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A Miracle of Hope (Amish Wonders Series #1)
     

A Miracle of Hope (Amish Wonders Series #1)

4.8 33
by Ruth Reid
 

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She’s heard about forgiveness all her life, but how far does God’s mercy truly reach?

Lindie Wyse thinks an arranged marriage is the only way to preserve a future for herself and her unborn child. Josiah Plank is certain he’ll never love again, but he needs someone to care for his deaf eight-year-old daughter, Hannah. The two take on

Overview

She’s heard about forgiveness all her life, but how far does God’s mercy truly reach?

Lindie Wyse thinks an arranged marriage is the only way to preserve a future for herself and her unborn child. Josiah Plank is certain he’ll never love again, but he needs someone to care for his deaf eight-year-old daughter, Hannah. The two take on their arrangement tentatively at first but soon realize they are each in for more than they imagined. After a short time, Lindie experiences a breakthrough with Hannah when she recognizes the child’s special gifts, but a risky pregnancy and serious health issues threaten to demolish the foundation Josiah and Lindie are building—and the love that is growing between them.

Will their marriage survive their struggles, or will their hearts become as cold as the northern winter?

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781401688295
Publisher:
Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
Publication date:
12/31/2013
Series:
Amish Wonders Series , #1
Pages:
352
Sales rank:
276,983
Product dimensions:
10.30(w) x 6.60(h) x 1.30(d)

Read an Excerpt

A Miracle of Hope

The Amish Wonders Series


By Ruth Reid

Thomas Nelson

Copyright © 2013 Ruth Reid
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4016-8832-5


CHAPTER 1

I promise my name—not my heart.

Lindie Wyse recalled the words in Josiah's letter that detailed the terms. Not that it mattered what the marital arrangements were. As her older brother, Eli, had pointed out, she couldn't possibly expect more. All she had to offer any man was a marred life.

Eli leaned closer. "It's going to be okay," he said, repeating what he had said shortly after they boarded the bus last evening. Several hours later his tone still lacked certainty. "Cedar Ridge is a smaller district than ours. I think you'll like the people." He paused briefly, then continued when she failed to respond. "I met many of the members at Caroline Plank's funeral. Josiah was out of sorts coping with his fraa's unexpected death ..." His voice droned on, sounding like a far-off woodpecker hammering away on a rotting tree trunk. "The winters are longer than ours. You did pack your wool socks, jah?"

Lindie nodded mechanically, a trait she'd only recently acquired. She lent an ear but remained silent. She hoped her brother's assumptions were right. Eli had hardly mentioned Josiah Plank in the three years since his wife's death. It wasn't until her brother returned last month from what he called "a business trip" that he spoke about his childhood friend again. When Eli and his wife, Margaret, talked about Josiah, it was as if they were trying to set Lindie up on a pen-pal courtship. She discovered a few short weeks later that they were arranging much more than a distant courtship. They were setting her up for marriage.

Over the past few months, Lindie had carried the weight of the members' scornful stares. Nothing had hurt worse than when Moses, the man she loved, rejected her, or when his sister, Mary, openly rebuked her. Even after Lindie knelt in confession, the church members' estrangement continued. So did the gossip. She was plagued with nightmares and shrouded in shame. Her life would never be the same, yet the looming question wouldn't be pushed aside.

Could God's mercy extend far enough to reach her?

Daylight crept over the horizon. She leaned forward to peer through the window. Since the majority of their travel had been during the night, she'd missed the change of scenery. Northern Michigan had plenty of trees. Snow too. The farther north they traveled on I-75, the more a snow-covered roadside replaced the brown carpet of grass. She sank back against the vinyl bus seat, pulled her cape tighter against her neck, and watched as the landscape passed in a blur.

A few hours later the bus rattled over the steel grates on the Mackinac Bridge and Lindie's thoughts returned to their approaching destination. She'd overheard some of the other passengers chatting about the Great Lakes, but she hadn't envisioned anything so vast as these open waters. Her settlement was near lakes, but nothing as massive as the Straits of Mackinac. As they reached the end of the bridge, entering the Upper Peninsula, she craned her neck for a full view. The extensive distance that now separated her from her family took root in her mind.

