A New York Times Bestseller!Welcome back to Kentucky in Book 3 of bestselling Author Wanda E. Brunstetter’s Kentucky Brothers series. Timothy Fisher’s decision to move his family from their home in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, isn’t a happy one for his wife, Hannah. Everything she knows is in Lancaster County—her mother—her home—her friends. But what choice does Hannah have? Realizing that her place is with her husband and young daughter, she reluctantly goes but finds her new life a hard adjustment. Nothing Timothy does pleases Hannah, and his best-laid plans are beginning to crumble before him. Then a tragic accident occurs, further driving a rift in their strained relationship. Hannah is inconsolable and blames Timothy. Between the stress of his job, dealing with his wife’s hostility, and feeling the burden of guilt, Timothy can barely cope. Hannah’s resentment drives her back to Pennsylvania, where she hopes to find peace and healing for her troubled soul. Timothy turns to his pillar of strength and pleads with God to restore his marriage. Amid the ashes of grief and struggle, will renewed love, faith, and hope emerge? The Kentucky Brothers Series: Book 1: The Journey Book 2: The Healing Book 3: The Struggle
About the Author
New York Times bestselling and award-winning author Wanda E. Brunstetter is one of the founders of the Amish fiction genre. She has written close to 90 books translated in four languages. With over 10 million copies sold, Wanda's stories consistently earn spots on the nation's most prestigious bestseller lists and have received numerous awards. Wanda’s ancestors were part of the Anabaptist faith, and her novels are based on personal research intended to accurately portray the Amish way of life. Her books are well-read and trusted by many Amish, who credit her for giving readers a deeper understanding of the people and their customs. When Wanda visits her Amish friends, she finds herself drawn to their peaceful lifestyle, sincerity, and close family ties. Wanda enjoys photography, ventriloquism, gardening, bird-watching, beachcombing, and spending time with her family. She and her husband, Richard, have been blessed with two grown children, six grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. To learn more about Wanda, visit her website at www.wandabrunstetter.com.
Read an Excerpt
Timothy Fisher approached his parents' home with a feeling of dread. Good-byes never came easy, and knowing Mom disapproved of his decision to move to Kentucky made this good-bye even harder.
He stepped onto his parents' porch and turned, trying to memorize the scene before him. He liked the rolling hills and rich, fertile land here in Pennsylvania. As much as he hated to admit it, he did have a few misgivings about this move. He would miss working with Dad in the fields. And just thinking about the aroma of Mom's sticky buns made his mouth water. But it was time for a change, and Christian County, Kentucky, seemed like the place to go. After all, his twin brother, Titus, and half brother Samuel were doing quite well in Kentucky. He just hoped things would work out for him too.
Shrugging his thoughts aside, Timothy opened the back door and stepped inside. Mom and Dad were sitting at the kitchen table, drinking coffee and eating sticky buns.
"Guder Mariye," he said with a smile, trying to ignore his throbbing headache.
"Mornin'." Dad motioned to the coffeepot on the stove. "Help yourself to a cup of coffee. Oh, and don't forget some of these," he added, pushing the plate of sticky buns to the end of the table.
"I'll get the coffee for you." Mom started to rise from her seat, but Timothy shook his head.
"I can get the coffee, Mom, but I can't stay long because I have some last-minute packing to do. Just wanted to see if there's anything either of you needs me to do before I leave."
Tears welled in Mom's brown eyes. "Oh Timothy, I really wish you weren't going. Isn't there anything we can do to make you stay?"
Timothy poured himself a cup of coffee and took a seat at the table. "I've made up my mind about this, Mom. Samuel's gotten really busy working for Allen Walters, and he's finding a lot of paint jobs on his own, so he has enough work to hire me."
"But you had work right here, helping your daed and painting for Zach."
"I realize that, but Dad's already hired someone else to work the fields, and Zach has other people working for him." Timothy blew on his coffee and took a sip. "Besides, I'm not moving to Kentucky because I need a job. I'm moving to save my marriage."
"Save your marriage?" Mom's eyebrows furrowed. "If you ask me, taking Hannah away from her mamm is more likely to ruin your marriage than save it! Hannah and Sally are very close, and Hannah's bound to resent you for separating them."
