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Posts Tagged ‘Series: Sisters of Holmes County’

Out of all the Sisters of Holmes County books A Sister’s Hope (Sisters of Holmes County, Book 3) is my favorite. I enjoyed the youngest sistern270531, Martha, probably more than either of the older sisters. Her spunk and determination to not simply sit back while her family continues to be attacked and receive threats, as well as her persistence to not just settle down and get married but pursue her own business set her apart from the other sisters.

Here’s the synopsis:

Martha is the youngest of the Hostettler sisters and the most daring. While her main focus has been on her dog breeding business, Martha has also been troubled about the continuing attacks against her family and home in an Ohio Amish community.

When the prime suspect turns out to be Luke Friesen–the man she loves–Martha decides to play detective. But what will the search for truth cost?

Luke seems to have taken the wrong road in life. With a definite motive and a myriad of methods, he looks guilty as sin. Will Martha’s hope in his innocence be enough to bring the real criminal to justice?

Roman Hostettler disapproves of the love blossoming between his daughter and Luke. In his determination to drive the couple apart, discord and dissension grow within the family.

The author, Wanda Brunstetter, never really tells the reader why Martha falls in love with Luke. She doesn’t really have any interactions with him in the previous books and he’s been painted as a “bad boy” up until this book. So, that aspect didn’t really make sense. Although once they begin working together and seeing more of each other you can see how their relationship and affection develops.

Like I said, this was my favorite in the series but it still had its faults in my opinion. Grace was still whiny and a worry-wart although less so than in A Sister’s Test (Book 2). The dialogue often feels unnatural, very scripted as if the characters (usually the more minor characters) were reading lines rather than being themselves. A few times the Martha’s actions seemed a little too “wild,” I guess is the way to put it, to be Amish–but, hey, what do I know!

I did enjoy seeing Ruth’s story develop and the resolution with the attacks on the family. In the final chapter where the attacks are resolved I felt there was some good depth to the characters and their conversation about God followed naturally, rather than feeling like an obligatory insert as is often the case in Christian fiction.

Overall, I enjoyed the series and recommend it if you’re interested in Amish fiction and looking for a quick read.

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Sisters-Test_02I have a little secret to confess: I have a soft spot for Amish Christian fiction. Give me a book on a fictional Amish family and I’ll devour it in a few hours. If it’s in a series, which most are, I’m likely to finish it within a week.

Why do I like them so much? Like I said before, the culture is fascinating. It’s so foreign to my life and anything I’ve ever known which adds a romantic aspect to the stories.

I was able to get A Sister’s Test (Sisters of Holmes County, Book 2), from PaperBack Swap. Like the A Sister’s Secret, it was a quick read. The story follows Ruth, the middle daughter of the Hostettler family, as she is courting and then married to her beau. The plot continues where Book 1 left off with the attacks on the family still continuing by an unknown perpetrator.

I have to admit I peeked ahead in this one, but it was an accident–honest! I was just trying to see how many pages the story was without the ads, author bio, etc in the back of the book and I saw a detail that turns the story in a way I wasn’t expecting and didn’t want. I quickly flipped through the book to see why it was ending the way it did and what happened. I found out, but I won’t tell.

Here’s the synopsis:

The Hostettler family continues to face an unseen enemy who randomly attacks their property. Despite the unrest, Ruth, the second oldest sister, is about to realize her greatest dream–to marry and raise a family with Martin Gingerich. But in a flash, her world is shattered. Can Ruth stitch together the pieces of her life, with faith and heart intact, or will she forever question her value as a wife?

Overall, I enjoyed the story. I liked the continuation with the family. You’re able to see a bit of development in the main characters of Book 1, but it wasn’t as developed as I would have liked. Grace, the eldest sister, was very whiny, characterized by worry,  and seemed to overreact too much. It was a disappoint to see the main character from the first book fall like that.

It felt lacking, although I can’t exactly put my finger on what I feel it lacked at the moment. It almost seemed to be just the stopping point for the series.

I’ve finished the final book in the series, A Sister’s Hope. You can look for that review in the next day or so.

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I don’t know why, but I find fiction about Amish culture and life fascinating. It’s something foreign and real, but distant. There’s something about 1_sisterssecretthe plain and simple life that is inviting and alluring. Even with the manual labor and living without many modern day technologies, I think I might enjoy the lifestyle (which is probably why my husband and I plan to build a cob house and raise chickens and goats one of these days). Besides, my husband would fit in nicely with his beard.

Every once and a while I pick up a piece of Christian fiction and enjoy. I saw A Sister’s Secret by Wanda E. Brunstetter on the new books section of my library and was lured by the Amish-theme,

Putting her rumschpringe (running-around years) behind her, Grace Hostettler returns to Holmes County, Ohio; joins the Amish church; and begins a new life with a new romance. The next four years are nearly idyllic for the oldest Hostettler child–except for the hidden pain she bears from a carefully harbored secret.

Her peaceful world is shattered the day she runs into Gary Walker–an Englisher who knows enough about her past to destroy her future. Gary’s arrival in Holmes County coincides with a seires of startling attacks against the Amish community–and the Hostettler’s in particular. Is Gary at the root of this evil?

Amishman Cleon Schrock plans to marry Grace but is unaware of her past. When evidence of Grace’s deception arrives on her family’s doorstep, will Cleon feel compelled to desert the woman he loves?

Oh, it was good.

There’s enough intrigue, love, and honest emotions to keep you going and hold you on. There are a few things left unsolved, but continue in the next book. I quickly finished and looked to see if my library carried the second book in the series, A Sister’s Test, they don’t! So I’ll have to find it somewhere else.

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