Handsome, hardworking, and godly, Andrew Petersheim has always been sure of his place in his Wisconsin Amish community. He’ll be a welcome catch for the local girl who finally captures his heart. Mary Coblenz certainly isn’t that girl. Two years after “jumping the fence” for the Englischer world, she’s returned, unmarried and pregnant. Yet instead of hiding in shame as others in the community expect, she’s working at the Honeybee Farm, ignoring the gossips—and winning over Andrew’s eight-year-old twin brothers . . .
For all Andrew’s certainty about right and wrong, it seems he has a lot to learn from Mary’s courage, grace, and resilience. She’s changing his notions about forgiveness and love, but will she in turn accept the challenge of starting over and choose to stay—with him?
Praise for Jennifer Beckstrand and her Matchmakers of Huckleberry Hill series
“Full of kind, sincere characters struggling with the best ways to stay true to themselves and their beliefs.” —Publishers Weekly
“A heart-warming story of faith, hope, and second chances. The story will captivate readers who love the Amish culture and enjoy an endearing romance.”
—Amy Clipston, bestselling author of A Place at Our Table
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A muscle pulled tight across Mary's abdomen, creating a line of pain from her hip to her belly button. The tightness made it difficult to walk. She didn't care what that website said. Three miles was too far for a pregnant girl to go in one day.
Not that she had a choice. Mary's mamm had slammed the door in her face before Mary had even gotten a word in edgewise, and Mary hadn't known when the next bus was scheduled to come down the deserted road. She had turned her back on her parents' home and cried good and hard for about a mile before talking herself out of her self-pity. She couldn't blame her parents for reacting the way they had. She'd even been expecting it. After not seeing her family for two years, she'd shown up wearing jeans and a Maroon 5 T-shirt. And pregnant. Mamm couldn't very well overlook that inconvenient fact. Mary should have taken out her earrings. Mamm might have at least listened if Mary hadn't been wearing earrings.
Mary huffed out a breath. She should have thought that one through a little better. Mamm was hurt and angry. The community might be even less forgiving.
Did she really want to raise her child in such a place?
If a wayward daughter wasn't welcome in her own house, how could Mary hope to be accepted by the community? Would the Amish treat her child like an outsider for the rest of his life? By mile number two, it was safe to say that Mary's hopes had fallen in the ditch. But Mary wasn't one to slosh around in her own tears. She'd made a lot of mistakes, bad ones, but she wasn't afraid to own up to them and get on with her life.
Finally, the Honeybee Farm came into sight as Mary rounded the next bend in the road. A big sign painted with flowers and butterflies stood right in front of the property. BEWARE THE HONEYBEES, it said. It wasn't a very friendly message and Mary didn't know Bitsy Kiem well, but something told Mary if anybody would take her in, Bitsy Kiem and her three nieces would. Bitsy had once been an Englischer. Surely Bitsy would feel sympathy for Mary's plight. Then again, Mary had been away a long time. Maybe nobody here would feel anything for her, not even obligation. Maybe she'd have to walk back into town and find a park bench to sleep on for the night. She hoped not. Her feet were going to fall off.
Mary clomped clumsily over the small wooden bridge that spanned an even smaller pond at the front of Bitsy's property. She passed several beehives on her left and nearly a dozen on her right. The hives hummed like a Corvette, and a cloud of bees flew in and out and around the hives. It was late spring, and they were busy. Mary inhaled the glorious scent of the flowering bushes lining the little lane that led to the house. The Honeybee Farm was the best-smelling property in Bienenstock, Wisconsin. The Honeybee Sisters had planted hundreds of trees, bushes, and flowers to attract and feed their bees. It was a heavenly place. Mary thought she could be quite happy here if Bitsy didn't throw her out before she even got in the door.
Mary climbed the porch steps, swallowed hard, and knocked. Her heart pounded against her ribs, and not just because she'd walked the three miles from her parents' house in flip-flops. Maybe Bitsy would have pity on her and give her a drink of water before kicking Mary off her property.
The door cracked open an inch, and the barrel of a shotgun appeared through the gap. Mary sucked in her breath. She had jumped the fence two years ago, but surely Bitsy didn't think she deserved to be shot for it. Mary took two steps back and raised her hands over her head like she'd seen people do in the movies. "I'm going. I'm going," she said.
The shotgun drooped, the door opened even farther, and Bitsy Kiem stuck her head outside. Under a red bandanna, her hair was a pleasing shade of blue, not too bright, not too faint. She wore a purple dress, pink earrings, and her usual frown. "Mary Coblenz? Is that you?"
Keeping her hands high above her head, Mary nodded slowly.
Bitsy grunted, propped her shotgun against the wall, and folded her arms across her chest. "I thought you were that magazine salesman. That boy won't leave me alone."
"I'm-I'm sorry," Mary stuttered.
"Don't apologize. I'm glad you're not the magazine salesman. I might have had to shoot you."
Mary giggled in spite of her racing heart. "I'm glad you didn't have to shoot him."
