Two young people must stand up for the love they know is right, despite what their friends and family say.
Dinah Hochstetler, quiet and bookish, longs for marriage but hides in her shyness. Amos Mullett, a simple farmer, knows he’s different but aches for a loving wife. As Dinah and Amos navigate a budding romance, will the power of love—and the blessing of God—be enough to overcome their doubters?
|Publisher:||Nelson, Thomas, Inc.|
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About the Author
With over a million copies sold, Kathleen Fuller is the author of several bestselling novels, including the Hearts of Middlefield novels, the Middlefield Family novels, the Amish of Birch Creek series, and the Amish Letters series as well as a middle-grade Amish series, the Mysteries of Middlefield. Visit her online at KathleenFuller.com; Instagram: kfstoryteller; Facebook: WriterKathleenFuller; Twitter: @TheKatJam.
Read an Excerpt
A Quiet Love
An Amish Harvest Novella
By Kathleen Fuller
Thomas NelsonCopyright © 2016 Kathleen Fuller
All rights reserved.
Do you, Jeremiah Mullet, take Anna Mae Shetler as your lawful wedded wife?"
Amos Mullet grinned as he looked at his brother. It was strange, standing here in a Yankee church for the first time, watching his brother and his best friend get married. Anna Mae looked so pretty. She was always pretty, but today she was prettier than usual. She was wearing a fancy white dress and her blond hair was still short. She said it was easier to have short hair because of her work as a nurse. At first Amos wasn't used to it, just like he wasn't used to Jeremiah's mustache and beard, and that he was wearing a suit with a short black tie instead of his Sunday Amish clothes. But Jeremiah and Anna Mae were Yankees now. They hadn't joined the Amish church like Amos had.
"I do," Jeremiah said with the biggest smile Amos had ever seen.
The man at the front of the church — the pastor, Jeremiah had called him — turned to Anna Mae. "Do you, Anna Mae Shetler, take Jeremiah Mullet as your lawful wedded husband?"
Amos glanced around the church. He'd never been inside a Yankee church before. A huge cross hung at the front. Behind it were white curtains, and behind the curtains were white lights, which made the cross look like it was glowing. The long bench Amos was sitting on had dark blue padding, which was a lot softer than the hard benches he sat on in Amish church.
"I do," Anna Mae said, her smile making her look even prettier. He wished he had a pad and pencil so he could sketch her and Jeremiah.
As the pastor said a few more words, Amos watched Jeremiah and Anna Mae, trying to remember details. It was hard to remember things. He squinted and studied them carefully.
The tears in his brother's eyes.
Anna Mae's lacy dress.
The exact shade of pink and white in the bunch of flowers she was holding in front of her. The flowers shook a little, as if her hands weren't steady. Maybe he would draw that detail too.
"Jeremiah, you may kiss your bride."
Jeremiah took a step toward Anna Mae. His smile widened. So did hers. When Jeremiah kissed her, Amos looked away. He and Jeremiah and Anna Mae were best friends. Growing up, they did everything together. Then Jeremiah decided to become a veterinarian. Everything changed after that. Several years later, Jeremiah and Anna Mae fell in love. That made everything change again.
Judith sniffed next to him. She was his neighbor and she had come to the ceremony with Amos and Daed in a taxi they hired to bring them to this church. There weren't many people here. If this was an Amish wedding, their whole district would have come. But Jeremiah and Anna Mae said they wanted only family and close friends: Anna Mae's parents, her siblings, and Doc Miller and his wife, who had traveled all the way from Arizona to see Jeremiah get married.
"Jeremiah's like a son to me," Doc had said. Amos thought Daed would be mad about that, since Doc Miller wasn't Jeremiah's dad. But Daed had just nodded, then swallowed so hard Amos saw his throat move up and down.
"Ladies and gentlemen," the pastor said, "I present to you Mr. and Mrs. Jeremiah Mullet."
Amos saw everyone else stand, and he made sure to do the same. He didn't want to mess up Jeremiah's special day. A warm feeling filled his heart as Jeremiah grinned at him. Amos smiled back. He was happy for his brother and Anna Mae. His father and Judith were happy too. Everyone in the church was happy because Jeremiah and Anna Mae were now married.
