Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Book Review: Lydia's Charm #8

Lydia's Charm: An Amish Widow Starts Over in Charm, Ohio
Author: Wanda E. Brunstetter
Title: Lydia's Charm
Publisher: Barbour Books
Publish Date: Sept 1, 2010
Copy Provided By: NetGalley & The Publisher
Buy: Amazon
Book Blurb: Widowed and jobless, Lydia King moves her son and herself to Charm, Ohio, to be close to her mother and help with her grandfather. Menno Troyer, a furniture store owner, is also recently widowed and the father of four energetic boys. Levi Stutzman, another newcomer to the area, is the only one in his family not handicapped by dwarfism and has dedicated his life to caring for them. As fall colors the countryside, will anonymous gifts left for Lydia bring her hope for a new life and romance, or will another tragedy flood her with infinite despair?

Review:  Lydia's Charm is an Amish story that really has its roots based in real life. It was hard to fathom all the hardships that Lydia faced in this story, the loss of a husband that sends her back to Charm, then her grandfather and later her son.

It was truly heartbreaking to read at times, but Lydia was such a strong character, that even while I was wiping my eyes because things kept going wrong, I had to press on, to see which of her two suitors, Menno or Levi that she chose in the end.

The story also deals with prejudices. Levi's family are "little people," and he spends most of his time protecting them, unnecessarily.

Wanda's character's are so real. Menno struggles with the loss of his wife and he hopes to find a new mother for his brood, who are very rambucious, in Lydia. It becomes clear very early on, that he's looking for a maid and babysitter more than a wife.

Then there's Rueban who is in love with Mae, Lydia's mother. That is almost a whole other story within a story, because Mae is a very complex character. At the beginning you really want to hate her, because she's so crabby, but as Wanda reveals more of her life, it becomes harder to dislike the woman.

Wanda really brings  her characters to life in her stories and she makes them real. They suffer losses just like the rest of us. Lydia even goes through some unemployment in this book. Again, its all very real.

I also loved that anyone familar with Holmes County, Ohio will recognize some familiar places in the book, like Heini's Cheese, Der Dutchman Restaurant and Java Joe's.

A great story that made me want to go back to Ohio

Rating: 5 Flowers


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