Her stomach curdled at the thought. She lifted one hand to cover her mouth, held her belly with the other, and willed herself not to vomit. A moment later the queasiness subsided. She leaned her forehead against the cold, damp window and closed her eyes. She wished she was moving so far away for another reason —any other reason—than to escape her old life. Pride goes before destruction. The scripture in Proverbs was true. Only she never expected one bad decision would lead to such a hard fall.

"It won't be much longer nau," Eli said, then added, "Are you all right?"

She didn't risk responding. Even the motion of a slight nod might aggravate her stomach. She certainly didn't want to be covered in vomit when she met her soon-to-be husband for the first time.


* * *

Josiah Plank took a seat on an empty bus station bench. He propped his elbows on his knees, then buried his face in his hands. None of this seemed real. It certainly didn't seem right. Agreeing to marry a woman he knew little about was crazy. Normally he'd weigh the cost. This just proved how unstable he'd become since Caroline died.

She didn't know him either, other than from things Eli might have said.

She ... He drew a blank on her name. Perhaps his lapse in memory was a sign. Eli's little sister was just a kid, maybe ten, when he saw her last. Their Ohio settlements were too far apart to belong to the same church district, so their families weren't close. Even since he'd moved to Cedar Ridge, contact with his friend had been sporadic. Eli had made the trip for Caroline's funeral, but they'd talked about the lumber business, and nothing about either of Eli's sisters.

He didn't want to embarrass himself or the girl by stumbling over her name when he introduced her to the bishop. Josiah dug his hand into his pocket and pulled out the letter he'd received two days ago. He scanned down to the bottom of the page. Lindie.

"Lindie Rose Wyse." Fire rose from his stomach and shot up the back of his throat. He stood. He needed to find a drinking fountain.

He jammed the folded letter into his pocket, his fingers touching loose cash. He pulled out the money and made a quick count. Enough to purchase a return bus fare. He shoved the money back into his pocket and went in search of water.

Jah, he owed her that much for coming to his senses. She would be glad he did too. She, there he went again. "It's Lindie," he said to himself as he pressed the fountain lever and bent to take a drink.

Behind him, a bus squealed to a halt, its compressed air brakes hissing before the door opened. He studied each passenger as they disembarked. The area crowded with newcomers and a hum of greetings spread among the people. Josiah inched forward. Perhaps she'd changed her mind.

He glimpsed a woman in an Amish dress stepping off the bus. His breath caught. Eli had given an accurate description of his sister: early twenties, small frame, average height, and bright-red hair. He shook his head. What Eli hadn't told him was that she was beautiful. With those features, she would have distracted every unmarried man in her district. So why had Eli asked Josiah to marry her?

Eli exited the bus next, reached for his sister's elbow, and guided her toward the building. It only took a moment before Eli's hand shot up in a quick wave.

Josiah swallowed hard. He wasn't ready for this, but he weaved through the crowd in their direction anyway.

"Gut to see you, Josiah."

Eli extended his hand and Josiah shook it. "Jah, you too."

"This is mei sister Lindie." Eli nudged her shoulder.

"Hello." Her voice barely reached a whisper. She kept her head lowered and slightly lifted her eyes to meet his, but the moment she did, she glanced away.

"It's nice to meet you." He turned to Eli. "Was your trip gut?" Small talk. He hated every minute.

"It was a long ride, ain't so, Lindie?" Eli nudged his sister but didn't receive a response. He readdressed Josiah. "The wedder is much colder up here. Across the Ohio state line, we still have leaves on the trees."

"We had a few flurries last night." He lifted his gaze to the cloudy sky. "We'll probably have another snowfall tonight." That wasn't unusual for November.

Eli shifted his feet. "So what time is the bishop expecting us?"

A raspy noise, something between a cough and a gasp, escaped Lindie's mouth, but she continued to look down.

Josiah hadn't anticipated Eli rushing the wedding when they had only just made introductions. He took a moment to settle the quiver in the back of his throat. "He's probably expecting us anytime nau." He wished Lindie would speak up. Josiah cleared his throat. "Lindie," he said, hoping she would look him in the eye. She didn't. "The bishop will wish to speak with you first." Unless you say something and we end this now.

She nodded.

"If it's okay, Eli, I would like to talk with her alone," Josiah said.

"I'll get her packages."

She jerked up her head. Her blue-like-Lake-Superior eyes watched her brother, while Josiah tried to count the tiny freckles sprinkled across her nose.