Then Amos saw a flash of light glint off his brother's wide silver wedding band. Amos stopped smiling and the nice feeling went away. Would he ever get married? Would he know happiness like Jeremiah and Anna Mae? Would he ever have a family of his own?
Jeremiah and Anna Mae walked down the aisle, her arm looped through his. They disappeared through the sanctuary doors. Amos remembered what Jeremiah had told him would happen after the ceremony.
"We'll have a reception in the church hall," Jeremiah had said. He'd met with Amos privately before the wedding. Amos had noticed his tie looked like a bow and that it was a little crooked. But he didn't say anything so he could focus on what Jeremiah was telling him.
"There will be food, like at an Amish wedding." Jeremiah smiled. "After a while Anna Mae and I will leave. We have a plane to catch."
Amos had frowned. "How do you catch a plane?"
Jeremiah chuckled. "You don't. Not literally. We're going to Florida for our honeymoon, and we're traveling by plane. We're leaving tonight." He put his arm around Amos's shoulders. "That's why I wanted to talk to you now. After the wedding, things will be busy. I might not get a chance to say good-bye."
"Good-bye?" That had scared Amos. Jeremiah had left once before, when he had gone away to veterinarian school. "You're leaving again?" he asked, his chest feeling tight.
"Just for a week." Jeremiah squeezed Amos's shoulders. "Only a week. Then we'll be back and Anna Mae and I will come see you."
Amos relaxed. "I'm glad you're not leaving for gut again."
Jeremiah pulled Amos in for a hug. "I'll always be here for you, Amos. I promise." His brother's voice sounded thick, like he had peanut butter stuck in his throat.
"Wasn't that a lovely wedding, Amos?"
Judith's question brought Amos back to the present. She was his daed's age, and she and Daed were close friends. Just like Jeremiah and Anna Mae had been. Would Judith and Daed ever get married? For some reason he thought so. "Ya" Amos nodded. "It was nice."
"We should geh congratulate the happy couple." Judith glanced at Daed. His eyes were bright and shiny, like Jeremiah's had been before he kissed Anna Mae.
Daed's throat made a funny sound. "Ya. We should."
Judith and Daed left the bench and walked down the aisle together. Amos decided he would like Judith to be his stepmother. He'd spent most of his life without a mother. It would be nice to have one now, even though he was an adult.
Amos hung back as everyone left the church. He was alone in the sanctuary and he knew he needed to join his family. But he couldn't leave. Not yet.
He turned and looked at the glowing cross, wondering again if he would ever find love. Until now he'd never thought about it. He'd never had a girlfriend. He'd never even met a girl he liked, not the way Jeremiah liked Anna Mae. No one in his district liked him, either. Not enough to marry. He was different. Jeremiah and Anna Mae said he was "special," but he didn't believe that. There was nothing special about being different, about being called a dummkopf while growing up, about not understanding a lot of things everyone else easily understood. He looked down at his hands as they gripped the back of the bench in front of him. A pew, he'd heard Judith call it. He didn't even know what a pew was.
No, he wouldn't find love. Or a wife. That was impossible.
Then he heard the words as clearly as if God were standing next to him, whispering in his ear.
Nothing is impossible, my son.
Amos looked at the cross again and smiled.CHAPTER 2
Two years later
I-I d-don't understand w-why I have to l-leave t-today." Dinah watched her mother fold one of Dinah's long-sleeved dresses and put it into the suitcase. Long sleeves? It was only the end of August. How long would she be gone?
"I don't see any reason for you to wait." Mamm smoothed out one of the wrinkles in the dress before closing the case. "Your aenti Judith will be happy to see you."
Dinah had to fight the urge to open the suitcase back up, snatch out the neatly packed clothes, and hang them up in her closet. She didn't want to leave New York, even if she was going to visit her favorite aunt. "S-she's n-not e-expecting m-me u-until tomorrow."
"I know she won't mind if you come a little early."
"But i-it's nearly h-harvest t-time." She was grasping at straws, but she couldn't help herself. "Y-you n-need m-me here."
"Dinah," Mamm said as she moved the suitcase and sat beside her on the bed, "you and I both know I have plenty of help."
