Her fingertips brushed against something else in the box of doilies. She lifted a bundle of letters, neatly tied with a thin red ribbon . . .
Ivy Yoder hasn’t heard from John King in over a year. She knows it’s time to let go of the idea that they will one day marry, but she’s humiliated to be one of the oldest single women in her Amish community of Birch Creek. When quirky Cevilla Schlabach asks her to help clean out an attic, Ivy is grateful for the distraction.
Noah Schlabach isn’t from Birch Creek, or even Ohio. His job as an auctioneer takes him around the country and away from a typical Amish life, but he still remains devoted to his family. So when his aging aunt asks him to help clean out her attic, he agrees. Plus, who knows what curious items he might find up there?
As Noah and Ivy work side by side, they come across a different kind of treasure: a packet of letters written during the Korean War. Soon they are swept up in the story of two young people falling in love—even as they remain determined not to fall in love themselves.
Words from the Heart is a moving story of lost love letters, fragile fears, and the beauty of taking another step forward.
About the Author
With over a million copies sold, Kathleen Fuller is the author of several bestselling novels, including the Hearts of Middlefield novels, the Middlefield Family novels, the Amish of Birch Creek series, and the Amish Letters series as well as a middle-grade Amish series, the Mysteries of Middlefield. Visit her online at KathleenFuller.com; Instagram: kfstoryteller; Facebook: WriterKathleenFuller; Twitter: @TheKatJam.
Read an Excerpt
December (one year later)
Ivy Yoder stood on tiptoes as she reached for the dark-green dress she'd chosen to wear today. She had a stepstool in her room, but most of the time she didn't bother to use it. At four feet eleven, she was used to having to reach for things. Once she was dressed, her hair tucked neatly into a stiff white kapp and warm stockings covering her legs and feet, she grabbed her purse and then went downstairs to help her mother with breakfast.
"Gute morgen," Mamm said, scrambling what Ivy knew had to be a dozen eggs in a large cast iron skillet. She adjusted the gas burner underneath.
"Morning." Ivy set her purse on the kitchen counter near the mudroom and then started setting the table. Her father and three brothers were feeding the animals and milking their two dairy cows, and as usual they would be hungry for a big meal when they finished. Her brothers were all strapping boys who burned a lot of calories working on the family farm. After several lean years, the farm was a success. They had plenty of food, not only for themselves, but to share with other families as well. None of them took for granted the bounty they were experiencing after so many years of struggle.
Ivy quickly finished with the table, and then she started cutting a fresh loaf of bread into thick slices.
Ivy looked at her mother, not liking the expression on her face. Mary Yoder was usually a happy-go-lucky woman, optimistic even in the worst of times. But occasionally she made that face, her eyes looking at Ivy with a mix of worry and confusion. "Ya," Ivy said, placing the bread slices on a plate and carrying it to the table. "Why?"
"Today's yer last day at the Millers'. I know you've enjoyed working for them."
Ivy nodded. She'd been working part-time at Miller's Bookbinding over the past couple of years. Her younger sister, Karen, had also worked there before she married a little over a year ago. Now David Miller had told Ivy he and his wife were closing their business and moving back to Holmes County, where they were from originally. "I'll miss them a lot, but they're happy to be moving closer to their extended familye."
"That seems to be a trend around here." Mamm slid the scrambled eggs onto a large platter and handed it to Ivy. "The older people here when Emmanuel Troyer started the settlement are moving away." She smiled. "Meanwhile, our community is filling up with yung folks."
Ivy returned her mother's smile with a halfhearted one of her own. Yes, there were plenty of younger residents in Birch Creek now. Unfortunately, most of them were children, teenagers, or men who came to marry women in the community. Over the past three years, since Emmanuel Troyer left under a scandalous cloud and her father became the new bishop, a lot of changes had been made. But one thing remained the same. Ivy Yoder, at nearly twenty-six, was still unmarried — and had zero prospects.
Well, there'd been one. She thought about the letter from John still in her nightstand. The one and only letter she'd received from him, even though he'd promised to write to her every day. She hadn't been foolish enough to hold him to that specific promise, but she had expected him to write. At the very least to respond to her letters. Instead, she hadn't heard from him in over a year.
"Ivy? Are you sure you're all right? You seem a little preoccupied."
"I'm okay." And she was, except when she thought about John. Or her single status. Two things she preferred not to dwell on.
Mamm opened her mouth, but then she closed it — another sign that her mother was concerned. Mamm rarely failed to speak her mind.
Ivy knew she should let the matter drop, but after a few seconds and against her better judgment, she said, "What?"
