An Amish Homecoming: Four Stories

An Amish Homecoming: Four Stories

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Overview

Four brand new Amish stories of coming home.

No Place Like Home by Amy Clipston

Estranged daughter Eva Dienner has been staying with her in-laws since her husband was killed in a fire, but now she wants her son to meet his maternal grandparents. Upon her return, Eva finds that the man her parents always intended for her is living in their daadihaus and running the dairy farm for them for free, despite her suspicions of him taking advantage of her family. Eva knows she should put the past behind her, but is she ready to move into the future?

When Love Returns by Beth Wiseman

Hurricane Harvey forces Sarah Zook to return to the home she fled six years ago when she couldn’t face her stern parents’ reaction to her unplanned pregnancy. Upon her return, Abram King can think of nothing but the pain she caused him—until he meets Sarah’s daughter and realizes that he never really stopped loving Sarah. Sarah and Abram must find a way to face the truth of their past so they can rekindle their first love.

The Courage to Love by Shelley Shepard Gray

After the death of her Englisch husband, Irene Keim seeks a fresh start by staying with her new friends Mary Ruth and Henry Wengerd in exchange for helping them around the house. But when Mary Ruth and Henry’s son Marcus comes around, he isn’t pleased with the woman they’ve taken in and is determined to push her out. Misunderstandings abound, but both Irene and Marcus learn that people aren’t always what they seem.

What Love Built by Kathleen Fuller

Independent and headstrong, Carolyn is determined to forge ahead with the opening of her bakery, a lifelong dream, in the Birch Creek home she left ten years ago. But she’s in over her head and needs help with the cleaning, shopping, and deliveries. Carpenter Atlee Shetler is visiting Birch Creek to escape the memories of his late wife. He takes a job renovating the new bakery and finds the project—and its owner—to be much more than he bargained for. Both Carolyn and Atlee must face pains of the past if they want to have the bright future God has planned for them.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780785218487
Publisher: Zondervan
Publication date: 10/16/2018
Pages: 416
Sales rank: 586,975
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Amy Clipston is the award-winning and bestselling author of the Kauffman Amish Bakery, Hearts of Lancaster Grand Hotel, Amish Heirloom, Amish Homestead, and Amish Marketplace series. Her novels have hit multiple bestseller lists including CBD, CBA, and ECPA. Amy holds a degree in communication from Virginia Wesleyan University and works full-time for the City of Charlotte, NC. Amy lives in North Carolina with her husband, two sons, and four spoiled rotten cats. Visit her online at Amy Clipston.com; Facebook: Amy Clipston Books; Twitter: @Amy Clipston; Instagram: @amy_clipston.


Bestselling and award-winning author Beth Wiseman has sold over two million books. She is the recipient of the coveted Holt Medallion, a two-time Carol Award winner, and has won the Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award three times. Her books have been on various bestseller lists, including CBD, CBA, ECPA, and Publishers Weekly. Beth and her husband are empty nesters enjoying country life in south central Texas. Visit her online at Beth Wiseman.com; Facebook: Author Beth Wiseman; Twitter: @Beth Wiseman; Instagram: @bethwisemanauthor.


Shelley Shepard Gray is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, a finalist for the American Christian Fiction Writers prestigious Carol Award, and a two-time HOLT Medallion winner. She lives in southern Ohio, where she writes full-time, bakes too much, and can often be found walking her dachshunds on her town's bike trail. Find Shelley on her website: Shelley Shepard Gray.com; on Facebook: Shelley Shepard Gray; Twitter: @Shelley SGray.


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 Kathleen Fuller.com; Instagram: kf_booksandhooks; Facebook: Writer Kathleen Fuller; Twitter: @The Kat Jam.

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

Eva Dienner sniffed as she stared at the letter in her trembling hands. Grief, hot and unexpected, poured from her eyes in the form of tears as she studied her mother's beautiful handwriting. She missed her parents as memories of them pricked her heart.

She glanced around the small apartment she once shared with her beloved husband. Six years ago, she left her parents in Western Pennsylvania to marry Simeon Dienner and live with him and his family here in Ronks, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, nearly a five-hour bus ride away. Then Simeon died while on duty as a volunteer firefighter more than four years ago, leaving her and their unborn child behind. Heaviness settled in the center of her chest. Oh, how she missed him.

"Mamm?" Simeon Jr. entered the apartment from the main house where her in-laws and brother-in-law lived. "Are you crying?"

"I'm fine." She shook her head and wiped her eyes.

"Don't cry." He crawled up on the sofa beside her and took her hand in his. At almost four years old, he resembled his handsome father with his shock of blond hair and cornflower-blue eyes. "I'm here."

"Danki." She smiled down at him. He also had his father's kind heart.

"Why are you bedauerlich?"

"I was just thinking about mei mamm and dat." She held up the letter, the first she'd received from her mother in nearly four months. "Mei mamm wrote a letter and told me my best freind, Miriam Faye, stopped by the other day and asked about me." She sniffed again as memories of her old friends tumbled through her mind.