"Calm down, Fannie." Dad's thick gray eyebrows pulled together as he placed his hand on Mom's arm. "You're gettin' yourself all worked up, and it's not good for your health."
Her face flamed. "There's nothing wrong with my health, Abraham."
"Jah, well you may be healthy right now, but with you gettin' so riled about Timothy moving, your blood pressure's likely to go up." He gave her arm a little pat. "Besides, if he thinks it's best for them to move to Kentucky, then we should accept that and give him our blessing."
Mom's chin quivered. "B–but we've already lost two sons to Kentucky, and if Timothy goes too, you never can tell who might be next. At the rate things are going, our whole family will be living in Kentucky, and we'll be here all alone."
Timothy's gaze went to the ceiling. "You're exaggerating, Mom. No one else has even mentioned moving to Kentucky."
"That's right," Dad agreed. "They're all involved in their businesses, most have their own homes, and everyone seems pretty well settled right here."
"I thought Titus and Samuel were settled too, but they ran off to Kentucky, and now they've talked Timothy into moving." Mom sniffed, and Timothy knew she was struggling not to cry.
"They didn't talk me into moving," Timothy said, rubbing his forehead. "I made the decision myself because I'm sick of Hannah clinging to her mamm and ignoring me." He huffed. "I'm hoping things will be better between us once we get moved and settled into a place of our own. Hannah will need a bit of time to adjust of course, but once she does, I'm sure she'll see that the move was a good thing." He smiled at Mom, hoping to reassure her. "After we get a place of our own, you and Dad can come visit us. Please, Mom, it would mean a lot to know you understand my need to do this."
Mom sighed. "If you're determined to go, I guess I can't stop you, but I don't have to like it."
Timothy smiled when Dad gave him a wink. Mom would eventually come to grips with the move — especially when she saw how much happier he and Hannah would be. He just hoped Hannah would see that too.
* * *
Hannah stood at the kitchen sink, hands shaking and eyes brimming with tears. She could hardly believe her husband was making them move to Kentucky. She couldn't stand the thought of leaving her family — especially Mom. Hannah and her mother had always been close, but Timothy was jealous of the time they spent together. He wanted her all to himself — that's why he'd decided they should move to Kentucky. She wished she could convince Timothy to change his mind, but he wouldn't budge.
She sniffed and swiped at the tears running down her cheeks. "It's not fair! I shouldn't be forced to move from my home that I love to a place I'm sure I will hate! I can't believe my own husband is putting me through this!"
Hannah jumped when the back door banged shut. She grabbed a dish towel and quickly dried her tears. If it was Timothy, she couldn't let him know she'd been crying. It would only cause another disagreement like the one they'd had earlier this morning, and they sure didn't need any more of those. Timothy didn't like it when she cried and had often accused her of using her tears to get what she wanted.
When Hannah was sure all traces of tears were gone, she turned and was surprised to see her mother standing near the kitchen table. Hannah breathed a sigh of relief. "Oh Mom, it's you. I'm so glad it's not Timothy."
"Are you okay? Your eyes look red and puffy." Mom's pale blue eyes revealed the depth of her concern.
Hannah swallowed a couple of times, unsure of her voice. "I ... I don't want to move. Just the thought of it makes me feel ill. I want to stay right here in Lancaster County."
Mom stepped up to Hannah and gathered her into her arms. "I wish you didn't have to move either, but Timothy's your husband, which means your place is with him." She gently patted Hannah's back. "Your daed and I will miss you, but we'll come to visit as soon as you get settled in."
"But that probably won't be for some time." Hannah nearly choked on the sob rising in her throat. "We'll be staying with Timothy's brother Samuel until we get a place of our own, and I–I'm not sure how that's going to work out."
"I understand your concerns. From what you've told me, Samuel has a lot on his hands, having four kinner to raise and all. He'll no doubt appreciate your help."
Hannah stiffened. "Do you think Samuel will expect me to watch the children while he's at work?"
"Maybe. It would mean he wouldn't have to pay anyone else to watch them — unless, of course, he decides to pay you."
