I took the opportunity to read this book because I wanted to experience why Amish fiction is such a popular sub-genre of Christian fiction. It has honestly baffled me. I can understand people wanting life a little simpler or to become more self sufficient. With those reasons, I can recognize the draw. Beyond those reasons, I have no clue what the fascination is with these books. After reading this books, I'm still asking myself, "why?"
Set in the 18th Century America, I as drawn to the novel because of the time period. Long includes tidbits of history of the Amish during this time. She did recreate a place where there was the struggle of being Amish in the midst of America's War of Independence, which is something I have never pondered. The Amish tried to live their lives, but the two worlds occasionally collided.
Generally, I did enjoy the storyline, but it's one of those that the obstacle could be rectified easily if people would only communicate with one another. The personal struggle that Adam had with being Amish and leaving his community to immerse himself into a culture that was at war--a harsh contrast to his beliefs--are struggles that I assume Amish today also struggle with.
If you've read any of my other reviews, I tend to want my story to go on for a bit longer. This story, on the other hand, seemed to go on for too long. Conflict and obstacles were constantly thrown at the characters where I said, "enough already!" It seemed that the story could have used some editing as there a came a point where I went from moderately enjoying the story to wishing it was over.
Most fans of Amish fiction will love this, I suspect. If you're not a big fan of Amish fiction, then I think readers will find it lackluster.
Arms of Love is a tender, touching, soulful novel in my favorite genre: Amish Fiction. I love the thought of Amish love and indeed some days wish I were Amish (okay, every day I wish I were Amish). Until the day I save enough to chuck it all, buy a farm in Bird in Hand or somewhere in Pennsylvania, I will content myself with reading terrific Amish fiction.
Arms of Love was new and familiar to me in many ways. I liked reading about a time period in American Amish life I had not read of before, the late 18th century. Set in 1777, the American Revolution is raging and American Separtists and British soldiers are both troubling Amish people to join their ranks and declare themselves. Their lives were fraught with peril because many refused to fight, to house soldiers OR 'Englischers' meaning anyone not Amish. Young Amishmen were leaving home and taking up arms to fight for freedom although it was staunchly against their religion to do so. Amid this troublesome time Lena Yoder and Adam Wyse are a young couple deeply in love. However Adam is torn between the fighting and between his religious beliefs and the Amish community. Does Adam ignore his personal beliefs and stay in the Amish community with Lena, the only woman he's ever loved? Does he turn his back on home, family, and love and go fight? What does Lena do? Those are answers that can only be found out by reading Arms of Love which I highly recommend you do!
Kelly Long is one of the Amish fiction authors I enjoy. I have reviewed some of her works before, such as "Lilly’s Wedding Quilt". Luckily for me, my most recent book from Booksneeze.com was Long’s "Arms of Love".
Here is the book description for "Arms of Love":
The year is 1777. America is in turmoil. And Amish life is far different than today.
Pennsylvania in the late 18th century, once called William Penn’s Woods, was an assortment of different faiths living together for the first time in American history. Included in this tapestry was a small and struggling population called Amish.
Surrounding this peaceful people were unavoidable threats: both Patriots and the British were pillaging land and goods for the sake of the war, young Amishmen were leaving the faith to take up arms and defend freedom. A simple walk in the untamed forests could result in death, if not from bullet or arrow, then from an encounter with a wild animal.
Amid this time of tumult, Adam Wyse is fighting a personal battle. To possibly join the war efforts and leave his faith, which would mean walking away from the only woman he’s ever loved: Lena Yoder. But for that love he’s made a promise that may keep them apart permanently.
I found "Arms of Love" to be a good read for a snowy winter’s day — the kind of book you can curl up in a chair with along with a cup of tea or hot chocolate and a warm blanket. At first I thought the story was going to be very predictable. It seemed like it was going to be the typical Amish story: two people who want to be together and start a family but can’t because of some problem or rule that is keeping them apart; something changes the situation; and then in the end they end up being able to get married after all and life is good. Long keeps her readers interested in the story and entertained throughout. She keeps the reader guessing whether or not Adam Wyse will enlist with the war effort. Then there is the problem of whether or not Adam and Lena will be able to marry; along with the twist that Lena and Adam’s brother, Isaac, are to be wed instead in order to keep Adam away from Lena (or so Adam’s father hopes for reasons of his own).