"Your mamm?" He tilted his head.

"Right. She's your other mammi."

He pointed toward the door leading to her mother-in-law's kitchen. "I have another mammi?"

"Ya." Eva cleared her throat. "You have another mammi and daadi who live in New Wilmington, where I grew up."

"Can we go there so I can meet them?" His eyes sparkled.

Stunned by the question, she swallowed.

"Please?" he begged.

"I — I don't know." Her heart raced at the thought of seeing her parents again. Would they even want to see her? Her mother's letters always seemed so ... reserved.

He folded his hands as if praying. "Pleeease?"

How could she say no?

"Let me write mei mamm and ask her."

"I'm going to tell Mammi and Daadi we're going on a trip!" As Junior jumped off the sofa and ran to the door, Eva wondered if her parents would be as excited to meet him.

* * *

A barrage of new memories nearly overcame Eva as she prepared to get off the bus two weeks later. She wiped at the wetness forming under her eyes and worked to control her emotions. Before she left six years ago, she had a terrible argument with her mother. Was coming back now a mistake, even though her mother had readily agreed to this visit? Could she and her mother ever recover from the rift between them?

Apprehension chewed on her stomach as she swung her purse over one shoulder and took Junior's hand in hers.

"Mamm, your hand is wet."

"Just go." She nodded toward the bus exit.

They climbed off the bus, and she retrieved their duffel bag from the luggage compartment. After hefting it onto her other shoulder, they made their way through the knot of people in the terminal.

A familiar face emerged.

"Ian. Hi." Eva's throat tightened as she looked up at Ian Miller — a man she'd known for half her life. She hadn't expected to see him, at least not here.

"It's nice to see you again." Ian's smile was warm as his brown eyes flickered to Junior. "You must be Simeon. I'm Ian. It's wunderbaar to meet you." He held out his hand for a shake.

"Hi." Junior grinned as he shook Ian's hand. "I'm Junior."

"Junior." Ian reached for the strap of the heavy duffel bag digging into Eva's shoulder. "Let me take that for you."

"Danki." Eva swiveled slightly, allowing Ian to take the bag as she searched the crowd behind him. "Are my parents outside?"

"No." Ian hefted the bag onto his broad shoulder and then pulled on the brim of the straw hat sitting atop his dark hair. "They should be home by the time we get there."

"I thought they'd meet us at the bus station." She felt her brow furrow as she met his gaze. "They've known we were arriving this afternoon for over a week."

"They had an appointment." He nodded toward the exit. "The van is waiting. We should get on the road." He started toward the door.

Anxiety twisted a tight knot in her stomach. "Wait." She grabbed his hand and pulled him back. She felt a fluttering in her chest at the touch of his warm skin against hers. She swallowed a gasp. Where had that come from ... after all these years?

He raised his eyebrows. "Did you forget something?"

"No." She cleared her throat as her cheeks heated with embarrassment. "What kind of appointment did my parents have?"

"Your dat had a doctor's appointment that's been scheduled for a month."

Alarm filled Eva as she swallowed another gasp. "Is he okay?"

Ian nodded. "Ya. He's fine."

Eva studied his face. Was he telling her the truth? She took a trembling breath as various illnesses came to her mind. Did her father have cancer? Or maybe heart trouble? Why didn't she know he was ill? Her mother never mentioned it in her letters. Did Mamm assume she wouldn't care?

"Mamm?" Junior tugged on her hand. "Was iss letz?"

Eva swallowed her fears as she looked down into her son's blue eyes. She couldn't allow herself to get upset in front of Junior.

"Really. Your dat is fine." Ian's voice was warm. "It was just a follow-up appointment. Your mamm wanted to be sure he asked the right questions, so she went with him."

"Oh." Her shoulders loosened, but doubt continued to poke at her, as well as regret at the thought her mother might think she wouldn't care about their health.

"Your parents felt terrible about not being here to pick you up," Ian continued, "but I insisted on taking care of it for them so they wouldn't miss that appointment. You know how hard it is to reschedule them."

"Are we going to see Mammi and Daadi now?" Excitement bubbled in Junior's voice.

Eva forced her lips into a smile. "Ya."

"I can't wait to meet them," Junior said as they started toward the exit. "It's been so long since you said we could come to their haus."

Eva bit her lower lip to conceal her amusement. When she glanced at Ian beside her, his lips twitched.

"How old are you, Junior?" Ian held open the door. "Ten?"

"No, I'm almost four." Junior's smile widened as he started outside.

"Really?" Ian grinned at Eva, and she looked down at the worn cement floor to avoid his eyes. "I thought for certain you were ten."

"I'm not." Junior turned and puffed out his chest, reminding her of the peacocks they'd seen during a recent trip to a farm near their house.

"You could've fooled me."

"Mei mammi back in Ronks says I'm tall for my age," Junior continued as they made their way to the parking lot.

"Don't brag," Eva cautioned as the warm June afternoon sun kissed her cheeks. "Wait!" She grabbed his hand before he reached the edge of the sidewalk. "Don't step into the street."