"It's okay," Eli said to his sister. He waited a moment, then joined the throng of people waiting to claim their bags.

Josiah motioned to a bench in a less crowded area. "Let's sit."

She hesitated, peered over her shoulder in Eli's direction, then, with her head lowered, shuffled to the far side of the concrete bench.

He sat on the opposite end. The space between them might indicate they weren't a couple suited for one another. Josiah twiddled his thumbs, not sure where to begin. "You got mei letter, jah?"

She nodded.

Of course she had. He'd received a note stating she understood and accepted his terms, but he wouldn't be satisfied until he heard it straight from her. For all he knew, Eli might have responded on his sister's behalf.

"You probably know Eli's fraa and my fraa were second cousins. The four of us attended many of the same weddings and became friends. After I got married, mei fraa and I moved up here with her family to start a lumber mill." He paused, unsure why he was telling her this. If it was to ease his guilt for entering into an agreement he now wanted out of, it wasn't working. "I met you once ... I think you might have been ten. Do you remember?"

Lindie shook her head and a red spiral curl fell out from under her kapp. The loose hair dangled in front of her face. Her teeth chattered and white breaths escaped her mouth. She burrowed deeper into her cape.

The midmorning sun shimmered on the red ringlet. He forced himself to focus on his boots.

"I'm nett going to ask what kind of trouble you were in. Your bruder believes you need a fresh start ... But I'm thirty-two. At least ten years older than you. Why are you willing to marry me under my stringent conditions?"

She looked him straight in the eye. But before she spoke, the pinkish color drained from her face. She covered her mouth and bolted to a trash can a few feet away.

He stood, pulled a hankie from his pocket, and walked up beside her. When Eli had hinted of his sister's disgrace, Josiah had assumed the unthinkable and stopped Eli before he could share details. Her failure to come home one night led to repentance and that was what mattered. She finished vomiting and he handed her the cotton cloth.

"Denki." She wiped her mouth.

"There's a drinking fountain over there." He motioned to the side of the building and she hurried in that direction.

Josiah scanned the thinning crowd for Eli. He stood beside four reused apple boxes all tied closed with twine. If he noticed that his sister was sick, Eli didn't appear worried.

After a long drink, Lindie lifted her head. Although some of the color had returned to her cheeks, she still looked pasty.

"If you like, I'll buy you a return ticket home," he said.

Josiah expected some hint of relief to wash over her, but instead, he noted quite the opposite. She looked terrified. And that added to his confusion. He tipped his head to one side so he could look her in the eye.

"Lindie, why are you here? Your bruder talked you into this, ain't so?"

Eli joined them. "She's here because I know you'll take gut care of her." He turned to Lindie. "Wipe your face and get ahold of yourself."

"If you don't mind, Eli"—Josiah's voice hardened—"your sister and I have more to talk about." He flicked his head at the boxes. "You should stay with the packages." Josiah waited until Eli was out of earshot before asking, "Is he preventing you from marrying someone else?" Like the father of your unborn boppli?

"Nay." He strained to hear her words. She glanced at him a half second. "There is no one else."

He sighed. Prior to her arrival, he'd convinced himself this was a mistake, but in the half second that she acknowledged him, he saw hopelessness. "Are you sure you don't want to go home?"

"I'd like to stay." Her demeanor contradicted her words.

"I said in mei letter I would give you mei name, but nett mei heart."

She nodded.

"I'm nett capable of falling in love again. Your bruder is mistaken if he's told you otherwise. Even in time, I won't." He paused a moment. Though harsh, the truth needed to be spoken. It was important for her to give some sign of acknowledging this.

She didn't.

"Will you at least lift your head and look me in the eye?" The moment she did, he regretted being so direct. Her tearful blue eyes held a sorrow he wasn't prepared for.

He scanned the area. Other than Eli standing beside the boxes and a handful of people still loitering, they were alone. He looked at her. "This isn't something I would normally discuss ... and I certainly don't intend to embarrass you. Do you understand what a marriage of convenience means?"

She didn't blink as tears welled.

He had to stress the final point. "That means I'll give you a roof over your head and provide for you. Nothing more."

She squared her shoulders. "And in return, what do you expect from me?"

