When Phoebe Miller and Eli Riehl meet during rumschpringe, she's charmed by his storytelling, and he's impressed by her artistic illustrations. But their planned collaboration on a children's book---and their growing affection---is put on hold when Eli must return to his family's farm. Will they ever write their own "happily everafter" love story?
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Customer Reviews for Amish Family Reunion, An - eBook
Family is woven all through out this story. A Mother missing her grown children. A Family reunion to bring them all together. Each person different but bound together by the thread of belonging to a family. Phobe loves to draw which most Amish find odd. She sescapes often to draw pictures of nature. She begs to go on a trip to Niagara Fall with the young people. There she meets Eli who loves to tell stories. They decide to write a children's book together. They meet every Wednesday at Library to work on it. Before they get it published tragedy happens in Eli's home. It looks like it could destroy Phobe and Eli's dream. Does it? I'll let you find out. I had to chuckle over several of the scenes. So many memories of my own childhood and no, I'm not Amish. A very good read. You will be sorry it ended.
This book is part of a series, which I did not know, but it can stand alone. However, be advised that there are a lot of characters and, if you haven't read the previous books, it might be a bit confusing at times. But, although that can be a little distracting, it doesn't take away from the enjoyment of this nicely written book.
There are many themes woven together like a fine quilt: marital problems due to lack of effective communication, loneliness, fear, jealousy, among others. But aside form the many themes and the many characters, Phoebe and Eli emerge as the true leads in the story. She is a girl who keeps to herself, loves to be alone with her thoughts and her tablet to paint, but at the same time, she longs for something more, something more exciting, a new inspiration for her paintings.
And along comes Eli, whom I loved. He is unique; very outspoken, well read (something apparently not too Amish like) and somewhat fearless. He has big dreams, and Phoebe starts dreaming with him. The two are made for each other. And you wish to know more, to dig deeper into their relationship, but this is where the story is lacking. The reader is left wanting more, and not in a good way. We see Phoebe meet Eli (the Niagara Falls part is really good), and it's obvious they like each other, but then, instead of watching their story develop, we cut to Leah, and then Mathew, and later on Emma, and a few characters later we go back to Phoebe and Eli but already a few weeks have gone by. And this presents a problem because as you get interested in one story, the author cuts to a different one. And I understand that this novel is about the family per se, but when the selling point is Phoebe and Eli's story, and it certainly is a cute and sweet story, then the reader needs to spend more time with them, and it would have been better if the author cut back a little bit on the others, so not only we could see more of Phoebe and Eli, but we could understand better their thought process, their feelings and their decisions.
That said, the fact is that it is a good, enjoyable novel that in the end celebrates the importance of family and remaining close no matter the distance.
More like 3 1/2 stars out of 5
*I received a copy of this book from Harvest House Publishers through NetGalley in exchange of an honest review.
Phoebe is the quietest member of the whole Miller family and is content to spend her time drawing. She carries her tablet and pencils with her everywhere. Phoebe lost her mother at a young age then her father married Hannah Miller, she truly loves her mother and Hannah loves her.
Henry, her cousin, tells her about a two day bus tour to Niagara Falls and encourages Phoebe to go since she hasn't joined the church yet. Phoebe's father refuses to allow her to go even though it will be all Amish kids from two different districts. Hannah finally convinces him to let Phoebe go.
Eli Rhiel, a young man from the other district, notices her as they are getting on the bus and tries to flirt with her. She ignores him, but he sits right across from her and ends up in her seat on the girls side of the bus. On these tours the guys are supposed to sit on one side and the girls on the other, when the chaperone sees them in the same seat she thinks nothing of it because of who they are.
Eli can tell a story better than anyone she knows, the chaperone knows this too, so she calls on him to tell a funny story about Niagara Falls and when he's done he returns to his seat, not hers, so she gets her pad and pencils out and draws pictures to go with the story he told. When Eli sees the illustrations, he can hardly believe his eyes. Phoebe can't believe how much Eli knows about Niagara Falls and wonders if he's taken this trip before.
Phoebe hates leaving, she has had a great time and found a new friend. She has talked to Eli more than she's probably talked to anyone in her whole life. The two start meeting on Wednesday afternoons at the library and Eli asks Phoebe to be his partner in writing children's books, he will write the stories and she will do the illustrating.
You will have to read the book to see if this relationship works out, if it leads to more than a working relationship, and if it does, is there something to break one and/or both of the relationships up. There are more family stories for you to follow along with too and you will get drawn into each one.
I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone. Mary does a great job of telling the story of the Miller Family.
