Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Promise of an Angel by Ruth Reid

Surprising and Fascinating—not your traditional Amish tale

From the Publisher

In Mescota County, Michigan, an angelic visitor's words inspire Judith to a future she never imagined. After a barn raising accident, Judith Fischer's convinced she's met an angel. However, her attempts to convince others end up frustrating her Old-Order Amish community. Only Andrew Lapp believes her, but the rest, including Levi Plank, the man's she's waited to marry, demand she forget the nonsense.  Meanwhile, her younger sister Martha has taken a fancy to Levi and sees her sister's controversy as a perfect distraction for turning Levi's head.

In a dream, the angel tells Judith she must choose her path. As her faith continues to grow, so do her feelings for Andrew. Will she continue to place her hope in the angel's message, even if it means losing all she knows and loves?

My Take

I’m a junkie for Amish fiction—let’s just get that out there.  So when the opportunity came up to read The Promise of an Angel, I was excited to read a new perspective on the Amish.  At first I was a little surprised with the addition of the angel Tobias, especially when Judith began having real conversations with him. Amish beliefs are so strict that it was hard for me to imagine how talking to an angel was going to fit in with those beliefs. After getting more and more into the book, I realized Tobias represented Judith’s deep faithfulness in God. Why couldn’t the “elders” in the community see that?

Family and community is the most important concept in the Amish lifestyle. So when Judith’s stories of the angel began to spread, the community banded together against Judith—just because the elders said they should. It surprised me the community would do that when she was only expressing her belief that God was speaking to her.

Another surprise to me was the relationship between Judith’s sister, Martha, and Judith’s beau, Levi. I guess there are many sects of Amish but normally these teenage relationships are pretty hush-hush. Through the entire book, the boy-girl interactions were completely public.  In addition, the way Martha was visibly treating Judith was a little startling to me—the envy, rudeness, and disrespect is so out of the ordinary for the Amish. 

Overall, The Promise of an Angel was a good summer read (I had the e-book version)—a story of faith, acceptance, and love with a couple twists and turns. I’m not sure if I’m going to read the next book in the series—guess we’ll have to wait & see what Ms Reid comes up with! I give The Promise of an Angel a 3 out of 5 stars.

I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

About the Author

Ruth Reid is a full-time pharmacist who lives in Florida with her husband and three children. When attending medical school in Stanwood, Michigan, she lived on the outskirts of an Amish community and had several occasions to visit the Amish farms. Her interest grew into love as she saw the beauty in living a simple life.

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