But Long doesn’t leave the reader with this one basic plot line. Amidst the turmoil of heartache and mystery between Adam and Lena’s situation, the author keeps the reader involved with the lives of the other significant characters in the story: the wet nurse, Ruth; Lena’s father, Samuel; and Lena’s brother, John. Long let’s us see into their lives and hearts as well so that we can immurse ourselves even more into the story, the Yoder and Wyse families, and the Amish life in general — one of the many reasons why I enjoy reading her literary works.
If you have previously read books by Kelly Long, or have an interest in Amish fiction, I encourage you to add this to your casual reading list. It’s a “feel good” kind of book that keeps you involved in the story and the lives of the characters. "Arms of Love" will keep you interested with a story that keeps you going from cover to cover!
Disclosure of Material Connection: 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.”
Arms of Love by Kelly Long, book one in the Amish Beginnings series, opens during the spring of 1977 - Lancaster, Pennsylvania - during a time of American turmoil and with Amish life being much different than today. This book presents a well-researched glimpse into the life of a small, peace-keeping Amish population. While themes such as domestic violence, PTSD, death, and religious intolerance give a dark feel at times, the book's overarching theme is that "God is for us" - and forgiveness/restoration play a major part in a conclusion filled with hope. Questions for group discussion and a four-week Bible study are included at the end.
Pennsylvania in the late 18th century, once called William Penn’s Woods, was an assortment of different faiths living together for the first time in American history. Included in this tapestry was a small and struggling population called Amish. Surrounding this peaceful people were unavoidable threats: both Patriots and the British were pillaging land and goods for the sake of the war, young Amish men were leaving the faith to take up arms and defend freedom.
Adam Wyse is fighting a personal battle. To possibly enlist in the revolution and leave his faith, which would mean walking away from the only woman he’s ever loved: Lena Yoder. But for that love he’s made a promise that may keep them apart permanently. When Adam withdraws from Lena, she’s forced to turn to his brother, Isaac, for support.
I loved the American Revolution time period and the fact that this book explores the beginnings of Amish life in colonial Pennsylvania, as they sought to find freedom in the face of religious extermination. But while fighting for their own freedom, colonists weren't always willing to extend those same ideas to others. "Were the times to disintegrate into something like the Palatinate, that Old World place of Germany where the spilling of Amish blood was thought to be a blessing to Gott and the land?" (Lena)
A unique quality of Kelly's writing is her ability to bring out raw emotion and passion in her characters. It is refreshing to see a couple's longing and desire for each other expressed in a godly way. An Amish bishop and a British POW were strong secondary characters who contributed greatly to the story. I also grew to like Adam's brother, Isaac, as his character changed and I'd love to see a future novel devoted to his story.
The main negatives for me are that the plot moved slowly at times and character growth seemed sudden rather than gradual. And while I often complain of abrupt endings, this ending was way too long, with the addition of more action after the conflict resolution.
While Arms of Love was a good novel overall and I will continue to read Kelly's books, I didn't enjoy this one as much as her other books. However, I think anyone who enjoys Amish fiction would enjoy this book.
For more information on Kelly Long and her books, visit her website at http://www.kellylongbooks.com/
This book was provided by Thomas Nelson through the BookSneeze program in exchange for my honest review.
Arms of Love by Kelly Long is set in the 18th century, as the events of the Revolutionary War are unfolding. The story centers around the relationship between Adam Wyse and Lena Yoder. Adam is torn between his Amish faith and his desire to fight in the war. Lena is a young woman struggling to raise her siblings and keep the family afloat after her mother dies and her father is imprisoned. She desires to marry Adam and start a family of their own, but Adam made a promise to Lena’s mother on her deathbed that causes him to end his relationship with Lena. Like many Amish fiction novels, there is an element of “will they or won’t they get back together” running through the book.
I found this book to be very interesting on several levels. First, the time period that it is set in is different than other Amish fiction books I have read. Aside from their faith and aversion to fighting, the Amish didn’t appear to live drastically different lives from their non-Amish neighbors. Back then no one had electricity, everyone got around by horse and farming was a very common occupation.
Second, I found this book to be much darker than most Amish fiction novels I have read. Some of the abuse themes were pretty intense and the author did not romanticize the difficulties of life in 1777. Most other Amish books I have read are pretty ‘G’ rated and this one was definitely a bit different than that. (Not a bad thing; just an observation.)