Ian pointed. "The van is over there. Ted is waiting for us."

"Ted Jenkins?" she asked, and Ian nodded. "He's still driving for my parents?"

"That's right."

Eva smiled as she approached another man she'd known for many years. While Ted's dark hair had turned gray, his warm smile and brown eyes were the same. "How are you?" She shook his hand.

"Eva. It's so good to see you." He looked down at Junior. "You must be Simeon Jr. Your grandparents can't wait to meet you."

Now a knot of guilt formed in her belly as Junior's face lit up with a wide grin. "I can't wait to meet them too." Maybe she'd been wrong not to make this trip earlier.

A door slammed, and Eva jumped. As she turned toward the back of the van where Ian had loaded her bag, he met her gaze. Unnerved, she turned her attention back to Junior and Ted. She wrenched open one of the rear doors, climbed into the van, and sat down on the other side of the car seat that drivers for the Amish carried for passengers Junior's size. Ian helped Junior hop into it, and Eva buckled him in.

"Danki," she muttered before Ian closed the door, and then he settled in the front passenger seat.

"How have you been?" Ted glanced at her in the rearview mirror before steering the van out of the parking lot.

"Fine, thank you." Eva folded her hands in her lap. "How's your family?"

"They're great. I have five grandchildren now."

As Ted talked about his grandchildren, Eva glanced out the window from time to time. Familiar sights rushed by in a blur, and a fresh tangle of emotions washed over her all at once — guilt, regret, anxiety, and melancholy, but excitement too.

"Eva?"

"What?" She turned to face Ian, who eyed her with suspicion as he looked back at her from the front seat. "I'm sorry. I was lost in thought."

"I can see that." Ian's intelligent dark eyes seemed to assess her, causing her to shift in her seat. "Ted asked you how long you were going to stay."

"Oh. I haven't decided that yet."

Ian tilted his head to the side. "Don't your in-laws need your help at their restaurant?"

"No. I've been working at home doing quilting and sewing ever since Junior got too big to go to the restaurant with me. My in-laws hired a couple of young women from our community to wait tables."

"Oh," Ian said. An awkward silence wafted over the car for a few moments. Then Ian cleared his throat before turning back toward Ted. "Looks like it's going to be another dry weekend."

"Yeah, that's what I heard on the news this morning," Ted said, his eyes trained on the road ahead.

Eva settled into her seat as the men discussed the threat of an unusually hot summer in New Wilmington. After several minutes, she turned toward her son and was greeted by the back of his blond head. He seemed mesmerized as he stared out his window.

Swallowing a shuddering breath, Eva silently asked God to help her parents love and cherish Junior despite their differences with her — the way grandparents should.

CHAPTER 2

Thank you, Ted." Ian handed Ted a couple of bills after he brought the van to a stop in the Bender driveway. "Are you still available to take Harvey and Mary out to run a few errands next Thursday?"

"Yeah, of course. Just give me a call if something changes." Ted stuck the bills into his pocket.

Eva felt confused. Why was Ian paying Ted and setting up rides for her parents?

Ted caught Eva's gaze in the rearview mirror. "It was nice seeing you, Eva. I hope to see you and Junior again before you leave."

"Thank you. I hope so too." Eva gathered her purse and then nodded toward the door as she turned toward her son. "Carefully climb out," she said after unbuckling him.

"I'll help him out." Ian jumped out of the van and opened Junior's door. "Go ahead. I'll make sure the door doesn't hit you."

"Danki." Junior slipped out of the van and bounded up the rock drive.

Eva climbed out and walked to the front of the van, where she stopped short as if cemented in place. Her heart hammered as she looked up at the two-story brick home where she had been born and raised. Suddenly, the last conversation she had with her mother on the wraparound porch echoed through her mind.

"I don't understand why you have to go all the way to Ronks. Why can't Simeon come out here and work on your dat's dairy farm?"

"I've already told you, his parents own a restaurant. Plus he volunteers at the local fire station. It only makes sense that we would work for his parents and build a life there."

"But we need you here." Mamm's eyes glimmered in the morning light as she pointed to the porch floor. "You're our only kind. Simeon has siblings. Why can't they help with the restaurant and he move here?"

Eva pinched the bridge of her nose, where a migraine brewed. "We've been through this. He's the oldest sohn, and his dat needs him at the restaurant. Besides, he likes working there, and I think I will too. He also enjoys volunteering at the fire station with his freinden. I need you to support me in this."

Mamm wiped away a tear. "I can't."

And she didn't.

Eva couldn't take her mother's disappointed sighs, disapproving frowns, and manipulative weeping any longer. At the age of twenty-two, putting a traditional wedding in her parents' home aside, she fled to Ronks. It wasn't the first time she'd left to gain some breathing room away from her mother's stifling interference. She'd interfered before Eva met Simeon, and she was interfering still.

She did invite Mamm and Dat to her wedding, but they didn't attend, making their relationship even more strained. Then instead of expecting any support from them when Simeon died, Eva turned to her in-laws, who had fast become her surrogate parents.