"It's just ..." Mamm swirled soapy water around her spatula in the sink. "I wondered if maybe you were having some trouble adjusting to Karen not being here."
"Karen moved out months ago. Besides," she said, shoving one of the kitchen chairs farther under the table, "there's nix to adjust to."
"But we've never really talked about ..." Mamm sighed, dried her hands, and walked over to her. "I just want to make sure you're okay. And if you want to talk about anything, I'm here for you."
Ivy nodded, touched that her mother, even in her uncertainty, wanted to be sure Ivy was all right. But a small part of her knew if she had a boyfriend or even the prospect of a husband and a future, her mother probably wouldn't be worrying so much. Maybe not at all. Still, she appreciated her offer. "Danki," she said. "That's gut to know."
Her father and brothers entered the kitchen, and after they took turns washing their hands, everyone sat down at the table.
When they'd finished eating breakfast, Ivy cleared the table and started filling the sink with fresh water.
"I'll do the dishes," Mamm said, turning off the tap. "You geh on to work."
"Are you sure?"
"Ya." She wiped her hands on her apron. "Are you still planning to geh to Phoebe's after work?"
Ivy nodded. Phoebe Chupp had invited her and Karen over to make Christmas cards. Many Birch Creek residents sent homemade cards this time of year. Ivy's best friend, Leanna, who was also Phoebe's sister-in-law, was coming as well. Ivy was looking forward to spending time with her friends, even if she sometimes felt like an outsider because they were all married. And, in Phoebe's case, had two children.
"Do you want to join us, Mamm?"
She shook her head. "I've got plenty to do here. You have fun."
"I will." She went to the mudroom and put her navy-blue scarf around her neck, noticing the small hole at one end. She kept putting off darning it. Sewing wasn't her favorite activity. But she needed to tend to it before the hole grew bigger and ruined the whole scarf. She slipped on her coat and boots before making her way outside.
As she headed to the barn, she wrapped the scarf more tightly around her neck. It was a crisp morning, and she looked up at the rising sun as it peeked out from behind puffy white clouds. Tucking her chin deeper into her scarf, she entered the barn, nodded at her sixteen-year-old brother, Ira, who was cleaning out the stalls, and hitched up the buggy.
By the time she reached the Millers', the sun had fully risen and the clouds had disappeared. She parked the buggy, unhitched the horse, led him to the fenced-in pasture behind the barn, and then went inside the small, modest Amish home.
The Millers had been in the bookbinding business for almost thirty years, bringing it to Birch Creek when they moved here ten years ago. She found it hard to believe this was her last day working for the kind couple. She'd miss them, but not necessarily the work. She found it tedious, especially the book repair orders that occasionally came in. David worked on the most valuable and delicate repairs, but Ivy had learned how to replace and repair pages in books that had more sentimental value than monetary value.
In the Millers' mudroom, she removed her boots and hung up her scarf and coat before going to the back room where the Millers had set up their workshop. When she walked in, David was hunched over his desk, the scent of glue, old books, and fresh paper hanging in the air.
"Gute morgen," Magdalena Miller said from her usual position at a large table in the center of the room. She was packing spiral-bound cookbooks into a small box. She paused, her lips forming a slight smile, deepening the wrinkles at the corners of her mouth. "I have something for you."
"For me?" She watched in surprise as Magdalena turned, picked up a large hardcover book, and walked toward Ivy.
"For you." Magdalena handed the book to her.
Ivy's surprise grew as she ran her hand over the beautiful linen cover. "What is this?"
"Open it and see."
She did, and what she saw nearly brought tears to her eyes.
She'd worked on a genealogy project for her father for the last three years — another tedious job, but one she found more interesting as she delved into the histories of her family and others in Birch Creek. She'd brought it in last week to be bound, but she'd been expecting a simple, plastic spiral binding with a soft cover. "It's beautiful," she said as she turned the high-quality pages.
"Our gift to you, for doing such wonderful work." David joined his wife at her side.
"I wasn't expecting anything so lovely." Ivy closed the book and hugged it to her chest. "Danki. Daed will really like this."
"You put a lot of hard work into that project. It deserved a special binding." Magdalena smiled. "We're going to miss you and all of Birch Creek. But the time has come for us to retire and move closer to familye."
David removed his glasses and wiped the lenses with a handkerchief. "The business isn't what it used to be, with so many people now using those fancy e-readers." He put his glasses back on and pushed them onto his high-bridged nose.
"But we've made a gut living doing what we love and for that we're blessed." Magdalena took a deep breath. "Now, let's get to work. We still have plenty to do today."
