Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Treasuring Emma - Kathleen Fuller


As I have mentioned in previous reviews, I am quite familiar with the Amish fiction genre, but I have never had the privilege of reading a novel by Kathleen Fuller. I have been missing out, as I thoroughly enjoyed Kathleen's unique take on the Amish community in Treasuring Emma.  Unlike offerings from Beverly Lewis (who I do love to read for different reasons), Kathleen's novel was not bogged down by constant descriptions of Amish jargon and lifestyle. In fact, at times I forgot I was reading a story about an Amish woman as I was drawn into the actual plot instead of being force-fed Pennsylvania-Dutch vocabulary.

Treasuring Emma by Kathleen Fuller is book #1 in the Middlefield Family Series. It revolves around the lives of the King family, specifically Emma and her sister Clara.  Emma is an unmarried Amish woman, still heartbroken over her childhood love who left their community for the English world.  Clara, is married and disillusioned with her loving but unemployed husband, stewing in the bitterness of depending on their community for money.  Both sisters have to face what it means to depend on God and to trust in his provision as they deal with the death of their parents, the return of old flames, and past family tensions.  When an evil relative brings trouble to the community, Emma and Clara realize that God is truly the only one who can bring them happiness and hold their world together.

It is clear that Kathleen Fuller writes about a less conservative Amish community in this novel.  In response, the novel has a more "real world" feel to it.  The story touches on jealousy, greed, sex, lust, anger, evil, depression, financial worries and more.  The characters struggle with emotions and feelings that are typical of all humans, and I appreciate that the author does not gloss over these difficulties with pat answers and platitudes.  Even more encouraging was the fact that Emma is overweight and not particularly beautiful. It is very rare to see this description for a main character of a novel, and I commend the author for writing Emma with honesty and spiritual beauty, allowing her to find happiness in the end.

I would highly recommend picking up Treasuring Emma for your own library, especially if you appreciate Amish fiction.  I look forward to completing the Middlefield Family Series.

Disclosure of Material: I received this book free from the publisher via Book Sneeze. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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