Kelly is in the Colonial American Christian Writers group and I am so looking forward to her colonial Amish books when they release. In the meantime, I listened to this as my first "read" of her work. She knocked my socks off (well if it weren't summer she would have!) Beautiful voice, gripping story line, great characterization, and the best romantic tension I have seen since Deanne Gist. Not your average Amish novel! I highly recommend this book and this writer and just downloaded another of her audible.com books. I saw she has a novella with several other authors, including Cindy Woodsmall. I do wonder why when I searched "Amish" this book did not pull up.
I think I have found another favorite author! Looking forward to listening to her next book and many more after that one!
Lovely narrator although she mispronounced a couple of words. It wasn't distracting. She had the perfect voice for the herione.
He's losing his hearing and she's a teacher for the deaf.
Loved, loved, loved all the historical tidbits and that Deeanne included them in Editorial notes at the end of the book. I totally get what she is talking about--it is hard to leave a story world that you love. She takes the reader there beautifully.
Great voice as usual, fascinating characterization, unique storyline, bibliotherapy elements, and on audio--what more could I ask for?
I started reading this as a Net Galley advance copy but I had listened to all of Julie's other books on audible.com downloads. So, frankly, I had been spoiled. As soon as I discovered the download was available I purchased it and began listening. The narrator couldn't be any more perfect for this book, which really enhanced my reading pleasure. Julie and Jane lovers will not be disappointed!!! Worth the wait!
I listened to this over a period of about ten days. This is a long book, longer than some of Tamera's other books. Her fans will love this book which is part of the new Belmont series. A great listen. Lovely romance.
I have wanted to read/listen to a Mary Coneally book for a long time. Glad to find this one on audible.com! I had just finished listening to a very dark secular novel that had elements in common with my own writing. I'd also begun listening to another secular best-selling novel with major commonalities with my own manuscripts so I want to listen. Both were pretty depressing. The Christian world view and voice of hope were notably absent. Reasons I listen/read Christian novels and write Christian historical romance. So when I got this download I jumped right in. What a nice break from the yucky feeling I had listening to a voice devoid of faith. A concern I had about this story, that pulled me out of the listen, was that I have a daughter about this age and both the H/H were so lacking in common sense imho. My hubby, when I described the scenario to him commented that so many young people are into extreme sports, etc., these days, that for them this wouldn't be an issue (not about extreme sports but what they are doing in the story with the caves and the psychopath etc.) To me, though, this story was a great wonderful antidote to having just had two bummer listens. The author's voice is uplifting and she had a unique story and interesting characters. I felt like listening to Mary's book reset my bummed out reading experience and got me back on track!
I listened to this book as a download through audible.com where I have a platinum membership. I was sick when I listened to over half of it and was I ever glad that I had it. This is a nostalgia book, i.e., it is not set long enough ago to be a historical nor recently enough to be a contemporary. I imagine most people would say I am wrong and that this is a historical. So be it. Having listened to the second book in the series first, I was expecting some sort of romance. I am bad about listening to things out of order. This was an instance where the first book probably should have been read first.
The story is almost a men’s fiction, as the three generations relationships were pivotal to the storyline. We have an estranged WWII pilot, Shawn Collins, whose wife has just died leaving behind their young son, Patrick. The paternal grandfather, Ian Collins, is the closest living relative but he has never even seen his grandson. He’s a bitter, grumpy old widower with few redeeming qualities. Rigid is his middle name. He doesn’t deserve to have this sweet little boy in his home.
A social worker, Katherine Townsend, who is assisting with the Collins child, has become emotionally involved with the boy. An orphan herself, Katherine finds the irascible elder Collins undeserving of having his grandson in his custody. When Patrick goes missing, near Christmas, they must pull together to bring the child home safely.
I felt Patrick Collins was the most engaging character in the story. I wanted to know more about Katherine and I was dying to see Ian have some of his crustiness ripped away, which kept me listening. I don’t normally read this type of book. However, I think this is a great audiobook, especially for someone who is ailing. It is an easy and compelling listen.
The narrator was perfect for this book and did an amazing job, also.
I listened to this as an Audible.com download. I have a Platinum membership. Wow, what a book! The narrator was perfect for this book. She really could not have done the heroine any more justice and she did great with the hero, the heroine’s sons, and the minor characters. No easy feat!
The prologue sets up a spooky mystery that leaves a question hanging in the air – who is the dead man? It is not until you are about a third to halfway through the book when the prologue begins to make sense. I have never read a Tamara Alexander book before. Something she does that I don’t see as often as I would like, is weaving other subplot threads through her story. This is something I do, too, in my own writing but I see far too many books with a simple straight forward plot and little additional subplots or threads and themes. She tied them up beautifully at the end, too, which I always appreciate.
The heroine is a widower with two sons and is having a tough go of things. Her father was a physician and she served as a medical practitioner until the new physician came to town. It is cute how it is clear right from the beginning that the doctor has fallen for the pretty widow but she still hasn’t recovered from the loss of her husband, who died several years earlier.
Great listen, I will probably listen to this again now that I realize what the prologue was all about. I highly recommend this Tamara Alexander book to anyone who enjoys Christian historical romance. Brava, Tamera, both for the story and for the craft in writing!
Review of Kelly’s Long Sarah’s Garden
This was a beautiful story, well-written, and a solid romance. Sarah King loves her garden.
When she finds herself falling in love with a physician who is not Amish she questions what she should do. This was my second listen for Kelly Long’s books and again I was impressed by the freshness in her writing and the passion in the romance. These characters are portrayed as real people with genuine emotions rather than the cookie cutter images seen in some of the Amish books.
