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.
Set on an island off Seattle in the Puget Sound, and in the city, this was an interesting story and included a heroine with a lot of emotional baggage, with good reason. There's an environmentalist theme with the eagles vs. developers and enough red herrings to satisfy most readers. I'm not a contemporary reader, usually, but this was a strong story. The hero was perfect for the story because his occupation directly conflicted with the heroine's issues. There was one scene, in particular, that almost made my heart stop but then Ms. Leesmith "rescued" the heroine. Having been to this locale (not on an island though) and caught in the worst storm in 50 years (I believe it was 1991) aboard a ship enroute to Victoria Island, I found this story to be especially enthralling because of the potential danger lurking around every corner. The narrator was excellent--she had a wonderful voice perfect for a contemporary. Also, because this is a Christian romantic suspense you won't get a bunch of stuff such as profanity. The spiritual arc was rather thin so I think even non-believers can enjoy this story.
Disclaimer: I received a credit for this book from the author and am under no compulsion to give a positive rating.
Amazing Story and Characters! Kim Vogel Sawyer has hit a home run with this story. Continues to have her no nonsense but sweet voice, this has a solid believable story, and all the characters, even the minor ones, are well developed.
Christina Willems is left with a legacy of caring for others. But her shoulders cannot bear the weight all alone, despite her efforts to do so. The author beautifully shows how God has to be trusted to provide.
Levi Johnson has hidden off by himself for so long that his connections with others are almost nil. But when the mill owner is forced to take in a blind boy, he finds a part of himself that had gone missing.
Skillfully told tale. Highly recommend!
Audio narration: I purchased the CD audiobook version first. The narrator has a somewhat depressed sounding voice and speaks slowly. Too slowly. So I came over to Audible.com and downloaded this version and set the narration speed at 1.5 which worked out great on my Kindle. Much better narration than performed by the narrator for Sarah's first novel's. Still wish they could have gotten someone who didn't make the story sound like such a tragedy, because it wasn't. This was an inspirational fiction and a narrator with some hope in her voice would have been better.
Story: This is like a cross between a Jane Austen and a Charlotte Bronte story and won't disappoint those fans! A great listen, lovely story, sweet and well developed cast of characters, lots of tension, and little Emma steals the story! This is only the second book Sarah has written and she's already grown so much as a writer. She delivers a wonderful HEA that will leave readers emotionally satisfied. Brava, Sarah!
I don't care for first person POV stories. But the heroine was sympathetic and the narrator was stellar. I read a one star review on Amazon and almost requested a refund/return on this story. Many of her comments were legitimate but many were not. The heroine is an atheist in a Christian Book Association (Tyndale) book. The actual Christian thread is thin BUT this is part of a series. Which causes yet another problem because this is a long convoluted story with an ending that doesn't tie up the strings to all those threads. But it isn't a cliffhanger per se, there is a somewhat HEA to the book, which is why I gave it a 4. I wanted to give the author the benefit of the doubt that she has what "appears" to be the main love interest be a truly evil man. And I think only the most naive of readers will not realize that. Which makes those love scenes with him all the more creepy. And leaves me wondering why are they so prominent in this story? Doubt that I will buy the sequel. I will make up my own ending in my own mind for this story lol! I cannot spend that kind of time with a book these days--I need all the story parts wrapped up within one volume, not in a continuation. Still, Ms. Dotta creates a compelling story that had me listening to the end.
Great listen by a wonderful author. Tracie Peterson really delivered on this book. A unique storyline. Merrill Krause is a feisty only daughter in a household of German-American men in Minnesota. Rurik is of Swedish descent and Peterson does a lovely job of interweaving that information. Nice character arcs as Merrill faces changes in her life that push her towards giving up her job of being the replacement mother in the household of big bossy men. Meanwhile Rurik, a real sweetheart, is trying to shake off an unwanted engagement that was arranged by their Swedish parents when they were children. His best friend is a scallawag, which the reader will begin to suspect straight away, but Rurik wants to see the best in him. My favorite secondary character was Rurik's uncle, who is seriously ill. Lovely romance, cool (cold!) setting, unique storyline, great narration, beautiful author's voice, excellent craft, all make for a superb listen. This will be in my best of 2013 audiobooks and likely in best books I "read" in 2013.