I received this book free from the publisher through the NetGalley. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
Julia Miller’s children have all grown and have families of their own, but Julia misses the houseful of laughter and joy. She hopes to gather the family for a summer celebration.
Julia’s niece, Phoebe, goes on a rumspringe trip with other Amish youth to Niagara Falls. Her father is initially against the idea, but he relents when he learns the trip is well-chaperoned. It isn’t as well-chaperoned as Phoebe thought, as she as plenty of time with another Amish youth Eli, from another district. Eli is enthralled by Phoebe’s artistic talents, and encourages Phoebe to join him in a venture—he’ll write stories, if she illustrates them. Can their love for literature develop into something that will last forever?
AN AMISH FAMILY REUNION is the next book in Ms. Ellis’ Amish series The Miller Family, but enough information is given about each character that you don’t have to read the previous books, though I’d suggest that you’d want to, to get the full story.
There are many different characters in this book, each of them having a place in the prior books, so you get a lot of continuing stories in AN AMISH FAMILY REUNION. The main story (Eli and Phoebe) is a romance, but the rest of the stories are with married couples and since they make up the majority of the book, I’m classifying it as women’s fiction.
If you like Amish fiction, then you will want to read AN AMISH FAMILY REUNION by Mary Ellis. It is rich in description, leaving you see both the Ohio countryside and Niagara Falls in New York. I thoroughly enjoyed reading Eli and Phoebe’s story and catching up with the other characters. Discussion questions and some yummy sounding recipes are included at the end of the book.
This book is a delight to read. Interesting and compelling Amish characters face real everyday issues in the dynamic of family life and marital relationships. Mary Ellis is a talented and gifted author who writes about the Amish with genuine authenticity, charm, and credibility.
Although this book can be enjoyed as a stand-alone novel, reading the first three books in this series, will enhance the reader’s enjoyment I highly recommend this book, and once you read it, I think you will too. Enjoy!
Phoebe Miller was five years old when her mother died. She withdrew and stopped talking. Her step mother, Hannah, lovingly brought her out of her silence. Even as a 17 year old, she still preferred to go off by herself and and do her favorite thing - sketch. She hardly went any activities in her community. But when her cousin, Henry, showed her a brochure for a trip to Niagara Falls something stirred in her and she knew she just had to go.
As she was boarding the bus for the trip, she met Elli Riehl. Eli was immediately taken with Phoebe. They became friends on the trip. They discovered they were a lot alike. They both lived in Holmes County, Ohio, they both chose not to go to any youth events and they both were creative. They decided to create a children's book together. Eli would write the story and Phoebe would illustrate it. Phoebe started to like this young man who had a way with words.
Eli and Phoebe lived in different districts. When they got home, they decided to meet at the public library to work on their book. Phoebe really looked forward to their meetings. With the help of the librarian, they got their book idea sent to several publishers. Just as everything seemed to be coming together for their book, Eli's father had a heart attack and Eli had to take over the family business. He told Phoebe that he couldn't work on the book anymore. Phoebe was hurt and angry.
Meanwhile, Phoebe's aunt, Julia Miller, was missing her children. She had one at home, Henry, but the rest were married and out of the house. Matthew lived in New York with his wife and two children. Leah lived close by with her husband. Emma lived in nearby Charm with her husband and two children. Simon, Julia's husband, had the brilliant idea to have a family reunion so his wife could see everyone.
Does the family reunion go as planned for Julia? Do Phoebe and Eli ever get book their published? You'll have to read An Amish Family Reunion to find out.
I had trouble getting into this story when it first started. I was thankful for the list of names of the family members at the beginning of the book. There are so many story lines going on that I had to keep looking back to see who was who. After I got everyone figured out, I wanted to keep reading to find out what happened with them. This book shows us that there is no better place to be than with those who love you. Also, with relationships there may be problems along the way but they are worth working out. Read An Amish Family Reunion to see how the Miller family works out their relationships and keeps loving each other.
The Miller Family Series A Widow's Hope #1 Never Far From Home #2 The Way To A Man's Heart #3
I received a free copy of this e-book from NetGalley for my honest review.
Author, Mary Ellis, has written another in the Amish Miller family series. In "An Amish Family Reunion," the matriarch of the Miller Family, Julia, misses her family that has scattered and which she rarely sees. So she decides to call for a month long family reunion.