Bitsy's frown deepened, and she waved her hand in the air like she was swatting a fly. "I wouldn't shoot anybody unless they deserved it. I don't believe in guns."
For a woman who didn't believe in guns, Bitsy certainly treated hers like it was an old friend. And maybe she'd pick it up again as soon as she heard what Mary had to say. "Bitsy, I know this is strange — "
Bitsy stepped onto the porch, curled her fingers around Mary's arm, and nudged her into the house. "You look like you've had quite a time of it yet. Cum reu and sit down. I've got muffins fresh from the oven, and cold milk."
Nothing in the world sounded so good as muffins and cold milk. Mary closed her lips and sat down at the table. What she had to say could wait. She'd like to eat a muffin before Bitsy made her go. Maybe Bitsy hadn't noticed she was pregnant.
"Those shoes are the most impractical things I've ever seen," Bitsy said, taking a plate from the cupboard and putting two muffins on it.
"They are," Mary said, because the space between her right big toe and the next toe was growing a blister, and bits of caked dry mud stuck to her feet like moss on a rock.
Bitsy set the plate of muffins on the table with a knife, a spoon, and a jar of raspberry jam. Mary sighed out loud. She couldn't remember the last time she'd had homemade raspberry jam. Bitsy went to the fridge and poured the most delicious-looking glass of milk Mary had ever seen. "They're bran muffins, but don't worry. They're delicious. You can even make bran taste good if you use enough sugar, and Yost needs bran to stay regular."
Mary didn't know who Yost was, but bran muffins sounded like about the best thing in the world right now. Her stomach growled. She hadn't eaten anything since about five this morning except a bottle of water, and that definitely didn't count. She cut a muffin in half, spread on a generous dollop of jam, and took a bite. It was the best thing she'd ever tasted and probably the best thing she'd ever taste again.
Bitsy set the glass of milk on the table. "Good?" she asked.
Not wanting to talk with her mouth full, Mary smiled, nodded, and took a drink of milk. It tasted so good, she finished off a third of the glass before taking a breath. "It's appeditlich, Bitsy. Denki."
Bitsy studied Mary's face. "I've got some peanut butter in the pantry. You look like you need some protein. Or I could fry you up a steak right quick. I have a special seasoning."
"Nae. Of course you don't need to fry up a steak."
"I don't need to do anything, but I don't mind cooking a steak. It's not that hard."
"Please don't trouble yourself." Mary finished off her first muffin and started in on the second. She needed to get it down before Bitsy started asking questions.
Bitsy pulled out the chair next to her and sat down. "My muffins are famous, but I don't expect you came because you heard I'd made a batch today."
Mary looked down at her hands. "Nae. I didn't come for the muffins."
Bitsy nodded as if she already knew what Mary was going to say. "Well, it's lucky I had some on hand."
Might as well get it over with. Mary drank the rest of her milk and stuffed the last of the muffin into her mouth, taking a few seconds to chew before she explained herself.
She should have known Bitsy would be four steps ahead of her. "When's the buplie coming?"
Mary instinctively rested her hand on her growing abdomen. "August sixth."
Mary hadn't expected Bitsy to smile — she rarely did, at least since Mary had known her. Bitsy laid her hand over Mary's. "It's wunderbarr to have a baby, you know. I never got that chance."
Mary pressed her lips together. She'd spent so many months worrying about being pregnant. It was almost a relief that someone was happy about the baby. Of course, Bitsy probably didn't know Mary wasn't married. She might feel differently if she knew.
"They say your bladder will never be the same," Bitsy said, "but it's a small price to pay to bring another soul into the world. Boy or girl?"
"I don't know."
"We'll have to do the needle test on you. If it circles, it's a girl. If it goes back and forth, it's a boy. I've never seen it fail yet."
Mary nodded. "I ... I'd like to try that. It would be ... fun to know."
"Well, it's nice to be able to make blankets and booties the right color before the buplie comes. Have you had any heartburn? They say if you have bad heartburn, your baby will have lots of hair."
Mary couldn't speak past the lump in her throat. It was such a commonplace conversation — two women talking about having a baby, making plans, actually getting excited about it. Mary had missed so much.
Bitsy tilted her head and eyed Mary with all the understanding of a woman who'd raised three nieces. "That boy you ran off with, did he marry you?"
Mary shook her head and braced herself for Bitsy's indignation.
Mary's eyes nearly popped out of her head. "Thank goodness?"
"It's easier when you don't have to unstick yourself from a sticky situation. The lawyers get rich, and you get nothing but heartache." Bitsy poured Mary another glass of milk. "So. You're pregnant, you're unmarried, and you've completely lost your sense of fashion."
A laugh escaped Mary's lips, and droplets of milk shot out of her mouth and splattered the tablecloth. "You don't like my T-shirt?"
"It's a bad color on you and the earrings are all wrong, and since when does a self-respecting young woman wear holes in her jeans?"
Mary didn't dare take another swig of milk. Bitsy was so unexpectedly brash. "Everybody wears holey jeans these days."
Bitsy handed Mary a napkin. "You've got your mamm's smile."