"It's my understanding that Esther Beiler's been watching them, but I suppose that could change with me living there."
Mom pulled out a chair at the table and took a seat. "You'll just have to wait and see, but hopefully it'll all work out."
Hannah wasn't sure about that. She hadn't planned on taking care of four more children. "Moving to a strange place and being around people she isn't used to seeing will be difficult for Mindy. My little girl is going to need my attention more than ever."
"That's true. It will be an adjustment. But Mindy's young, and I'm sure she'll quickly adapt to her new surroundings," Mom said.
Hannah sighed. She didn't think anything about their move to Kentucky would work, and to be honest, she hoped it wouldn't, because if things went badly, Timothy might see the light and move back to Pennsylvania where they belonged.
Hannah shifted on the seat, trying to find a comfortable position. After tearful good-byes to their families last night, she, Timothy, and Mindy had left home at four this morning and spent the last ten hours on the road. The few hours of sleep Hannah had managed to get while riding in Charles Thomas's van had done little to relieve her fatigue and nothing to soften the pain of leaving Pennsylvania.
Why couldn't Timothy understand the closeness she and Mom felt? Didn't he care about anyone's needs but his own? When they'd first gotten married, he'd said he loved her and wanted to spend the rest of his life making her happy. Apparently he'd lied about that. Maybe he'd told her what she wanted to hear so she would agree to marry him. He probably only wanted a wife to cook, clean, and give him children, because he sure didn't seem to care about her wants or needs — or for that matter, what was important to her. Hannah's inner voice told her this wasn't true, but somehow it just felt better to think so.
She glanced at her precious daughter sleeping peacefully in the car seat beside her. Mindy resembled Hannah's mother in some ways. She had the same blond hair and pale blue eyes, but she had her daddy's nose and her mama's mouth. If they had more children, Hannah wondered what they would look like. Oh, how she wished for another baby. A little brother or sister for Mindy would be so nice. She thought about the miscarriage she'd had last year and wished once more that the baby had lived.
Seems like I never get what I want, Hannah thought bitterly. Makes me wonder why I even bother to pray.
Hannah's inner voice told her again that she shouldn't feel this way. Looking at Mindy, she knew how blessed she was to have such a special little girl.
She glanced toward the front of the van where Timothy sat talking to their driver. It made her feel sick to hear the excitement in Timothy's voice as he told Charles about the phone call he'd had with his twin brother, Titus, last night. Titus was married to Suzanne now, and Samuel and Esther would probably be married soon as well. Both Samuel and Titus were happy living in Kentucky, but Hannah was certain she would never be happy there.
Hannah leaned her head against the window and closed her eyes as the need for sleep overtook her. She wished she could wake up and discover that this was all just a bad dream and find herself home in her own bed. But of course, that was just wishful thinking. At least for now, sleep was her only means to escape the dread that kept mounting the closer they got to their destination.
* * *
Timothy glanced at the backseat and was pleased to see that his wife and daughter were both sound asleep. They'd pushed hard all day, only stopping to get gas, eat, and take bathroom breaks. If all went well, they should be in Pembroke by this evening.
A sense of excitement welled in Timothy's soul. It would be good to see his brothers again, and he could hardly wait to start a new life in Kentucky, where he'd been told that land was cheaper and more abundant. Since their house in Pennsylvania had already sold, he had the money to begin building a home. The problem would be finding the time to build it, since he'd only be able to work on it when he wasn't painting with Samuel. Of course, it might be better if he could find a home that had already been built — maybe a place that needed some work and he could fix up in his spare time. Well, he'd decide about that once he'd had a chance to look around.
"How are you holding up?" Charles asked, running his fingers through his slightly thinning gray hair, while glancing over at Timothy. "Do you need to take a break?"
"Naw, I'm fine. Just anxious to get there is all."
Charles nodded. "I'm sure. It's been a long day, but we're making good time. According to my GPS, we should be in Pembroke by six-thirty or so, barring anything unforeseen."
"That sounds good. If I can borrow your cell phone, I'll call and leave a message for Samuel so he knows what time to expect us."
