An Unexpected Family
Amish midwife Anne Stoltzfus is used to late-night visitors—but she’s shocked to find reclusive bachelor Joseph Lapp on her doorstep with a baby in his arms. Their neighborly quarrels are pushed aside when Joseph explains that his sister has left her daughter in his care—and Joseph needs Anne to be her nanny. Soon they’re bonding over baby Leah, and the love they feel for her is healing them both. When Joseph makes an offer of marriage, Anne’s painful past resurfaces and she’s unsure of what to do. But taking a chance could mean love—and family—are waiting just across the fence.
Lancaster Courtships: Life and love in Amish country
Why is there a child (on the left, not the baby!) on the cover of this book? It looks like a girl I knew when I was twelve! The heroine of this book is almost thirty-four!
I was in two minds about starting this one. I have recently discovered I really enjoy Patricia Davids’ writing, but I also know I dislike books about midwives. In the end, because it was a review book rather than something I had to pay for, I decided to give it a go.
As with every other book I’ve read by this author, I enjoyed it. She is an astonishingly consistent writer who delivers Amish fiction that even people (like me) who wouldn’t call themselves religious can be entertained by.
The Amish Midwife is part of a series, but all of the books are deliberately written as standalones, so this can be read on its own.
This is an interesting read in one way: the lead characters are older. I read somewhere that the average age for Amish women/men to get married is twenty-one/twenty-two, and both of these characters are in their thirties. It was nice to see they both had interests and professions, even if neither was a profession I found remotely attractive (delivering babies and milking goats!).
On the other hand, their ages illustrate perfectly how horrific some aspects of Amish life are. The rumours about their conduct, and the bishop dropping by to scold them for being alone together, like they are irresponsible children. Any time you might start seeing the Amish way of life as quaint and maybe even nice, you need a reminder of this sort of thing!
There is a tendency in this sort of fiction to make the outside world look eeeeevil, and that is also the case with this one. Something I’d like to see in Amish fiction in general is a more positive representation of the modern-day world. After all, even the Amish pick and choose modern technology when it suits them!
I wouldn’t say this is my favourite book by this author, but it was a better read than the other one I read in this multi-authored series. There are definitely other books I’ve preferred, but I can only imagine how hard it is to collaborate with others on something like this.
Overall, a solid book from the best Amish fiction author I’ve read so far.
Review copy provided by NetGalley.