"Denki," Mary said, not feeling all that much like smiling anymore. Mamm hadn't smiled this morning.
Bitsy heaved a great sigh. "I suppose she kicked you out."
Mary's shoulders sagged. "She didn't even let me in."
"So you came here?"
Mary caught her bottom lip between her teeth. "I should have known she wouldn't let me come home. I wouldn't have let me come home. I was foolish, deerich, not to have another plan when I left Green Bay, but I only had enough money to get here. You were once an Englischer. I thought maybe you wouldn't mind if I stayed here for a few days until I can make arrangements to go back to Green Bay."
"Do you want to go back to Green Bay?"
She might as well be honest, even if it made her sound pathetic. "Not really."
Bitsy leaned forward. "I need to know a few things first, Mary Coblenz. Are you afraid of bees?"
"Are you allergic to cats?"
"Not that I know of."
Bitsy frowned. "Too bad. It would have given me an excuse to get rid of them. I have four. People at church call me 'the cat lady' behind my back." She pointed to a fuzzy white cat lounging on the window seat. "Farrah Fawcett is as useful and as pleasant as a bowl of Brussels sprouts." Bitsy wiped at a spot of milk on her tablecloth. "This is the most important question. Will your parents be mad if I take you in?"
Mary's heart sank. And just when she was starting to feel a tiny sliver of hope. "I don't think they'll like it."
Bitsy smiled again. That was twice in less than fifteen minutes. "Gute. People need something to get worked up about. It's so much fun for everyone if I give them a reason to gossip."
"You don't care that my parents will be mad?"
"All my nieces are married, and I have three empty beds upstairs. You can spread out over all three if you want. And I won't hear talk about going back to Green Bay. Stay here as long as you like. This house needs a baby."
Mary had already bawled once today and she wasn't usually a crier, but tears pooled in her eyes. "That ... you don't mind if I stay here?"
"Of course not, and Yost will be thrilled."
"Who is Yost?"
"My new husband," Bitsy said. "He agrees with me on just about everything, and if he doesn't, he knows enough to admit that he's wrong. Yost is around about half the time. He works his farm as well as mine. He's a treasure." A shadow passed over her features. "I only have one request. If any boys come poking around, don't feed them. Boys are like stray cats. If you feed them once, they keep coming back."
Mary giggled. "I think we can safely assume that no boys are going to come poking around. I jumped the fence, I'm pregnant, and you have a shotgun."
Bitsy grunted. "Don't be so sure. Boys are very determined when they want to be."
Mary brushed crumbs into her hand from the table. "Bitsy, I don't know how to thank you."
Bitsy waved away any mention of gratitude. "You're welcome, and never mention it again. If the truth were told, I'm being selfish. I like it when people gossip about me."
"They're more likely to gossip about me."
"That's double the fun as far as I'm concerned. Now sit tight. I'm going to fry you a steak."CHAPTER 2
Alfie Petersheim was only eight, but he was old enough to know that Mamm had pulled one over on him.
Sleeping in the cellar will be a grand adventure, she had said. It will be like sleeping in your own cave, and you and Benji will have it all to yourselves.
Alfie should have known it was a trick. A dirty, dirty trick.
He lay on his back on the hardest air mattress in the world staring at the ceiling, which he couldn't see. The cellar was so dark, he wouldn't even be able to see his hand if he held it right in front of his face — although he hadn't tried it because he didn't dare let go of the blanket that he clutched for dear life around his chin.
The cellar smelled like dirty socks and moldy peanut butter. What had Mamm been thinking? Everybody knew mold was poisonous. Willie Glick even said so. And Alfie was sure a spider had crawled across his hand not one minute ago.
The ceiling creaked as if it was going to fall on him and his brother. Or maybe it was a ghost sneaking around upstairs waiting for Alfie to go to sleep so he could attack.
"Benji?" Alfie whispered, risking pulling his hand out of the covers to tap his twin bruder on the arm. Benji responded by rolling over and jabbing his knee into Alfie's side.
It will be fun, Mamm had said. You will love sleeping down there. It was the first time that Mamm had lied straight to his face. At least he hoped it was the first time. How many other lies had she told him? Had his hamster really run away?
Alfie was not happy that Benji could sleep through anything, even a ghost attack. "Wake up." Alfie shoved his bruder so hard that Benji slipped off the air mattress and thudded onto the cement floor.
"Hey!" Benji protested. "Stop it."
"We've got to make a plan," Alfie said, pulling the covers tighter around himself. It was almost summertime, but how hard would it have been for Dat to build a small fire in the stove so his youngest sons didn't freeze to death? Alfie heard some shuffling on Benji's side, then Benji fell hard onto the mattress as if he'd tripped trying to find it in the dark. His hard fall bounced Alfie into the air — not far, but high enough to wake all the spiders lurking under the mattress. There was a small pop and a hiss, and Alfie slowly started to sink. "Benji, what did you do?"
Benji sat up again. "I didn't do nothing, but I think there's a hole in here."
They both fell silent. A low hiss came from Benji's side of the air mattress, and no doubt about it, they were sinking like a leaky boat.
