An Amish Gift
By Dottie
Dec 24, 2012 - 5:53:55 PM

Shortly after Jennie Davis’ husband lost his job, he inherited a house from an unknown cousin of his mother’s. They could move from the cramped half of the two family dwelling where they lived into a house that belonged to them. So they, with their two teenage children, thirteen-year-old Willa and fifteen-year-old Tim, start the trek to the heart of Lancaster County, Amish country, where their house is located. Feeling like their dreams are coming true, their spirits are high…that is, until they get their first glimpse of the house. It is rundown and needs quite a few repairs. A long established bike shop was included in the inheritance, but it looks no better than the house. Lately, their family has been falling apart and this situation does not help matters. The tether that holds their family together is stretched taut and Jennie fears the day it will snap altogether. During their marriage, Jennie has wanted to help with their faltering finances, but her husband Shep has never allowed it, preferring that she stay home and take care of their children.

A former high school football hero, Shep had not been prepared for the real world. He had refused to go to college and he and Jennie had married. Using his former glory in the small town, he had no trouble finding jobs, but keeping them was another matter. So he figured the bike shop was his chance at finally succeeding. However, the shop needs a complete overhaul and he does not have the money for it.

In the midst of taking care of her home and family, Jennie takes daily walks with their dog, Scout. It is during one of these walks that she meets and strikes up a friendship with her Amish neighbor, Mattie Fisher. As Jennie observes Mattie’s modest ways and the calm way she handles adversity, she begins to seek answers to her own problems. In desperate straits, a fluke comment soon sends Jennie on the path of her own candy making business, with the help of her daughter. However, Shep is furious that his wife is working and believes that she has lost trust in his ability to provide for their family. With the holiday season approaching, the family tensions at an all-time high and Shep’s stress at work, will the family be able to survive?

A heartwarming tale, AN AMISH GIFT, the latest novel by talented author Cynthia Keller, is a touching contemporary romance that captured my attention from the very first page and didn’t let go until the last. A timely story in this age when many families are experiencing financial difficulties, readers are able to empathize with Jennie and Shep. But the additional of Mattie and her wonderful family takes the story up a few notches, adding a deep-felt appeal to this beautifully written tale. Having read some of her previous novels, I have become a fan of Ms. Keller’s work and as usual, her story did not disappoint. Filled with family undercurrents, financial problems, Christmas, Amish country and ways, forgiveness, wisdom, strength and new beginnings, this story is one you will not soon forget. I look forward to reading more of Ms. Keller’s works. In the meantime, do not miss AN AMISH GIFT. I highly recommend it!

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