Dinah glanced away. Of course Mamm had enough help. All five of her brothers were married, the last one marrying earlier this year. Mamm had five daughters-in-law to pitch in with harvesting the garden. It wasn't as large this year as it had been in the past. After all, it was only her and her parents living in this house now. And Mamm seems eager to get rid of me.
When Mamm received the letter from Aenti Judith last week suggesting Dinah come for a visit, Mamm jumped at the opportunity. "Just think, you'll get to visit Ohio again," she'd said before running to the phone shanty to call her sister and make arrangements. Before Dinah knew it, she was scheduled to leave the following week.
Dinah loved her aunt and wanted to see her again. The last time she had was at her aunt's wedding to David Mullet. But she hadn't wanted to go so soon. She picked up Jasper, one of several stray pets she'd adopted over the years. "Who's going to help you can the tomato sauce?" she asked, stroking the tabby's soft head. He purred his appreciation. At least her cat was happy.
"Joanna wants mei recipe." Mamm beamed. "She also wants me to show her how I make Chow Chow."
Resisting a sigh, Dinah put Jasper down. Making tomato sauce and Chow Chow were things she and her mamm did together. I guess Mamm and Samson's wife will be doing it from now on.
Mamm took Dinah's hand. "Look at me, Dinah." When she did, Mamm said, "Don't be upset about this. You're spending too much time at home. You're becoming more insulated. I'm worried about you."
"I c-can geh to M-Middlefield later." Much later. Or maybe not at all.
"Later will never come."
Dinah had heard all this before. So what if she'd rather spend time in her room with her poetry books and journals? When she wrote, she didn't stutter. She didn't get nervous. She didn't feel judged.
She also, as Mamm had been pointing out lately, would never meet her future husband.
But her family didn't understand how nervous she became in front of other people. How she hated the fact that she stuttered and her face turned red every time she talked. Dinah was content to be home, to take care of the myriad of pets she had collected over the years, along with writing her poetry. Which reminded her that she had one more excuse left to use. "W-who's g-going to t-take care of S-Skipper?"
"Yer daed said he'd keep an eye on him for you."
"B-but his leg —"
"Is healing nicely, according to the vet. He said you did a fine job taking care of his sore foot. Yer horse is in gut hands. So are the rest of yer pets." Mamm bent and scratched Jasper behind his ears. "I want you to enjoy yer time with yer aenti, Dinah. Hopefully this will also give you the chance to meet new people."
"I-I d-don't w-want to m-meet anyone n-new," she whispered.
Mamm either didn't hear her or decided to ignore Dinah's words. She released Dinah's hand and stood. "I'll let you finish getting dressed. The taxi will be here soon to take you to the bus station." She smiled. "You'll be fine, Dinah. I promise."
"W-when c-can I c-come b-back?"
"Two weeks. Unless you want to stay longer. You can always extend yer ticket."
Dinah was positive she wouldn't do that. She watched her mother leave her room, and her shoulders slumped as she heaved a pent-up sigh. Two weeks? That was an eternity. She said a small prayer, asking for courage, but her heart wasn't in it. This was her first trip alone, and she felt foolish for being so nervous. She was twenty-five, not five, and she should be able to go on a trip without feeling like her stomach was turning inside out.
She sat on the edge of the bed and took a deep breath. She could do this. Aenti Judith had married a stern man, but Dinah had seen the way he looked at her aunt at the wedding — with love. Love that a secret part of her wished she could have. But who would want a stuttering wife who was afraid of her own shadow?
"Dinah!" her mother called from downstairs. "The taxi is here!"
Dinah jumped up from the bed. She still hadn't put on her shoes. She scrambled for her black sneakers, yanked them on, then grabbed her suitcase. She flew down the stairs, fighting her fear.
"I love you," Mamm said, giving her a quick hug. "This will be a gut trip for you, Dinah. You'll see."
But Dinah could only nod, unable to speak. She walked outside and went to the taxi. As she got in, she hoped her mother was right.
* * *
Amos's body stiffened with fear. "Whoa!" he shouted at Penny and Nickel, his two draft horses. He yanked on their reins as hard as he could. They halted and the hay mower behind him stopped rotating.
Daed sounded hurt. And scared, which scared Amos too. He dropped the reins and ran to the other side of the hayfield. He found his father on the ground, his left knee pulled up to his chest. He was also grabbing the front part of his leg under his knee.