Mamm had told them not to turn on the electric lantern unless it was an emergency because it wasted the battery. Their mattress was flattening like a pancake, Alfie had probably already been bitten by a spider, and he was going to die from mold poisoning. As far as he was concerned, this was an emergency.
Alfie felt around the edge of the bed until his hand found the lantern. He flipped the switch, and the cellar flooded with light. There were some spooky shadows in the corner where monsters could be hiding, but Lord willing, the lantern would keep them safe.
"Come on, Alfie," Benji said, rubbing his eyes. "I want to sleep."
"You popped our mattress. Mamm said not to jump on it."
Benji sat cross-legged on the slowly shrinking mattress, squinting into the light. "I didn't jump on it. I fell." Benji was still wearing the trousers he'd worn during the day with nothing on top.(Continues…)
Excerpted from "Andrew"
Copyright © 2019 Jennifer Beckstrand.
Excerpted by permission of KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP..
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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Judgment, forgiveness, new beginnings, new ways of thinking play heavily in this book. Mary Coblenz who left the Amish two years ago, come back to the community, unmarried and now pregnant. Her parents, and others in the community refuse to have anything to do with her. When Andrew Petersheim’s grandfather has a stroke and his grandfather and grandmother move in with the family, his 8-year old twin brothers, Benji and Alfie, decide it is time that Andrew get married so they can get their room back and not have to sleep in the basement. Mary has come to the community and is staying with a friend, Bitsy, who runs the Honeybee Farm and with the innocence of a child’s mind, the boys befriend Mary and decide she should be the one for Andrew. Andrew is very upset that they have befriended Mary, feeling she will be a bad influence on them and teach them to go against the Amish teachings. However, as Andrew gets to know Mary, he sees that perhaps he has been over-judgmental towards her and soon realizes that God is to be the judge, not him. This is such a delightful book as the boys’ antics are very amusing, and the life changes that occur make the book one you don’t want to put down until you have completed it. I highly recommend this book. I received a copy of this book from Kensington Books through Netgalley. The opinions expressed are my own.
Jennifer Beckstrand has given readers a chance to meet three brothers in a new series she has created and Andrew Petersheim is the brother we meet first. He is a little arrogant in the beginning and very judgemental but before the book is over, we see a man who has been changed by love. Mary Coblenz is a wonderful young Amish woman who made some bad choices and is back home to face her family and community. She is also the object of both Andrew's judgement and his affection. Bitsy Weaver is the eccentric but lovable person who offers Mary a home and support as she waits for her baby to be born and Andrew's eight-year-old brothers are also great additions to the story. These boys and Bitsy gave me several laugh-out-loud moments and I am hoping that I will find them in the next books of this new series, The Petersheim Brothers. This book has a lot of humor but it is the faith-filled message that will remain with me. I realized that my initial dislike of Andrew's actions and reactions were in fact things I may have once been guilty of myself! This story reminded me that we humans are eager to judge and we often concentrate on each other's faults and shortcomings; instead, we need to focus on encouraging and helping those who have fallen. Or, as Andrew so wisely decided, 'Maybe their sins were worse than his. Maybe his sins were worse than theirs. Only Jesus knew that. Their job was to love and forgive each other.' Jennifer Beckstrand has written a sweet, romantic , and heartwarming book and I recommend it to all who enjoy Amish and Christian fiction. I received a copy of this book through Celebrate Lit Tours and NetGalley and I am voluntarily sharing my opinion in this review.
This book angered me a lot as I read it. I understand that Mary has sinned when she became pregnant before marriage. Wasn’t it enough that her family shunned her, the father of her child deserted her and the community whispers about her? Just how much punishment does she deserve to make Andrew feel like has she has paid for her sins? They have some heated conversations and I admired Mary for not backing down. She realizes what she has done was wrong, but at some point forgiveness needs to come. God has forgiven her, so why can’t others? I’m not quite sure why Andrew is so bitter when it comes to Mary, but this scripture kept coming to my mind. “He without sin cast the first stone.” Bitsy and Yost are a breath of fresh air as they welcome Mary into their home. They are there to help her and not judge her. Bitsy is a character with different colored hair, cats named Farrah Fawcett and honeybees swarming everywhere. She is carefree and welcoming to Mary in a sincere way. What a wonderful example they are to those who whisper and set in judgment. I wonder how many times the church has turned their back on someone who has sinned? We should lead them to repentance and show them unconditional love. The community sure wasn’t doing that for Mary. Mary lets Andrew know just how much she has suffered for her sin, but reminds him that God has forgiven her. What I really liked about the story was how Andrew took a good look at himself and realized he was a sinner as well. His high and mighty attitude towards Mary was wrong and he knew he needed to change. It was so nice to watch his transformation and reach out to Mary for forgiveness. It is not an easy road for either of them, but it’s a road they must travel to rid themselves of pride, judgmental attitude and learn how to truly forgive. Benji and Alfie are the comic relief in this book. They get into everything possible and it amazes me how they survive. I loved their childlike innocence and how they became friends with Mary without blinking an eye. Children can sure teach us a few things about accepting others. They have such big hearts and see people the way God does. We can sure learn a lesson from them. I couldn't help but feel a bit sorry for Mary for the way she was being treated by others. There are so many quick to judge Mary, but the perfect words came from Benji. " Are you in charge of her soul?" I laughed and then I had to repent. I have done the same thing as others. I have judged and talked about someone who was in sin. It was like I was happy they had got caught so no one would focus on my sins. The book is a great lesson in forgiveness and judging others. I am glad I read this book and it made me angry. Why, you ask? Because it made me look at myself and examine my heart. How many times have I ignored someone because they were in sin? Why didn't I extend a hand and lead them to Jesus? I have read many books about judging others but this one really opened my eyes. The author addressed a subject we are all guilty of. Now it's time to ask forgiveness and start seeing people like Jesus does. I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.