"I told you in the letter." Didn't she say she read and agreed to the terms? "I have a young dochder who is deaf. I can't have her running around the sawmill. In addition to caring for her, I expect you to cook, clean, and keep up the laundry. Things a fraa would handle. Also, Eli said you can do record keeping."

"Jah. I kept track of the income from my sister-in-law's vegetable stand."

Her bottom lip trembled and he groaned under his breath.

"I want to be straightforward with you. The winters are long and hard. You don't know loneliness until you've suffered through cabin fever." This wasn't the place for a woman in a weakened condition.

She bowed her head, wringing her hands.

"Lindie, will you please stop looking away?"

She met his gaze.

His chest expanded with a deep breath. "A loveless marriage might be unbearable. Going through the motions of marriage without—without love ... You might grow to despise me." He paused a moment. "If this isn't what you expected ... I'll buy you a ticket home."

CHAPTER 2

Things a fraa would handle. Lindie was sure those were his exact words. That meant more than household chores. Of course a man would expect to have liberties with his wife—it was biblical—even if he didn't love her. Besides, he seemed to emphasize how lonely life would be going through the motions of marriage.

A brisk breeze sent a chill down Lindie's spine as she stood outside the bus depot. Shivering, she hugged herself.

Josiah stepped into the wind and, without asking, placed his hands on her shoulders, turning her to face him. A kind gesture to block the wind, but his touch caused her to flinch.

He dropped his hands. "I'm sorry."

A gust of wind pulled at her kapp, exposing her ears to the numbing cold air. With the ground covered in snow already, how long would it be before she experienced what he called cabin fever?

Another wave of nausea washed over her, and she fought to control it.

"Does the father of the boppli know you're about to get married?"

She coughed, almost launching what little stomach contents she had at him. How could he have figured it out when it took her two months after the sickness started? She had thought it was due to stress.

Josiah's brows rose ever so slightly. "He doesn't know, does he?"

"Nay." She sucked in a breath.

He shifted his feet and crossed his arms over his chest.

Josiah had indicated he wouldn't pry. She needed him to keep that promise.

"You said you weren't going to ask." She probably sounded too stern for someone in her situation, but if she didn't challenge him now, more questions would follow.

"Jah, that is true. I did say that." He looked down at his boots, then back at her. "I trust you have a gut reason to withhold such vital information."

"I do."

He stared at her a moment, then waved Eli over to them.

What was he going to do, have Eli explain her predicament? She hadn't even told her brother all the facts.

Eli sprinted over and stood beside them. He buried his hands in his armpits, shivering. "Have you two worked things out?"
(Continues...)


Excerpted from A Miracle of Hope by Ruth Reid. Copyright © 2013 Ruth Reid. Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Ruth Reid is a CBA and ECPA bestselling author of the Heaven on Earth series. She’s a full-time pharmacist who lives in Florida with her husband and three children. When attending Ferris State University School of Pharmacy in Big Rapids, Michigan, she lived on the outskirts of an Amish community and had several occasions to visit the Amish farms. Her interest grew into love as she saw the beauty in living a simple life. Visit Ruth online at ruthreid.com Facebook: Author-Ruth-Reid Twitter: @authorruthreid