Listeners should keep in mind that this is an inspirational romance, the book originally published by Thomas Nelson. Lovely spiritual arc for both the hero and the heroine.
Well done, Kelly!
I listened to this book via a download from http://audible.com. My favorite novella was Kelly Long's Christmas Cradles. I also enjoyed Beth Wiseman's A Choice to Forgive. However the other two novellas were thin on characterization and story line and I was quite disappointed in the listen.
The narrator was mediocre at best and mispronounced many words. The ratings on audible.com are low (3's) because of the two novellas that were lacking and because of the poor narration. However, two of the stories were strong. Kelly Long's novella was definitely worth reading on its own. A strong character, an Amish midwife, Anna Stollis, falls for an equally strong handsome and capable young man, Asa Mast, as they go about delivering babies one stormy Christmas night. The hero and heroine are in their late twenties.
Kelly Marie Long is one of my new favorite authors. She really knows how to craft believable characters and her romances are the best around. Grab this book and curl up by the fire for a great read as Anna and Asa bring new life into the world while beginning their own lives together!
Callie is a young widow who comes to Shippshewanna after her beloved aunt dies. Auntie owned a quilt shop and several Amish women are reliant upon her to sell their quilts. One of the women has a significant need for the funds as she has a child with a rare illness. Callie is a spunky woman from a big city in Texas suddenly in small town Indiana. A real fish out of water. But as the story progresses one senses she was a goldfish swimming in the ocean who needed to be in a tank, required the cozy closeness that provided. Lovely job of dropping that into the story over time. The Amish quilters are lovely women, each with distinct voices that are also unlike most other Amish stories I have heard.
Callie hasn’t gotten over the loss of her husband, in fact doesn’t even share this with her new friends until very late in the book. She is an endearing character despite her prickly behavior, which furthers the story line, especially when she becomes the prime suspect in a murder. This is not a romance but there are a couple of romantic possibilities. By the end of the story we have a real possibility for a boyfriend in the next book, which I am looking forward to reading/listening to!
This was a great Christmas season listen because it a) has an easy tempo b) has an excellent narrator (amazingly she sounds almost exactly like the real Vannetta Chapman!) c) it’s like having a girlfriend in your room with you telling you the story d) while it is a suspense/mystery it has a cozy feel and is not knuckle whitening – I mean who needs that this time of year? It has a soothing quality to it despite the suspense and the murder mystery. It may be one of the first women’s fiction reads I’ve read in a long time, but Vannetta’s book almost defies genres.
I plan to listen to this book again sometime as I really liked it and it has the qualities of a repeat listen - great voice, characterization, and pleasing story line.
Bibliotherapy: Loneliness, estrangement, grieving, child with a rare disease, and friendships.
Formats: I listened through http://audible.com and it is available in paperback, ebook (e.g., Kindle), and audio.
Both Amish, Carrie Weaver and Daniel Miller are much in love. A baseball player, Daniel, is about to go pro. When Carrie's life changes, so does her choice of future husband. And with a younger brother to care for who suffers from hemophilia, Carrie must choose for more than herself alone.
I listened to this on audio with a download from Audible.com. The narrator's voice seemed more suited to the female antagonist in the story than to the Amish characters, which was distracting. However, I always try to not hold that against the author when I am listening, as they have no control over this. Unless they are Liz Curtis Higgs who recently narrated her own audiobooks (which was a fabulous gift for her readers!)
I would describe this as an almost “literary” Amish book with romantic elements. It was most unusual. If you are anticipating a formulaic Amish story – forget it! Suzanne Woods Fisher had more twists and turns in her story than in Amish country near the Ohio River!
SPOILER ALERT: I will warn the reader that there is an important death that almost stopped me from finishing listening to the rest of the book. I was angry with Suzanne – yup, she had violated my expectations for a romance. Guess what?! This is not a romance. It is an Amish fiction with romantic elements, some women’s fiction to it, suspense, and a literary twist. So I had to get over my irritation as I do not like big surprises in my reading. My friend and author, Dina Sleiman, who has an MFA degree would likely be jumping for joy at literary quality of this book. I, on the other hand, like my reads or listens to be fairly straight forward with no killing off of someone I have begun to get attached to in the story.
Back to the previous programming - That being said, the rest of the novel was very well done and Suzanne needed the plot element for her heroine’s emotional and spiritual arc. There is an arsonist amongst the characters and she does a great job of obscuring just who that might be.
Forgiveness is a huge theme in this book and in many Amish books. Carrie has made choices that she has to address. Some of her decisions require forgiveness of herself. One of the male protagonists makes a sacrificial choice that has ramifications that ripples throughout the family. I found that fascinating how Suzanne spun that storyline across so many characters’ story arcs.
I really loved two secondary characters’s romance. They were a really fun couple and I was glad the author put them together. And the inclusion of a subplot about Carrie’s younger brother who has hemophilia was very gripping and just another example of the many layers of this story.
Second spoiler alert: I was rewarded for my continued reading with a happy ending! Gotta love a happy ending.
Bibliotherapy: Hemophilia, bereavement, forgiveness, and life’s transitions.
Disability Friendliness: Available in hardcover, paperback, Kindle or ebook, and audio versions as well as large print.
An ECPA, CBA and CBD Bestseller, Crossings' Main Selection, Doubleday, Literary Guild and BookSpan selection! (This information copied from Suzanne's website.)
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.