Andrew I loved the twin boys. They were always getting into mischief. Always in everybody’s business. Bitsy had several cats, has such cute names. Mary had left her Amish home and then comes back. Her parents doesn’t want her back. She is pregnant. Bitsy invites Mary to live with her. Andrew is the brother of the twin boys. At first he doesn’t want anything to do with Mary but then they become friends. This is a very good Amish book. Enjoyed all the children, they were so cute. The adults had so much to learn in life. How to treat each other. This is the first book in the series. I am looking forward to reading the next book. I received a complimentary copy of the book from the publisher through Celebrate Lit. This review is my opinion.
What have I come to expect when I open a book with the name "Jennifer Beckstrand" on the front? I expect a fun story with some unpredictable yet lovable characters, tender moments, important life lessons, with a healthy dose of mischief mixed in for good measure. Probably there will be times that make me laugh and others that bring a few tears to my eyes. Well, that is exactly what I found in Andrew, the first book in Jennifer's Petersheim Brothers series. If you have read the Honeybee Sisters series, you will enjoy finding Aunt Bitsy playing a big part in Andrew's and Mary's story. If you have read the Matchmakers of Huckleberry Hill series, you may wonder if the 8-year-old twin Petersheim brothers, Alfie and Benji, didn't somehow get some match-making training from Felty and Anna Helmuth (even though those grandparents don't show up anywhere in the story). Andrew is a lovely story that is a delight to read for all the reasons I've mentioned. In the midst of all the fun, though, the heart of the story has to do with forgiveness, grace, second chances and love. Those themes are gently woven in through the challenges of judgmental attitudes, hurtful gossip, and difficult consequences of personal choices. The characters are skillfully developed, and following their journeys is a real joy. I highly recommend this awesome story to fans of Amish fiction or anyone else who enjoys a great read. Thanks to Celebrate Lit for providing a copy of the book. I am happy to share my thoughts in this review.
My thoughts: This was such a fun book! I really enjoyed reading it. It’s been a bit since I’ve read a good Amish fiction novel and I loved getting to read this one. Jennifer Beckstrand is a new author to me and now I’m wanting to read her Honey Bee sister series as well. I’m looking forward to reading about the other brothers. Hands down favorite characters were the twins. So full of fun and life. Also, who doesn’t love an eight-year-old who doesn’t change his shirt for months! I can see my kiddos doing that, in fact, I think they might have tried it before. I’m actually sure of it because I have had to tell my 11-year-old to go change his shirt after several days of wearing it! I felt so bad for Mary with the way she was treated by her community. But then as I thought of it I realized that this is so common. We as a society think that we should punish or ostracize people with behaviors we don’t agree with. That’s not going to help them want to change now, is it?! Andrew, well, he got quite an awakening! I laughed quite a bit at him. He has to come to some serious realizations not only about Mary and her sin but also about himself and all the sin he has done through his life too. And then there is the peanut butter business. Andrew hates being known as the Peanut Butter Brothers, he doesn’t like peanut butter, he doesn’t want to make it. His love is woodworking. But he only does that in secret so that he doesn’t hurt his mother. So much going on in this one novel! Andrew is a fun fast-paced novel. I read it quickly. It was such a fun read too. I loved it. The characters grabbed my heart and my attention and I can’t wait to go back and visit them. I have a feeling that they’re some of my new best friends now. And guys. I cannot wait to hear more about those ornery twins. They definitely remind me of my own boys and make me a little weary for the future of my three-year-old boy who could be both of the twins in one! I have voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from Celebrate Lit. All views expressed are only my honest opinion. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC regulations.
Author Jennifer Beckstrand brought her characters to life. Those twins!!! You’ll love them. A fun, matchmaking story, it still contains some heavy subjects that keep it from being “fluff”. I did read through it quickly as I wanted to see how things would turn out. With wonderful Christian values, Beckstrand shows us that we all sin yet God loves us and accepts us unconditionally. So should we do this with others. Things are not always what they seem and we don’t know what’s going on in someone’s heart. There were plenty of chuckles while reading. With charming characters who don’t fit the norm you’ll enjoy this book if you like Amish fiction. Plus you’ll learn about making peanut butter. Bonus! So make a peanut butter sandwich, grab a copy of Andrew, and enjoy. I received a complimentary copy of this book but was not required to leave a review.