Ivy set the book aside and started packing up the last shipments of books from Miller's Bookbinding. She also spent a few hours helping Magdalena pack up the workshop. "Don't worry about the rest," she said when Ivy's usual quitting time had come. "We'll finish it ourselves."
"Are you sure you don't need any help?"
"Nee, our sohn and his familye are coming tomorrow to help us." Magdalena looked around the workshop. "We'll have everything ready to geh by Saturday."
Ivy hugged her now former employer. "Danki for the opportunity to work here."
Magdalena hugged her back, and after Ivy said good-bye to her and David, she headed to Phoebe's. Phoebe and Jalon Chupp didn't live too far from the Millers, but the drive still gave Ivy some time to think. She'd been trying to find a new job ever since she learned the Millers were closing their business and moving away, but she hadn't had much luck. Either the jobs were temporary or she couldn't work the hours they required. Tomorrow she would have to step up her efforts. She didn't want to be without a job for very long.
But this evening she was spending time with friends. She pulled into the Chupps' driveway and mused about how much had changed in such a short time.
A little over two years ago, this residence had been a small, not-so-successful farm where Jalon and Leanna lived alone after their parents moved back to their hometown in Mesopotamia. Now there was an addition on the house, and Phoebe's family, the Bontragers, had built a house on the property next door. The modest dawdi haus behind Jalon and Phoebe's home was now a large house, where Karen and her husband, Adam, lived. Since Adam's legs had been paralyzed in an accident when he was twelve, the house was equipped to accommodate his wheelchair. Leanna and Roman now lived in a new house near his brother, Daniel, and his wife, Barbara.
Ivy parked the buggy and got out. A large Maine coon cat trotted toward her on the fresh snow. As he curled around her legs, she bent down and patted his head. "Hey, Blue. Where's yer shadow?"
"Right here." A seven-year-old boy with pale-blond hair and striking blue eyes scampered to them. "Aenti Leanna and Karen are already here helping Mamm with supper."
"I better hurry inside and give them a hand."
Malachi picked up Blue. "See you later," he said, waving as he walked away, the huge cat snuggled in his arms.
After caring for her horse, Ivy went to the back door and knocked, but instead of waiting for an answer, she walked inside and kicked off her boots in the mudroom. The scent of apples and cinnamon filled the air as she hung up her coat and scarf. When she poked her head through the kitchen doorway, Phoebe was pulling a pie out of the oven, Karen was brushing butter over freshly baked rolls, and Leanna was setting the table — the best task to give her. Despite being married for more than a year, she was still hopeless in the kitchen.
"What can I do to help?" Ivy asked.
Leanna set down the last fork. "Nix. I think everything is done." She smirked. "Yer timing is impeccable."
Ivy grinned and looked up at her best friend of many years. Leanna Raber was unusual in several ways, starting with her six-foot height and very slim body. She was also the only female Amish mechanic in Birch Creek — and anywhere, as far as Ivy knew. She was quirky and outgoing and confident, traits Ivy had always appreciated. Years ago they'd vowed to be friends forever, and as they grew older and their friends were consumed with interest in boys, they also vowed never to do something as silly and conventional as getting married.
Ivy's smile dimmed. So much for keeping that last vow.
"Where's Hannah?" Ivy asked Phoebe.
Phoebe slipped the potholders off her hands. "With Mamm. She wanted to take her for the night." Phoebe shook her head. "You would think twelve kinner in the haus would be enough for her, especially since Hannah's starting to walk now."
"Twelve buwe," Leanna pointed out. "Yer mamm needs a little female balance, don't you think?"
"And we all know how she dotes on her granddaughter," Karen said as she put the rolls on the table.
The back door opened, and Jalon walked in from the mudroom, Adam close behind in his wheelchair and Malachi bringing up the rear. "Geh wash up for supper," Jalon ordered, looking at his young son.
"I'll geh with you," Adam said. Then he swooped Malachi up and parked him on his lap. As he wheeled out of the kitchen, he looked up at Ivy. "Hi," he said. "We'll be right back."
Ivy turned to look at Karen, and from the softness in her sister's eyes, Ivy could tell she'd been watching her husband with Malachi. She wondered how long it would be before Karen and Adam had their own child. Ivy knew Karen wanted to be a mother, but although she and her sister were close, Karen hadn't shared anything that personal with Ivy since the wedding. Which was fine with Ivy. Married couples deserved privacy, and she wouldn't pry.
