Leah's Choice

Leah's Choice

by Emma Miller
4.4 18

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Leah's Choice by Emma Miller

With dreams of marrying an Old Order Amish man, Leah Yoder plans on raising children in the peaceful Delaware community. But when Mennonite missionary Daniel Brown arrives to share his story with their church, Leah is fascinated by him. She spends time with Daniel in a forbidden courtship to learn how she truly feels about him. Before long, Leah has a choice to make. Should she stay with her community…or leave with the man she believes God has placed in her life's path?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781459227811
Publisher: Harlequin
Publication date: 05/01/2012
Series: Hannah's Daughters
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 229,577
File size: 279 KB

About the Author

Emma Miller lives quietly in her old farmhouse in rural Delaware amid fertile fields and lush woodlands. Fortunate enough to be born into a family of strong faith, she grew up on a dairy farm, surrounded by loving parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. Emma was educated in local schools, and once taught in an Amish schoolhouse much like the one at Seven Poplars. When she's not caring for her large family, reading and writing are her favorite pastimes.

Read an Excerpt

Kent County, Delaware, Spring

More than forty people, Mennonite and Amish, waited in the old Grange building for the speaker's arrival. A long table covered with photographs and maps stood at the rear of the hall, and volunteers had arranged folding chairs in two sections, one on either side of a central aisle. Leah Yoder, three of her sisters, her brother-in-law, and nine giggling and whispering Amish teenagers from Seven Poplars filled the first two rows on the left.

It was rare for Old Order Amish to attend events hosted by other denominations, but tonight was an exception. Leah's older sister, Miriam, and her husband, Charley, had volunteered to chaperone the outing for their church's youth group, the Gleaners, and the bishop had given them special permission to do so. Leah, at twenty, was too old for the Gleaners, but she had been just as eager as her younger sisters, Rebecca and Susanna, to see the PowerPoint presentation and hear the Mennonite missionary share his experiences in spreading God's word outside the United States.

A young man in jeans and a raincoat, carrying a briefcase and a camera, wandered in from the offices in the back, and Leah thought that he might be the speaker, but it was only a reporter from a local newspaper. She hoped that he wouldn't attempt to take photos of the audience. Having pictures taken was against Amish beliefs, and if he tried to snap their picture, Charley and Miriam might decide that it was better to leave. To Leah's relief, the man found a seat near the front and didn't even look across the aisle at them.

The program had been scheduled to start at seven, but it was already twenty past the hour and Susanna was growing restless. Susanna had been born with Down syndrome, and although she was eighteen, in many ways, she would always be a child. Leah had convinced their mother to allow her to bring Susanna to the presentation this evening, so her sister was her responsibility.

Susanna wasn't the only one losing patience with the long wait. Herman Beachy, who could never sit still for long, was tugging at his sister Verna's bonnet strings and, by the expression on her face, she appeared ready to give him a sharp elbow in the ribs. Amish considered themselves nonviolent, but that didn't mean brothers and sisters didn't have their spats. Leah could see that the rest of the Gleaners were keyed up as well. If the youngsters became unruly, it would reflect badly on the entire Amish community, and that would put an end to any future outings of this kind.

Leah leaned forward, cleared her throat and threw Charley a meaningful look. See what's keeping him, she mouthed silently.

We'll just wait, he mouthed in return.

Leah rolled her eyes in exasperation. What was wrong with Charley? It had been his idea to bring the youth group, but now that they were here and things weren't going as smoothly as expected, her usually gregarious brother-in-law seemed unsure of himself. Even Miriam seemed out of her element.

Leah wished she and Rebecca had come alone, as she'd first planned when she'd seen the notice for Daniel Brown's talk. The sisters had recently returned to Delaware after spending a year in Ohio caring for their aging grandmother and great-aunt. The Amish church in Grossmamds community had been more liberal than in Seven Poplars, and she and her sister had often gone to dinners, charity auctions and programs put on by the Mennonites. There, the two denominations mingled more regularly than in Seven Poplars.