"Sure, no problem." Charles handed Timothy his phone.
Timothy dialed Samuel's number and was surprised when a young boy answered the phone. He hadn't expected anyone to be in the phone shanty.
"Hello. Who's this?" he asked.
"It's Leon. Who's this, and who are ya callin' for?"
"It's your uncle Timothy, and I'm calling to let your daed know that we're in Kentucky and should be at your place around six-thirty."
"Oh, good. Should I tell Esther to have supper ready then?"
"Is Esther there now?"
"Jah. Daadi's still at work, and Esther's here with me, Marla, Penny, and Jared."
"Okay, will you let your daed know when he gets home from work what time to expect us? Oh, and if Esther doesn't mind holding supper till we get there, we'd surely appreciate it. It'll save us some time if we don't have to stop and eat somewhere."
"Sure, no problem. I'll tell 'em both what you said."
"Danki, Leon. See you soon." Timothy hung up and put the phone back in the tray. "I think Esther will have supper waiting for us when we get there," he said to Charles. "So we shouldn't have to stop again except if you need gas or someone needs a bathroom break."
"Sounds good. Nothing like a good home-cooked meal to look forward to. Would you mind letting the other drivers know?"
"Don't mind a'tall." Timothy called each of their drivers, who were transporting his family's belongings, then settled back and closed his eyes. If he slept awhile, the time would pass more quickly.
Just think, he told himself, in a few more hours, I'll be sitting in my brother's kitchen, sharing a meal and catching up on all his news. Sure hope I get to see Titus and Suzanne this evening too. I can't wait to find out how they're doing.
We're here, Hannah! Better wake Mindy up so we can greet Samuel and his family."
Hannah's eyes snapped open, and she bolted upright in her seat. The moment she'd been dreading was finally here. She could see by his expression that Timothy was excited. Too bad she didn't share his enthusiasm.
Hannah fiddled with her head covering to be sure it was on straight then gently nudged her rosy-cheeked daughter's arm. "Wake up, Mindy," she said softly, so as not to frighten the child. Ever since Mindy had been a baby, she'd been a hard sleeper, and if she was awakened too abruptly, she either cried or became grumpy. It was better if she was allowed the freedom to wake up on her own, but right now that wasn't possible.
"Let's get out and stretch our legs before we go inside." Timothy had the van door open before Hannah could even unbuckle the seat belt holding Mindy in her car seat. They'd no more than stepped out of the van when Samuel rushed out the door to greet them. "It's mighty good to see you, brother!" he said, giving Timothy a big bear hug.
"It's good to see you too." Timothy's smile stretched ear to ear as he pounded Samuel's back.
"It's nice to see you as well," Samuel said, turning to Hannah and giving her a quick hug. "How was your trip?"
"It was long, and I'm stiff and tired." Hannah knew her voice sounded strained, and probably a bit testy, but she couldn't help it. She didn't want to be here, and there was no point in pretending she did. Life was perfect back home in Pennsylvania — at least, she thought so.
Samuel nodded with a look of understanding. "I remember how tired the kinner and I felt when we got here last year." He smiled at Mindy and reached his hand out to her, but she quickly hid behind Hannah.
"She's a little shy — especially since she hasn't seen you in a while," Timothy said. "I think she just needs some time to get reacquainted."
Woof! Woof! A black lab bounded out of the barn and headed straight for Mindy. When Mindy screamed, Timothy quickly scooped her into his arms.
"Sorry about that." Samuel grabbed the dog's collar. "Lucky gets excited when he sees someone new to play with," he said.
Hannah frowned. "Mindy's too little to play with a dog that big. She's obviously afraid of it."
"I'll put the dog away. Come on, boy." Samuel led the dog back to the barn.
I don't think our daughter wants to be here any more than I do, Hannah thought. Why can't you see that, Timothy? Why couldn't we have stayed in Pennsylvania? How can you expect Mindy or me to like it here? I'll never consider Kentucky my home.
Samuel had just returned from the barn when his four children rushed out of the house, followed by a pretty, young Amish woman with dark hair and milk-chocolate-brown eyes.