She took in the scene in the kitchen — Jalon washing his hands in the sink as he talked to Phoebe, Leanna pouring the last glass of cold tea as Karen set Malachi's cup of milk in front of his place setting — and not for the first time, she felt like a seventh wheel. That feeling only increased as they all sat down at the table. She was seated next to Malachi and across from Leanna. Roman was working late on a broken generator, but even though he wasn't there, Ivy felt his presence.
The tiny stab of envy paled against how she'd felt when she returned from Michigan and learned Leanna and Roman were dating. Ivy had spent a few weeks with her cousin while she was on bed rest, and she'd had no idea Leanna and Roman had fallen for each other while she was gone. She hadn't known Leanna was even interested in Roman. She was happy for her friend when she told her of their unexpected romance, but a part of her felt betrayed — which was ridiculous since Ivy had been considering breaking her own vow to remain single.
Thanks to John, she didn't have to consider it anymore.
They all prayed and then ate the delicious meal — corned beef and cabbage, buttery mashed potatoes, fluffy rolls, and apple pie for dessert. After supper, the men cleared out while the women quickly cleaned the kitchen and then brought out the supplies to make cards — folded card stock; a few rubber stamps with simple Christmas designs; red, green, and black ink pads; and envelopes. Ivy chose a holly berry design and started stamping.
"Today was yer last day at the Millers', ya?" Karen asked. At Ivy's nod, she added, "I'm going to miss them. I enjoyed working there."
"They're happy to be moving closer to familye." Ivy examined the stamped image. A little crooked, but hopefully no one would notice.
"Do you have another job lined up?"
She shook her head. "Tomorrow I'm going to start getting serious about mei search."
"Funny you should mention that." Leanna tapped one slender finger on the kitchen table. "Aden came into the shop this morning. He mentioned offhand to Roman that he'll need to hire someone to work in the store soon. He's taken over running it since Sadie is in a familye way. None of the Schrock women are working in the store anymore, so they need another employee besides Barbara."
"It's hard to believe that just a couple of years ago all three sisters were working there." Karen inserted her finished card in an envelope.
Excerpted from "Words from the Heart"
Copyright © 2018 Kathleen Fuller.
Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Beautiful love story. Love conquers all if Christ is in the mist.
The story drags on and on. Got quite boring, so I started skimming through the story as the problem and feelings kept repeating. Boring! Finally got to the end of this predictable story. Yawn . . . ** esk 09/2018 **
This was a wonderful conclusion to this series! I really enjoyed it. This was a page turner for me. I really liked the main characters, Ivy, Noah, and Cevilla. The characters are so honest and real that you will enjoy the story. This was a quick and sweet Amish fiction book. I highly recommend this book and author! You will fall in love with the story. I received a review copy of this book. No positive review was required. My opinion is my own and is honest.
"Old fashioned" love letters, written by hand and stamped and mailed, seem to be a lost art of the past. But the main characters, Ivy and Noah, in Words from the Heart find such a treasure. A stack of letters placed back in their own envelopes and tied with a red ribbon were found in an old stained cardboard box by the pair. They were written to Noah's Aunt Cervilla and with her permission they opened them and were carried to the past during the Korean War. A lost love but never forgotten. Aunt Cervilla was a strong elderly woman with much wisdom. She was also very strong in her faith. Cervilla's love for God and her Amish faith is something that can be taken to heart by everyone. She feels God's whisper that he wants Ivy and Noah together. Both have suffered heartache from the past and shy away from any romantic relationships. Something happens in Noah's life that threatens his career that he's worked all his life for, and Ivy gets a visit from her past "love" who wants to reconcile. I loved the relationships brought to light and the strong love for God shown in this totally enjoyable novel. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through the Fiction Guild but was not required to write a review.
Cevilla Schlabach, Noah Schlabach (Cevilla’s nephew) and Ivy Yoder are the three main characters in Kathleen Fuller’s 3rd installment of Amish Letters. Ivy and Noah had both been hurt in the past and danced around the outskirts of friendship with each other. Cevilla had promised God she wouldn’t interfere, but she had a hard time keeping out of their budding friendship. I loved how she would look at the ceiling and sheepishly address God about keeping her nose out of their business. I really enjoyed Cevilla; she was older, wiser, quirkier and just plain fun to get to know. However, her life had not been easy or without sacrifice. I enjoyed the way Cevilla brought Noah and Ivy together, and even though the story has a lot of depth to it, it was fun to read, too. As with the other two books, Words from the Heart, can be a stand-alone novel. It was nice though, to be able to catch up with characters from the other two stories, Written in Love and The Promise of a Letter. Kathleen Fuller’s stories all resonate with the love of God, healing, and restoration. She does a wonderful job of character development, leaving you eager to turn the page in order to know more about her endearing characters. I received this book from the Fiction Guild. However, I was under no obligation to post a review.
