Harvest House Publishers
In his novel, A Dream for Hannah, Jerry S. Eicher creates a story of young love, trust, and knowing when to let go. Sixteen-year-old Hannah Miller, an Amish girl in northern Indiana, struggles with the concept of love, torn between her romantic ideals and the dull reality everyone around her seems to embrace. When tragedy strikes her peaceful community, she finds herself having to make a painful decision between her dreams and what she believes to be right.
Although Hannah someday desires to be like the ideal wife of Proverbs 31, her only romantic experience is from the eighth grade, when she told her friends she thought Sam Knepp was cute, something she did only to impress the other girls at school. Naturally, her ideas of love are completely turned upside down when she meets Peter, a striking blonde-haired Amish boy who seems all too eager to gain her attention. Unfortunately for her, the flirtatious Peter has a bit of a rebellious streak that her parents find unacceptable, while Sam has started to get ideas that she might make a good farmer’s wife. Despite her parents’ advice, she continues to talk to Peter, but when he starts pleading with her to see him secretly, she finds herself questioning her feelings, uncertain of whether or not she should trust her heart. Just as she’s starting to figure things out, the community is struck by a tragic accident, altering her perspective forever. Distraught and confused, she heads to Montana, looking for peace and possibly the truth about love, completely unaware of what God has waiting for her.
Although A Dream for Hannah contained several interesting ideas for a story, Eicher didn’t pull quite pull them together. The overall story felt contrived with its many sudden plot twists—from injuries to romantic problems—occurring within mere pages of each other. Sadly, because Eicher tried to fit so much information into one book, the characters were somewhat underdeveloped and stiff, making it difficult to sympathize with their plights. There is also a surprising lack of courting, considering that this is supposed to be a romance novel. There isn’t much dialogue between Hannah and her various romantic interests; instead, most of the references to love are the confused and sometimes depressing thoughts of Hannah, most of which have to do with her refusing to dream of love again. While I feel that this book could have been a thoroughly good story if it had been longer and more developed, in its present state I can’t give it my top recommendation. – Chelsea Molin, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
Having grown up in the Amish faith, author Jerry Eicher (over 100,000 copies in combined sales) treats his fast-growing readership to his firsthand knowledge in A Dream for Hannah.
Hannah Miller’s Amish faith is solid. Her devotion to her family and Indiana community is unquestionable. Yet her young spirit longs for adventure and romance. As troubling circumstances give her good reason to spend the summer at her aunt’s Montana horse ranch, Hannah soon discovers she has much to learn about life and love.
Her heart is awhirl with emotion as she dreams about her future. Sam, the boy Hannah has known all her life, is comfortable and predictable. Peter is the wild one, the boy who is on rumspringa. And Jake is unpredictable, intriguing, and living in the Montana wilderness.
Hoping for a dream come true, Hannah must decide how to fulfill her heart’s desire while staying true to her faith.