Reading a new book from Jennifer Beckstrand is always an absolute delight. Getting to spend more time with Bitsy Weaver (from her Honeybee Sister series) is pure joy. In addition, we are treated to two precocious boys Alfie and Benji, 8 year old twins with a penchant for matchmaking their older brother (so he’ll move out and they can have their own room instead of having to sleep in the scary cellar). Every time they were on the page, my face sported a huge grin. And sometimes their little boy earnest hearts made me tear up, too. (The scene with Dawdi & borrowing the binoculars. Oh be still my heart!) Andrew and Mary are an unlikely pair at first glance. He, a straitlaced “good” Amish young man (who really wants to make furniture instead of peanut butter). She, an unwed pregnant young woman who left the Amish for the evils of the Englisch world and is now back to face the judgmental attitudes of the community with grace and bravery. And yet, their chemistry was palpable from the very first moment they shared the page. Their banter is grin-inducing and their inner thoughts toward the other person will leave you swooning. Bottom Line: Prepare to laugh, swoon, cry and even be a little convicted by the time the story is over. Andrew – the book and the eponymous hero – is layered and fun and deliciously romantic. The message of Jesus’ mercy is tender and so important, and the truth of His grace is evident throughout. The young twins are the stars of this show, and I can’t wait to see what delightful mischief they get up to next! (I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book.)
Andrew is the start of a new series about two little 8 year old imps whose house has become too crowded. Due to unfortunate family circumstances, twins Alfie and Benjie have lost the occupancy of their bedroom and have been sent to the cellar for the foreseeable future. Since there are spiders and maybe ghosts, this does not sit well with them so they concoct plans to get their three older brothers married off quickly. What happens is a delightful story of matchmaking done by twin brothers unbeknownst to anyone but their grandfather who is recovering from a stroke and cannot communicate. Mary Coblenze tried the English world and she ended up worse for it. Pregnant and unwed, she goes back home to her parents, who do not want her back. She is able to find a home with Bitsy, an oddity in this Amish community, and her husband. Mary was a nice girl with a smart head on her shoulders that made some life mistakes. She is doing her best to get by, and even though her pregnancy is not the outcome she would have picked for herself, she is looking forward to her baby. Andrew is a wonderful son and grandson, but he certainly has some lessons to learn when it comes to sins and forgiveness and what it truly means to forgive as God forgives. Mary is confronted with many pharisaical judgements and we as a reader get to look at how ugly all sin is. I look forward to the more matchmaking from the twins for their brothers Abraham and Austin. I received a copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions are my own.
I’ve read many of Jennifer Beckstrand’s books, and this like most of her books make me smile. This one highlights forgiveness, and she brings us a wayward Amish girl, who has returned home for a visit, stay or permanently if she decides to raise her unborn child in the community. We are back with Bitsy, now married and baptized, but still as spunky as ever, and remember don’t feed “boys”! Then we are introduced to a new family the Petersheim’s or Peanut Butter Brothers, and I’ll have to tell you that I cringed when the eight-year-old twins had to sleep in the cellar, yuck, but this is what causes these imps to try and marry off a brother, namely Andrew! Now there are at least two more books here, and I for one enjoyed this read that at times had me laughing out loud! I received this book through the Celebrate Lit, and was not required to give a positive review.
A couple of years ago I got addicted to Amish romance novels. "Andrew" is Jennifer Beckstrand's book one of the series, The Petersheim Brothers. We are taken into Andrew Petersheim life, a single Amish man. The plot is composed of two mischievous brothers, Alfie, and Benji who are 8-year-old twins. The twins decided to put a plan together in hopes of getting rid of their oldest brother, Andrew, so they can move out of the cellar. They planned to have Mary Coblenz fall in love and get married. They become matchmakers. You will have to read it to find out if the brothers get caught. Andrew judges Mary and believes she should be shunned. He believes she is a sinner. He is a good man with a big heart. Does is he stop judging her unfairly? Mary, a nineteen-year-old, who returns from the Englischer world to her community unmarried and pregnant. She put trust into her ex-boyfriend but he betrayed it. Her parents refused to let her back into her family home. Through the trials of her disgrace and her parents' abandonment, Mary learns to forgive and put the Lord in her life to get through some rough times. Bitsy, one of the twins, welcomes her with open arms. If it wasn't for him she would be homeless. Mary is terrified of falling in love since the last relationship didn't go as planned. Backstraund's writing style is well done. I found the pace to really good. I have read many Amish books and they always have many parts that drag, but this book didn't have any slow parts. It also contains a lot of dialogue helping me feel like I know them. Beckstrand's characters contain many relatable characteristics. Even her secondary characters are well thought out. Mary is a very brave woman having to deal with the community. Mammi, a mother-in-law. Jerry a fireman with a secret, Aunt Bitsy who has blue hair and lots of cats. This book contains some really great life lessons and inspiration. "Andrew" deals with choices, hypocrisy, family issues, illness, love, trust, forgiveness, redemption, faith, and even abortion. The biggest tip in life that hit home, in this book, is forgiving people who aren't sorry and accepting apologies you'll never receive. It also contains lots of scriptures. It also contains some moments of humor. The romance in this book is clean romance. I highly recommend reading this book. Beckstrand did an amazing job of getting the reader into the life of Andrew and Mary. This book would make an amazing Hallmark movie series. I look forward to reading the next book in the series.