Overall, I liked the story and also liked that the ending was not obvious from page 2 of the book. I found it to be an engaging plot simply because it was so different than other Amish fiction novels. I couldn’t understand why Adam wouldn’t come clean and tell Lena about the promise he made to her mother and its implications – but I suppose if he had then there’d be no reason for the story.
I received a copy of this book from BookSneeze in exchange for an honest review.
"Arms of Love" by Kelly Long is about an amish couple during the Revolutionary War. Adam is the abused grown son of the bishop who was also abused at a child. Lena is the woman he loves whose mother has just died in child birth and whose father is held prisoner by the patriots for not giving his property or fighting. Lena's mother has made Adam promise that after she died he would not continue his relationship with Lena while still living under his father's rule. He decides to break up with Lena and join the war for freedom. His freedom. Meanwhile, Lena must figure out a way to survive on her own, without Adam's help, and raise her three younger siblings. The story seems out of sorts. It seems hard to believe that Adam would honor the promise to a dead woman and that at the age he is, still refuse to leave his father. The plot seems pushed and unrealistic. I recently read two other books about a group of people who can't fight due to religion (Quakers and Amish) and come to support the war fighting or in alternative ways. Maybe the reason I didn't like this one so much was due to me being tired of religions and wars going together in a book with a splash of romance. Need to pick a different kind of book for awhile.
It might seem strange that a guy is reviewing this book. My wife loves everything amish, and I enjoy history so Arms of Love looked like something we both could enjoy. From a historical standpoint, this was an interesting book, not something I've come across much when studying history. The Amish fiction books written usually don't get into the very beginnings of the Amish in America. The love story part of it was hard for me to get into, just not my thing. But I can see that someone who enjoys historical fiction with a good love story mixed in would enjoy Arms of Love. Author Kelly Long is a talented writer, and her characters were solid.
Share this review:
0of0voted this as helpful.
Review 8 for Arms of Love - eBook
Arms of Love - a different Amish tale
Date:May 29, 2012
Location:Grand Prairie, TX
I enjoy reading Amish Fiction because I find their lifestyle and faith intriguing. The description of this book caught my attention, because it spoke of a tale from "Amish Beginnings," being set in the midst of the Revolutionary War. A lot of the Amish novels I've read tend to repeat the same 'ole story lines and tend to get a bit redundant and boring. Arms of Love written by Kelly Long, however, is different because it told of the Amish settlers pursuit of freedom in the middle of a war they didn't want to fight. It's the love story of Lena and Adam intertwined with tests of faith, the truth of war, harrowing adventure and the ever-present reality of family joy and turmoil.
I enjoyed reading this book, especially the last half of it as it gets more and more exciting while craftily drawing to a close. It's hard to put you finger on these characters because one minute you think you have them figured out, the next moment they do something you didn't expect at all. This keeps you on your toes as you read and never allows you to assume anything. You yearn for Adam and Lena to end up together, but then... maybe not. The author does a fantastic job of creating the scene and setting, yet does not overburden the reader with too much unnecessary detail, which gives the reader a chance to use their imagination to bring the story alive.
The end of this book offers a Reading Group Guide and a 4-week Bible Study to further dig into the faith and find ways to apply the lessons from Arms of Love.
I received the eBook free of charge from Thomas Nelson's BookSneeze in exchange for my honest review. The words above are my own opinion and I was not compensated for my review.
Northern Pennsylvania, 1777. Adam Wyse is Amish and no patriot, or so the core of his faith decrees. Yet two wars ravage his heart-the longing for the love of young Lena Yoder and the burning desire to defend the country that brought his religious freedom. When Lena's father is imprisoned for being a conscientious objector, Lena is left to raise her two siblings alone. She finds herself imprisoned between her beliefs and her attraction to the rebellious Adam-especially when Adam's older brother, Isaac, presents the opportunity for Lena to regain a sense of balance and rightness with the Lord. How will Derr Herr nurture these two strong hearts into a peace that is "not as the world gives" and bring their love to triumph over all?
"Arms of Love" was an enjoyable story that I found quite captivating. I enjoyed the theme of doing what is right and trying to listen to God's intent. The story deals with some difficult subjects: death, child abuse, war, and sacrifice, but shows their purpose and demonstrates the power of God's love, forgiveness and healing.