Intricate and interesting plot. Too bad Colleen Coble has a couple of characters in this story who are TSTL. They do, of course, because this is a CBA book. Because of those characters believability is suspended at times. But, she's created such engaging H/H and a unique storyline that it was worth ignoring the inane teenage characters. I think CC fans will love this book by their favorite story teller. You'll keep listening to find out how the book turns out. I wouldn't normally comment on characters who are so ridiculous, but I had to for this listen. However, I float some grace in that they are teenagers and spoiled young adults. And unfortunately Coble's characterization may be spot-on for some of these real-life inspirations! Consistent delivery from CC of a very good listen.
This is apparently Kim Vogel Sawyer's debut novel and it shows. This was published 7 years ago before CBA market underwent some big changes. I listened because I liked previous books by this author and this was available on audio. I didn't check the year. But as soon as I started listening I knew something was off--I wasn't even sure it was a KVS book. Slow, cumbersome, self-absorbed and with so little tension I fell asleep while listening to it. I do not ordinarily post less than a 4 Star review but I felt compelled to write this up because audiobooks are expensive and time consuming. If you are desperate for a sweet and very slow CBA historical fiction this is the ticket. I also wondered if this was aimed at the YA market--it reminds me of some books I read as an older child. A good book but lacking in the elements that are critical in today's market. However, with almost 500 reviews on Amazon, there are obviously many people who very much enjoy this type of read/listen. There is nothing in here to offend anyone, which is a huge plus.
Deeanne Gist once again delivers a stellar novel full of twists, turns, quirky lovable characters and lots of heart-pumping romance. She also pours a ton of history into her books without overwhelming the reader. The "ew" factor is the birds. Lots of birds. Especially on millinery. When I was a child I read a number of books (mostly creepy ones) where bird parts were used on clothing but I'd not remembered this being a fashion in the early 20th century. She really brings to life the turn of the century west, with this small town in Texas seeming much like what one might find in rural Michigan at the time. Except for the train and robbers. And a lawman hero who takes to hiding out as a telephone line repairman. Great story arc for both hero and heroine. He's pretty much a jerk at the beginning of the story but evolves as does the heroine. I figured out who the outlaw was but the layers to the story that Gist added to the ending really made it satisfying. You know this man must be caught and brought to justice. No matter what. Great narrator and an all-around great story from Deeanne Gist. The spiritual arc is not there but I believe she has moved over to the ABA market now.
The narrator does the author's voice no favors. This is a sweet romance and easy to listen to. I think the narrator could have done a better job which would have ramped up some of the tension in the book but as it was she made the villain mostly seem silly.
If you enjoy Christian historical romance and prefer a simpler slower story this will appeal to you. With so few Christian novels available as audible listens, this one is a good choice for "reading" as you go about your housework or for a commute.
Suzanne Woods Fisher possesses something no one else has--her voice. That certain Suzanne voice that defies description and when I've tried I've mangled it. And the narrator of this book does a superb job of capturing the Suzanneness that I love.
You're introduced to a household of characters and some from nearby and some from out of the area. But even with all the cast of characters each one has his or her own voice and unique traits.
Even if the listener doesn't agree with the choice the doctor's wife makes (or choices) by the end of the story you'll find yourself accepting them and seeing how it could work. This secondary plot line was extremely well done.
Rose Schrock is a special heroine and Galen King a subdued but persuasive hero for the story. Loved how Suzanne had this one twist with the step-daughters "boyfriend." And the plot line with the underlying medical condition. I am trying to not do any spoilers.
I am not your typical Amish book reader but I find Suzanne writes her books with a complex plot line and extremely well-developed characters. And she reliably produces an excellent product. I like reliability!
Listen and ENJOY!!!
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