Review: The Wounded Heart by Adina Senft
Publisher: Faith Words
Rating: 4 ~ I Like It
Age recommendation: 11+
Amelia Beiler is a single mother of two young boys. Her husband, Enoch, was killed in a buggy accident. Amelia has been running their pallet business ever since the death of Enoch. She considers selling the business, and receives multiple offers, one of which comes from Eli Fischer. At about the same time, she starts experiencing weird tinging and numbness sensations in her hands. The doctors tell her that she has multiple sclerosis. They recommend a medical treatment. But, if she goes through this treatment, she will be placed under the Bann by the religious leaders in her Amish community. As if things isn’t complicated enough, Eli makes a personal offer.
The Wounded Heart is an engaging portrayal of Amish life. Most Amish books I’ve read romanticize the Amish beliefs and have characters with the fatalistic mentality, that is that every negative incident that comes by is God’s will. Whenever I read those type of Amish books, I always get annoyed with the way the characters are so fatalistic and submissive to the stifling interpretations of the Bible given by their Amish bishop, elders and ministers.
This novel is different. The main characters are spirited and somewhat independent in a way. They don’t accept everything they are taught and they speak out against certain beliefs they don’t think is right. Now, this doesn’t mean that The Wounded Heart is critical of Amish principals. It isn’t. All it does is show us that Amish beliefs and people is not as beautiful and romantic as they are often portrayed. This refreshing aspect caused me to enjoy reading The Wounded Heart.
The courage the three main characters, Amelia and her two best friends, Emma and Carrie, had to question what they have been told is right to do made them very likeable. This is the first Amish novel in which I didn’t get annoyed and irritated with the characters. I usually wonder why they aren’t more sensible and challenging! The Wounded Heart is the first book in the Amish Quilt trilogy. The second book, The Hidden Life, will be released in June 2012. The novel will focus on Emma’s life and I can’t wait to read it. Emma struggles with being a single senior and her struggles make her a character one can’t help but pity.
When I read the review offer for this book, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to review it. I didn’t think it would be worth reviewing a book I’m only going to dislike because it romanticized the Amish beliefs. I admire Amish beliefs and believers, but reading Amish novels have caused me to think that some of them are too legalistic. However, I am so glad I requested to review The Wounded Heart. It had a nice balance of its portrayal of both the positive and negative aspect of Amish beliefs.
Adina Senft grew up in a plain house church, made her own clothes, and perfected the art of the French braid. Writing under the pen name of Shelley Bates, she was the winner of the RWA’s RITA Award for Best Inspirational Novel in 2005, and a finalist for that award in 2006. Writing under the pen name of Shelley Adina, she was a Christy Award finalist in 2009. Three of her books was shortlisted for the ACFW Carol Award for book of the year. The Wounded Heart is the first book in the Amish Quilt trilogy. The second book, The Hidden Life, will be published in June 2012, and the third book, The Tempted Soul, in 2013. Visit Adina’s website at www.adinasenft.com.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through its book bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”