Now Eva would face her parents for the first time in six years. How was she going to navigate this painful visit when they had become more like strangers than family to her?

But she owed this to her son, didn't she?

"Mamm?"

Junior's voice yanked Eva from her thoughts. She forced a pleasant expression onto her face as she looked at him.

"Are you coming?" Standing on the porch steps, Junior pointed to the front door.

"Was iss letz?" Ian's voice was low in her ear, sending an unexpected shiver shimmying up her spine. He stood beside her with the duffel bag slung over his shoulder.

"Nothing." She stepped away from him and tried to ignore the way his voice had affected her.

His eyes seemed to watch her for a moment. Then he nodded toward the house. "They should be back by now. I asked my parents' driver to take them since Ted had already agreed to pick you up."

"Let's go, Mamm!" Junior yelled before rushing to wrench open the screen door and knock.

She took a deep breath to gather all her courage and then touched her prayer covering to make sure it was straight.

"You look fine."

Startled, Eva looked up at Ian. She hadn't realized he was still standing so close to her.

"They're excited to see you and Junior. It's all your parents have talked about since you wrote about coming." He gestured toward the house. "Go inside. You'll see what I mean."

Eva nodded as she walked beside Ian.

Junior knocked on the door again and then turned toward Eva and Ian. "Where are Mammi and Daadi?"

"I'm sure they're on their way," Ian responded.

Eva's hands trembled as she held on to the handrail and climbed the steps. When she reached the top, the door swung open. Her mother stepped outside, letting the screen door close behind her.

Junior approached her, his whole body shaking with what Eva knew was hope and excitement. "Are you mei mammi?"

Mamm gasped as she crouched in front of him. "Ya, I am." She opened her arms, and Junior walked into her hug. Mamm held him close, her hazel eyes glassy with unshed tears. "It's so nice to meet you, Junior." Her voice sounded thin and shaky.

Eva gripped the handrail as emotion clogged her throat.

When Junior stepped out of the hug, Mamm touched his cheek. "We're so froh you're here."

"Me too," Junior said. "I asked mei mamm to bring me here to meet you and Daadi. Where's Daadi?"

"He's inside, and he can't wait to meet you." She gestured toward the door. "You can go in and find him."

Junior rushed inside.

As the screen door clicked closed, Mamm turned her gaze to Eva. Despite her approaching her midfifties, the light-brown hair peeking out from under Mamm's prayer covering showed no threads of gray, and her skin was still smooth and youthful. Tiny wrinkles around her eyes were the only hint that six years had passed.

"Eva," Mamm said, her voice still shaky. "It's gut to see you." Mamm reached for her, but Eva instinctively took a step back, away from her touch. Something that looked like hurt and disappointment flashed across her mother's face.

"Danki." Eva fought back threatening tears. "You look well." Her voice sounded as strained as her mother's. When had their relationship become so formal, so dysfunctional?

Then the answer rang loud and clear in Eva's head: When Mamm refused to bless my marriage to Simeon Dienner because it meant my moving away.

"Did you have a gut trip?" Mamm asked.

"Ya, we did."

"I made your favorite for supper, roast beef and potatoes. It's almost ready." Mamm pointed toward the door. "Let's go inside."

As Eva followed her mother into her childhood home, unexpected nostalgia rolled over her. The family room hadn't changed. The two brown sofas her parents purchased before she was born still sat in the middle of the room, surrounded by her father's favorite tan wing chair, the same two propane lamps, and the same matching oak end tables and coffee table.

"Eva, I'm sorry we didn't pick you up at the bus station, but I couldn't change my doctor's appointment."

She spun as her father crossed the room with Junior in tow. Although his honey-brown eyes and warm smile were the same, his dark-brown hair and beard were threaded with gray, and his handsome face was lined with wrinkles.

(Continues…)


Excerpted from "An Amish Homecoming"
by .
Copyright © 2018 Amy Clipston, Elizabeth Wiseman Mackey, Shelley Sabga, and Kathleen Fuller.
Excerpted by permission of ZONDERVAN.
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.

Table of Contents

NO PLACE LIKE HOME by Amy Clipston, 1,
WHEN LOVE RETURNS by Beth Wiseman, 101,
THE COURAGE TO LOVE by Shelley Shepard Gray, 201,
WHAT LOVE BUILT by Kathleen Fuller, 293,