Yet, I'm torn with the historical setting. I had difficulty with the story centered around the Amish, because they didn't come across to me as anything different than any other colonist. They dressed a bit different and didn't fight, but there were so many things that seemed inappropriate and not what I would expect from the Amish sect. I have not looked into the practices of those that came to Penn's Woods in the 1700's, but one of the things the Old Order Amish in PA have made clear is that they haven't really changed over the years. So my thought is that if anything, the Amish then would be even more strict then than they are now. That and of course the language just didn't work for me. I had to continue telling myself that these characters were Amish. Yet, at the same time I was pleased to see that the practices of foot washing and bundling were included in the story. It was nice to have these historical practices included!
If you are looking for a good and entertaining story and don't mind how historically accurate things are, you will find this an enjoyable read!
I received this book through the Booksneeze program. I was not required to write a positive review, but instead, one that gives my honest opinion.
Arms of Love by Kelly Long covers a unique subject: what life was like for the Amish during the Revolutionary war. When we think of the Amish, we think of them in today's times. But they were in America at the time of the Revolution, and life was very difficult for them since they refused to fight for either side. This book is a beautiful work of historical fiction that focuses on the lives of Adam Wyse and Lena Yoder.
Adam Wyse is a young Amish man whose inner turmoil mirrors the turmoil of the American colonies during the Revolutionary War. He wants two things but can't have them both: he wants to fight and he wants to marry his beloved Lena Yoder. To join the Patriot cause means leaving his faith and his love. But because of a promise he made, he may never be able to be with Lena anyway.
Lena senses Adam's pain, but he won't tell her what is on his mind, nor about the promise he made to her mother. He just ends their relationship. Left alone, Lena finds herself having to turn to Adam's brother, Isaac.
Will Adam's promise bring about the good results it was supposed to? Or will it tear apart families instead of bringing peace?
I found this to be a very well-written book with an intriguing storyline. The Revolutionary War is one of my favorite periods of American history, so I enjoyed learning something new about it. Readers of historical fiction and historical romances will enjoy this book.
Set in colonial America, the Amish families suffer persecution from the colonists because they do not fight against the British and from the British because they are colonists. Adam is the son of an Amish family that holds some authority in their neighborhood Amish community. Adam has loved Lena for several years and they look forward to marrying, but on her deathbed, Lena's mother Mary makes Adam promise to stay away from Lena until he is no longer under a dark cloud. When Adam tells Lena that the can no longer be together, she vows to marry is brother. Between the difficulties of life, Adam discovers a truth that he has tried to forget for many years, and comes to forgive his father for beating him.
This is a very tender story of strength, forgiveness, and love, with well thought out characters, and involving plot twists. One rarely remembers that while fighting for their own freedom, colonists were lax to extend those same ideas to others. Viewing the Amish way of life through a historical lens adds interest to the story, as does other elements of the setting such as the frequent deaths that surrounded everybody's lives. This is a book for readers that enjoy a love story deeper than a mere romance, along with the interesting history of the setting.
The death of a loved one causes people to react in many different ways. When his mother dies, ten-year-old John Yoder reacted in the only way his young mind could fathom, anger. His little sister Abby looked for comfort. Their father, who was in jail when his wife died, accepted the loss as God's will.
But Lena wasn't sure how to react. Her father was in jail. Her mother died giving birth. And her baby sister would also die if she didn't find a wet nurse soon.
Adam Wyse wants to be a comfort to Lena. But before her death Mary, Lena's mother, made him promise to let Lena go; he promised not to marry her until he was able to deal with the burden he carried. Only, how would he get rid of a burden, when he didn't even understand its origin?
When Lena realizes that Adam has no plans to marry her, she decides to marry for convience rather than love. And Adam can do nothing to stop her.
This book takes place when the Amish were still new to the Lancaster area. They were judged and ridiculed. Samuel Yoder is imprisoned for not allowing the Patriots to take his last cow, his only way of offering milk to his children. In a time of unrest and of war, the Amish faith was tried and tested. Some young Amish men left their families and their faith to enlist and fight the British.
It was an interesting perspective, as most of the Amish books I have read take place in current times. I chuckled to read how much the Amish were the minority in an area that is now known as "Amish country", Lancaster, Penn.
I give this book two thumbs up and recommend it to anyone who enjoys Amish fiction, or historical fiction.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I received this complementary eBook from Thomas Nelson Publishers in exchange for my honest review.