Leah had never stopped to think that not all Old Order Amish were so at ease with the Mennonite community. And the same went for the Mennonites. She'd certainly seen it tonight when the Amish had all taken seats on one side of the aisle and the Mennonites on the other. And now, both Charley and Miriam, of all people, seemed nervous. Well, if they wouldn't go see what was going on, she'd have to.

"Stay here with Rebecca," she whispered to Susanna as she stood up.

Smiling, Susanna nodded and clasped Rebecca's hand.

Leah crossed the aisle to where a gray-haired woman stood talking anxiously to a middle-aged man. Dinah was a cheerful woman who always wore a modest dress and a white crocheted head covering. She often stopped by the Yoder farm to purchase large quantities of eggs for her church bake sales. It was Dinah who'd made a special point of inviting the Seven Poplars Amish community to hear the speaker.

"It's an opportunity not to be missed," she'd said to Leah's mother, Hannah, a few weeks ago. "Daniel Brown faced down an angry Moroccan mob to rescue a homeless youth falsely accused of theft. If Daniel hadn't put his own life in danger to interfere, a tragedy could have occurred."

"An excellent role model for our children," Mam had agreed. She'd said no more about Daniel Brown, but Leah had seen her mother deep in conversation with their bishop after church the following Sunday. Both Leah and Miriam were convinced that it was due to Mam's powers of persuasion that Bishop Atlee had agreed that the Gleaners should accept the invitation to hear the young missionary speak.

But now they were here and anxious for the program to begin…and there was no Daniel Brown in sight.

"I apologize for the delay," Dinah said as Leah approached. "Daniel's on his way. He's usually very dependable, but he had some problem. Something about leaving his coat at a rest stop." Dinah chuckled. "Men. But, we're so pleased that so many from your church have come out to hear Daniel, especially the young people."

"We didn't want them to miss hearing Daniel's story," Leah said. "How often do we have a real hero in our midst?"

"Exactly," Dinah agreed. "Oh, Leah, do you know my eldest son, Raymond?" When Leah nodded, Dinah went on. "Raymond's been trying to reach Daniel on his cell phone to see how soon he expects to arrive, but he hasn't had any luck. We thought he'd be here by now."

"I'm sure it's just the storm." Leah offered a quick smile.

It was raining hard outside, and the wind was rattling the shutters. Earlier, as they'd driven here from the farm, they'd been caught in a sudden flurry of thunder and lightning so fierce that Leah had wondered if she should turn back, but that had passed, leaving just a steady downpour. Fortunately, there was a long, open shed with a good roof behind the Grange where they could shelter the horses and buggies.

"Daniel's driving up from Richmond," Dinah explained, "and I understand that Virginia's had bad weather all day."

The side door opened, and everyone glanced up expectantly. "Evening, Daniel," Dinah said. "Maude." The couple took seats on the Mennonite side in the last row, and Dinah turned back to Leah. "That's Daniel Warner and his wife." She dropped her voice to a whisper. "They're always late."

"I'd hoped that was the speaker," Leah said.

Dinah laughed. "We seem to have a lot of Daniels in our community. It's a popular name among us. One of my sons is also a Daniel. Named after my father-in-law. My husband always teased that perhaps we should give them nicknames to keep the Daniels straight." Another gust of wind shook the windowpanes and she grimaced. "If we'd realized that it would be such a nasty evening, we could have postponed until tomorrow night."

"I see that there are pictures and other material up front." Leah pointed. "I was wondering if it would be all right if the young people looked at them while we're waiting." She chuckled. "You know how impatient youngsters can get. They've been looking forward to tonight for weeks."

"Absolutely," Dinah said. "And we have a refreshment table. There's no reason we shouldn't all enjoy lemonade and cookies while—"

Abruptly, the heavy door at the front of the building banged open and a blast of wind blew through the hall sending photos and maps flying. Leah turned to see a tall, slim man about twenty-five years old standing in the doorway. Water dripped off his jean jacket and the bill of his ball cap, pooling on the floor. A gust tore at the door, threatening to wrench it out of his grasp, but he held it open until ten-year-old Abraham Beachy ducked into the hall.