Blood flowed from between his father's fingers. The old scythe he'd used to cut down the patch of hay was lying beside him.
"Have to be strong ... Have to be strong." He repeated the words over and over as he made himself kneel beside his dad. The sight of blood always made him sick, and he had a bitter taste in his mouth, as if he'd eaten an orange peel. Daed's face looked dark red, like beets. Sweat poured down Daed's face and he sounded like his shirt collar was too tight around his neck. He tried to speak but all he did was groan.
"Don't get scared ... Don't get scared." Spots showed up in front of Amos, but he knew they weren't real. His brother, Jeremiah, had explained that his eyes were playing tricks on him when he felt like he might pass out. "Don't get scared ... Don't get scared." But Amos was scared. He wished Jeremiah were here. Jeremiah was a vet, and he would know what to do.
But his younger brother was at work and Anna Mae was at the hospital doing her job. Amos rubbed a grubby hand over his face, then did what he always did when he was upset. He closed his eyes and prayed.
His father's voice sounded a little louder than a whisper. Yet Amos didn't open his eyes. He couldn't until he knew what to do. Stop the bleeding.
He opened his eyes, then yanked off his shirt. He moved his father's hands away from his leg.
"Don't," his daed said. "It's bad, sohn."
But Amos ignored him as he looked down at the ripped fabric of his father's work pants. His thoughts were clear now, his movements automatic. The blood had soaked through his father's pants, and Amos saw part of an open wound through the torn material. His stomach steadied as he wrapped his shirt around Daeds shin, then tied the fabric tightly. "Stop the bleeding ... Stop the bleeding." He didn't understand how tying the shirt over his father's leg would work; he only knew that it would. He swooped Daed up into his arms and hurried across the field, through the backyard, and into the house.
"Judith!" Amos cried out for his stepmother as he ran into the kitchen.
Judith was mopping the floor and she looked up from her work. "Goodness, Amos, what's —" Her face turned the color of new fallen snow. "Dear Gott." She dropped the mop and went to Amos. "What happened?"
"Accident," was all Amos could say.
"Lay him on the table," she said, her voice calmer than Amos thought possible.
Amos did as he was told. He always tried to follow directions the best he could. He set his father on the polished oak table, then stepped back and let his stepmother take over. Amos's chest moved up and down as he tried to catch his breath. Sweat fell into his eyes, but he couldn't stop looking at his father. Judith untied Amos's shirt from around Daed's leg.
"You don't want to be here, Amos." Judith sounded different now. Worried. Afraid. Judith was never afraid. Amos's thoughts became jumbled and confused again. She sounded like Amos felt inside.
"I'm okay ... I'm okay." Amos lifted his chin and refused to move. He was twenty-eight years old. Time for him to be a man and not a scared kin. "I can help."
"Grab some towels out of the drawer." Judith winced at the sound of Daed's moan. "And a bowl. Fill it with water."
Excerpted from A Quiet Love by Kathleen Fuller. Copyright © 2016 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.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
A Quiet Love by Kathleen Fuller is An Amish Harvest Novella. This is a moving story of love can conquer all despite what others may think. A story that is filled with longing to fit in, belong and not stand. This story moved me to tears. Dinah and Amos’s stories will tough you so. Love, hope, faith, yearning to be loved and so much more are in this most wonderful story. Be sure to order your copy of A Quiet Love by Kathleen Fuller today. I received a copy of this book for my honest review. 5 stars!
A Quiet Love is a captivating Amish novella by Kathleen Fuller. Dinah is a young woman who prefers her poetry books and journals to mingling with people, sheltered from life by her own choice. Her mother decided it was time for Dinah to go visit her aunt, much to Dinah's dismay! Amos was a young man who could understand poetry but not a cliche, a man who could see beauty in everything but might not remember to do the mundane things of life. Both want a "normal" life of love and marriage and yet how can it work? What will their families say or perhaps even do to discourage their relationship? The author does a great job dealing with the emotional and physical challenges of her characters. Even though this story is a novella, Dinah and Amos are given depth and realism. A Quiet Love is a moving story of courage and the wonderful power of love. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.