I have loved all Kathleen Fuller's books set in Birch Creek, but this one was the best. I finished it in just one day! It was so easy to care about her main characters Ivy and Noah, two "platonic" friends from different towns who seem to have missed their chance at love and marriage. When they find a bundle of old love letters while cleaning out an attic, they begin to realize that friendship may be the best foundation for romantic love. Just what Noah's elderly Aunt Cevilla had hoped would happen..though she never guessed HER past would be the catalyst to nudge them in that direction (what a spunky old meddler she is!). Then the diagnosis of an incurable disease threatens to obstruct their budding relationship even more than the miles that separate them. I loved to see how a new set of letters comes into play as Noah and Ivy struggle to find and follow God's will for their lives. I received a copy of this last book in the Amish Letters series from the publisher via The Fiction Guild, and was not required to post a review.
I received a copy of this book from The Fiction Guild. I was not required to give a favorable review. This was another wonderful story from Kathleen. This was a way for two people who have had bad endings to past relationships come together as friends to help Noah's aunt go through things from her step-mother during her time as a English person before coming back to her Amish community. Each had helped each other but also let Ivy see that she has a chance for finding love through reading Ceville's letter from a young man prior to her coming back. I loved had the relationship grew through being friends and talking.
A good story. Ivy Yoder thought she was in love with John King but she hasn't heard from him in over a year. She decides it's time to let go of her dream and be content in her life. Cevilla wants Ivy and her nephew Noah to clean out her attic. Cevilla hopes that while they are going this that they will fall in love. Noah starts having medical problems. Will he tell them what is going on? Or will he leave and go home? Is his problems curable? Will he and Ivy fall in love and find a new life together?
Kathleen Fuller's Words from the Heart is the gentle story of Ivy and Noah. Ivy thinks love has passed her by and she is content with being single the rest of her life. Noah is an auctioneer whose work compels him to be on the road much of the time. Between his work and a troubling health issue, Noah thinks that the single life is the best for him. Then they meet as they clean out Noah's great-aunt Cevilla's attic. They find themselves attracted to one another, but fight against it. During the process of cleaning out the attic, they come across a packet of love letters from the Korean War era. As they uncover the story behind the letters, they find their attraction deepening, but Noah is determined to stay single. This is a story of love, fears, and finding the courage to overcome.
As much as I enjoyed the first two books in this series, Words From The Heart is my absolute favorite. I loved the characters of Noah and Ivy and felt like I knew them, but Aunt Cevilla was my favorite. She was witty and funny and her story that is brought to life in forgotten love letters is so heart touching that it made me weep. I also found this book informative on a disease that I had never heard of and learning to cope with the diagnosis. The lost art of handwritten letters is given a voice in this series and you will not want to miss them, but this will work as a stand-alone also. It weaves the present with the past in such a flowing way that you are never lost, but are carried along in the flow. This is not just an Amish lover book, but reaches into other genres that can be enjoyed by all who enjoy a well written story. Highly recommend. I received a complimentary copy from Thomas Nelson & Zondervan Fiction Guild. The honest review and opinions are my own and were not required.
A late night finishing up Fuller's third installment in the Amish Letters Series. I have enjoyed this series and looked forward to this book. This story was about Ivy Yoder and Noah the auctioneer. And a quirky meddling great aunt who is quite the matchmaker. This was a sweet and fun read and I recommend it to all Amish fiction readers. *I was given a copy of this book by Thomas Nelson and this is my honest opinion.
Kathleen Fuller is another favorite author of mine. I love the way she pens a story. In Words from the Heart Ivy Yoder hasn't heard from the man she thought she would marry one day. And she feels totally embarrassed to be the oldest non married woman in her community. Then one of the "oddest" women in her community asks Ivy to help her clean out her attic. Ivy accepts the job, needing the distraction. It's ironic that some of the "odd" people or those that we deem odd can be the ones who actually see the heart. I think that Cevilla, the "odd" lady who wants her attic cleaned up, actually sees Ivy's heart and wants to help her. Now Noah, Cevilla's nephew just happens to be an auctioneer. So when Cevilla asks Noah to come and auction off her attic things he agrees. As Noah and Ivy clean out Cevilla's attic they find a packet of letters...love letters. Even though Noah and Ivy are determined not to fall in love it seems that the letters have a different plan. Love lost, lost gained. Quite an unusual love story. *This book was provided for review by the Fiction Guild*
Words from the Heart is book 3 from Kathleen Fuller’s Amish Letters series. I enjoyed the story. Noah and Ivy were great characters to get to know. That includes Aunt Civilla, who is a fabulous addition to the book. This is probably my favorite of the series. It is heartwarming, sweet and clean, with the addition of some laugh out loud humor. I give Words from the Heart 4 1/2 stars and I recommend it for anyone who loves a good Amish story. I received this book from the publisher. This review as 100% my own honest opinion.