Excerpted from "The Struggle"
Copyright © 2012 Wanda E. Brunstetter.
Excerpted by permission of Barbour Publishing, Inc.
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
The Struggle With Forgiveness! I love Wanda's books and especially I have loved her Kentucky Brother series. The Struggle did not disappoint me. I picked up this book yesterday to read and finished it early this evening. I read it every chance that I got. My interest was captured from page one. Timothy Fisher plans to move his family to Pembroke Kentucky to get his wife Hannah away from depending on her Mother so much. Hannah has been spending too much time with her Mother instead of being a wife to him. Timothy has two brothers already living in Pembroke, his twin brother Titus and brother Samuel. Samuel has already said that Timothy's family could stay with him until they can either build or buy a place of their own. Hannah Fisher is not happy with Timothy for forcing her to move to Kentucky. She doesn't want to leave her home and her parents in Paradise Pennsylvania. She vows to never like Kentucky and is bitter toward Timothy for making her move there. Hannah ends up being bitter about a lot of things. Can Hannah ever forgive Timothy for uprooting her from Pennsylvania to move to Kentucky? Can she ever forgive him for the horrible accident that happens in their family? This is a wonderful story about family relationships, learning to forgive one another and putting your faith and trust in God. Thank you Wanda Brunstetter for a wonderful story. This is definitely a five star book. I hope you all will get a chance to read this book.
Love to read Wanda Brunstetter books, haven't read one that I did not like.....
The Struggle, so aptly named as the last in the "Kentucky Brothers" series. Mishaps, relocations, accidents are a part of living in the world and the author of this series shows how just because they occur, doesn't mean God can't bring good out of them. Wonderful series – I would recommend getting all three at the same time because you aren't going to want to wait in between.
I have now read all of the Kentucky Brothers series and I have truly enjoyed them
Reviewed by Amie Lou Book provided by the publisher for review Review originally posted at Romancing the Book I love Amish fiction. I love the mannerisms, the simplicity of life, and the values that are represented by this culture. The Struggle is a wonderful depiction of such a life. Fisher makes the tough decision to move his family (wife, Hannah, and daughter, Mindy) to Kentucky against his wife’s wishes. But Timothy feels that the move will be the best thing for his marriage. His wife clings to her mother. Their relationship is putting a strain on Timothy and Hannah’s marriage, and Timothy is eager to join his two brothers who already live in the Blue Grass State. But Hannah is unhappy in Kentucky and doesn’t seem to care who knows it. Without spoilers, the move does not help their marriage and could even be said to make it worse. Aside from the main story between Timothy and Hannah, there is also the relationship between Esther and Timothy’s brother, Samuel, and their boss, Allen, and the B&B owner, Bonnie. Three great stories in one book, along with a great mix of Amish and English living close and sharing in the joys and traditions of each culture equals a great read. All in all, The Struggle is a fabulous book about forgiveness and hope, God’s blessings and His mysterious ways, as well as second chances for them all.
If you have read the Kentucky Brothers one and two you will want to read this book.
I enjoy the author Wanda Brunsetter. This book is delightful to read and always has you anticipating what the next page will bring. I like the Amish stories and experiences that she brings to her stories.
This was a great book to read along with 1& 2 I enjoy reading Wanda Brunstetters books Great author
Timothy is sure moving to Kentucky to live near his brothers will help his marriage because Hannah is too close to her mother. Hannah is sure she can not survive in Kentucky, but goes because that is what an Amish wife does. Both will be tested to make this move work as well as making their marriage work.
Wanda Brunstetter and her relations with the Amish coomunity, give credance to her books. Timothy takes his wife, Hannah and daughter Mindi to Kentucky. This move was ncessary to try a lengthen the bond between mother and daughter, so his wife could be more attentive to him. Hannah does not adjust well to the move. She further isolates herself and daughter, from the family and friends there. An accident occurs, and she blames Timothy, and runs home to her mother. The real workings of forgiveness and love in a marriage comes out. Great reading.
