The Wounded Heart by Adina Senft

THE WOUNDED  HEART: An Amish Quilt Novel
By Adina Senft
Faithwords,  $12.99

When a business offer turns into something more personal, Amelia is torn between what logic tells her is right, and the desire of her heart. 
A widow with two small children, Amelia Beiler is struggling to make ends meet. She is running her late husband's business, but it's not what she was raised to do, which is run a home. When she gets an offer for the business from Eli Fischer, she's only too relieved to consider it-especially when it looks like Eli's interest might include more than just the shop. But when she begins to experience strange physical symptoms and is diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, it's difficult not to question God's will. If she pursues the treatment she believes in, she risks going under the bann. But how can she allow Eli to court her when she can't promise him a future?

Before I get to my thoughts about The Wounded Heart, I have to be upfront and begin with a disclaimer. I know Adina Senft.  And to be honest, I'd never read an Amish themed book before, but I knew about the popular genre and I knew Senft's ability to tell a solid story. So I thought, why not give her book a try? Why not? Well, to be honest, I was afraid that I wouldn't be captured by a story taking place in the strict Amish world. I wondered what kind of plot there would be in these "plain" people and their community?  But I gave it a try and I am glad that I did. Senft has created a world that is easily identified with by any of us. Amish or not, we all have friends, we all experienced sorrow and loss, we have all battled illness or had someone close to us who has, and who hasn't found themselves between the proverbial "rock and hard place" as has the lead character Amelia, a widow with two young boys.

 Amelia's two best friends Carrie and Emma serve as a sounding board for Amelia and that's how we hear of Amelia's struggle with the choices in her life. When diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, Amelia wonders if she should seek a new medical treatment in Mexico. But she has no money. She has many offers to buy the business that she and her late husband started, should she take the highest from an "Englisher" or a lower amount from someone within the Amish community?   Her parents and the Church elders pull her in one direction, Amelia's heart pulls her in another and mind pulls her in yet another. These characters are fully drawn and interesting people!  Senft's plot line is solid and engaging. I often struggled with the restrictions of an Amish woman, raising her children alone, but so did Amelia!  I was able to connect with her on various levels and to me, that's the sign of a well written story. I cared.

I think that every author's goal is to tell a story that the reader will care about. I recommend The Wounded Heart, it's about people who care, people who trust, people who hurt and people who triumph!  And that's about the best recommendation I can give.

The Wounded Heart is the first in a trilogy and I look forward to the next book in the series.

4 out of 5 stars,  it's engaging, well told and kept my interest. Start the

This e-galley was provided to me by the publisher and in no way affected my review.

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