Monday, February 2, 2015

Review of "An Amish Cradle"

Review of  An Amish Cradle


by Beth Wiseman, Amy Clipston, Kathleen Fuller,  and Vannetta Chapman

22501262

Tiny fingers,

Tiny toes,

And lives that will never be the same.

Journey with four families as their lives are about to change forever.

"In His Father s Arms" by Beth Wiseman

Ruth Anne has been dreaming about motherhood her entire life. Now she is doubly excited that she and her best friend are due with their children the same week. But when Ruth Anne s baby is born with Down's
 syndrome, she and her husband struggle to understand God's plan.

MY REVIEW of In His Father's Arms:  5 Star Amish novella *****This is a beautiful story of two friends eagerly anticipating their new arrivals, but Ruth Anne receives a shock when her new baby has Down's syndrome.  Her husband, Levi, and she have a lot to grieve and deal with.  I remember the delight and fear that I experienced with my first pregnancy and birth.   Every parent feels concern over the health of their baby and their ability to be a parent and I was no exception.   This novella brought those happy and scary emotions to mind.  I also had the privilege of teaching special needs' preschool in the public schools for several years and a large part of my job involved helping the parents with training, education, support, and encouragement.  I adored the children but I did have to spend a good portion of time educating myself about the various disabilities the preschoolers presented with.  
"A Son for Always" by Amy Clipston

Carolyn and Joshua are thrilled to be pregnant with their first child together. Carolyn was just a teenager when she had her son, Benjamin, and she still feels solely responsible to secure his future. As Joshua watches Carolyn struggle to accept his support, he knows he has to find some way to convince her that she and Ben will always be taken care of.

MY REVIEW of A Son for Always:  5 Star Amish novella ***** Joshua is an Amish stepfather.  He and Carolyn await their first baby together but Carolyn fears Ben won't be provided for in the same manner as their new baby.  I am a stepmother to my husband's grown children and my husband is stepfather to my grown daughters.   I do know that it is a balancing act and while we did not have to raise young children together, we did deal with my two of my daughters as teenagers when we first married.   While I feel my husband cares greatly for my daughters, I do believe their own father loves them in a deeper way.   I also have felt the need to provide for my own children's needs as Carolyn did in the story.  Trust is a growth process in step-parenting relationships, I believe.   Readers will enjoy seeing how Carolyn and Joshua resolve their problem in this novella.  
"A Heart Full of Love" by Kathleen Fuller

Ellie's mother hasn't stopped meddling in her personal life since Ellie lost her sight and she's taken it up a notch now that Ellie's pregnant. When Ellie gives birth to twins, her mother insists on moving in to care for them. But when her mother's behavior becomes unbearable, Ellie is forced to take a stand . . . and finally find out why "Mamm" can't let go.

MY REVIEW of A Heart Full of Love:  5 Star Amish novella ***** I am a new grandma and I have to tell you that I absolutely love it!   There is nothing sweeter than rocking my darling granddaughter to sleep, singing to her, or reading a book together.  My daughter and I are able to laugh at the immense love I feel for Natalie and I work hard to respect her boundaries as a new mother.  I try to give the new parents space to find their own way as a family and offer advice sparingly, but the grandmother in our story does not do these things very well for her blind daughter and the new twin babies.   I am sure it would be rough to see my daughter struggle with caring for two new babies.  I can not say for certain how blindness might affect my own thoughts but I would definitely seek to respect her as a new mother.   Readers will likely laugh and cry as they read the story to see how the new parents work things out with the overbearing and overprotective grandmother.    
"An Unexpected Blessing" by Vannetta Chapman

At 42, Etta thought she was finished having children, but she's pregnant again. After a frightening labor, Etta finally gives birth, but her constant worry over her estranged grown son, David, haunts her still. As a new mother again, Etta must hold tightly to the promise that God will watch over her children and that one day David will return.