"Whatever your simple pleasures may be, enjoy them and share them with someone else. We sometimes take for granted the everyday things that give us a sense of joy and well-being. These simple things are often forgotten when problems occur in our lives." This is the moral of the novel, The Struggle by Wanda Brunstetter which is the third book in the Kentucky Brothers Series. This time it's Timothy Fisher who feels compelled to leave his childhood home in Paradise, Pennsylvania to move to Christian County, Kentucky and follow in his brothers footsteps who have gone before him. First his twin brother Titus and then his half-brother Samuel left to find cheaper land and more of it than is available in Pennsylvania, but it's not the reason for Timothy. He's hoping that by moving to Kentucky, he can separate Hannah, his wife from her mother. Since they have been married, Timothy feels as though his marriage has been in jeopardy just because Hannah hasn't taken on the responsibilities he feels a wife should. She spends more time with her mother than with him and he's hoping a change in location might help. Only Hannah isn't going to make it easy on him. She isn't the slightest bit willing to make this move and being an only child, her and her mother share a very close bond. She understands that she needs to be there for her husband but doesn't feel that moving them is the answer. Not only that but their only daughter, Mindy will also have to find new friends. So Hannah resolves to dig herself in and find ways to show Timothy that Kentucky isn't going to make her any happier and is crossing her fingers it will only be a matter of time before she's home again with her parents. Since they are moving there in hopes of finding a home, they will have to live with Samuel and his children. Timothy is hoping that Hannah can find some friends through the women in his brothers lives, starting with Esther who Samuel is courting and is taking care of his home and children during the day while he works and in the evening hours, works part time at a Bed and Breakfast owned by an English women named Bonnie. Hannah feels that since she is staying there, she should assume the responsibilities of caring for the children and the upkeep of the house, but all it does is isolate her further from not only Samuel and Timothy but from Esther and the other women as well. I received The Struggle by Wanda Brunstetter compliments of Barbour Publishing and Net Galley for my honest review and really enjoyed this Amish novel. In it we see that the more tightly we attempt to hold on to things and refuse to trust God, the harder it will be to deal with things when they are suddenly taken away. In this one, each set of characters is challenged with their own personal struggles, Timothy and Hannah are at odds in not only how to put their marriage back together but also how to deal with raising a family; Bonnie and her soon to be husband Allen, are dealing with some secrets from Bonnie's past that make wreck the opportunity to be married before she can accept his proposal and an unexpected English visitor to the B & B on Christmas Eve, throws a wrench into some Christmas plans with her own past. In it all we can see the consequences of what happens when we fail to trust God and instead try to handle things ourselves. Sometimes it has tragic circumstances and often times it can simply be a matter of working things out by letting go, and letting God heal our past wounds, yet the message is simple, as believers we are never far from some kind of struggle and watching each of these characters deal with them, shows us that the best answer is faith in God, not matter how difficult it may be. I easily rate this one a 5 out of 5 stars! If you love Amish Fiction, then you definitely want to pick this one up!
Loved all 3 books!!!!! I read this last one in 2 days and was sorry that the series ended!
Once again Wanda E. Brunstertter has come across with another book in the series "Kentucky Brothers". I was so happy to receive this one from Wanda and Barbour Publishing, now I can continue with the saga of the Fisher family. Hannah Fisher hates that she has had to move away from his home town and her family and move to Kentucky. But as the Amish believe she had to go where her husband wants to go. Alone with the accident of their little daughter Mindy, there was so much guilt. Now they are having trouble with their marriage as Hannah is so unhappy. Timothy Fisher is also having a lot of trouble with trying to make his wife happy and his work he really does not know what to do. As Hannah goes back home to Pennsylvania and to her parents' everywhere she looks there is a reminder of what she had lost. As the time passed and she found out she was expecting a baby she knew that she had to go back to where she belonged and to her husband. Can she forget and forgive as she continues her life. Will Timothy and Hannah listen to God and settle their differences or will they remain apart? I love to read these books in a series because once I start to read about a family I just want it to continue. As always Wanda knows how to make you feel me through I am in that family my-self and I just don't want to put it down until the last page, then I look and think couldn't there be at least one more page? I love the receipes that are always in these books. I have tried a few and some of them are just like this old southern woman has always made for her family.