Release Date: March 6, 2012
Series: Home At Cedar Creek #1
Buying Links: Amazon The Book Depository
Book Blurb (from the author's website):
The first in a warm-hearted new series featuring two Amish families and their community in Cedar Creek, Missouri.
The Lambright family’s eldest daughter, Abby, runs her own sewing shop. There, she mends the town’s clothes and their torn relationships. But the town maidel has sworn off any suitors of her own because of her unrequited love for James Graber, who is about to marry her younger sister, Zanna…
On the wedding day, Zanna is nowhere to be found, breaking James’ heart. Zanna has brought shame to her family, but there’s more in store for them when they discover how far she has fallen. Long-buried secrets come to light, and they test the bonds of the Cedar Creek community. Abby is at the center of it all, trying to maintain everyone’s happiness. But will she ever find her own?
Emma released her to hang the new dress on a peg where it wouldn't get wrinkled. She ran her fingers over the fabric...a new dress, the matching V-shaped cape, and a crisp white apron, as well. The expression on her face made James realize how perfectly Abby had pleased his sister. Emma had so little time to sew, and was so used to putting Mamm and Dat's-and his-needs before her own, he couldn't recall the last time she'd worn something new.
And wasn't that on of the things Abby Lambright did best? She quietly watched, and waited for just the right time to share her love and her talents...
Reviewed By: Bea
Recently, Amish romances have become a very popular, and best selling, sub-genre of romance. While I typically stay away from religious themed romances, I do enjoy, on occasion, a "clean" romance, minus all of the sex. Hey, even an avowed smut hound such as myself needs a break now and then. Lynn Kurland is my favorite author of clean romances. The blurb for this sounded intriguing, and I was curious about this new variety of romance, so I gave it a try.
First off, I liked how respectful King is to the Amish way of life and her acknowledgement in the story that the Amish are no more cookie cutter, or problem free, than any other segment of American society. Moreover, faith does not mean that there's a lack of doubt or that you automatically do the right thing. Living the way you have chosen, whatever path that may be, has challenges big and small and we see that clearly in this story. There's doubt, fear, anger, pettiness, gossip, etc. But, all of the characters strive, in their own way, to overcome these challenges and live by the code, or Ordnung, of their faith. Some, such as Abby, are stronger than others, but all are imperfect.
Imperfection, is in fact, integral to the story. James' fiance, Zanna, who is Abby's younger sister, has made some mistakes and on her wedding day, shocks her family and the Cedar Creek community. The repercussions of her actions resound throughout the story and effect every one. The story is told primarily from the perspective of three characters: James, Zanna, and Abby, with most of the time being spent with the latter two. I would have liked a little more time spent in James's head as I felt I knew him the least.
You might wonder if an inspirational story would be overly sweet and this one came close, but King manages to avoid that pitfall. Although billed as a romance, it also lives up to it's name: Abby does indeed find her purpose in life. In addition, there's a main romance, the ending of a romance, the start of another romance (that's book two) and an unrequited romance. Also woven in are Abby's and Zanna's relationships with each other and the rest of their immediate family, James's relationship with his family, and their relationships within the larger community of Cedar Creek. It's a lot to work in and I'd have liked more time spent on the main romance (can't really say more without spoilers) but overall, I enjoyed it. The characters are likable and real, the stories are relevant and fascinating, and I enjoyed learning more about the Amish in general and the Amish of this particular community.(You can read more about this in Naomi's guest post.)
I received a paperback for review from the publisher.