While I have enjoyed Kathleen Fuller's entire Amish Letters series, I think her latest -- Words from the Heart -- outshines the others. In fact, it just might be her best book yet. Ivy Yoder and Noah Schlabach find themselves involved in an attic-cleanup project for Noah's aunt, Cevilla. Neither of them has interest in any romantic involvement coming out of their time together, no matter how much Cevilla might try to manipulate otherwise. No one could have imagined how much impact could come from a bunch of old doilies and a bundle of abandoned love letters. I'm not sure I can identify all the reasons I enjoyed this book so much, but the entire story was very touching. Kathleen created characters with real-life feelings and experiences. As they worked through a variety of tasks -- some of them very mundane, some more interesting -- they shared times of fun and pleasure, as well and illness and rejection, all the while learning lessons about love and life. I felt drawn into the story and cared a great deal about people, as though they were actual friends of mine. I highly recommend Words of the Heart to fans of great Amish fiction or heartwarming stories in general. Thanks to Booklook Bloggers for providing a copy of this book. I am happy to share my own thoughts in this review.
Words From The Heart is just that, special precious words from the heart that were written a long time ago and put up in an attic that GOD had put away for when HE wanted them to be brought out and seen by whom HE Ivy her to go and help Ivy pack up the Attic of his Aunt's Attic - guess who else is packing it up? who gave up on love, Noah who's too busy for it. Aunt Cevilla makes Noah promise wanted them to be use by at the perfect time for a perfect use. HE has HIS perfect HIS perfect plan don't ya know. Now, you have Ivy who gave up on love, Noah who's too busy for it. Aunt Cevilla makes Noah promise her to go and help Ivy pack up the Attic of his - guess who else is packing it up? yup you are right, Ivy .and guess what they found - yup the love love letters GOD wants to use. Does it work? Well satan tries to ruin it by causing something to Noah. Will he let it get in the way? Will Noah run or will he let the love letters GOD set away do it's work? I received a copy of this book from the Publisher and Netgalley; all the opinions expressed in this review are all my own. If you would like to read more of my Christian book reviews go to christianlybookreivewers.blogspot.com
Words From The Heart is another great read by one of my favorite authors of Amish Fiction. The characters are interesting and make you want to follow their every move. In this story, I especially liked Cevilla, an elderly single woman who thinks it's her mission in life to play matchmaker for her nephew (Noah) and a lovely girl (Ivy) in Cevilla's district. She's really comical the way she goes about it and you want to keep reading to find out if her antics work. Do her antics work? She has a plan in place and, when Noah comes for a visit, proceeds to carry it out. When it looks like things might be going the way Cevilla wants them to, Ms Fuller throws a wrench in the story. Find out what it is and what, if anything, happens between Noah and Ivy!
". . . I know you said you don't want to fight for us. That's okay. I'm strong enough to fight for us both." I love mail. I love it when I receive a personal note, especially at this age when emails and text have taken away the art of face to face conversations, as well as the art of writing. There's also something beautiful about waiting for a letter, a response. Don't you think? And I think that's why I've enjoyed Kathllen Fuller's Amish Letters series. In the latest installment, Words from the Heart, it reminded me all over the lost art of letter writing. Words from the Heart, aptly named have risen to become my favorite of the series, which was pretty hard to do, considering I couldn't decide between book 1 or book 2 as my favorite when I read them. The letters between our main characters started off as something between friends, a 'thank you', but it quickly progressed to something more from each of their hearts. It's about shedding the burdens in our heart with someone who cares. And that my friends, is priceless. "Whatever he's burdened with, please make it light." I started this story, not expecting to finish it in one sitting, and surprisingly, I did. I just kept going and before I know it, we've come to close. I think it has something to do with feeling connected to either Noah or Ivy, at different times of the story. And in both, there's a message of faith, of waiting and of surpassing fear. Isn't that something we all deal with? I get it. Waiting takes faith, and faith also conquers fear. Sometime, we just need to wait, and let God. "Always give God a chance to work.." Disclaimer: I received a digital ARC of this book from the author/publisher. I was not required to write a positive review, and have not been compensated for this. This is my honest opinion. Please note, if planning to share quoted quotes (quote graphics OK), please verify with release copy, since it was taken from an uncorrected proof copy (ARC). Thank you.
