Saturday, November 8, 2014

A Dream of Home, Book 3 by Amy Clipston

Hearts of the Lancaster Grand Hotel

When she moves to Amish country to find peace and healing, Madeleine finds a special community—and a special man—who pull her out of her solitude into a new life.

Moving to Pennsylvania wasn’t in Madeleine’s original plans. She should still be in California and should have married her pilot fiancé a year ago—but death has a way of changing everything. Now the former Air Force flight nurse is living alone in Paradise, Pennsylvania, and working as a maid at the Lancaster Grand Hotel. She isn’t exactly a widow . . . but she sure feels like one.

Saul Beiler isn’t exactly a widower . . . but his wife is long gone. His eleven-year-old daughter, Emma, doesn’t know that her mother fled the Amish community—and married another man—but she does know that her dat is lonely, and that a pretty young maedel just moved in next door. Madeline’s numb heart begins to thaw as she spends more time with the innocent and ever optimistic Emma. The stronger her friendship grows with the young girl, the more intrigued Madeline grows about the humble, strong, man raising her on his own.

But even as a strange attraction pulls Saul and Madeleine across a stark cultural divide, they—and everybody else—have to wonder: What could they possibly have in common besides heartache? Will love allow Madeleine to finally find the home she’s been dreaming of all along?

My Review:
Although this is the third book in the series, it is a stand-alone novel. It's the first one I've read, and I had no problem. I quickly connected to the protagonist Madeline, an Englisher, who has inherited her Amish Grandmother's house. It feels like home to her because she spent so many happy summers there as a child. However, Maddie's mother left the church and raised Maddie as an Englisher. Now Maddie is balancing between the life of an Englisher and the community of Amish. I appreciate the way the author handled the character of a young lady trying to find peace in her life after the tragedy of her fiance's death. She runs to reduce stress, her cell phone is a valuable asset, and she loves her truck.

Maddie's Amish neighbors are Saul, a cabinet maker and his daughter, Emma. They have a loving relationship; still, motherless Emma misses her mother. Emma and Maddie become good friends. Tension builds as Saul decides that this relationship can only bring heartache. He fears that Emma might want to turn English or Maddie might decide to move away, leaving Emma hurt.

There are other characters who question the ways of English vs. Amish.

Which way is right? The author skillfully lays out the many differences between the two lifestyles without judging. There are several examples of others who are torn with the same decisions.

English vs. Amish, which way will Maddie choose?

I found that most words are easily understood without the extensive glossary. Even so, I used the glossary several times.

Discussion questions are included.

Thank you to BookLook Bloggers for providing me with a complimentary copy of this book.

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