Christian Book Previews Home
Christian Book Previews
Book Jacket

Trade Paperback
300 pages
Jul 2010
Harvest House Publishers

The Way to a Man's Heart

by Mary Ellis

Review  |   Author Bio  |  Read an Excerpt

Review:

The Way to a Manís Heart by Mary Ellis is an Amish love story about a girl, Leah, who is trying to make something of herself, yet is facing the heartache of relationships with young men. This entire novel exhibits biblical principles, but the essence of the story can be capsulated in 1Corinthians 13:13, which says, ďThere are three things that will endure: faith, hope, and love, and the greatest of these is love.Ē Throughout the book, Leah tires to establish her new baking business, but she ends up meeting a mysterious young man with a tragic past. Her emotions range from being ecstatic to being curious to being angry.

The author, Ellis, has the ability to put her readers in the middle of the action, while also providing a sense of the Amish culture. The quality and intensity of the characters could have been stronger, however, because the dialogue between characters lacks much in the way of passion, energy or intensity. Probably the most memorable scene in the novel is when a suitor named Steven tries to convince Leah to eat nachos. She doesnít want them, though. So, when Daniel, another guy who likes Leah, insists she doesnít want them, they end up in Stevenís lap. Steven then punches Daniel in the nose and Daniel punches Steven back. I thought that scene was intense and somewhat repulsive, but Leah comes away feeling flattered that two fellows were fighting over her. It winds up being somewhat comedic.

Leah is trying to live her life to the fullest, but at her age that is hard to do because boys get in the way. She has several fellows trying to court her. However, one man in particular, Jonah Byler, stands out. April, another female central character, is dealing with trying to set up a new restaurant, but drowning in financial debt. Jonah Byler has a past that he canít forget and a mysterious aura that makes Leah attracted to him. Leah decides to go for Jonah. April eventually blames Leah for all the fraud April commits in trying to be successful against the odds. However, her lies get out of control and she is seen for the person she really is.

Leah is weak at times because she tends to have a bit of a temper. However, she is pragmatic and knows what she wants and goes after it. She is shy and curious at the same time. Leah is a three-dimensional and selfless character with a forgiving nature. When events happen that arenít particularly pleasant, her strong belief system comes in handy.

This book was more interesting than I expected it to be, especially with the realism Ellis weaves into her plot. What I really gained from it, though, was insight into the Amish culture. This book gives honest and respectful opinions of the Amish heritage, including the addition of words that arenít used in everyday English. Young females who are trying to fit into the dual worlds of love and career should enjoy reading this book. Ė Salisha Hill, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com

Book Jacket:

Leah Miller is living her dream come true as she invests in a newly restored diner that caters to locals rather than tourists. Can Jonah Byler convince this shy, quiet young woman that she should leave her adoring fans and cook only for him?

Leahís sister, Emma, is trying to adapt to married life as New Order Amish along with her husband, James, who gave up his Englischer ways to make Emma his bride. Will his commitment to Emma and to God stand firm when temptations from his past come to call?