Saturday, June 26, 2010

Sarah's Garden, by Kelly Long

Sarah's Garden (A Patch of Heaven Novel)Sarah is a young Amish girl who, until now, has primarily stuck to tending her garden, and doing her work on the farm.  With the pregnancy of her sister, however, Sarah is now in charge of running the family's roadside stand, and is petrified at the thought of interacting with the English world.  Grant is a English veterinarian who moves next door to Sarah's family.  With a heart to serve the Amish community, Grant quickly makes meaningful friendships with Sarah's whole family, as well as many other Amish community members.  But it becomes clear that Sarah and Grant have feelings for each other beyond friendship.  Knowing a marriage between an Amish girl and an English man is impossible, both trust in the Lord to lead them in the right direction.

It has been my experience, this being the third Amish book that I have read, that novels about the Amish and their way of life are so peaceful to read.  Kelly Long's writing is graceful, soothing, simple yet elegant.  Her characters have real depth, you can feel their emotions pouring from the page.

I most appreciate that Kelly shows the Amish way of life and how it makes the Amish feel when English people treat them as spectacles or novelties, while providing examples of how the English can have more meaningful relationships with Amish community members.  I think, for me, that is what made the book so realistic, when the characters feel awkward interacting with my English world.  While my faith and way of life are different, that discomfort is a feeling to which I can fully relate, as will many other readers.

In fact I think that one of the greatest things about this book is showing how the Amish and English can be so similar.  The book is excellent for readers who appreciate a good romance, and because this is a Christian book, it is appropriate for mature teenage readers.  I believe this to be the first in a new series of novels termed the Patch of Heaven novels.  I look forward to reading the next in the series when it is released.



I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their 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.”