In the family is shy Phoebe, Julia's niece, who doesn't like to cook, clean, laundry or be a typically Amish female. She is an artist and loves to use her God-given talent to draw. Phoebe meets Eli Riehl, who lives on a nearby farm and is also Amish. Eli is also shy and also not typically Amish because he is very talented with words and has an incredible talent to spin tales. So the author and the artist meet, and the outcome is a dream of writing and illustrating a children's book.
The story line develops with varying emotional and physical twists and turns for the entire extended Miller family. Conflicts and resolution, frustrations and dreams shared, disappointments and anger.
Ms. Ellis has again written an engaging story of life amongst the Amish and their gentle yet hard-working lives. She brings us descriptions of their very human traits such as desire, anger, frustration, and fear showing us that though different from what they call the Englisher world by choice they are very much alike their counter parts in the Englisher world.
I was given a copy of "An Amish Family Reunion" by author, Mary Ellis. I have provided a non-solicited honest review of this book.
Mary Ellis has outdone herself with this wonderfully written book. Phoebe and Eli's story is one that really touches the heart. Also, there are other family members stories written in that add so much interest to the storyline. I also loved that Biblical scripture was written in the storyline to explain the headcoverings. This book is a must read for all Amish Book Lovers!
I will definitely be reading many more Mary Ellis books in the future! I immensely enjoyed Ms. Ellis's latest tale of a large Amish family, which followed many branches within the famiy tree.
Even though I haven't read the first three books in the series I was instantly able to figure out what was going on and easily followed along. I loved how the book had 5 different storylines all going on at once, yet they all came beautifully together as the story progressed. I can only assume that characters such as Leah, Emma, Martha, Hannah and Julia were focused on in earlier installments of the series, but it didn't matter, I enjoyed this book all the same :)
I was drawn the most into the main story with Phoebe and Eli, and their interactions. In this book Phoebe and Eli were opposites who attracted, in a totally sweet way. I liked their differences, and how they complimented each other's personalities. And their unique dream to write and illustrate children's books was an awesome twist to the traditional Amish love story.
Overall this is a delightful Amish tale, not just about the first blush of romance, but also about the struggles that couples face after they tie the knot. I laughed along with the characters, and sympathized with them when things got tough. Well written and brimming with simple, but realistic charm, you will not want to miss An Amish Family Reunion!
Final Rating: 4.25 out of 5
I received this book from teh publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Since I was born and bred in the Anabaptist community I didn’t read this book to learn about people and cultures that are different than me. So why do I read Mary Ellis’s books?
It’s because she is a gifted story teller and the stories seem true to life.
I like a book with a multi-thread plot so I enjoyed following Julia Miller and her worries about her married children. We never really want to let them go. We want to keep giving them advice. And sometimes they don’t appreciate it. So I wanted to see how everything worked out in the different family relationships.
I really enjoyed my visit with old friends. The children from the earlier books are now growing up. Phoebe who lost her Mom at a young age, gained a new Mom in Hannah, when her Dad Seth remarried. She is now almost 18 and jumps at a chance to go to Niagara Falls on a chaperoned trip. Loved the antics that go on on this trip, and her relationship with Eli. Two similar personalities who have found each other. You will wonder if they will make a match. Then there is Matthew Miller, who now has two children, and lives in NY State. His young wife Martha, is so unhappy, Matty is gone most of the week, miles away at a good paying job. She is thrilled when her Mother-In-Law, Emma, decides to have a month long family reunion. I really wish I could have been invited, what a great time! Also returning on an off during the month is Emma and her family, and Leah and her husband. So many changes and so many new things happening! Can't wait for the next chapter in this story. This is a great read even if you have not read any of the other books, but don't miss this one!
I received this book from the Publisher Harvest House, and was not required to give a positive review!
Mary Elis has written a moving story centred on family, faith, and the importance of having our priorities in life set straight. I unfortunately have not read prior books by the author where many of the characters were previously introduced. Because of that, I found it a bit difficult to keep all the characters straight at first. However, I can say that overall readers who enjoy Amish fiction will appreciate the drama that unfolds, the family tensions brought on by different views on faith issues, and the likeable characters. I especially enjoyed the unique talents of Phoebe Miller and Eli Riehl, Phoebe having a gift for drawing that is questioned by other Amish, and Eli’s dream of writing a children’s book also being out of the norm for Amish men. The author appears to understand the inner workings of the Amish culture and presents both the joys and struggles of the Amish people in a realistic manner. The books conclusion is moving and satisfying, and will surely please readers who have been following the adventures of the Miller family through The Miller Family Series.
I strongly recommend this book and award it 4 out of 5 stars.
