The Brides of The Big Valley is a compilation of three Christian contemporary Amish romance stories penned by the three Brunstetter ladies. Matriarch Wanda is joined by daughter-in-law Jean and granddaughter Richelle to produce a delightful fiction book that is unique and engaging. I have never read any Amish stories such as these.
The Amish lifestyle fascinates me and by reading these three books I was able to learn even more about it. Opening this paperback is an Introduction section that describes The Big Valley and Amish there. The three different buggy colors intrigued me. Their language and cooking do, too. The Brunstetter ladies have done their research well and really know the Amish culture. It is evidenced in their well written books.
Each story has believable characters that are true to life. They struggle with life issues such as strife, forgiveness, coveting, and not wanting to accept help from others. Through their tale solutions are given on how to deal with these unfortunate and stressful topics. God is frontmost in each of the three books.
All three novellas are set in an area in Pennsylvania known as Big Valley. There are many Amish here but they aren’t all alike in their beliefs and rules. The three separate districts here range from Conservative to Liberal. Each one has their own color of buggy to distinguish themselves.
Wanda has written the first book, Deanna’s Determination. In this story Deanna is a widow with a young son who has Down’s Syndrome. It is a heart wrenching story that has stayed with me long after I finished reading it. I was a bit bothered by switching between Dad and Daed throughout the book, but it could be a Big Valley practice. I loved the little boy, Abner. There are so many life lessons to be learned in this poignant tale.
Jean took on Book Two, Rose Mary’s Resolve. The common thread between these two books is Elmer. He works for her father. In this tale, Mary Rose is deliberating on her faith and finding a man to help her in her walk. She has been considering jumping the fence over into the Englischer World. It is a wonderful story and filled with faith, decisions, consequences, and inspiration. Jean has a very nice style of writing and knows her Amish, also.
Richelle wraps up the book with Leila’s Longing. Leila has been helping her mother and has done so without complaining. Secretly she yearns for a house and family of her own. Her friends are all married or getting married. She is goes to a singing where young people gather and mingle. Her dilemma is can a strict yellow topper be interested in beginning a relationship and family with someone from a different group?
I would highly recommend this to anyone. If you aren’t certain if you like Amish books, this is a sampling from three excellent authors. Each of the stories is equally entertaining and inspiring. After the novella each author has included a recipe from her story. There are no Discussion Questions at the end, but these would be great book club choices for many reasons. There is heartache, disabilities, and making choices involved in these captivating tales.
After reading these three novella, I am ready for a real trip to Amish Country. This gave me a taste for the real thing! I gladly rate this book 5 out of 5 stars. Each individual story would get a 5, also. A copy was provided by the publisher but these were my own, honest thoughts.
About the Book:
In an area of Pennsylvania called The Big Valley, a uniquely blended Amish community thrives in which three distinct groups of Amish identify themselves by the colors of their buggy’s top—white, black, or yellow. Join New York Times Bestselling Author Wanda E. Brunstetter, her daughter-in-law, and granddaughter in experiencing the stories of three young women who search for faith and love within this special place. Deanna is a widow who sees her second chance of love slipping away. Rose Mary is at a point in life where she must choose the path of her faith and the right man to walk with her on it. Leila is burdened with family responsibilities and wonders when she will ever start a family of her own.
About the Authors:
New York Times bestselling and award-winning author, Wanda E. Brunstetter is one of the founders of the Amish fiction genre. She has written close to 90 books translated in four languages. With over 10 million copies sold, Wanda’s stories consistently earn spots on the nations most prestigious bestseller lists and have received numerous awards.
Wanda’s ancestors were part of the Anabaptist faith, and her novels are based on personal research intended to accurately portray the Amish way of life. Her books are well-read and trusted by many Amish, who credit her for giving readers a deeper understanding of the people and their customs.
When Wanda visits her Amish friends, she finds herself drawn to their peaceful lifestyle, sincerity, and close family ties. Wanda enjoys photography, ventriloquism, gardening, bird-watching, beachcombing, and spending time with her family. She and her husband, Richard, have been blessed with two grown children, six grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.
Jean Brunstetter became fascinated with the Amish when she first went to Pennsylvania to visit her father-in-law’s family. Since that time, Jean has become friends with several Amish families and enjoys writing about their way of life. She also likes to put some of the simple practices followed by the Amish into her daily routine. Jean lives in Washington State with her husband, Richard Jr. and their three children, but takes every opportunity to visit Amish communities in several states. In addition to writing, Jean enjoys boating, gardening, and spending time on the beach.
Richelle Brunstetter lives in the Pacific Northwest and developed a desire to write when she took creative writing in high school. After enrolling in college classes, her overall experience enticed her to become a writer, and she wants to implement what she’s learned into her stories. Just starting her writing career, her first published story appears in The Beloved Christmas Quilt beside her grandmother, Wanda E. Brunstetter, and her mother, Jean. Richelle enjoys traveling to different places, her favorite being Kauai, Hawaii.