Title: A Miracle of Hope by Ruth Reid
The Amish Wonders Series Book One
Publisher: Thomas Nelson Publishers
Genre: Contemporary, Christian, Amish, Romance
Length: 352 pages
Book Rating: A+ & A Recommended Read
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
How far can God’s mercy reach?
Lindie Wyse is pregnant out of wedlock and thinks an arranged marriage is the only way to preserve her future. Josiah Plank is certain he’ll never love again, but he needs someone to care for his eight-year-old daughter, Hannah. The two take on their arrangement tentatively at first but soon realize they are each in for more than they imagined.
Lindie experiences a breakthrough with Hannah when she recognizes Hannah’s special gifts, but a risky pregnancy and serious health issues threaten to demolish the foundation Josiah and Lindie are building. Will their growing love survive despite their struggles, or will their hearts become as cold as the northern winter?
A Miracle of Hope, the first novel in Ruth Reid’s The Amish Wonders series, is a delightful story of faith and unexpected love. This incredibly heartwarming romance is beautifully written with a compelling storyline but it is the extraordinary cast of characters that completely stole my heart.
Unmarried and pregnant, Lindie Wyse is out of options when she agrees to an arranged marriage with her brother’s friend, Josiah Plank. Starting over in a new community with an older husband is difficult but Lindie is determined to be a good wife and mother to Josiah’s daughter, Hannah. Her feelings about her pregnancy are ambivalent and she is struggling to bond with her unborn child. Lindie’s new life is also complicated by her inability to communicate with Hannah and her uneasiness around her new husband.
In the beginning, Lindie is quite shy and timid. She is also very reluctant to discuss her past and the circumstances surrounding her pregnancy. She is undergoing a slight crisis of faith as she tries to understand God’s plan for her and her baby. Lindie tries to be an obedient wife but she does not hesitate to voice her opinions where Hannah is concerned. She lets her instincts guide her relationship with her young stepdaughter and Hannah soon begins to flourish under Lindie’s care.
Still deeply mourning the death of his wife Caroline, Josiah never thought he would remarry but he agrees to a marriage of convenience for Hannah’s sake. Amid his growing concern for Lindie’s health and that of her unborn baby, Josiah is shocked by the realization that he is beginning to fall in love with his young wife. Conflicted by his unexpected feelings for Lindie and his loyalty to Caroline, Josiah must figure out how to move forward with his life.
Josiah is kind, caring and compassionate. He takes a gentle approach with Lindie, but he is quite firm when it comes to matters of her health. Although he has strict ideas about how he wants Hannah raised, he does listen to Lindie and changes his stance on a few of his viewpoints. Josiah is at first reluctant to give in to his feelings for Lindie and he finds it difficult to reconcile his need for her with his desire to keep his love alive for his first wife.
Just as things are finally coming together for Josiah and Lindie, an unforeseen health issue threatens their future. The community rallies around the couple and provides them some much needed assistance as they face this difficult battle. Josiah is accepting of their fate but Lindie’s faith refuses to let her give up and she rises to the challenge facing them.
A Miracle of Hope exemplifies everything I love about Amish novels: a slower paced, simpler life, community support and strong beliefs. Ruth Reid takes all of these essential ingredients, adds in some complications that take faith and love to overcome and the resulting story is heartfelt, emotional and most importantly, believable. An incredible journey of love and faith that I hated to see come to an end and leaves me eagerly anticipating the next installment of The Amish Wonders series.