Customer Reviews

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An Amish Homecoming: Four Stories 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 21 reviews.
Heidi_Reads More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this collection of stories that are themed around second chances. Each story is unique from the others, and I appreciated the variety of characters and situations. When I read collections like this I'm always transported to the beautiful countryside and what seems to be a simpler lifestyle. The issues faced by the characters are universal ones and the themes of forgiveness, family, and love are applicable to all readers. (I received a complimentary copy of the book; all opinions in this review are my own)
SouthernGalLovestoRead More than 1 year ago
An Amish Homecoming is another great collection of Amish stories by some of the best authors. Each story stands on its own, but they all share the theme of someone having suffered some sort of difficulty and finding themselves needing to go back home for comfort, strength, and/or a fresh start. This set of novellas, like so many others, gives several benefits to readers. For some, it is a chance to try out a new author before deciding to invest in full-length novels. For established fans of Amish fiction, some of the stories provide a chance to revisit characters from other series by the authors. And for any reader, the shorter length provides a bite-sized reading opportunity, each of which can often be finished in one sitting. I highly recommend An Amish Homecoming to fans of good Amish fiction. Thanks to BookLook Bloggers for providing a copy of the book. I am happy to provide my own thoughts in this review.
pianosue More than 1 year ago
I received this book from the Fiction Guild. It is a 4-in-1 book of Amish short stories. Each story was good and different. I enjoyed reading it.
Cynthia181 More than 1 year ago
I received a copy of this book from the Fiction Guild, I was not required to give a favorable review. This was another wonderful collection of authors stories brought together under one collection. Each story brings both families & communities together but brings people back home. For each story either someone has either left their families for one reason or another or have left a love one behind and realize that they need that person or family back in their lives. It make you think about the thought of every family out that would love to have a argument fixed or a loved one brought back into the family fold. I look forward to more stories.
jacksonmomLV More than 1 year ago
I have a hard time thinking three bachelors and a widower would remain unmarried so long in a family-centered culture like the Amish! But aside from that, this is a pleasant collection of Amish novellas with happy endings...just the kind of simple escape I enjoy when life gets hectic. The first two tales center on young single moms who are estranged from their domineering mothers. They also have some unfinished business with old boyfriends whom they suddenly left without explanation! All parties have a lot to learn about forgiveness, and as a grandma, I particularly liked that the children involved were a big piece of that puzzle. Their joy and openness is a bridge that spans old hurts and tensions, and leads to new beginnings for their mothers. The last two stories feature women who are unable to open their hearts to anyone because of painful pasts. They are workaholics who hide behind the mask of busyness, not wanting to depend on others in order to avoid more disappointment. Fortunately, the right people are able to see past these masks, and a personal crisis that could cause despair instead opens the door to a future they never dreamed of. I noticed several editorial mistakes in this collection (e.g., Irene's Englisch "friend" on page 223 is described as her "husband" on the back cover), but overall, these four authors are talented at weaving satisfying happily-ever-afters for their characters, with just enough plot twists to keep you guessing. I received this book from the publisher via The Fiction Guild, and was not required to post a review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An Amish Homecoming is a collection of four novellas authored by four best-selling authors of Amish fiction. Some of the heroines in the book are slightly anemic in character, but it's hard to develop a full character in a novella. In fact, there were a couple of women I did not like at first. The woman who captured my attention was one who had returned home after hurricane Harvey. All had lessons to learn and of course there were happy endings. If you like short, easy-to-read Amish stories, you will enjoy the book.
GratefulGrandma More than 1 year ago
This book is made up of four novellas about coming home to an Amish Community. I have read and followed three of the four authors, so it was great to read about characters that I am familiar with, but I enjoyed all four stories. This collection tells stories of prodigal daughters, who have returned home for various reasons. Some have been abused by others in the novel, some have lost people precious to them, some have bridges to build, others have to find home. I am not going to regurgitate the story plots here, but I will tell you that the Amish faith and family love and support are all a huge part of the Homecoming in the four stories. I really enjoyed this book and recommend it to those who enjoy Amish Fiction. The publisher, Zondervan, generously provided me with a copy of this book upon request. The rating, ideas and opinions stated are my own.
lolly-pops More than 1 year ago
