Genre: Christian Romance
Publisher: Abingdon Press
Publication Date: May 20, 2014
Rating: 5 Out of 5 Excellent
PROS: Sweet, gentle story; not your typical Amish story
Jacob Miller is hoping a trip to Sarasota (Florida) is just the change of scenery his family needs. His wife has been gone for only 6 months, and he is trying to adapt to widowhood and raise his 2 young children all on his own. Not ready to move on yet, many friends and family members seem all too eager to pick out his next wife for him, no matter what he has to say on the matter.
In a tragic accident that leaves his daughter Rebecca recovering from her injuries, Jacob slowly comes to learn what it is that he needs, as well as what the needs of his children are as well. While recovering in the hospital, Bubbles the clown pays a visit to the pediatric floor on Christmas day. Bubbles (a.k.a Natalie), is drawn to the quiet family, and instantly takes a liking to Rebecca and her young brother.
In a turn of events, Natalie finds out that her deceased mother was raised Amish before joining the circus. With little to go on, Natalie draws nearer to the Miller family in hopes of finding the answers to her many questions about her roots, and to keep the connection alive she is experiencing with Jacob and his children. With all the differences their two worlds bring together, will they ever be able to explore their true feelings?
Lynette Sowell is a new author for me, and I was a little hesitant to read this book. As previously mentioned in other reviews, I am a little burnt out on the whole Amish Christian fiction genre. The main selling point of this book for me was the location…Sarasota, Florida (one of my all-time favorite areas to vacation)!
However, from the very beginning of the story, I was drawn in to the lives of Jacob Miller and his children, and the soon to be introduced, Bubbles the clown. The quiet way of their faith is similar to the Amish in our area, and I found their actions and demeanor's to be very realistic. It’s always nice when an author thoroughly conducts their research and you aren't left questioning the characters actions throughout the entire book.
The pace of the story was evenly distributed in a way that didn't leave me feeling like it was rushed or skipped over in places. The tempo was just right, with rhythmic flowing sentences jumping off the pages. There were several story-lines throughout, keeping my attention and not leaving me wanting to jump to the end to see how it ended.
I enjoyed reading this story more than I ever expected to, and am looking forward to book 2 being released in November! For those reasons, I give this book 5 stars and highly recommend it to even the most reluctant of readers!
**I was given this book in exchange for my honest review**