I always enjoy a nice Amish fiction especially when it has an inspirational message. Book one, Andrew, in author Jennifer Beckstrand’s new series is an absolute delight! This contemporary Amish novel is heavily laced with inspiration and life lessons. It has light romance, humor, a bit of intrigue, and is so well written it is hard to put down. Author Beckstrand is a storyteller deluxe. The Petersheim Family was filled with older boys (men) and a pair of rambunctious eight year old twins. Paternal grandparents had just moved in adding to the frenzy with an ever “helpful” mother-in-law. I enjoyed the writer’s style. The pace was great, not rush or sluggish. The conversations sounded authentic. There was plenty of dialog which I like. The characters were so well described I felt like I knew them. My heart went out to Mary and then to Andrew. I could imagine them easily and feel their emotions. The secondary characters were, well characters! I could see a book being written about many of them. Mammi was a typical mother-in-law wanting to help by setting things up her way. Jerry was a fireman that has a secret, Aunt Bitsy has a bunch of cats and blue hair, and so many others. This is very entertaining but it is also an inspiration book with life lessons. It deals with choices, hypocrisy, judging, family issues, illness, love, trust, even abortion. Scripture is heavily quoted and mention of what would Jesus do. In fact, a lot of the book discusses the difference in helping someone verses judging them. To say this was a thought provoking read is and understatement. It has stayed with me weeks later. I was astonished by how forthright the author was in taking on hypocrites. It is a topic everyone should read about and address. This book will give readers a lot to ponder. It might even change some attitudes. This gets a glowing recommendation from me. Everyone should read this book. I am eagerly awaiting book two and the issues it will tackle. This book gets a 5 out of 5 stars for the lessons it teaches. We should all take them to heart. An Advanced Reader Copy was provided by the publisher but I was under no obligation to write a review.
I think that this has been my favorite book by Jennifer Beckstrand that I have ever read. This has great characters and it made me laugh and cry. I love Andrew and Mary but my favorite characters are the twins. The twins are so cute and adventurous. I am looking forward to reading the rest of the books in this series. I received a copy of this book from Celebratelit for a fair and honest opinion that I gave of my own free will.
Andrew Jennifer Beckstrand Andrew by Jennifer Beckstrand is the first book in her Petersheim Brothers series. Amish fiction is one of my favorite genres and this Amish romance did not disappoint. Andrew is the eldest of the Petersheim brothers, fondly known as the Peanut Butter Brothers, so named because of the family business. Andrew views himself as a righteous man and strives to live by the strict rules that govern every aspect of Amish life. Mary Coblenz “jumped the fence” and escaped to the English world, but has just returned to her Amish community pregnant and unwed. Andrew and Mary have a great deal of soul searching to do before they can accept any relationship beyond friendship, but they have help in the form of Andrew’s eight-year-old twin brothers, Alfie and Benji. Andrew is a really good read. Ms. Beckstrand has given us a wonderful cast of characters. The twins are especially hilarious. The writing flows smoothly, and there’s just the right amount of conflict. This novel is 5 out of 5 stars for me. I recommend this book to all readers of Amish fiction, especially Amish romance. My thanks to Kensington Books and NetGalley for the opportunity to read an advance copy of this book. However, the opinions expressed in this review are 100% mine and mine alone.
5 Stars: 5/5 star rating What goes together better than peanut butter and honey? Hmmm....love and marriage?? Babies and twins? Readers will laugh and cry in this book as little Alfie and Benji try to marry off their brothers, starting with Andrew. Mary is such a lovable character that I felt such empathy for her from the very beginning of the book. Andrew comes on rather strong and unforgiving at the start, but maybe there is hope for him yet. I believe readers will get great pleasure from this book, just as I did. I received a free digital version of this book from netgalley and Zebra Publishing in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions expressed are my own.
When Mary return to her Amish community unmarried and pregnant, her mother shuts the door in her face. She turns to the only friendly face she thinks might welcome her and shelter her for the night. I enjoyed the eight-year-old twins antics to get Andrew their brother to meet Mary. Why? Well, because she is their perfect pick for his wife. Bee's, trees, peanut butter and rescues. Always a wonderfully entertaining story with author Jennifer Beckstrand! I was gifted a copy, no review was required. My review is voluntary.
A beautifully heartfelt story of forgiveness and second chances! Jennifer Beckstrand is my favorite write of Amish Romance stories and this one is a must-own. Andrew's twin brothers steal the show, without a doubt, but also help to open his eyes, as well as his heart.