This is a gentle story of growing and overcoming heartbreak to give love another chance. I loved how the author wove several plot elements together for a steady pace that kept me invested in the characters and the choices they made. Ivy learns how strong she is as she recovers from disappointment and earns a newfound confidence in herself. Noah is going the opposite direction- full of confidence and success, but a new obstacle is wearing on him and he is at a loss for solutions. His matchmaking aunt is fun and quirky, and the old love letters they find in her attic bring Ivy and Noah closer together in friendship, with attraction simmering beneath the surface. I enjoyed the mannerisms of Ivy and Noah which made them come to life as I read. Another lovely addition to the Amish Letters series, and don't worry- each book can easily be read as a stand alone or out of order. (I received a complimentary copy of the book; all opinions in this review are my own)
Words from the Heart by Kathleen Fuller is the third An Amish Letters Novel. Ivy Yoder has not heard from John King in a year. She received one letter from him written right after she returned home. He broke his promise and her heart. Ivy must now move forward with her life and needs a something to occupy her mind. Ivy arrives home from visiting with friends to find Noah Schlabach on her doorstep. Noah is an auctioneer and antique specialist. His great aunt, Cevilla Schlabach has asked that Noah and Ivy clean out her attic. She insists that they do it together. Noah knows Cevilla is up to something, but he is eager to see what is in the boxes. You never know what treasure they will find. The pair slowly go through the boxes and get to know each other during the sorting process (finding numerous doilies and old magazines). One of the last boxes they explore contains some damaged doilies and a packet of letters written during the Korean War. Noah and Ivy get drawn into the story of two people (Bunny and CJ) in love. Ivy develops feelings for Noah, but she is afraid of getting her heart broken again. Noah used to be satisfied with his work, but now he feels that something is missing. Cevilla is certain that Noah and Ivy are meant for each other. She has arranged for them to spend time together, but the rest is up to these two very stubborn individuals. Will they learn from the past and embrace life? Can Ivy move forward and find love with Noah? Will Noah give up his roaming way to settle down in Birch Creek? Words from the Heart is a touching romantic story and my favorite book in this series. I find it refreshing to read stories that have little to no violence, intimate scenes (just kissing), and no foul language. I found the book to contain good writing and a nice flow which made Words from the Heart was easy to read and enjoy. Words From the Heart can be read alone, but I suggest reading all the book in An Amish Letters series. It will familiarize you with the characters from the previous books which are present in Words from the Heart. I appreciate the author updating readers on what has happened to the people from Written in Love and The Promise of a Letter. I like the characters in this story especially Cevilla Schlabach. She is a delightful older woman that is happy with her life and the choices she has made (spunky, quirky). Many of her scenes have me smiling and chuckling (especially when she decides to attend the school board meeting of which she is not a member). The author provides the right amount of background and detail on the main characters along with supporting cast. Ms. Fuller even brought CJ, one of the letter writers, alive with her words. The Christian elements are present throughout and it enhances the story. Prayer, forgiveness, trusting God and faith are a few of the Christian themes in the book. While the romance element is predictable, it is sweet and heartfelt. It was lovely to watch their (Noah and Ivy) feelings grow for each other over the course of the book (while they each tried to resist). The additional elements that Kathleen Fuller added to the story gave it depth and complexity (upcycling, items they found in the boxes, Noah’s symptoms for example). These items made for a richer story. Reading Words from the Heart is a satisfying way to idle away a Saturday afternoon.
