Attention readers of all ages! Wanda E. Brunstetter’s series, The Brides of Lancaster County, has returned to print. Each of the books in this series revolves around the simple lifestyle of the Amish. Living in the Amish country of Indiana, I have found the author’s portrayal of the Amish to be authentic.
In A Merry Heart, the first in this series, Miriam Stoltzfus is an Amish schoolteacher referred to by her students as “en alt maedel,” an old maid, with a “heart of stone.” At the age of twenty-six, Miriam feels her chances of marrying are gone. Her heart had been cruelly crushed by her fiancé when he left their community and married someone else. She promises herself that she will never again trust her heart to a man. However, by erecting a brick wall around her heart, she shuts herself off from God’s love creating a “heart of stone.” Miriam must turn her heart over to God and allow Him to tear down the facade. Only with God’s intervention will she be able to hear the whisperings of love echoing in her heart. Will it be too late?
Brunsteter’s characters come to life. The simple Christian Amish ways flow through the pages of the book. I learned several things about the Amish that I had not known before. I enjoy how she sprinkles her pages with Pennsylvania Dutch phrases. The definitions are subtly woven through the story by way of dialogue.
A Merry Heart is a joy to read. I would recommend this romance novel to anyone. – Vicki Borgman, Christian Book Previews.com
Miriam Stoltzfus is a young Pennsylvania Amish woman once filled with dreams for a future with a man. . .who jilted her. Now she is known as the old maid schoolteacher with a heart of stone. Could a forbidden romantic friendship with an English newspaper reporter stir the embers of her heart? Or, will she follow the traditional path and settle for a marriage of convenience born out of the sake of a child? Either way, she must find the key to letting go of the bitterness that binds her ability to love.