This book is so good! I fell in love with the twins, those two boys are something else. This is a book that will make you laugh out loud in spots. This is a fun, sweet read that also has a lesson about forgiveness and how God is always with us. I can't wait for the next book in this series. Thank you Kensington Books Zebra via NetGalley for the ARC copy of this book. All opinions expressed are my own. I highly recommend this book.
Andrew is the beginning of jennifer Beckstrand's series, The Petersheim Brothers. In this installment, a reader is introduced to Andrew Petersheim. He is a single Amish man with twin younger brothers, who are determine to play matchmaker. They find Mary and pick her for their older brother. This is when the plot really begins. Will their matchmaking backfire? I have enjoyed Jennifer Beckstrand's books in the past and Andrew is no different. I really liked this wonderful and heartwarming story of forgiveness, redemption, faith, inspiration, grace, hope and having second choices. I loved Mary from the start. I admired your bravery dealing with the community. I was not sure about Andrew at first but he grew on me. I am giving Andrew four and a half stars. I look forward to the second addition from The Petersheim Brothers series, Abraham. I recommend this one for readers who enjoy clean Amish fiction. I received this book from the publisher. This review is 100% my own honest opinion.
Andrew by Jennifer Beckstrand is book one in the Petersheim Brothers series. The older brothers, along with their mother, run a peanut butter business. Due to the business, they have earned the nickname, The Peanut Butter Brothers. Recently their grandparents have had to move in with the family due to the grandfather having a stroke. The youngest brothers, 8 year old twins, have had to move their room to the cellar. That is when the plotting, or I should say, fun begins. The only way to get out of the cellar in their eyes, is to marry one of the older boys off. Enter Mary, a fence jumper, who returns home after leaving to see what the English world holds. The only thing is, she is pregnant by her former English boyfriend. The twins decide Mary is perfect for Andrew and set out on a quest involving binoculars, walkie talkies, and a bit of orneriness to get them together. Anyone who reads Amish Fiction this is a must read. If you haven't read any, this would be a prefect start. The characters and setting are likeable. You get Amish life, family, romance, and humor. You may want some peanut butter and pretzels by the end. I was given an ARC by Netgallley and Kensington Books for an honest review.
Andrew by Beckstrand Mary came from Green Bay alone, and pregnant, so she jumped the fence a few years ago. Still Mother wouldn’t let her in. Getting to Bitsy, a former woman of the English, she did, with warm muffins and cold milk. Asking if her parents would be upset if she took her in, and smile at the answer. Her home needed a baby, and the town needed the gossip, and she herself loves to be gossiped about. We have two young boys, whose Mother saying it would be an adventure to sleep in the clellar. She played a trick on them Alfie thought, it smelled like old socks and mold. Mold they were told wasn’t good for them. The grandparents were living with them now and had their bedroom. To solve and get upstairs in house again, was to marry off Andrew. Andrew wasn’t much for it, Mary wouldn’t repent, headstrong. The scheming of younger boys. The lessons in forgiving and helping others when the need is there. Given ARC for my voluntary review and my honest opinion
Author Jennifer Beckstrand wrote an amazing novel. Andrew is a book that kept my interest and also made me feel different emotions. Andrew is an enjoyable, delightful book. I believe this is my first book I've read by Author Jennifer Beckstrand, but it will not be my last. Andrew is a terrific book and I encourage everyone to read it. It's first in a new series by this author. Andrew is Book One in The Petersheim Brothers series. I received a copy from NetGalley, but was not required to review it. This review is one hundred percent my opinion.
Andrew is a delightful Amish romance novel. This story had me chuckling from beginning to end. We get to return to The Honeybee Farm owned by Bitsy Kiem Weaver who still changes the color of her hair regularly, has her shotgun at the ready and talks out loud to God. She willingly takes in Mary Coblentz when she returns to town unwed and pregnant. Bitsy is a wonderful character who I wished lived was my neighbor (minus the bees). I loved it when Mary said, “Bitsy isn’t afraid to love people who don’t fit in”. Mary is a nineteen year old who left the community and regrets her decision. She is a brave young woman who is not going to be bullied or hide inside just so other people will be satisfied. Andrew is taken with Mary until he sees that she is pregnant. But, thanks to the twins, he keeps encountering Mary. Andrew’s idea of right and wrong are going to be put to the test. Alfie and Benji were hilarious with their antics. I loved their simplistic outlook of situations. There are judgmental members of the Amish community who need to learn Christian charity. I like the Christian values and life lessons presented in Andrew (faith, forgiveness, redemption, grace, patience, second chances, honesty). We are all sinners and make mistakes. Everyone deserves forgiveness and a second chance. I thought the book was well-written and it proceeded at a steady pace. It seems like I barely began the book when I finished it (with many smiles and giggles along the way). It was interesting to learn more about creating homemade peanut butter. It is cute that the Petersheim brothers are called The Peanut Butter Brothers by locals. I cannot wait to read the next two books in The Petersheim Brothers series. If you have not read The Honeybee Sisters (though you really should), you will not be at a disadvantage. Andrew is a heartwarming story with the colorful, shotgun toting Bitsy, yummy honey, impish twins, homemade peanut butter, and merry mishaps.