No Place Like Home by Amy Clipston Estranged daughter Eva Dienner has been staying with her in-laws, the Riehls, since her husband was killed in a fire, but now she wants her son to meet his maternal grandparents. Upon her return, Eva finds that the man her parents always intended for her is living in their daadihaus and running the dairy farm for them for free, despite her suspicions of him taking advantage of her family. Eva knows she should put the past behind her, but is she ready to move into the future? My thoughts: At first I didn't like Eva at all - really, she didn't grow on me much at all, but Ian is a sweetheart and so is little Simeon. I loved Ian's caring and nurturing spirit and how he strove to keep peace with everyone, even when Eva was firing insults and false accusations at him. One has to admire a man like that. Eva was the one with issues to work through, and come to terms with her relationship--or lack thereof--with her parents. A sweet romance. When Love Returns by Beth Wiseman Hurricane Harvey forces Sarah Zook to return to the home she fled six years ago when she couldn’t face her stern parents’ reaction to her unplanned pregnancy. Upon her return, Abram King can think of nothing but the pain she caused him—until he meets Sarah’s daughter and realizes that he never really stopped loving Sarah. Sarah and Abram must find a way to face the truth of their past so they can rekindle their first love. My thoughts: I can honestly say this is probably the best Beth Wiseman story I've read in years. I liked both Sarah and Abram and I really felt their anguish. Maam's point of view was poignant as well. This story moved me to tears. Loved it. The Courage to Love by Shelley Shepard Gray After the death of her Englisch husband, Irene Keim seeks a fresh start by staying with her new friends Mary Ruth and Henry Wengerd in exchange for helping them around the house. But when Mary Ruth and Henry’s son Marcus comes around, he isn’t pleased with the woman they’ve taken in and is determined to push her out. Misunderstandings abound, but both Irene and Marcus learn that people aren’t always what they seem. My thoughts: I really loved the faith message in THE COURAGE TO LOVE. It was so sweet. I greatly enjoyed Irene and Marcus's story and getting to know them. I felt so sorry for Irene and yet she was such a sweet and kind individual despite her abnormal Amish upbringing. Most Amish aren't such obviously bad parents. Going in, Ms. Gray was my favorite author in this collection as I usually love her sweet stories. This stayed true to Ms. Gray's standards. What Love Built by Kathleen Fuller Independent and headstrong, Carolyn is determined to forge ahead with the opening of her bakery, a lifelong dream, in the Birch Creek home she left ten years ago. But she’s in over her head and needs help with the cleaning, shopping, and deliveries. Carpenter Atlee Shetler is visiting Birch Creek to escape the memories of his late wife. He takes a job renovating the new bakery and finds the project—and its owner—to be much more than he bargained for. Both Carolyn and Atlee must face pains of the past if they want to have the bright future God has planned for them. My thoughts; Atlee is a widower and Carolyn beyond prickly in this middle-age romance. Ms. Fuller is an accomplished author and quite popular and you can see her writing is stellar in this story. Unfortunately, I couldn't relate with Carolyn. I
sgreene01 More than 1 year ago
This is a delightful novella of 4 books written by four of my favorite Amish genre authors. Each novella shows us how each leading character comes home to their place of upbringing. We see their fear in facing what they left and how they will be accepted as they come back, forgiveness by loved ones, and experiences of new life and love. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Zondervan through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Laundry_Whispers More than 1 year ago
No Place Like Home by Amy Clipston The question that bears asking is: is it instalove if they have known each other for years? I mean they were separated for the last six but still. . .is it instalove or rekindled love? Instalove annoys the carrots out of me but rekindled love. . .that I can get behind. I read the first book in the Amish Homestead series but then had to set it aside as I dealt with my own grief of losing someone as close as a sister to a house fire. Truth be told, I'm still collecting the books but I'm just not ready to read them yet. This vignette into Eva's life and the rest of the Dienner clan was refreshing without the heaviness I imagine when I think of her widowhood. Home with her family after six long years, home to regrets and heartache and whoa wait doesn't Ian look mighty fine. My oh shiny take on her homecoming. There's a lot of hurt feelings to work through, a lot of regrets and anger and also guilt. Guilt at the possibility of finding a new life, a new love, even four years after losing her husband. Mamm, Daed, even Ian have their own set or regrets. There was a LOT to wade through in all their lives and Amy Clipston did so in this small novella that flowed perfectly, didn't feel rushed, and was exactly perfect just as it was. I gotta say though I didn't see that spunk in Eva coming! When Love Returns by Beth Wiseman Beth Wiseman has yet to disappoint me. From novel to novella she knows how to weave a story that draws you into its complexity, and it's grit. She doesn't shy away from the hard topics and I adore that about her. However, she fell into the trap that turned me off of novellas for many years and still makes me hesitant to pick up one to this day. Trying to do too much. A good novella is a snapshot in time. Just that. In this book, which I still loved mind you, Wiseman tried to tell the whole story. It was super well told but. . . Honestly, I could totally do without the epilogue. I don't need 'the rest of the story' so to speak but would have loved to see those pages used to deepen the snapshot. Less rush, more emotion, more depth. Just my two pennies. The Courage to Love by Shelley Shepard Gray I'm currently right in the middle of reading Shelley Shepard Gray's series The Amish of Hart County. So this novella fit right in. It was interesting to spend time between novels with this community, see a few familiar names, and hope I didn't spoiler myself for the next couple of books I'm about to start reading. On a different note of the same page however is the realization that so many Amish families in this community are dysfunctional and abusive in one way or another. Not something that you expect from a faith that we tend to idolize or at least romanticize. Irene is from another such family, and I've already met two others. And oh the judgey mcjudgersons in this community! Gray doesn't shy away from hard topics and she wins again with this novella. A snapshot in time that told all the story it needed to without losing something in the lack of pages. I am left with the massive burning question however in how Marcus changed his tune so very quickly? I mean the lecture from Mom and Dad aside and his decision to pray but I need meat on this one thing! What Love Built by Kathleen Fuller I was so happy to go back to Birch Creek, and see Cevilla, again. I've grown to love this little community. And *hint hint* Cevilla needs her own book, just saying. Carolyn is
Christa4 More than 1 year ago