MY REVIEW of An Unexpected Blessing:  5 Star Amish novella ***** Wow!  Imagine having grandchildren and then discovering you're expecting your own baby!  I have not had this experience but I do know many people who have had "late in life babies" or "surprise blessings".  The Amish feel that children are a blessing from God and I agree with this.  I know that things are more difficult for me as a 53-year-old grandma and I get exhausted after chasing my precious granddaughter for several days but I love it!  Most women that I know personally who have had babies later in life have worried at how their bodies would handle pregnancy and delivery as well as the ability to chase after another little one as they age themselves.  Etta also has an adult son who has left the Amish community and she fears he may never return.  My husband and I do have one of his grown daughters who has disowned us and it hurts.  This story brought the painful emotions of that estrangement up for me.  I pray every day for her and her family and that God would reconcile us and her just as own main character, Etta, does.   Read this novella to see how God works things out for Etta and her family.
OVERALL REVIEW of An Amish Cradle:  I am one of those women who has always loved children and babies.   Since I was just a little girl, I wanted to help with little ones in the family and church.  An Amish Cradle put a big smile on my face as I read, even while some parts of the four novellas included in it had sad parts.  It made me remember holding my own precious daughters as infants and brought many old emotions to mind.  I rated each novella 5 stars.  I enjoyed the fact that each novella was a quick and easy read.   I am thrilled to recommend this collection of novellas to readers.   5 stars *****
I received a kindle version of this book (collection of four novellas) from netgalley in exchange for my honest review. 

About the Authors:
Beth Wiseman 
Beth Wiseman
from goodreads' author bio:
"I wish I had the time to review books and chat with you here, but my writing deadlines just don't allow it. Please like my Fans of Beth Wiseman Page on Facebook where I try to post any news I have to share." 
Beth is the best-selling and award winning author of the Daughters of the Promise series - Plain Perfect, Plain Pursuit, Plain Promise, Plain Paradise, and Plain Proposal. She is contracted with HarperCollins Christian Publishing. Her other series--the Land of Canaan Novels--begins with Seek Me With All Your Heart, then The Wonder of Your Love and now, His Love Endures Forever. Seek Me With All Your Heart is the first Amish fiction book selected as a Women of Faith novel in 2011. Beth has also written two contemporary Christian fiction novels, Need You Now published in 2012 and The House That Love Built in 2013. 
In a daring new novel, The Promise, Beth jumps way outside the box. This story will take readers far away from Amish Country and small Texas towns to a dangerous place on the other side of the world. Inspired by a true story, Beth believes this is the book she’s been working toward for a long time. 

You can also follow Beth on Twitter: @BethWiseman

Amy Clipston

Amy Clipston
Amy Clipston has been writing for as long as she can remember. Her fiction writing "career" began in elementary school when she and a close friend wrote and shared silly stories. She has a degree in communications from Virginia Wesleyan College and is a member of the Authors Guild, American Christian Fiction Writers, and Romance Writers of America. She is the author of the bestselling Kauffman Amish Bakery series with Zondervan, which is part of HarperCollins Christian Publishing. An advocate for organ and blood donation, Amy donated a kidney in 2011 at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Through her donation, her husband received a second kidney transplant. Amy and her husband matched another couple and swapped kidneys with them. Amy's memoir, A Gift of Love, will be available in early 2014. She hopes her story inspires others to become organ and blood donors. Amy lives in North Carolina with her husband, two sons, mother, and four spoiled rotten cats. You can find her on the web at www.AmyClipston.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AmyClipstonBooks

Kathleen Fuller
Kathleen Fuller
I was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, grew up in Little Rock, Arkansas, and currently live in Geneva, Ohio. I've been married to James for 21 wonderful years (really, they have been wonderful!) We have three terrific children, three dogs, and have raised cattle, pigs, and chickens at various times over the years. We would have gone into the goat business, but I had to draw the line somewhere. I started writing in 2000, and published my first short story a year later. Since then I have authored several short stories, novellas, novels, and have done a lot of freelance non-fiction work. I have also worked as an editor. I have a Masters degree in Special Education, emphasis on teaching the blind and visually impaired, and a Bachelors in Early Childhood/Elementary Education. I have taught all age groups ranging from age 4 to age 21. A few of my favorite things: my relationship with Christ, chocolate (of course!), autumn, a satisfying book, good friends, a sense of humor, people who don't take themselves seriously, haunting melodies, NFL football, and did I mention chocolate?
Vannetta Chapman
Vannetta Chapman

Vannetta Chapman writes fiction full of GRACE. She has published over one hundred articles in Christian family magazines, receiving more than two dozen awards from Romance Writers of America chapter groups. She discovered her love for the Amish while researching her grandfather's birthplace of Albion, Pennsylvania. Her first novel, A Simple Amish Christmas, quickly became a bestseller. Chapman lives in the Texas hill country with her husband. 

For more information, visit her at 
webpage -- www.VannettaChapman.com 
blog -- http://vannettachapman.wordpress.com
facebook -- www.facebook.com/VannettaChapmanBooks, and 
pinterest -- http://pinterest.com/vannettachapman

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