Book Review: The Amish Mother by Rebecca Kertz

Posted December 28, 2016 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews / 0 Comments

Book Review: The Amish Mother by Rebecca Kertz

I received this book for free from a friend in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The Amish Mother by Rebecca Kertz
Genres: Inspirational Romance
Published by Love Inspired on September 15, 2015
Pages: 256
Format: Paperback
Source: a friend

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Second in the Lancaster Courtships inspirational romance series and revolving around Amish communities. The couple focus is on Lizzie Fisher and Zachariah Fisher and set on the Fisher farm in Honeysuckle, Pennsylvania.

My Take

The premise for The Amish Mother is sweet, and I did want Lizzie to succeed…however, Kertz’s main conflict had me rolling my eyes. It was so hamhanded that it stole away from the warmth and love in the rest of the story.

Kertz did make me see Lizzie’s daily life on the farm — I am amazed at how much she managed to accomplish every day! — and in her (self-supporting) community, and I loved the support Lizzie did get. Kertz also takes us to prayer meetings and works the harvest.

There are the typical anger issues with the older children resenting Lizzie for taking their mother’s place, although Kertz does resolve this nicely. There is plenty of other conflict besides the resentment in the story what with Lizzie’s disability and fears for her future, the pregnancy, Esther’s regrets, Zack’s thoughts, and the really, really annoying shared fears that Zack and Lizzie individually drone on about.

I can certainly understand Lizzie’s fear, and this custom appears to be very unfair. How could they toss her off the farm and away from her family?? I wanna smack Zack up one side and down the other for his thoughts. And how is it that Zack is the heir and why was Abraham working the farm until Zack grew up enough? Wouldn’t the eldest inherit? It’s another factor that brought my rating down for this story. Another aspect that didn’t make sense.

It does feel rather odd that the Amish in this story ride around in cars and use gas-powered washing machines. It also felt odd how easily the Fishers flit between Honeysuckle and Walnut Creek.

I did enjoy reading about children who help their parents with chores!

The Story

Amish widow Lizzie Fisher loves her seven stepchildren as though they were her own. But her brother-in-law’s unexpected arrival on the farm has her worried. After all, Zachariah Fisher is the true heir of the property. And he could decide to send her away from her family and her home of two years.

Lizzie is determined to show the handsome farmer that her physical challenges don’t prevent her from being a hard worker or a loving mother. For she finds herself losing her heart to Zach and hopes he’ll see they’re meant to be a family forever.

The Characters

Elizabeth “Lizzie” King Fisher has been widowed for two months. Abraham Fisher had taken Lizzie as a second wife almost two years ago, mostly to help him care for his children. Ruth was his first wife. Lizzie’s stepchildren include Mary Ruth, Hannah, Rebecca, Matthew, Anne, Jonas, and three-year-old Ezekiel. Rosebud is the mare.

Zachariah “Zack” Fisher is Abraham’s brother. Esther Fisher is the unmarried sister. Miriam is the oldest married sister who lives in Walnut Creek with her nine children. John, Miriam’s eldest son, is married with two children: Jane and Jacob. Miriam’s oldest daughter, Mae, has four children. Sadie is another of Sarah’s daughters. Sarah “Mam” Fisher had cancer; Daniel was the husband who died so many years ago (Sarah was Daniel’s second wife). Dr. Rosemont is the one who treated Sarah. Ted Harris is a neighbor of theirs back in Walnut Creek.

Rachel Miller had been Lizzie’s friend since childhood and is married to Peter Zook. David Hostetler is the preacher; Jacob and Jed are his sons. Margaret Yoder had been his wife. Deacon John Mast has a big family. Bishop Andy is one of the church elders. Rosemary Yost is interested in Zack. Nancy Miller is the unmarried schoolteacher.

Lydia King is the mother who has never taken to her daughter, Lizzie. Katie is Lizzie’s sister and interested in Mark Troyer while Susie is another daughter, married to Amos Mast in Indiana. William and Luke are Lizzie’s brothers.

Ellen Beachey runs Beachey’s Craft Shop. Ellen used to see Neziah Shetler, who has two sons: Asa and Joel. Barbara Emory commissions a quilt for her daughter, Dana, from Lizzie. Dinah Plank lives above the craft shop and works for Ellen. John is Ellen’s father. Farmers include Thomas and Marybeth Stoltzfus; Amos Beiler; Wilmer and Joanna Miller; Martha Yoder; and, Samuel Yoder who has a son, James.

John Miller runs Miller’s General Store. The grocery is the McCann’s. Margaret’s is a local Mennonite restaurant. Naomi Beiler is the head of the local widows’ group and has three children: Emma, Aaron, and Michael. Mary Blauch‘s son, Raymond, was born prematurely. Anne Stoltzfus is the midwife. Joseph Lapp has wandering goats. Mark Hostetler is the blacksmith. Alta Miller is an old friend of Sarah Fisher’s.

Endie means aunt; grossmama is grandmother; onkel is uncle; schwester is sister; vadder is father; Dat is Dad; mudder is mother; brooder is brother; grossdaddi is grandfather; dochter is daughter. Think of the dawdi haus as a mother-in-law cottage.

The Cover and Title

The cover is soft pastels from the hazy blue of the sky above the blurred yellows and golds of the woods behind Lizzie. She’s wearing her white cap with the ties fluttering in the breeze and a pale gray, high-waisted dress with below-the-elbow sleeves, and carrying a dark basket of green apples. Her other hand appears to be on Ezekiel’s straw hat, as he looks up at his stepmother with curiosity.

The title is who Lizzie is, The Amish Mother.

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