Saturday, February 16, 2013

The Promise of an Angel



Title:  The Promise of an Angel (A Heaven on Earth Novel Book #1)
Author:  Ruth Reid
Pages:  304
Year:  2011
Publisher:  Thomas Nelson
                There seems to be those who have a sort of “love affair” with various types of novels whether due to subject matter, genre or author.  The flip side of the “love affair” is equally powerful and it can be akin to a strong dislike of particular novels.  For me, I have had a propensity to avoid Amish novels until recently coming across a new author for me by the name of Ruth Reid.  What grabbed my attention was not the subject matter of being set in an Amish community, but simply the word “angel”.  I was more than curious as to how the author would include an angel in her story set in an Amish community.
During a barn raising event for a family in a local community, a tragedy sets off a string of events that will bring young and old alike face-to-face with their beliefs.  When an angel appears to one young woman named Judith, many begin to wonder if her love of storytelling has crossed the line.  Judith loves to tell stories to the children she finds herself surrounded by all the time.  Her heart’s desire is to one day marry and have her own family with a man named Levi.  As Judith begins to share her encounter with the angel named Tobias with others they begin to wonder if she hasn’t lost her mind.
In the meantime, one of her sisters, Martha, continues to torment her by her actions and bold words toward Levi.  Andrew, Levi’s cousin, never thought he would dare love again after losing his first wife three years prior.  Now, he finds his heart softening and desiring to protect Judith from all the unfair accusations and actions against her.  What will Andrew decide to do with the desires of his heart beginning to bloom again?
Judith’s youngest brother, Samuel, has fallen off the barn roof during the raising and has been told by doctors he will never walk again.  Judith is trying to believe what Tobias has revealed to her while all around her life is falling apart.  Will the words and dreams Judith has been given come to fruition?  How serious are Levi, Martha and Andrew in seeking the Lord’s will?  Do any of them believe that Tobias is real?  When the bishop and her parents agree to send Judith to live in Ohio in a different Amish community with relatives, will anything change this course or is this the Lord’s will for her?
The tale written in this first book is enjoyable and thought-provoking.  Ruth Reid is an author who has lived near an Amish community at one time, befriending many of them while studying to be a pharmacist.  It was fun to get lost in the simplicity of the story and yet it made me wonder as to how anyone would respond when their beliefs are challenged in so many ways.  I have no firsthand experience with the Amish or knowledge of these particular people or their faith.  It was quite easy to imagine the interactions of the characters as painted by the author.
My rating is 4 stars.
Note:  I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book.  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility.  Other reviews can be read at http://seekingwithallyurheart.blogspot.com/ .  Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988, FaceBook at https://www.facebook.com/lisa.johnson.75457
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