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A Miracle of Hope 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 33 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
                                                                    [About the Book]  How far can God's mercy reach? Lindie Wyse is pregnant out of wedlock and thinks an arranged marriage is the only way to preserve her future. Josiah Plank is certain he'll never love again, but he needs someone to care for his eight-year-old daughter, Hannah. The two take on their arrangement tentatively at first but soon realize they are each in for more than they imagined. Lindie experiences a breakthrough with Hannah when she recognizes Hannah's special gifts, but a risky pregnancy and serious health issues threaten to demolish the foundation Josiah and Lindie are building. Will their growing love survive despite their struggles, or will their hearts become as cold as the northern winter?                                                                                         [Review]  Ruth Reid's "A Miracle of Hope was such a beautiful read. It is the first book in her Amish Wonders Series. It is a story of faith and unexpected love. Ruth uses every essential for a Christian Amish Romance and creates a world I had no trouble getting caught up in. When the novel was over I didn't want it to be the end. "A Miracle of Hope" is a story that now has a permanent place on my bookshelf and will read over and over again.
Anonymous 11 months ago
If you enjoy reading sweet, clean, love stories with an Amish community, then these stories are a must read! This book has three stories that are each a stand alone story. These stories are a bit different from the typical Amish story. I loved each story and plan to re-read this set. A must read!!!! ******esk 03/2017******
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is not your typical Amish romance. The characters really moved me, in part because I have two deaf brothers-in-law. I am anxious to read more novels by this author! Very satisfying.
mackenzie_carol More than 1 year ago
A Miracle of Hope is the first book in Ruth Reid’s Amish Wonders series, and is also the first novel I have ever read by her. I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect when I picked up this story, but I typically love tales of arranged marriages—because they seem to always work out—so I was pretty hopeful that I would enjoy reading this. To tell you the truth, I really, really did. Ruth is definitely a very talented writer, and she did a wonderful job of putting together all of the aspects of this story. There were so many unexpected twists and turns, though I kept trying to guess what would happen, and that made it so interesting to read. Lindie and Josiah are both wonderful characters. I feel as if I cannot write about them separately because, from almost the very beginning of this book, they are man and wife and are trying to find ways to make this two-become-one thing work. If I were to separate them, it would make all their work for naught somehow. Anyway, I really love the both of them. Lindie tries so, so hard to make Josiah happy and be the type of wife he wants and the mother Hannah needs, and that just shows how strong of a woman she is. And Josiah, my word, is one of the absolute sweetest men I have ever encountered. He constantly cares for Lindie, wants to make her happy, wants her to be able to find a place in his community and in his home, and I love him for it! Even though he claimed to want a marriage in name only, he never treats Lindie as if he doesn’t want her there, and that just shows how big his capacity to love is. I really just love the progression of this story. It captivates you, makes you long to know what will happen, causes you to fall in love with all of the characters and with the thought of Lindie and Josiah having a love story after all; there is no end to the praises I could sing for this novel. However, I cannot say that I really loved the ending, except I definitely did, I just wish that the book would have gone on longer! There wasn’t anything wrong with the ending except that it was the end! All in all though, this is a fabulous novel that I thoroughly enjoyed, and I cannot wait to read the second book—A Woodland Miracle—next, and then A Dream of Miracles, the third book, once it comes out! I loved this novel, award it all five bookshelves, and highly recommend it! I’m pretty sure you’re gonna love it! (This review is from my blog, spreadinghisgrace.blogspot.com)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very very good
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
BrittanyMc More than 1 year ago
A Miracle of Hope was fantastic from start to finish. I loved the two main characters, Lindie and Josiah. Lindie was just so obviously lost and overwhelmed with her situation, but she still tried to be the best wife in name only she could be to Josiah. And Lindie struggled so much with his daughter, Hannah, but she was determined to do the best by her that she could. Josiah caught my heart from the beginning. He was dealing with so much from the past few years. The death of his wife, the death of his mother, and a daughter who seemed to have retreated into her own little world. I loved that he was very clear about what this marriage would entail, but then ended up being a very caring man towards Lindie. The progression of events in this book was perfect. The way Josiah and Lindi dealt with each other, and the way in which their feelings slowly changed seemed very authentic. I can say the same thing about Hannah’s progression as well. There was not a magic solution to how she reacted to things. It was gradual and seemed very realistic. If you are a fan of Amish fiction, and have not read this book, I highly recommend it. And I personally cannot wait to read the next in the series. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher, through NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review, which I have given.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Living near many Amish I truly enjoyed reading this book. I thought that it was a beautiful written story that inspires others to see more than just the bad in their life, but all the good that comes from the heartache as well. I highly Recommend this book!!!! & I now love the name Josiah
