Wednesday, December 28, 2011
A Stranger's Gift
A STRANGER'S GIFT
On the heels of a horrific hurricane, Hester Detlef, field director for the Mennonite Disaster Service, blows into the life of self-made, shunned Amish man John Hafner. Will she find a way through his shield and into his heart? Although the hurricane has left John homeless and badly injured, the last thing he wants is some do-gooder Mennonite woman intruding in his life. Will his impatience with her intention of restoring his faith and property keep him from accepting this beguiling stranger's kindness?
An enthralling book with a refreshing plot. Very different from other Amish stories that I've read. I found the whole MDS angle fascinating and appreciated Schmidt's detailed account of the good works Mennonites and Amish do in the face of natural disasters. That whole angle of the book was fascinating. But so were Schmidt's memorable characters -- complex and intriguing, she created a believable community that was easy to relate to. I particularly liked the way Hester's character developed because, on the surface, she seemed to have it all together, but there were undercurrents that she hadn't dealt with and, in a way, she was just as wounded as John. Their journey towards healing was moving...and frustrating...with sparks of humour amidst the uncertainty, definitely making for a compelling read. This is the first of a new series, Women of Pinecraft, and I'm definitely looking forward to more!