"Even when the rainbow seems to pass right by me....I'm still finding Gold in the clouds....."

20 October 2013

2013 Book Review #31: The Fiddler

A Christian fiction book that I actually liked!!  I just finished this book which is the first one in the Home to Hickory Hollow Series.  I had read a couple of Amish books by this author many years ago and didn't care for it. It was like soooo many secular Amish books I had seen or read and I just stopped  caring for this genre.  But....a couple of weeks ago at our town library, this series caught my eye and I decided to try it.  I loved this book!!!!  It was much faster paced and more contemporary than I expected.  It also didn't reek of "sappiness" like so many of these types of novels.


Michael Hostetler is a young Amishman who was raised in Hickory Hollow, an Old Order Amish community.  He has older siblings who are married and living in Hickory Hollow near his parents.  He isn't sure he wants to be baptized in the Amish church and is questioning some of the Amish ways. He IS a Believer however, but wants to live in the world rather than the Amish community.  A farming accident leaves his Daed (father) with an injury that forces Michael to remain at home for a time......

Amelia Devries is a young woman from Columbus, Ohio who was a child prodigy on violin.  She is now traveling to many concerts as a soloist throughout the United States.  She is an only child.  Her parents do not know that she also enters fiddling competitions under another name (Amy Lee) and that she has just completed an opening act for a famous country singer.  They prefer that she remain a classical violinist and her agent wants her to tour Europe in the coming months. Her mother is trying to get a novel published and her father, an accomplished violinist himself, has become very ill.

A wrong turn on her way home from the country singer's show, forces Amelia and Michael to meet.  Although Amelia is very much an Englisher, Michael is drawn to her.  They both have very different backgrounds but they both struggle with the expectations that other people in their lives have placed upon them and they both are trying to find the room to make their own hopes and dreams come true.  Michael invites Amelia to visit Hickory Hollow, and when she does, she is drawn towards God and prayer via the fellowship and compassion of the Amish people she meets. One elderly woman, Wise Woman, (Ella Mae), in particular opens her eyes and her heart towards the things of God.  She also meets a young woman named Joanna who becomes her dear friend.  She is happy that Michael invited her to spend some time in Hickory Hollow.

This chance encounter soon begins to change their lives.


This book was a good story and very believable from both characters' viewpoints. I like that the author wove in the "Englisher" values with Amish values and that both characters have a heart towards God and His plans and purposes.  There is a little bit of drama and romance to this story but the romance part isn't sappy nor does the drama behind Amelia and her parents, nor Michael and his parents get bogged down.

I also like that in the book, Michael's niece, Lizzy, comes back to the Amish community after spending some time in the "world".  It shows that the Amish people are very forgiving and know how to extend grace and mercy even though they have a strict set of rules they adhere to. 

The story reminded me of how when God closes a door, He often opens another one with something even better for us than we could have planned or dreamed.

I am now planning on reading the other two books in the series!

In my opinion, this book is appropriate for ages 14 and older.

On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest, I rate this a 10.


LittleWomen21 said...

oh this book sounds wonderful! Sounds like we have similar tastes - I have a hard time with some Christian fiction too. Either it's too sappy or it's too generic (mentions faith but not the name of Jesus). I love Francine Rivers' books, but I haven't found another favorite author yet. I will try this one!

Susanne said...

I haven't read Beverly Lewis in a long time but remember really enjoying other series that she has done. Another to go on my list.

Kathie said...

I was able to order this one from my library - thanks Faithe!

Sherrin said...

Hello Faith, thanks for your helpful comment on my blog. It was good to read about your strategies and thanks for taking the time to share.

Melanie Lopata said...

Oh I loved this book!! In fact I loved the series. Glad you read it :)

Faith said...

Melanie!! I am waiting for the library to have the rest of the books!!!! they must be popular because there are multiple copies of each book and they are ALL out!!