Abraham was even wetter than the man in the jean jacket and ball cap. The Amish boy's face was pale and he looked frightened. The man said something to him that Leah couldn't hear, but Abraham just shuffled his feet and stared at the floor.

The newcomer looked up and cleared his throat. "Could I have your attention, please!" He nodded to Abraham who shook his head. "Go ahead," he urged.

Everyone in their chairs who hadn't turned around to look when they made their entrance, turned now.

Abraham swallowed hard and a deep flush rose from his throat to tint his face. "…Need help," he squeaked. "…Joey."

Charley stood up and hurried toward Abraham. "What's wrong?" he demanded.

Abraham, an undersized lad, burst into tears. Leah left Dinah and Raymond and walked down the aisle toward the Beachy boy.

"Abraham's parents—Norman and Lydia Beachy—have asked for help," the stranger said, speaking for Abraham. "It seems one of their children—"

"Joey!" Abraham wailed. "We can't…can't find…


"Their six-year-old son has gone missing," the man explained calmly, turning his attention to the Amish side of the aisle. "The family has asked if your youth group can come to their farm and help with the search."

Miriam walked up to the stranger. "Of course," she said. "We'll all help."

Chairs scraped against the worn floorboards. Everyone in the hall, Amish and Mennonite alike, stood.

"We have to look for Joey," Abraham managed. "It's all my fault. I.I lost him."

"It'll be all right." Miriam put an arm around Abraham. She was short, but Abraham's head barely reached her chin.

"Lost him where?" Leah asked. She couldn't imagine a six-year-old out in this weather. It didn't make sense. Maybe he was hiding somewhere in the rambling Beachy farmhouse or in the barn or outbuildings. With fourteen children under the age of sixteen, it was easy for Lydia to lose track of one little boy. That didn't mean that Joey was really lost.

Herman Beachy, Abraham's brother, hurried up to him. "What do you mean you lost him?" Herman demanded. Their sister, Verna, covered her face with her hands and sank back into her chair.

"How did you find out about the missing boy, Daniel?" A Mennonite girl only a little younger than Leah joined them. "Daniel's my cousin," she whispered to Leah. "I'm Caroline Steiner. I think you know some of my Steiner cousins in Ohio. From Hope Mennonite Church?"

"Sophie and Jeanine." Leah nodded.

"Hey, Caroline." Daniel offered a worried smile. "It's good to see you. Abraham's father flagged me down at the end of his lane," he explained. "He knew that some of the young people from their church were here with their group leaders and asked if I could bring Abraham to ask for help looking for the boy."

"You can count on us," Charley said.

He and Miriam went back to their group and began to organize them. Leah knew that some of the children were too young to join in. The girls' parents, especially, would want them safely delivered home. Luckily, they'd come in four buggies. Rebecca could be trusted to drive Susanna and some of the others home; Miriam could manage the rest.

As for Leah, she had no intention of going home. She'd always had a particular fondness for freckle-faced Joey. She would offer to take Verna, Abraham and Herman back to the Beachy farm, and once she was there, no one would object to her joining the search.

As the Amish moved toward the doors, the newcomer strode past Leah and called out to the Mennonites. "Michael? Gilbert? Who'll come with me to find the boy?"

"I'd be glad to," a stout man answered. "I've got a flashlight in the truck, but there are a lot of woods and fields around here, and I'm not familiar with the area."

"So we'll form groups," Daniel said, checking his pockets. "Someone can ride with me, if they like…soon as I find my keys." He looked up, extracting keys from a jacket pocket. "We'll make certain that there's someone in each group who does know their way." There was a chorus of agreement as men and women raised their hands and offered to help.

Leah knotted her bonnet strings and waved at Caroline just before dashing out into the rain. It made her feel good that Caroline's cousin had urged the others to join in the search.

She couldn't help but think how attractive the new Daniel was. He had a serious but handsome face, and nice hands that were never still when he was talking, even after he'd found his keys. As he'd walked past her in the aisle, Leah had noticed that his eyes were clear green—he had beautiful eyes. She couldn't remember ever meeting anyone with eyes that green before.

