Sunday, April 13, 2014

Book Review: A Shining Light

 The kind people of Amana have been her guiding light, but her greatest trial is yet to come...
West Amana, Iowa, 1890

After Andrea Wilson receives the devastating news that her husband has been lost at sea, she returns home to Iowa with her young son, Lukas. But what she finds there causes more heartache: The family farm has burned and her father has died, leaving Andrea with nothing.

Andrea must rely on the kindness of the people from the nearby Amana village who invite her to stay with them for a time. She discovers much generosity and contentment among the Amanans--especially from the tinsmith, Dirk Knefler, who takes her son under his wing. But is the simple, cloistered life in Amana what Andrea wants for Lukas's future? Is she willing to give up the comforts and freedom of the outside world? And when yet another round of shocking news comes her way, will Andrea ever be able to find the serenity and hope that have eluded her for so long?
My Review: 
 In the vast bookshelves filled with romance novels, this one is just as refreshing as a walk in the sunshine!  From the front cover to the end, I could not put this book down.  Judith Miller is an extraordinary writer.  Her writing style is expressive and her character descriptions are so vivid
you feel as if you are in the story right there with them.
Andrea Wilson's life has not been easy.  Leaving the safety of her father's farm,
she marries Fred and has her son, Lukas, who are the main characters of this book.  They live a life of turmoil and abuse and Andrea doesn't know much happiness or security.
When a knock on the door from Mr. Shaw, her husband's employer, tells her he has died at sea,
she has no choice but to return home to her father's farm and start over.
Sadly, she makes the journey with her son only to find out that he has passed away
and the farm burned to the ground.
She finds refuge in the Amanan community and quickly finds her place working
alongside the women and cooking and helping until she can get back on her feet.
What she doesn't expect is to fall in love along the way.
The relationship with Dirk, an Amanan tinmaker in the community,
is so very sweet and tender and melts the heart to know that such goodness exists.
He loves her son as if he were his own and takes him under his wing.
Shockingly, Fred returns to find her and demand that she not only return with him to live but also give him all the monies from the sale of the farm.
This book has a wonderful plot, twists and turns.
While the book does prove to be predictable through-out,
the message of faith and love and purity is one that will melt your heart
and leave you with a smile.

*Disclaimer:  I received this book for an honest review from Bethany House, a division of the Baker Publishing Group and was not required to write a positive review.  Any reflection of such is my own
and this review is an honest reflection of such.

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