Book Reviews

An Amish Cradle – Not Much Rock – Review by Susan Scott Ferrell

an amish cradleHaving read so many other Amish novella collections, including An Amish Wedding, An Amish Kitchen, and most recently An Amish Garden, I was thrilled to receive An Amish Cradle. With well-known authors Beth Wiseman, Amy Clipston, Kathleen Fuller and Vannetta Chapman collaborating on this time, I felt certain it would be a collection to remember – and it was, but not for the reasons that I hoped.

Wisemans’s In His Father’s Arms tells the story of Ruth Anne, expectant mother, brimming with joy and awaiting the birth of her child along with her best friend, who is also due around the same time. But when Ruth Anne’s babe is born with Down Syndrome, it proves a challenge for all involved.

Clipston’s A Son for Always tells of Carolyn and Joshua, who are expecting their first child together. But Carolyn has a child from another relationship and worries that she alone must provide for him. At the same time, Joshua struggles to put rumors at rest within the community as he allows his wife to work through her own personal struggles.

Fuller’s A Heart Full tells the refreshing story of Ellie, who has her hands full. She is blind, has an overbearing mother…and she’s expecting twins! Although Ellie’s mamm has always been overprotective, the birth of the twins kicks her into high gear…but why? Mamm’s secret is finally revealed.

Chapman’s An Unexpected Blessing tells of Etta, who at 42 is surprised to be giving birth to another child. As a typical mom, she has many worries – the health of this tiny babe, the whereabouts of one of her children who has jumped the fence, and whether she and her husband will be able to keep their land.

I was given An Amish Cradle in exchange for my honest review. While I appreciated the unifying theme of trusting God, I was disappointed that there was not more focus on the babies and/or the births themselves. I naturally assumed with a title like An Amish Cradle that there would be more of an emphasis on such. Furthermore, the majority of the novellas seemed to fall flat. Many of the stories could have been told with fewer words. At times, the dialogues and/or narrations seemed forced. I have loved the writings of all of these authors individually, but I was underwhelmed with this particular collection. That being said, if you are an avid reader of these authors, you will get a glimpse of some of the characters they have written about in their previous works.

Susan Ferrell and her husband make their home in the Atlanta Metro area. Although Susan struggles with chronic migraine headaches, she stays very busy as a stay-at-home mom to one very precocious little girl. While catching her breath, she feeds her Amishaholic tendencies by reading vast amounts of Amish literature!

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