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Friday, September 2, 2011

Anna’s Gift by Emma Miller

Anna’s Gift by Emma Miller
Publisher: Love Inspired
Genre: Historical
Length: Full Length (220 pgs)
Heat Level: sweet
Rating: 3.5 books
Reviewed by Aloe

No one in Seven Poplars, Delaware, expects Anna Yoder ever to marry. Among her six pretty, petite sisters, big and plain Anna feels like a plow horse. But then Samuel Mast, the handsome widowed father she has secretly loved for years, asks if he can court her. Surely Anna has misheard—Samuel has his pick of lovely brides! She's convinced he seeks a wife only as a mother for his five children. Or could a man like Samuel actually have a very romantic reason for wanting Anna by his side forever?

She’d admired Samuel from afar, but knew he’d never be interested in her. So when he asks her about courting, she gets so excited and embarrassed she falls off the ladder and douses both of them with the blue paint she was using. How can she ever look at him again?

Ms. Miller has written a very pleasant Amish tale about those who live “plain” and have certain rules to follow regarding appropriate behavior and courting. Her main character, Anna, is a large woman. She’s big-boned, she likes to eat, and she has rather plain features. She knows she should choose a husband, but she wants to find love, not just a mate. Ms. Miller makes her a warm, kind woman who is good with children, but finds words wound her soul when people speak badly about her.

Our hero is Samuel. His wife died several years ago and he has five children. He should be getting married again, but he just wasn’t ready for it yet. Then his sister sends his youngest daughter home and he knows she needs a woman’s touch. He also has had an interest in Anna for some time.

The conflict arises because Anna isn’t sure she wants to be courted. She’d love to have Samuel as her husband, but surely he couldn’t love her. She’s too fat and too tall. Maybe he just wants a wife to take care of his five children?

My favorite part of this story is how her friends and family try to make Anna understand that she is someone special in her own way. All beauty isn’t external. Ms. Miller patiently and diligently weaves the story’s way through Anna’s internal insecurities and shows that even the Amish can have sharp tongues.

The author wrote a very good tale that kept me reading until I finished it. I was afraid that Anna was going to shy away like a young, flighty horse. Ms. Miller had me hooked from the moment Anna dropped the blue paint on Samuel and I had to see how this story was going to end. It was a good, smoothly flowing tale where all the characters learned a few lessons on the way.

Ms. Miller has written several other Amish mysteries. Why not check them all out? And do read this one, it’s very good!