GENRE: AMISH/HISTORICAL ROMANCE PUBLISHER: THOMAS NELSON PUBLICATION DATE: MAY 3, 2012 RATING: 4 OUT OF 5 – VERY GOOD
PROS: Contains Kelly’s trademark edgy romance; good presentation of PTSD; presence of visions and the Holy Spirit is very encouraging
CONS: Initial introduction to the characters feels rushed; a lot of sad events occur at the start of the novel; spiritual message is a bit overwrought
The American Revolutionary War was a time of a great loss, and not just for those who fought for freedom. Lena Yoder’s father has been imprisoned for refusing to give up his livestock for the war effort, and not soon after this her mother dies in childbirth. Alone with just her younger siblings, the only place Lena can think to turn is to her childhood friend, Adam, whom she had always hoped she would someday marry. But Lena’s mother was fearful of the hold that Adam’s father held over him, and made Adam promise not to marry Lena until he was sure Lena would be safely out from under his father’s influence. Adam cannot tell Lena this, but he does know that he would not make a good husband to Lena at present. Continually wrought by troubling dreams, Adam is permanently unsettled, and wants nothing more than to gain freedom from the memories that haunt him. The only way he can see fit to do this is in bearing arms and fighting for the patriot cause. Lena is appalled at Adam’s desire to fight, and turns for solace and stability in his older brother, Isaac. Adam must reconcile himself with the troubling memories that haunt him and with his own desire for freedom before he can begin to fight to win back the love of Lena.
I’ve been anxiously awaiting Kelly’s next book ever since I finished her contemporary romance, Lilly’s Wedding Quilt. But although Lilly’s Wedding Quilt made my list of favourite novels for 2011, I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect from Arms of Love. While a few authors have attempted Amish historical fiction recently and handled the combination well (Murray Pura, Anna Schmidt, Lori Copeland and Virginia Smith), none of them have gone as far back as the eighteenth century, and I wasn’t entirely sure how a novel about the Amish during the American Revolutionary War would turn out. I didn’t enjoy Arms of Love as much as Kelly’s contemporary romances, but I do think that this book is a good start to her Amish Beginnings series and breaks new ground in Amish fiction.
It took me a while to get into this novel, and I’m not sure if that’s just because I wasn’t in the right frame of mind at the time and was up to my ears in exam revision. The beginning of Arms of Love is incredibly sad, and wracked with numerous tragedies – a father is imprisoned, his wife dies in childbirth and a new widow loses her home. Throwing Adam and Lena’s troubled love into the mix made my initial reading of this book quite depressing, and I kept putting it down so that I could read something lighter. I don’t think that all readers will find this book as sad as I did, and perhaps if I read it at a later date, when I didn’t have so much on my plate, I would enjoy it more. I didn’t really feel like I become properly involved with the story until about halfway through the novel, when the plot pacing really began to pick up and I felt like I’d got to know the characters better. When I first met Adam, Lena and their families there was so much going on that I almost felt like I’d been thrown into the middle of a story that already in progress and that I’d missed some essential details. But by the middle of the book I’d settled into the lives of the eighteenth century Lancaster Amish and felt that I could accurately keep up with their troubles.
Arms of Love isn’t all sadness and tragedy; it contains a good helping of romance and a little bit of humour. One of my favourite scenes is probably one around the middle of the novel, in which Adam tells his brother that he won’t have any time to study or work when he has a wife because she’ll want to do is kiss him all day long. The exchange between the brothers was amusing, and really brought the characters’ personalities to life for me. I really enjoyed watching Adam and Isaac’s friendship develop, almost as much as I appreciated the romance between Adam and Lena.
One of my favourite aspects of Kelly’s writing is how her romantic scenes are just a little bit more edgy than most Amish authors’, showing the importance of physical as well as spiritual and emotional attraction in a marriage. The cellar scene was the one that made me really start to care about Adam and Lena, when I found myself rooting for them to get together, even though Lena was then engaged to Isaac. I won’t say any more than that, but any true romance fan can’t help but root for Adam and Lena after reading the all important cellar scene. Kelly hasn’t neglected her trademark of edgy romance, even in the eighteenth century.
I have to admit that I found Adam far more interesting to read about than Lena, and what made me keep reading this book, even during the tough scenes, was the desire to find out what was behind his disturbing dreams. I don’t know a lot about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, but I found the portrayal of Adam’s struggles to be very realistic. Since PTSD wasn’t properly recognised until around the time of the First World War, it made me wonder how men like Adam were treated by society at this time, which made him all the more endearing.