I have waited, mostly patiently, for six months for this book to release. I have loved every book in this series. ‘Written in Love‘ brings Jalon and Pheobe together to his home in Birch Creek. ‘The Promise of a Letter‘ brings Jalon’s sister Leanna together with her boss’ brother Roman in an awkward love story of two very nontraditional people. It also brought together Jalon’s cousin Adam with Leanna’s best friend’s sister Karen. I knew that ‘Words from the Heart’ would be all about Ivy and I couldn’t wait. Though it was a sad waiting knowing that it would be the end of this series, a series I would be content to go on and on and on… While this book may be about Ivy and Noah (don’t worry John is just a distraction for ya…eeps spoilerish?) Cevilla really carried the story for me. Let me tell ya why. I sorta got bored through the first half of the book waiting for the action to start. Cevilla is convinced that Ivy and Noah are meant to be. ‘let Noah and Ivy see how perfect they are for each other. If it’s yer will, of course. Amen.’ I mean good gravy she even tells God how perfect they are for each other, of course His will is an after thought. They are the quintessential opposites so to speak. He is 6 foot something and she’s not quite 5 foot tall. He travels for his work and loves it. She has no desire to ever leave Birch Creek again. He is jovial and silly. She is staid and organized. He understands financial value while she understands sentimental value. Which is why Cevilla pulls them together to begin with. And they bond or heaps and mounds of doilies. I mean other things too but mostly, doilies. This book may be about Ivy and Noah’s path to love but it’s also about Cevilla’s past and love. The secrets that weren’t so much secrets as things no one knew. It all really starts with a box of doilies and letters. Love letters. From Korea in the 50s. The introduction of the letters about the half-way mark really brought the story to life. I couldn’t stop reading. I had to know what was what and who was who and how it all came to pass. This book is filled with memorably flawed characters that you can’t help but care for. This book is told with a depth of words and obvious research that brings the situations to life. Korean War letters, meniere’s disease, and finding new paths. You aren’t an old maid at 26, unless you choose to be. According to Cevilla I think that goes for 80-something as well. This book was more than worth the wait and is honestly probably my favorite of the series. I’ll change my mind a few ties when I re-read one book or another. Amish Letters hits the right spot with each book each time. I was provided a complimentary copy of this book by NetGalley. I was not compensated for this review and all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. I was not required to write a positive review.
Words from the Heart takes us back to Birch Creek just in time for Valentine’s Day! No, I don’t mean that this book is about Valentine’s Day. It would make a sweet romantic read in honor of the holiday. This was my favorite book out of the series and it’s largely because this one included a genealogical mystery! Noah and Ivy have discovered love letters written during the Korean War—an era that I admit I don’t know much about. But, I loved the letters and wanted to know where they came from! Noah and Ivy were both enjoyable, albeit sometimes stubborn characters that I couldn’t help but love. Their difference in stature made them seem incompatible and yet I was rooting for them from the very first chapter. But it was Aenti Cevilla who stole my heart. That little old woman was quirky and quite the little Amish firecracker. I loved her! This book was a feel-good romance—a quick, lighthearted read that I really needed. One interesting concept about this book is that Noah suffers from Meniere’s Disease, a condition that I didn’t know much about until my doctor mentioned that she suspects that I suffer from it. It was so interesting to me to read about a character with a chronic illness and it made me feel connected to him. Perhaps that is silly but it’s nice to be able to relate to someone. I’m super excited to read more from this author and I’m pleased to know that members of the Birch Creek community will be revisited in Kathleen’s new series titled, “The Amish Brides.” This book was provided to me by the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review, and have not been compensated for this. All opinions are my own.
This was a captivating novel! It is the third in the Amish Letters series, but can be read as a stand alone novel, too. I could not turn the pages quickly enough to find out what happened with these two characters! Their romance definitely bloomed toward the second half of the story, and not in the typical way. There was some great romantic tension between Noah and Ivy, as well as other issues they had to overcome. I really enjoyed they way letters played a part in this story, as they did in the other books of the series as well. I liked getting to know more about Cevilla and seeing how she and Ivy and Noah interacted throughout the book. This has been a very enjoyable series, which I definitely recommend. It is also connected to the Amish of Birch Creek series, another set of books that was extremely enjoyable. (4.5 stars) I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are my own.
WORDS FROM THE HEART by Kathleen Fuller. Book 3 "Amish Letters" Having read the first two was delighted there was another in this great series. Letters when written held so much for a person, not just in communication, also of hopes and dreams. When Ivy finds the letters, it fills her of what another person and that love was written about. Though cleaning out the attic may have been a scheme to match make these two, will it come about. These were a delightful, enjoyable, heart warmer stories . Of forgiveness, not losing hope when dreams are disappointed. Given ARC by Net Galley for my voluntary review and my honest opinion. FEB. 13. posed only on N G
In this novel, the author has us reading past and present letters, and they sure are from the heart. The title of this series is Amish Letters, and as we’ve seen in the previous two books there is a bit of romance in the words. Surprises sure abound in this third book in this series, and I was quickly page turning, from Ivy never receiving promised letters to the old letters found in the attic, and then the passive friendly letters she and Noah start to share after their attic cleaning. We are also reunited with other dear friends from the past books, and yes this one can be read alone, but you’ll soon want more, and these are the perfect choice. Wait until you meet Aunt Civilla, and watch her make her way to the school board meeting, how who would turn her away. Made me smile, and think with age comes wisdom, at least as far as she is concerned. Wonderful character and a great story you don’t want to miss! I received this book through Net Galley and the Publisher Thomas Nelson, and was not required to give a positive review.
Remarkale story!!!!" Cannot wait for the next book.