Book provided courtesy of the publisher and FIRST Wild Card for the purposes of this unbiased review.
I read An Amish Family Reunion all the way through the very day it came in the mail. Mary Ellis is a gifted storyteller and her writing just gets better and better. I love the characters in this book. Not having read all of the Miller Family Series, I was meeting some of these people for the first time. But that was not a problem, this book is capable of standing on its own. What I love best about these characters is how real they are. Mary does not glorify the Amish way of life, but neither does she demonize it in any way. She merely writes the people as they are – real human beings like everyone else. They just happen to be Amish. And Mary Ellis obviously knows a lot about their culture. The humor in this story is spectacular. I found myself laughing with nearly every page turn. The author’s dry, witty sense of humor shines brilliantly through her characters. But An Amish Family Reunion is not just about characters. The plot is also fascinating. When a chapter ended with a cliff-hanger and the next chapter changed to a different subplot, I thought I’d have to rush through—skimming—to get back to the cliff-hanger. But I’d find myself so engrossed in that next chapter that I didn’t think about the poor girl hanging from the precipice until her point of view started again. Another positive (and I have nothing but positive to say about this story) is the quality writing. As a writer myself, I am often distracted by poor or careless writing styles. I reached the end of this story without once critiquing the writing techniques. In my book, that spells success for an author.
Mary Ellis is well equipped to write Amish novels with memorable characters and this one is no exception. From reading Amish novels I've learned of their simple, but protective life. Among the Amish, their strict rules must be obeyed and it is usually the father of the family that comes across as rather harsh when enforcing those rules. Phoebe Miller's father is such a man and protests when she asks permission to go on a bus trip to Niagara Falls so she can find new things besides farm animals that she can draw. Phoebe's mother convinces the father to allow Phoebe the trip as it will be all Amish young people. On that trip she meets Eli and her sheltered life will never be the same.
As an accomplished author, Mary Ellis knows the ins and outs of writing a really good book. An Amish Family Reunion exemplifies this well.
Phoebe Miller is an artist at heart, and shy. She refuses to attend the singings, and such that are normal for Amish youth.With one exception. She manages to talk her father into a trip to Niagara Falls. On this trip, she meets Eli Riehl, a young Amish man who spins an exceptional story. Together they plan a business venture to produce a book with Eli's story and Phoebe's illustrations.
Somewhere along the way, Eli and Phoebe grow to love one another. But when tragedy strikes on the Riehl farm, Eli has to give up his dream and care for the family's farm. He's not willing, however, to give up on Phoebe. As shy as she, he takes a step beyond his comfort zone and pursues her at every opportunity.
This book is preceded by several others: A Widow's Hope, Never Far From Home, and The Way to a Man's Heart. It is not necessary, however, to have read these in order to enjoy An Amish Family Reunion.
I enjoyed this novel a great deal, as I had the others that I have read by Ms. Ellis. I look forward to more books from her in the future.
An Amish extended family deals with life’s problems in this heartwarming novel. Julia and Simon Miller miss their children and grandchildren, who are spread from Ohio to New York. Son Henry is the only one left at home, and his rescue of disabled horses is growing costly. Julia plans a summer reunion to bring the entire family home to spend time together. They all come with their own struggles and needs.
Hannah and Seth Miller, siblings of Julia and Simon, live nearby and are involved in the family happenings. Their eldest, Phoebe, would rather draw pictures than most anything else. She talks her parents into allowing her to go on a chaperoned sightseeing trip to Niagara Falls. She meets Eli Riehl, who has quite a way with words and loves to tell stories. The two team up to create a children’s picture book.
Will Phoebe and Eli’s friendship develop into a courting relationship? Will her cousins work out their issues? Will Julia learn to stop meddling in her children’s lives? Love, responsibility, and hope for the future tie this book together.
Even though I hadn’t read the previous books in the series, I enjoyed An Amish Family Reunion. It would probably be best to read the novels in order, but this story does stand alone and you get to know the feisty characters well. Mary Ellis includes Amish recipes and discussion questions in the back. Take some time to get away to An Amish Family Reunion.
I love series, and keeping up with familiar characters. Emma married wisely; her partnership with James is a joy. Matthew faces a choice between an occupation he loves or a happy wife. Leah finally sees a dream coming true, but where will it happen? Henry’s soft heart toward geriatric horses has Simon on edge, and Phoebe doesn’t help when she offers to paint a sign, Miller Horse Sanctuary. And now Phoebe dreams of being an illustrator, but travels a rocky road in a partnership with Eli, or will something more develop? This is a great book.