On the topic of dreams, I also loved the way that Kelly incorporated the Holy Spirit into her novel, through visions and healings. It seems that writing about the Holy Spirit in Christian fiction is just as hard as presenting the physical love between a husband and wife. Kelly manages both in this novel, and I was really impressed by the way that she wrote the scenes containing healings and visions. Nothing felt forced, and I definitely got a sense of the characters’ faith in God. However, I will say that I felt that the message of “God is for us” to be a bit overwrought. I liked how Ruth, the non-Amish wet-nurse, mused over this statement as she came deeper into her faith with God, but as I got further into the novel so many characters were quoting this passage that I wanted to ask them if they actually knew of any other verses in the Bible. It fitted Ruth’s storyline, but at times the statement was made to the extent that it no longer seemed comforting and just became repetitive.
Although I have my qualms about some aspects of this novel, Arms of Love is an encouraging start to Kelly’s historical series and I hope that further Amish Beginnings novels are of a similar fare. Readers might be put off initially by the introduction of so many characters at the start of the novel and the presence of so many sorrowful events, but I would encourage readers to persevere, as this novel is definitely taking the time to read. Kelly doesn’t shy away from edgy topics, from romance to spiritual issues, and her presentation of both in this novel reflects what I’ve come to expect from her writing. I hope that other readers are similarly pleased and challenged by Arms of Love.
As an avid Amish reader, I was excited to read this book for many reasons. First of all, Arms of Love is not your traditional Amish romance novel. The author based her time period during the Revolutionary War, which immediately set this book apart for me as well. It was most interesting to see the lives of the few first Amish people in America.
Amish are a peaceful group of people. With a war raging all around them, it leaves there surrounding lifestyle far from peaceful. Choosing to side with the British to maintain the peace results in chaotic consequences. The Amish are imprisoned, ridiculed, and robbed from all because they do not see eye to eye with the Patriots. They are considered cowards for there unwillingness to take up arms and fight for American freedom.
I never once thought how the Amish, who were originally fleeing religious persecution, still had to endure the hardships and persecutions during the early American fight for freedom. Kelly added a lot of different scenarios to the Amish lifestyle that added a lot of emotions and worthwhile thinking to your reading. If you think the Amish are a group of just peace loving people than you're wrong. Kelly shocks you by including physically violent, murdering, hate filled, and even unforgiving Amish people. I definitely enjoyed the fact that the author did not portray them as perfect people as most amish writers do. However, she showed that the Amish are made out of the same things we are. They do make mistakes and they do have their flaws. This factor included in the book made it all the more enjoyable to me.
Having the inside scoop to the lifestyle of Amish in the primitive New World was very engaging. It was interesting to see how even when there was no technology and many "worldly" desires to curb they still managed to separate themselves from others. The plot being very mysterious and exciting was a favorite. The writing style was another great factor to this already good book. However, my absolute favorite thing was the inside view to the early Amish lifestyle and the spirituality of the characters.
Enjoying this book, and having read The Amish Wedding, which she coauthored with two other fabulous others, I would not hesitate to pick up another book by Kelly. I would give this book a 5 out of 5 for being a wonderfully put together book.
This is the first of Kelly's books that I've had the pleasure of reading, but it won't be the last. Arms of Love, the first book in Kelly's Amish Beginnings series, combines two of my favorite genres: Amish and historical Christian Fiction. Kelly blends the two together very well. Prior to reading Arms of Love, I didn't know the Amish were in Pennsylvania during the Revolutionary War. I would not have been strong enough to survive as an Amishwoman at the time. Danger was everywhere, from wild animals in the woods, to the British and other Americans, and illness, too. What really sticks with me, days after finishing the book, are the descriptions of what we now know as PTSD, suffered by Adam and his father, and how it affected everyone who came in contact with both men. A unique twist is the month-long Bible study included at the end of the story, which I love. It gave me more food for thought, connecting a fictional book with real life through Bible study.
With thanks to Thomas Nelson Publishers, via NetGalley, for my review copy.