After telling the children to wait for her at the door, Leah made a run for the buggy. With so many more volunteers, she was certain they'd find Joey quickly. As Mam often said, most people had good hearts and were willing to do the right thing, if someone would just point them in the right direction.

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Leah's Choice 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
MaureenST More than 1 year ago
This is a great feel good read. Yes there is some hard things that happen, but I love reading about Hannah Yoeder's Daughter's! This being Leah's story, but great visits with the rest of the family. Leah is going to meet a great Mennonite man named Daniel, and she is going to have to make some major life changing decisions. Of course her Grandmother, and Aunt Martha are back, and delightful Aunt Jezzy. You do not have to have read the other books in this series to read this one, although I highly recommend it. I received this book from the Publisher Harlequin Love Inspired through NetGalley, and was not required to give a positive review!
weatherlover1 More than 1 year ago
4.5 Stars! Leah is going along in her Amish life with no thoughts of ever leaving but once rainy night a Mennonite missionary starts to change all that. Daniel is a missionary in the USA waiting in his next mission field and while he is waiting he is going around to churches giving presentations. The night he gives the presentation to the group Leah is attending its pouring down rain and he walks in with a little Amish boy who's brother is missing. Daniel ends up helping in the search and is paired with Leah. These two soon realize that they care for each other but will the boundaries of their different faiths keep them from finding true love together? This is the 2nd book of this series I have read and the fourth book in the series and I enjoyed it a lot. What I liked: I really liked Leah and Daniel. I felt the story was believable and I was cheering for things to work out. This story also had a side story about spousal abuse and I felt that story line was well written as well. I also really liked the whole family and how some of the characters from the other books are in this one. What I did not like: The time frame that things happened was really short only a few weeks and that is always a drawback for me. Over all this was a great book and I really enjoyed it. I want to go back at some point and read the first two books to learn more about those sisters.
DanicaPage More than 1 year ago
One of my favorite Amish fiction novels of the year. Disclaimers: I received an e-galley of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion. My Overall Thoughts/Impressions: First off, this is the first book I've read by Emma Miller and I can assure you it won't be the last. This book was definitely one of my favorite Amish fiction novels of the year. This was in large part due to how much I adored the character Leah and Daniel. I also just loved the mix of Mennonite and Amish themes into this novel. I've read a lot of books about these two groups and I loved that they were mixed together in this novel. Leah was an intriguing character that I loved reading about. She was such a good person. She was nice, charitable, dutiful, respectful, and daring. She seemed to always be helping somebody else out and yet she was a realistic character that I could relate to. She had her doubts, but she kept pushing forward. Daniel was another character I really enjoyed reading about. He was so patient with Leah as she tried to figure out the ramifications of their relationship. He also had a peace and serenity. He was confident in his calling in life and his relationship with God. He was just a really good guy that I was rooting for from the very beginning. The Amish/Mennonite themes were nicely balanced with other themes. Miller did a good job of tying in issues of faith into a cute and inspiring love story that I absolutely adored. Once again the writing appeared to be fairly simple on the surface, but it was actually quite brilliant. Her writing drew me into the story from the very beginning. In Summary: Easily one of my favorite Amish fiction novels of the year. Emma Miller's writing drew me in from the very beginning. She weaved characters that I loved into an inspiring and entertaining read that I would definitely read again. Warnings/Side-notes: Nothing comes to mind. This one is clean. The Wrap-up: In case you didn't pick up on this already, I really enjoyed this novel. It is definitely one I'll consider buying. I'd reread this novel and I'm definitely interested in reading more from Emma Miller. I was hesitant to read Amish fiction at first, because I thought that I wouldn't be able to relate to this genre at all. I quickly found that I love this genre. Writers like Emma Miller do a great job at bridging the gap. Don't let the differences between Amish/Mennonite culture keep you from reading this genre. You might surprise yourself and actually like the genre. Love, Danica Page
rhonda1111RL More than 1 year ago
