The Storekeeper’s Daughter by Wanda E. Brunstetter

136967Fiction — print. Barbour Publishing, 2005. 318 pgs. Library copy.

After her mother is killed by a car, twenty-year-old Naomi Fisher has to take on the responsibility of raising her seven siblings, helping her father out at his general store, and run the household. Her father, Abraham, refuses to allow her to attend singings or Caleb Hoffmeir to court her saying he needs her at home to take care of his kinner — children. Englischer Jim Scott can’t give his wife, Linda, the one thing she desires above all others — children.

When he and Linda travel to Maryland to adopt an one-year-old boy, the Scotts stop in Lancaster County to buy an Amish quilt and see the Amish. Right before traveling to Maryland to adopt the little boy, Linda becomes incredibly ill and Jim must go it alone. But when the adoption falls through and Jim decides he can’t go back to Linda without a baby, he kidnaps Naomi’s youngest brother, Zach, which sets off a change of events and a change of heart that affect the Fisher family.

One of the most interesting things about this novel was Abraham’s dependence on Naomi to raise his children simply because most Amish novels deal with courtship rather than the interdependence found within families and Amish society. Most Amish young women are presented in Amish fiction novels as sweet and perfect, but Naomi (and her father) is not, and I really enjoyed reading about their messy relationship. This novel goes into great depth more more so than her other novels; it relies upon less dialogue than her other novels. The novel closes Naomi’s chapter but leaves Jim and Zach in limbo, and I’m certainly glad I had the second and third novels in the series in order to find  out the answers to my questions.

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