Thursday, May 10, 2012

Book Review: Arms Of Love

Author: Kelly Long
Title: Arms Of Love
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Publish Date: April 3, 2012
Review Copy Provided By: Net Galley
Book Blurb: Pennsylvania in the late 18th century, once called William Penn's Woods, was an assortment of different faiths living together for the first time in American history. Included in this tapestry was a small and struggling population called Amish.

Surrounding this peaceful people were unavoidable threats: both Patriots and the British were pillaging land and goods for the sake of the war, young Amishmen were leaving the faith to take up arms and defend freedom. A simple walk in the untamed forests could result in death, if not from bullet or arrow, then from an encounter with a wild animal.

Amid this time of tumult, Adam Wyse is fighting a personal battle. To possibly join the war efforts and leave his faith, which would mean walking away from the only woman he's ever loved: Lena Yoder. But for that love he's made a promise that may keep them apart permanently.

When Adam withdraws from Lena, she's forced to turn to his brother, Isaac, for support. Must Lena deny her heart's desire to save Adam's soul? And will life in this feral and primitive New World be more than this peace-keeping people can withstand?

      Arms Of Love (An Amish Beginnings Novel)
Review: Kelly Long's Arms Of Love is a different kind of Amish novel. It takes place during the Revolutionary War. The Amish weren't considered backward then, they were just different, much like the Quakers. (Only the Quakers allowed a little bit more adornment on their clothing)

I have mixed feelings about this book. In some ways it is really fantastic. Kelly does a great job of giving us a glimpse of what the Amish were like when they first settled in Pennsylvania. It wasn't all a bed of roses, especially when you are a pacifist during war time.

Surprisingly enough, Kelly shows Adam and Lena as sexual beings. They don't have sex, but they have desire for one another. That's something you won't see in a lot of Amish fiction, because they keep it too Christian. (And you know Christian people don't do that) Sex is naughty...those babies are delivered by the stork!

Makes you wonder how those Amish people have all those kids!

But back to the story.  Adam and Lena made a great couple. The historical detail was wonderful. The story was well written but a little bit lacking. Too much of what happened just seemed too easy or too unbelievable.

1. The resolution of the conflict between Adam and his father. This is just way too crazy to deal with.

2. Lena's snakebite! She was bit by a rattler and she recovered remarkably fast...On her wedding night, no less.

3. Samuel and Ruth's courtship. He didn't grieve for his wife very long.

4. Isaac, Adam's brother just didn't seem human to me, at all.

This isn't the greatest story about the Amish, but it is a good one that is worth reading if you are a fan of the genre.

Rating: 3 flowers


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