An Amish Homecoming is a lovely collection of four novellas written by Amy Clipston, Beth Wiseman, Shelley Shepard Gray and Kathleen Fuller. No Place Like Home by Amy Clipston is a beautifully written novella. Eva Dienner has been a widow for four years. One day her son asks if they can visit his grandparents whom he never met. It has been six years since Eva left her home after an argument. She lives with her in-laws in Lancaster County. Eva decides it is time to visit western Pennsylvania so her son can meet his other grandparents. How will her parents react? Will she be able to build a strong relationship she once had with them? What happens next in the story will surprise you! You won't be able to put the novella down until you finish it! The second novella is, When Love Returns by Beth Wiseman. After six years, Sarah is returning to her Amish family in Lancaster County. Will they embrace Sarah, her secrets, and her five year old daughter? You will definitely want to check out this well written novella! The Courage to Love is the third novella in this collection. This sweet story by Shelley Shepard Gray will capture your heart from the very beginning. Irene Keim finally feels like part of the family of Henry and Mary Ruth Wengerd. This is until Marcus, their son, comes along and makes her feel most unwelcome. She has felt unwanted most of her life. Marcus realizes he had made a mistake but can he ever convince Irene to trust him again? The author really brings the characters to life and you will feel like you are right there with them in beautiful Hart County. The final novella, What Love Built is written by Kathleen Fuller. Twelve years ago Atlee Shetler's wife passed away. He loved her so much but agrees to go on a much needed vacation to Birch Creek and stay with his friend Thomas. He meets Carolyn Yoder while there and they become friends. You will definitely want to read this story to find out the rest of Atlee's and Carolyn's story...a beautiful ending to this collection. I definitely recommend reading An Amish Homecoming. You won't be disappointed by this wonderful collection of short stories! I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book from NetGalley and have given my honest opinion.
BrittanyMc More than 1 year ago
An Amish Homecoming was a nice collection of Amish novellas. The stories are each additions to various series by the four authors of these novellas, yet the storylines can all be followed easily as stand alones if you have not read any books from those series. No Place Like Home by Amy Clipton – I really enjoyed this novella and seeing the family that Eva grew up in. I knew Eva from other books, yet this was a peek into her past. It was interesting to see what a headstrong young woman she had been and the tension that brought to the relationship with her mother. I really liked the character, Ian, in this story. When Love Returns by Beth Wiseman – This was a fascinating story that I enjoyed watching unfold page by page. I liked seeing how much both Sarah Zook and her mother had changed in the years that they had been apart. I thought that the characters learned a lot about unconditional love in this novella. The Courage to Love by Shelley Shepard Gray – This novella takes a close look at making quick judgments about people. I appreciated the way Marcus learned to look past the gossip that he had heard about Irene and into the real person that she was. What Love Built by Kathleen Fuller – I had trouble connecting with these characters, even though it was a sweet story. Carolyn frustrated me with her inability to let others lend a helping hand and Atlee frustrated me with his guilt over living life after his first wife died. I did appreciate that these characters eventually began to change and grow by the end of the book. I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are my own.
Marshathereader More than 1 year ago
An Amish Homecoming is a collection of 4 novellas by Amy Clipston, Beth Wiseman, Kathleen Fuller, and Shelley Shepard Gray. The novellas have a common thread of going home. There is love, misunderstandings, forgiveness, and tackle some of the problems of today that both the English and Amish deal with. All four have wonderful characters and settings that take you to Amish country. It is an easy read for an afternoon escape.
KrisAnderson_TAR More than 1 year ago
I found these four novellas to be well-written and pleasing to read. The main characters each have something to overcome in their past if they are to have a happy future (we can all relate). We get to see them conquer adversity thanks to prayer, faith, hope, love, redemption and trusting God. Other Christian themes in the novellas are forgiveness of others as well as ourselves (that is the hardest one) and we can never know God’s plans for us. I enjoyed reading these heartwarming stories. The four tales are quick to read and will lift up your spirits. Each story can be read in one sitting. The four novellas are set in different Amish towns, so the stories are not interconnected. Each story relates to a series written by the author, but they can be read on their own. Fans of these Amish authors will appreciate the four inspiring and endearing novellas in An Amish Homecoming.
poodlelover More than 1 year ago
You will find this to be a heartwarming collection of novellas written by four of my favorite Amish authors. The relatable characters face struggles, misunderstandings, and the need to sometimes face painful pasts. Forgiveness of others and forgiveness of self are important elements in each story pointing to the importance of having faith and coming home. I enjoy novellas as a break from a full-length novel. These were all-embracing stories with a variety of emotions. Plus, it’s a bargain, four books for the price of one! Check this one out! I received a complimentary copy from NetGalley. The opinions are my own.
poodlelover More than 1 year ago
You will find this to be a heartwarming collection of novellas written by four of my favorite Amish authors. The relatable characters face struggles, misunderstandings, and the need to sometimes face painful pasts. Forgiveness of others and forgiveness of self are important elements in each story pointing to the importance of having faith and coming home. I enjoy novellas as a break from a full-length novel. These were all-embracing stories with a variety of emotions. Plus, it’s a bargain, four books for the price of one! Check this one out! I received a complimentary copy from NetGalley. The opinions are my own.
