This beautifully written and thought provoking novel, The Amish
Groom by Mindy Starns Clark and Susan Meissner (Harvest House Publishers) grabs
the reader with a unique point of view. The authors give readers a new twist
with a male perspective in this delicious Amish romance that also deals with
rejection, restlessness, reconnection, and forgiveness.
The story begins in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, as
23-year-old Tyler feels restless and hesitant about joining the Amish church
through baptism. Years earlier, Tyler’s Amish mother, Sadie, left the family
farm and married an Englischer.Sadie
died when Tyler was 6 years old, and consequently his Englischer father sent
him to live with his Amish grandparents. Tyler then grew up in the Amish
community, living as an Amish man, surrounded by loving relatives. Tyler’s
longtime girlfriend, Rachel, is already a baptized member of the Amish church. Rachel
feels Tyler’s hesitancy to join the church stems from his feelings of rejection
by his absent father.
Tyler feels out of place when he visits his Englischer father
and he also feels out of place among the Amish, it’s as if he doesn’t belong in
either world. He wonders if his restlessness is from God? Tyler believes God is
calling him, but why would God call him to be outside his Amish community?
The authors paint a captivating picture of Tyler straddling the
Amish and Englischer worlds. He questions whether his mother felt the Amish
life was not “enough” for her and he worries that he will come to feel the same
way.To move forward, he needs to
discover why his mother left the Amish.
With his Amish family’s blessing, Tyler leaves Lancaster County
for an adventure in California. Interest builds as Tyler tries to work out the
differences between his Amish lifestyle and how he can fit in as an Englischer.
The California trip ultimately has many purposes, bringing him closer to his
Englischer relatives, giving him a reconnection and closeness to his deceased
mother, and guiding Tyler to the truths that God wants him to find. Tyler
recognizes that forgiveness is not a one-time thing, it must be practiced over
and over again.
While Tyler is in California trying to figure out his path
forward, he can’t help but wonder if his Amish girlfriend Rachel will wait for
him to return. Is Rachel being tempted to stray by some other Amish man?Can Tyler resist the attraction to the
friendly California Englischer girls? Will he decide to return to Lancaster
County or will he stay in California? Will he remain Amish or go back to the
English way of life?
The conclusion to The Amish Groom is truly gratifying. In an authentically
touching and unexpected way, readers are rewarded as Tyler unlocks his mother’s
past. The ending is not to be missed and readers may want to keep tissues
handy. The Amish Groom releases April 1, 2014.
Gloria is a 59-year-old
retired RN and former accountant who has a life long love of reading.She has spent the last two years reading
every Amish novel she can get her hands on. When not reading, Gloria spends her
day trading stocks and options, tweeting under the name of @gloriason, and
expressing her gratitude to God.