Thursday, December 29, 2016

The Amish Bride (Women of Lancaster County #3) by Mindy Starns Clark & Leslie Gould

Ella Bayer and Ezra Gundy are in love and hope to marry someday, but she is a young Mennonite woman while he is an Amish man. Though both Plain, one of them will have to forsake what they believe to embrace another way of life. 

Hoping some distance will cool the relationship, Ezra's family sends him to work at an Amish dairy farm in Indiana. But Ella disregards what her family wants and follows Ezra. In short order she finds a place to live, a job in a bakery, and an unexpected but budding friendship with a handsome Amish farmhand, Luke. When a family tragedy forces Ella back to Pennsylvania, she must face all she's been running away from. And once she has made peace with those around her, she has an important decision to make: Whose Amish bride will she become?Ezra's or Luke?s?

I was excited to delve into the third installment of this series. Ella has been a recurring character the last few books so I was anxious to see how her story would pan out. She's a very spunky young woman who has a plan for her life. She is going to go to baking school, then marry Ezra and open a business.  But not everything always works out like planned.
Her father, who left when she was three, has returned and Ella refuses to see him even though her mom and brother seem to be rebuilding a relationship to him. She has a lot of anger in her where her father is concerned. Also, Mammi has given Ella a book that is written in code. She's like Ella to try and decode it; it was her mother's and it's filled with drawings, recipes and other information.  And on top of that, Ezra is to start working on a dairy farm to learn the trade and it's in Indiana. She is sure that her family wants them as far apart as possible so Ella makes it her secret mission to find housing, a job and a school near Ezra.

Ella does a lot of growing up fast. She realizes that not everything is so simple, especially when her and Ezra's families become very disappointed and angered at the two of them leaving together.  Ella starts working at a bakery and makes a friend in Luke and his family but she is homesick. Ezra urges her to come home so they can marry and join the Church. But Ella still needs to decode Mammi's book and she really wants to go to baking school. Will Ella let God lead her to the right path?

This is probably my favorite installment so far in the Lancaster series.  Ella is such a strong-willed woman who has many depths to her character. She experiences so many emotions and does a lot of growing up, especially with her faith.  There were so many sublevel plots that really kept the story pivoting and moving forward. I'm excited to read the next in the series. This series encompasses Mennonite and Amish faith, which is interesting, but the characters are just so well developed, I just want to sit down for a spell and chat over tea.

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Wendy

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The old grey donkey, Eeyore stood by himself in a thistly corner of the Forest, his front feet well apart, his head on one side, and thought about things. Sometimes he thought sadly to himself, "Why?" and sometimes he thought, "Wherefore?" and sometimes he thought, "Inasmuch as which?" and sometimes he didn't quite know what he was thinking about.

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