helenstam More than 1 year ago
Well written, but not as in depth as I would've liked. The characters grew on me, but it wasn't what I expected.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love the spirituality of the Amish people and the strength of their faith. Good read; good author
MimiM More than 1 year ago
Thoroughly enjoyed reading A Miracle of Hope. It was suspenseful, curious, captivating and hard to put down. I don't usually read books like this, but I am glad I did. I am ready for another one. Very well written.
lrodeacamel More than 1 year ago
Reading was fast and easy. Had what I like in a book---A bit of romance mixed with a bit of mystery. I did have trouble putting it down. It was a real page turner.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Excellent story What can I write? As is the custom of the Amish, when a young girl is pregnant and out of wedlock, she is shunned especially when she refuses to answer questions from the Bishop and others. Her brother sends her off to be a bride of convenience in another state because he knows no one in their district will marry her. The story continues on showing how God can take bad things and turn them to His glory. This is an excellent book for a book club as it already has printed questions for discussion at the end. I found it extremely hard to put down and I stayed up until 12:48am to finish reading it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved it!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have enjoyed reading this story. Enjoyed reading about the two as they fall in love. Lots of dynamics for blending a family. Very touching story.
Its_Time_Mamaw More than 1 year ago
Amish Wonders Novel Eli Wyse has made arrangements with his widower friend Joshiah  to marry Eli's sister Lindie.  Lindie is pregnant and is not given a choice in the matter . When Josiah meets Lindie he offers her a way out even though he is in dire need of a helpmate.  His daughter Hannah is deaf and needs constant supervision because she tends to wander off into the woods.  He also makes it clear to Lindie he will not share his love with her. So they decide to live together yet apart. Lindie becomes very attached to Hannah. The child appears to be gifted by God. With all that needs to be done as a new wife and mother she begins having complications with her pregnancy. As time goes by they can't stop their growing feelings from tuning into love and respect for each other. Such heartache is evident within the these newly weds.  God works miracles in this family as they work through their trials and tribulations.  The author has written a heart wrenching tale building up the spirits of these characters having them learn to have faith and trust in each other through the intercession of God.  Yes it began as a heart wrenching tale and then turned into a heartwarming tale. It is not a fairy tale but a fictional account of a family given a chance for a new beginning. I highly recommend this book. Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from Litfuse Publicity Group/Thomas Nelson for review.  I was in no way compensated for this review. This review is my honest opinion.
Shay14 More than 1 year ago
I have never read a book by Ruth Reid before, so I had no expectations about this book. The description aptly sums up the book. There is romance, mystery, and a good dose of a Christian message. Lindie's pregnancy is not as cut and dry as one might think. What really happened that night? Josiah and Lindie's romance is the biggest focus of the book. It progressed naturally. Hannah, Josiah's daughter, is deaf but has a wonderful gift from God. What will happen if Josiah doesn't do what his sweet daughter instructs him to do? Will Josiah and Lindie's fledgling love survive? I loved Lindie and Josiah's characters. I love how compassionate and caring Josiah is, even though he's vowed to keep his heart to himself. Never once does he treat Lindie like an outsider for her circumstances. Josiah's character was a bit hard-headed and I really wanted to shake him when he wouldn't tell Lindie he was sick. Lindie's emotional struggle felt so real. I wanted to cry with her and laugh with her. I wanted to shake her and hug her all at the same time. Both characters were very well developed. The message, focused especially on Lindie, is accepting the things God allows to happen in your life. He has a greater purpose for you that you realize. When trials come, don't run from them. Turn to God for support and He will help you through. The message is delivered in the form of Josiah's daughter's remarkable gift. She helps heal the families broken hearts. This was just a sweet, sweet story. **Thank you, BookSneeze/BookLook, for providing a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.**
barbjan10 More than 1 year ago
