Treasuring Emma by Kathleen Fuller

I found this book a very enjoyable read.  Emma is a young dedicated Amish woman who has seen more than her share of heart ache.  Her father is dead and her mother has just died of cancer when the story begins.  She lives with her elderly grandmother whom she loves very much.  To add to her heartache and confusion, her one true love, an Amish man named Adam, has left the church and Emma behind.  Emma is hurt and even resentful at the hand life has dealt her.

As she tries to grieve, Emma’s life is further complicated by Adam’s return and her sister, with whom she has a rocky relationship, is pushing to turn her grandfather’s beloved workshop into a fabric/yarn store.  As if all this is not enough, her sister’s brother-in-law, Mark King moves to the area with shady plans. I felt the book was well written.  I found myself getting caught up in Emma’s anguish and confusion.  There was just too much to deal with too quickly.  The author did a wonderful job of portraying all the emotions that Emma was facing.

The Grandmother’s steadfastness and loving guidance was reassuring in such a tumultuous time in both her and Emma’s life.  I reminded me of the wisdom and patience of the aged gleaned only from a life time of experience. 

Emma was a great example of standing firm in your faith in spite of your world being turned upside down.  I love the step by step journey of Emma from unforgiveness toward others and God to putting all her trust in Him.   I saw how when we hurt we often reject those that can comfort and help us.  The ending was quite a surprise! 

Another part I enjoyed was the Amish words used throughout the book and the glossary that gave the definitions.  It not only made the story and the characters come to life, but it was also very interesting.  I also appreciated the purity with which the book was written, even the romantic parts.  A book I would recommend!

I received this book free from the publisher through the http://www.BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

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Sixteen Brides by Stephanie Grace Whitson

I thoroughly enjoyed Sixteen Brides.  It focuses on five of the women who after the Civil War, thought they were heading to Nebraska Territory with the opportunity to own land (an unheard of thing doing that time) and to start new lives.  They soon find out they have been mislead and unknown to them, they were coming as prepaid mail order brides.

Some of the women were widowed, some divorced or fleeing bad relationships, but all of them had pain from their past they were trying to escape, and none of these 5 were interested in marrying.

They all banded together to support each other and make a life together in the harsh land they found themselves in.  The book was hard to put down as each woman’s individuality and past life was revealed and woven into the present.  I liked the fact that even with such diverse personalities and backgrounds they became a close knitted group of friends.  Everyone one of the ladies has some special and surprising talent or skill that filled a need.

The courage and personal growth each showed as they created a new existence and left their pasts behind was inspiring to me.   It reminded me that determination and perseverance with God’s help can overcome trials or heartaches not matter how difficult.  It also gave me insight of how the Civil War affected the personal lives of women during that era and the difficulty and hard work homesteaders faced.