Sunday, August 25, 2013

Book Review: A Hopeful Heart

Author: Amy Clipston
Title: A Hopeful Heart
Publisher: Zondervan
Publish Date: June 7, 2013
Buy: Amazon
Review Copy Provided By: Booksneeze
Book Blurb:

In A Hopeful Heart, the first novel of the new Hearts of the Lancaster Grand Hotel series from best-selling author Amy Clipston, Hannah finds herself at a crossroads in her life. Her community offers her love and support after the untimely death of her husband, but an Englisher offers her the chance of a new life after her unexpected tragedy. Wealthy businessman Trey Peterson is surprised by his attraction to the gentle Amish woman who works as a housekeeper in the Lancaster Grand Hotel. They share a common bond of loss and are able to offer each other comfort and support as they journey through their grief.

Joshua Glick wants nothing more than to offer his friendship and love to Hannah and her family. Not only is he her late husband’s brother and business partner, he has always been in love with Hannah.

A Hopeful Heart is filled with surprising twists as Hannah tries to balance her life in the Amish community and her growing love for an outsider.

Review: Hannah Glick is a widow who finds two men vying for her love, a handsome Englischer  widower and her late husband's brother.

This was definitely a story that turned out to be different from what I expected. Most Amish stories I've read deal with finding love in the Amish community or the youth finding love and deciding whether or not to stay with the faith.

Hannah is not the typical Amish heroine, she's older and she's questioning her community.

While I loved the story there were several things that bothered me that could have been rectified if the book were a little bit longer. Her relationship with Trey Peterson developed into a marriage proposal without much of a courtship...and her decision regarding that proposal left me a little shocked.

I know romance novels require a happily ever after, but somehow this one didn't quite work for me. I think it had to do with how intensely unlikable Josh was, as well as her mother-in-law Barbie, who seemed downright evil and not at all Christian in her treatment of Hannah.

I commend Amy Clipston for going against the norm with her resolution, I just wish we could have seen more of why they were falling in love. It was hard for me to fathom how losing a spouse could be the basis for a loving relationship.

But like all good Amish novels there are more characters involved then just the hero and heroine. I loved Hannah's daughters, Amanda and Lillian. These girls are twins but polar opposites, especially in their beliefs. I hope we get to see what becomes of them in later books, especially Lillian, whose relationship with her mother is strained because of Trey Peterson. Her young son Andrew is sweet too.

This was a good introduction to a new series, yet it was also somewhat unsatisfying.

Rating: 3 flowers


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