A WONDERFUL READ FROM RUTH REID! Readers who enjoy Amish love stories are in for more than a few surprises in Ruth Reid’s A Miracle of Hope.  Previously unacquainted with this author, I quickly was drawn into the focus issues uncharacteristic to Amish principles in this genre.  Ms. Reid’s story covers extreme difficulties with odds against finding easy answers.  Problems that can only be graced with a miracle from God , and that seeming impossible to the characters struggling through the shambles of their lives caused by devastating events. This story is a heart tugger, to be sure.  Lindie Wyse, happily planning her wedding was brutally attacked by a stranger and left pregnant.  She was rejected by her fiancé and shunned by her best friend and community.  Her brother Eli arranges her marriage to best friend and widower Josiah Plank who lived in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, thus removing Lindie from their community’s shunning.  Josiah agreed to a loveless marriage in name only to Lindie, under conditions she be a step-mother to his deaf daughter, Hannah, and housekeeper for Josiah.  Simon, Josiah’s father-in-law lived with him and worked in Josiah’s lumber mill on the property.    Most unusual and worrisome state of affairs for all indeed!  Can Lindie face the possibility that she might be shunned again in this new community?  Friendless and confused, Lindie has a difficult pregnancy, along with communication challenges with eight year old deaf Hannah.  I was surprised that Josiah was not a stern task master as I have known some husbands to be in other Amish stories.  I could understand guarding his heart since his former wife Caroline died, however he was a compassionate and kind man.  I felt his relationship with his father-in-law was lacking in understanding communication and closeness – I saw Simon as withdrawn and cold and unresponsive to the situation.  Of course, this caused sadness in my heart and hope for a miracle in this relationship.  At first, Josiah did not appear emotionally tuned in to Hannah’s depression and aloneness.  Lindie could relate to Hannah’s quandary and attempted to help the child, but questioned being a good mother. Secrets held in the heart of each main character added mysterious twists in the weaving of Ms. Reid’s story.    The one part disconcerting to me was the supernatural gift she wrote into Hannah’s character.  Starting with the deer, I kept expecting more to come of this, so was unsure this touch occurred once again in the script or a great hook being saved for a future book in this series.  Is this truly a story of hope?  Does it grow warmer in love and more merciful in miracles?  You will not find the answers here…..find out for yourself.  Treat yourself kindly to a copy and read it in hope of a miracle.  Ruth Reid writes in a fresh voice, adding depth to her story to all the words I have just expressed.  Her subtle humor is catchy and appropriate. Written from insightful imaginings and authenticity that add a reality perspective to problems within the Amish lifestyle, I commend Ms. Reid for penning a story that holds promise to travel many directions from here.  From the beautiful cover, to the glossary of Amish words, meeting these exquisitely developed characters, to the back cover, I am pleased to meet you, dear author and I anticipate a long standing relationship with your works. Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from LitFuse Publicity Group in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own, and no monetary compensation was received for this review.
Wanda_Barefoot More than 1 year ago
I love Amish fiction. There is always such a strong message of faith and hope that comes through in each story. The characters usually have such a strong bond with God but now and then you meet a character that is struggling with their faith. Although Lindie Wyse loves God she can't understand why some things have happened in her life. Getting pregnant by unconventional means, feeling she has no choice but to marry someone she doesn't love, leaving her home to live in a strange community. Lindie questions God a lot in the beginning but as she comes to love her husband and things begin to unfold she realizes that each event was part of God's great plan all along. You literally watch her faith go from mediocre to strong. It was so great to read about her interaction with Josiah's eight year-old deaf daughter, Hannah, as well. Once Lindie realized Hannah's hidden talents their bond strengthened and their relationship as mother and daughter flourished. Josiah Plank was my favorite character. Even though his wife had passed away three years earlier he knew he needed a mother for Hannah and he also wanted to help Lindie who had nowhere to turn. What impressed me about Josiah from the beginning was his gentleness. He knew Lindie was pregnant out of wedlock and Lindie felt so ashamed, so imperfect, and one of the things he said to her very early into their marriage that sticks in my mind was when Lindie thought her brother had paid Josiah to marry her and she asked him how much he had charged her brother for a marred fraa. ~Josiah crouched beside her and tilted his head so that their eyes met. "You're nett marred in mei eyes."~ One simple sentence that said so much about Josiah's character. He was a forgiving man and, despite his own promise, grew to love Lindie with a fierceness. Hannah was deaf and hadn't spoken since her mother had died. Her emotions were very closed off and she completely ignored Lindie most of the time until Lindie began to see her hidden talents. Then a mother daughter bond began to form slowly. I loved the part below where Hanah gave Lindie her Christmas gift. ~Hannah returned to her spot on the floor, stroking her baby doll. Then she set the doll down, picked up a brown paper bag, and handed it to Lindie. "Ach, what's this?" She opened the bag and pulled out the framed picture. "It's beautiful." She held it up for Josiah to see. "Look, it's a picture of hands. All different sizes. Lindie studied the picture closer. The hands all rested on a pregnant belly. Josiah pointed to the wall. "I thought we could hand it over the desk." "I'd like that." Lindie pointed to the largest set of hands in the drawing. "Who is this?" she signed. Hannah signed and Josiah a answered, "God."