Plain Promise by Beth Wiseman

6570737Fiction — print. Thomas Nelson, 2009. Originally published 2000. 352 pgs. Received from PaperBackSwap.

Young Amish widow Sadie Fisher rents her cottage to wealthy Kade Saunders for three months. His status as a single man makes her hesitant to do so, but few people want to rent her cottage during the harsh Pennsylvania winter months. Her worry, however, seems to be unnecessary as Kade rarely leaves the cottage.

Until the unexpected arrival of Kade’s five-year-old autistic son, Tyler, that is. Kade and Tyler have been estranged for three years, but the death of Kade’s ex-wife leaves the young boy in his care. Tyler’s arrival forces Sadie to interact more with her renter and, despite her hesitations, her feelings for both the man and his child begin to grow.

There are two things about Wiseman’s Amish novels I will now come to expect — non-Amish characters looking for God and, subsequently, a rush to join the Amish community they are visiting. While the first could be construed as a common occurrence, the nonfiction books about the Amish I have read tell me that the later is an incredibly rare occurrence. The Amish are deeply mistrusting of Englishers wanting to partake in the simple ways of the Plain people, and for one community to accept so many non-Amish people into their folds is unlikely to happen.

What I enjoyed most about this novel was Kade’s little boy and the Amish community’s reaction to members with special needs. Tyler and children like him are considered extra special gifts from God; the nonfiction books I’ve read also echo this sentiment. The contrast between Sadie and Kade’s feelings about the challenges Tyler presents and faces were of particular interest.

And, just like Wiseman’s Amish novels, I found this one to be a diverting, light, and quick read that provided a nice wind down to a very busy week. And more of Wiseman’s novels become available on PaperBackswap, I will be sure to snap them up.

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