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Monday, August 13, 2012

The Struggle by Wanda E Brunstetter

The Struggle by Wanda E Brunstetter
Publisher: Barbour Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Inspirational
Length: Full Length (384 pgs)
Heat: Sweet
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Aloe

When Timothy Fisher, his wife Hannah, and their daughter Mindy leave Pennsylvania to begin a new life in Kentucky, Hannah finds it hard to adjust. Will Christian County ever feel like home? Nothing Timothy does seems to please Hannah. Has the move from Lancaster spelled the beginning of the end? When a tragedy occurs, an inconsolable Hannah blames her husband for their loss. Timothy can barely rise beneath the weight of guilt, his wife’s hostility, and stress of his job. What dramatic second chance will God provide to heal their grief?

Hannah did not want to move to Kentucky. She’d be leaving her home, her parents and all that was familiar to her. She knew her husband was moving her because she spent too much time with her mother and let her interfere in their marriage. That didn’t make her happier about it.

Ms. Brunstetter sets her story in Amish country and the story includes all the Amish families and how they all interact. I enjoy reading about their culture and learning some of their words and this story gives you an opportunity to do that.

The title is most appropriate for this story. Hannah struggles from the beginning to the end until she finally comes to terms with what has happened in the past and how she wants to live in the future. She’s a confused young woman. She loves Timothy and her daughter, Mindy, but she grew up tied to her mother’s apron strings and she misses her dreadfully. Knowing Timothy thought she was spending too much time with her mother now that she was married doesn’t make it any better. Because Hannah is so busy feeling sorry for herself, she’s not real easy for the rest of the family to befriend or welcome to Kentucky. Her actions often make the situation worse and exacerbate her relationship problems.

I often wanted to pick Hannah up and shake her (gently, of course), like you would a small child you want to make a point with. She’s so bull-headed and self-centered she doesn’t see what she’s doing to Timothy. She did get me engaged in the story, though. Timothy is a good man and is trying to be patient with Hannah, but when they have a family tragedy, things fall apart.

When I had almost given up on Hannah, the author brought me back from the brink of the cliff and moved the story towards closure. I would have liked to see more sense in Hannah’s character sooner, but it is the story of her struggle, as the title implies. It’s a good read, the Amish way of life is interesting and I was happy to see Hannah finally evolve into womanhood. This is the third book in this series Kentucky Brothers, so series readers might want to check out the other books, too.