Ellen-oceanside More than 1 year ago
AN AMISH HOMECOMING Four women who have lost their husbands. In one she wants her son to meet his maternal grandparents. The situation wasn’t what she thought when she returned. In another stern parents , made a daughter whose was pregnant six year ago, is returning. Could an old love, still be there for her, when he sees her again. Forgiveness of past hurts. The third was losing an English husband, mistaken of why she was there, helping out, caused problems of thinking the worst of her. The last one dreams can turn out to be bigger and more time consuming then she thought. She wanted to make a success of her new venture, if she could find help. All four women were determinded to forge ahead and make a life for themselves, and with new beginnings. A rich plot of how these four did it and succeeded. Given ARC for my voluntary review and my honest opinion by Net Galley and Zondervan.
LizD1 More than 1 year ago
An Amish Homecoming By; Amy Clipston, Beth Wiseman, Shelley Shepard Gray, and Kathleen Fuller An Amish Homecoming is a collection of Amish Novellas by four different authors. Each has written about love, loss, and second chances. I loved each novella . The authors did a fantastic job on the stories and the characters. Each novella can be read as a stand a lone without any problems. In each story someone has left their home for different reasons and it is hard for them to return home not knowing if they will be welcome or not. while reading these novellas I had tears in my eyes several times. The authors did not disappoint. I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley and the Publisher Zondervan, but was not told that Had to give a positive review. All opinions are my own.
MaureenST More than 1 year ago
Four novellas by four different authors that could each stand alone, but show a theme of belonging, coming home, or finding a home. They each had me page-turning and quickly engrossed in what was happening in their story, and when the final page was finished I wanted more, but was happy to go to the next. Four talented authors offer us stories that keep your attention and some you wish you were there to help, or become part of their family. Yes, I enjoyed this read, and you can sit down and read one, or as I found myself moving to the next, they are that good! I received this book through Net Galley and the Publisher Zondervan, and was not required to give a positive review.
Deana0326 More than 1 year ago
No Place Like Home by Amy Clipston I really liked the story and thought Eva was a wonderful character. She has been estranged from her family for several years. It was sad to read that Eva and her parents couldn't work things out. Eva has a lot to think about after a tragedy strikes someone very special to her. Will she go home and try to mend her relationship with her parents? The struggle that Eva had trying to forgive her parents also seemed to deal with pride on Eva's part. It is hard to admit when you are wrong and pride sure can stand in the way of saying, "I'm sorry." Ian is a breath of fresh air and I instantly admired how he has helped Eva's parents on their farm all these years. There is friction between Ian and Eva when she returns home for a visit. Can Ian change her mind and stay? It is a great story of forgiveness and letting go of the past. When Love Returns by Beth Wiseman This story is very special to me because I lost almost everything in Hurricane Harvey. It was easy to sympathize with Sarah as she makes the hard decision to return to her parents home. After losing everything in the flood Sarah and her daughter have no place else to go. It will be very difficult to start over for Sarah. She left home six years ago and hasn't spoken to them in all that time. I can't imagine the feeling she must have had as she approached her parents home. Will they welcome her and her daughter? The tension between Sarah and her mother is going to take a lot of work. Can they each find it in their hearts to forgive each other? Sarah has a bigger problem when Abram shows up to speak with her. He has not seen his daughter and you can feel his anger as he begins to talk to Sarah. Miriam is a welcome treat to the story. She is full of life and so care free. How will Sarah explain who Abram is? I found this story to be well written and shared how bitterness can ruin relationships. One of my favorites quotes from the story is, " You can carry the burdens of your past or choose to move forward without the added baggage." Sarah chose to run away from her problems in shame and now finds facing her past is difficult. The story is very intense at times especially between Sarah and her mother. I loved the twist in the story and it had me on pins and needles. Sarah has a lot to overcome and her past will play a big role in deciding if she stays or goes back to Houston. It will be a lesson for all when the truth comes out about Sarah's past. Sarah and her mother have had a strained relationship and readers will see how much pain it has caused both of them. I wanted to hug Sarah and tell her not to feel ashamed of something she had no control over. As a teenager, when you mess up you can feel like the world is against you. Sarah must learn that her parents and friends will always be there for her. Will Abram and Sarah find a way to mend their relationship? The story will bring tears to your eyes and give you hope as the characters work through pain, rejection and bitterness. The Courage to Love by Shelley Shepard Gray Irene has had a difficult life and people she thought were her friends have turned their back on her. It was a welcome invitation when Mary and Henry invite her to live with them. She has become a big help to them and Irene finally feels like she belongs . All that changes when Mary and Henry's son shows up. Marcus is very suspicious of Irene and drives her away from the comfort of his parents house. Why does he not trust Ir
wfnren More than 1 year ago
Four very touching stories and I thoroughly enjoyed each one. These are all some of my favorite authors and they did not fail here. There was one "When Love Return" that had my eyes tearing up many time throughout the story. Every one of these stories shows how hard it is to go back home after a very painful decision to leave, they each show much faith and strength. I hope you enjoy this book as much as I did. I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers; book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.