~ I also loved the way Simon, Hannah's grandfather, completely humbled himself and admitted he had treated Lindie terribly. It was great to watch all of these things unfold. I have only read two books in this series, The Promise of an Angel and A Miracle of Hope. There is a strong thread of hope, faith and God's capabilities running throughout this series. In book one God worked through and angel. In this book God performed his healing powers through an eight year-old little girl. This was such an enjoyable story. I love the characters and, although I can't reveal any details, trust me when I say the plot was amazing. It was about loss, healing, faithfulness, hope, joy, loyalty and love. You WILL need tissues. Trust me. This is one of the BEST Amish stories I have ever read. You will fall in love with it. If you like Amish fiction I very highly recommend this book! Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. The opinions expressed are mine alone. If I recommend a book it's because I truly enjoyed it. I received no monetary compensation.
LovenGod More than 1 year ago
Just like facebook asks what are you thinking, I am asking myself what my thoughts are about this book.  Here goes.  I think this is probably the best book that Ruth has written, I have enjoyed all her books that I have read to this point, but this book was the best of them all.  Don't get me wrong the other books were good, but this one just stood out for me.  I enjoyed the storyline, I thought her writing was crisp and clear, and she told the story wonderfully.  A great book, with a great ending. (that I wont give any spoilers on.) I loved Lindie, and I also got exasperated by her unwillingness to open up and share what had happened to her.  My heart broke for Hannah, and I wanted to take all her hurts away, just a young child with so much hurt in her life, loosing her mother, and now a new change.   Great storyline, and I loved the sitting too.  I love Michigan, and the UP was a great setting for this story.  Overall I give this book 5 stars.  Great job Ruth Reid!! This book was provided for review purposes only, no payment was received for this review.  Thank you to the Litfuse Hens for allowing me to participate in this blog tour.  
NanceeMarchinowski More than 1 year ago
Compelling Amish Fiction! Young, unwed and pregnant, Lindie was scorned in her community, and her brother arranged for her marriage of convenience to his best friend. Josiah's first wife had died suddenly, leaving him to raise his young daughter alone. Born deaf, Josiah's daughter needed someone to look after her, and Josiah needed a helpmate to run the household. Lindie's brother escorted her by bus from Ohio to the North Woods of Michigan's Upper Peninsula. After her initial meeting with Josiah he announced his feelings regarding the marriage. "I'm nett capable of falling in love again. Your bruder is mistaken if he's told you otherwise. Even in time, I won't." Isolated and far from home and family, loneliness and a sick stomach were Lindie's constant companions throughout the days. A life of despair lurked as she worked through the details of her life. Ruth Reid is a new author to me. I must say that she has a new fan! This is a book that I couldn't put down, even when I should have been asleep. The hours flew by as I read the story of Lindie, Josiah and Hannah, a withdrawn and shy 8-year-old. The obstacles and complications that stemmed from previous events evident in their relationship made for a compelling story. The author's expression "cabin fever" when relating to Michigan winters is authentic. Those of us who are lifelong residents of the state can attest to that fact. The isolation and weather conditions described in the North Woods are factual, and when applied to Lindie's circumstances imparted her sense of desertion. The author has a gift for creating characterizations with a depth of feeling throughout their development. Hope, faith and forgiveness are deeply ingrained in this story. I highly recommend this author of Amish fiction. A Miracle of Hope was beautifully scripted! Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from LitFuse Publicity Group in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own, and no monetary compensation was received for this review.
weatherlover1 More than 1 year ago
Lindie is single and pregnant. Her brother has found a friend in Northern Michigan who has agreed to marry her in name only as long as she will keep house and look after his blind daughter. Josiah can’t believe he as agreed to marry Lindie what had he been thinking? As Lindie settles into his home he finds himself caring for her yet serious health issues threaten to undo everything.      This is book one in a new series by Ruth Reid. This book deals with unwed pregnancy and cancer yet still keeps a positive tone. It’s a well written book. What I liked: Both Lindie and Josiah were good characters. I liked how they both had depth and their was more to their story then what the initial information showed. I felt bad for Lindie and what she had gone through and the fact she had to marry yet Josiah showed her compassion. What I did not like: I was a little confused about Josiah’s daughter and her gift. It seemed to play a big part of the plot yet it seemed surrounded with mystery. Even at the end of the book I was left scratching my head a little not feeling like it was explained very well.      Overall this was a well written book and I really enjoyed it. It has a darker feel to it dealing with both Lindies pregnancy and Josiah’s illness yet both characters remain strong throughout the book. I am looking forward to the next book in the series. I highly recommend this book.