all seem real enough to inspire sympathy as well as empathy. Most of the conflicts and questions are resolved in the end, but some are left hanging to keep a modicum of interest for the next book. This is one of the better Amish novels I've read, and I hope to read the next one soon.

    I got an ARC of this book through Booksneeze.

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