"Arms of Love" "Amish Beginnings Series #1" by best-selling author "Kelly Long" is very different from the traditional Amish novel. This author writes using real life problems that people deal with on a regular basis. It deals with the post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) that has and still affects many people in society. This fictional story takes the reader back in time to Lancaster Pennsylvania during the American Revolution of 1771. The reader will feel the pain of the characters as they try to live up to promises they make even when they go against their hearts desire. It is a story of how love can stay strong amidst turmoil of faith, war and family issues. The reader will fall in love with the characters as they grow strong in worldly ways and their faith.
This novel is has characters who are dealing with real to life trials in their lives. They are torn between what the world wants and what their faith demands of them. They struggle with these trials through the bad and good. It is a book of real life not all fun times.
The book starts our with a glossary of words that are spelled using the way the Amish pronounced them in the days of early Amish life in America. This is a great help to the reader.
The end of the book has a reading group guide followed by a "novel bible study on "The Arms of Love" written by the author. This bible study is a four week course.
In week one, the reader will go into their personal past
In week two, the reader will learn God is for you
In week three the reader will learn of God's Arms of Love
In week four the reader will see how freedom affects their personal life
I loved this book. I give it a 5 star and want to read more by this author. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a real-to-life Amish or historical fiction novel. It is so very different from other Amish novels I have read. I love the real life trials and the long process that the characters had to struggle with to find freedom in their own lives. It was a refreshing look into the Amish world in the days of early America. It shows the reader that we all go though trials and proves that none of us are perfect. I cried and ached as one character was beaten by his father and the nightmares that persisted as a result. I laughed, smiled and feared as the characters faced near death experiences, as they found comrades amidst the war and as they struggled with how they should face each day.
Arms of Love by Kelly Long is set in a time period quite different from most Amish stories. In 1777, Amish families find themselves in conflict with much of the surroundings of their new life in America.
There are many positive things about this book. I enjoyed getting a different perspective of Amish life from the setting of their very earliest days in America. Their struggles were in some ways no different from other Americans during this time of unrest. But the peaceful beliefs of the Amish created conflict with not only the enemy but also with their fellow countrymen.
There are interesting characters and relationships in the story -- Adam Wyse, Lena Yoder, and Ruth Stone were probably my favorites. Watching the characters work through trying situations and come to grips with their personal turmoil kept me involved as a reader. And as usual for Kelly Long, the story is a little "edgier" than some Amish fiction -- providing more description of passion between characters, although very tastefully and appropriately done.
Some elements of the story, though, keep this from being one of my favorites. The main problem for me is the flow of the story. The pieces just don't fit together as well as in other books I've read by Kelly. Some points of the plot are repeated so frequently that they get old. Some scenes seem thrown in for almost no reason, with no real connection to, or at least not sufficiently woven into, the rest of the story.
To my fellow Amish fiction fans, I would recommend this as a read you would probably enjoy -- whether or not it rises to the top of your favorites list.
This book was provided free of charge by the Book Sneeze reviewer program for my honest review.
A very different type of Amish Story, with a lot of Historical reference. It takes place in Lancaster PA, but not the current Amish population. The Bishop doesn't come around all that often, and the district sounds huge, but a small number of Amish. Weddings can only happen when he comes, and it could be many months in between. There are a lot of sad happenings in this story, death in childbirth, loss of a spouse in war, and home burning down, murder, imprisonment, and horrible child abuse. Not really happy topics. The story did keep me turning the page, and kept my interest. It takes awhile for all of this to work out, and some of the happenings are so different that what we are used to with Amish stories.
I received this book from the Publisher Thomas Nelson, and Netgalley, and was not required to give a positive review.
Something dark and sinister from Adam’s past is holding him in bondage to anger and fear. Not even Adam knows what it is, but his girlfriend’s mother knows it’s there. On her deathbed, she makes him promise not to marry Lena until he finds freedom from it.
Adam decides to keep his promise by letting Lena go altogether and enlisting in the new country’s army, though to fight goes against his Amish beliefs. Before he can act, however, he has many challenges to face.
I enjoyed this highly unpredictable story that somehow managed to end the way I’d hoped it would for everyone involved.
The first question in the Reading Group Guide at the end of the book is: “What similarities and differences did you find between the colonial culture of the Amish and the current renditions of the Amish?” I had noticed so many throughout the book! I’m curious now to know how these came about. I appreciated this story of these people in this early American setting.
In addition to the Reading Group Guide, "Arms of Love" also includes a four week Bible study written by the author.
To fans of Amish fiction, I recommend this book. I thank Thomas Nelson Publishers for sending a complimentary copy for this honest review.