A Miracle of Hope by Ruth Reid

18126903Fiction — eBook. Thomas Nelson, 2013. 340 pgs. Library copy.

Lindie Wyse is pregnant out of wedlock — a precarious situation to be given that Lindie is Amish — and thinks a marriage arranged by her bother is the only way to preserve her future. Despite her kneeling confession, her community has scorned her and the man she planned to marry wants nothing to do with her.

Living in a smaller community in Michigan, Josiah Plank is certain he’ll never love again after the death of his beloved wife, Caroline, but he needs someone to care for his deaf, eight-year-old daughter, Hannah. Josiah makes it clear to Lindie that he will not love her and he will not give her children not knowing that she is already pregnant and that her shy and timid nature has more to do with the circumstances surrounding her pregnancy than her personality. After all, Lindie is more than willing to push back when it comes to helping her step-daughter deal with her grief and wayward nature.

The Amish aspects of this novel are more undertones than central to the novel. It very easily could have been placed in the past and written as a mail-order bride novel than an Amish one. And one aspect of the plot is contradictory to everything I’ve learned about Amish culture. Hannah loves coloring like most young girls and Lindie recognizes her talent for drawing advocating that Josiah purchase colored pencils and paintbrushes for the little girl. I could have believed that the Amish community would have allowed Hannah to draw and color given that it is one of her forms of communication, but the addition of an Amish family to one of her drawings goes against the Amish ban on creating graven images. And yet neither Lindie, Josiah, or Hannah’s grandfather, who is a minister in the community, has anything but praise for Hannah’s drawing, which bugged me throughout the novel.

Even so, I enjoyed all the main characters in this book because they are so well-written and each one has a back story to be explored in the novel. Although I figured out Lindie’s secret within the first few chapters, I still found myself waiting with baited breath for her to tell Josiah. Perhaps the plot becomes too emotional; I could have lived without the second medical crisis. Despite this and the apparent lack of knowledge about the Amish, it was an enjoyable read and I will probably read more of Reid’s books should they become available at the library.

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