Review: Leah's Choice by Emma Miller 4 STARS Leah's Choice is a good, uplifting, fast read. Leah is Amish and her family has lived the plain and simple way. No phones, cars ect. Leah has not been baptised in her church even though her little sister at 16 did. The Menonites invited some of the Amish youth to hear a Daniel speak about his missionary experience and show powerpoint of the different folks and places he served. Before he could start a call for help went out a six year old boy was lost out in a stormy night. Leah was put in a group of three others Menonites who were not familar with the aera. Two of her party had to turn back because of injury. Leah was so close to another farm which the family was away for a few months. They found the missing 6 year old with a baby goat and mother goat in distress because the other twin goat could not delivered. Daniel was a nurse so he figured what was wrong and the other kid was born. It was when they had taken the boy home did Leah find out he was the quest speaker that she had really wanted to meet. Daniel kept asking Leah to help with different service projects and she liked helping outsiders. In her church they did service for thier members all the time but not others. Daniel knew that he wanted to marry Leah right away. He was also waiting for his next missionary assignment. Leah knew if she chose to marry Daniel she would have to leave the Amish church and some would shun her. Leah's mother had to make that same choice but in reverse she left the Menonites for her new husband and joined the Amish church. Her family shuned her. They sent her letters back and has not seen or heard from them since. This story is good but makes me realize that I need to do more service to others. I liked this story and would like to read more about their family. I was given this ebook to read in exchange of honest review by Netgalley. 04/17/2012 PUB Love Inspired
sunshineJB More than 1 year ago
Does Leah Follow Her Heart? I have enjoyed reading about Hannah Yoder’s Daughters.  This story is about Leah Yoder.  Author Emma Miller is a great teller of stories and I love reading her books. Leah has some decisions to make regarding her future and it involves someone outside the Amish faith.  After much prayer she still hasn’t the slightest idea of what she should do. I enjoyed reading updates of Hannah’s other daughters in this book too.  There is an incident that is pretty disturbing.  A lot of people think Amish are above everyone else and that they don’t have the same issues and problems that we do.   It just goes to show that none of us are perfect. Another clean God centered book.  I loved it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ur both pretty
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sabrin go to res 7 we can chat peivately
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Slow at first but another good book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Leah's Choice was a different kind of an Amish story. Leah Yoder meets a Mennonite missionary and falls in love with him. He is about to be sent on a new mission far away, and Leah must decide whether she wants to follow Daniel and join his faith or remain with her beloved family and Amish community. The story held my attention from the first chapter, and althought I thought Leah would choose Daniel, I didn't know until the end of the book. Another great read from Ms Miller. A reader
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Was not as good as her other books, but ok. Well check out other of her books in future.
coramdeo540 More than 1 year ago
Leah’s Choice Emma Miller Book Summary: Falling for an Englisher. With dreams of marrying an Old Order Amish man, Leah Yoder plans on raising children in the peaceful Delaware community. But when Mennonite missionary Daniel Brown arrives to share his story with their church, Leah is fascinated by him. She spends time with Daniel in a forbidden courtship to learn how she truly feels about him. Before long, Leah has a choice to make. Should she stay with her community...or leave with the man she believes God has placed in her life’s path? Hannah’s Daughters: Seeking love, family and faith in Amish country. Review: I enjoyed the theme explored in the plot and the subplot. It was an interesting subplot for me more at times than the plot. I guessed the outcome of the subplot and was torn between belief and disbelief in its credibility. I believed the author made a credible attempt to tie all the loose ends together and the grief of the people surrounding it was believable. The main plot had a great struggle that occurred realistically throughout the book. The main point I found most challenging to accept was that Leah had a choice. I understand she is to willingly join the Amish Church, but the pressure that was placed on her must have been tremendous and that was the only soft part of the story. The tension between the two groups was a significant part of the plot and was well done. Overall I did enjoy this book and the series was enjoyable. I would like to thank Net Galley and Harlequin Love Inspired for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and I was never asked to write a favorable review by anyone.
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Kelly49 More than 1 year ago
So far I have like all of Emma Miller's books, I love reading about these gentel people