It’s time for another Book Review from Bethany House! This the first one in a while due to all of my traveling, and other people requested the book first. They only give away a certain number of copies for these blog reviews and sometimes they go quickly, in the first few hours. I love doing this because I LOVE reading and I get to choose the book (out of 5 or 6 choices), and whether I have time that month. :>
So…on to the review: A Shining Light by Judith Miller
Here’s the summary:
“West Amana, Iowa, 1890
After Andrea Wilson receives the devastating news that her husband has been lost at sea, she returns home to Iowa with her young son, Lukas. But what she finds there causes more heartache: The family farm has burned and her father has died, leaving Andrea with nothing.
Andrea must rely on the kindness of the people from the nearby Amana village who invite her to stay with them for a time. She discovers much generosity and contentment among the Amanans–especially from the tinsmith, Dirk Knefler, who takes her son under his wing. But is the simple, cloistered life in Amana what Andrea wants for Lukas’s future? Is she willing to give up the comforts and freedom of the outside world? And when yet another round of shocking news comes her way, will Andrea ever be able to find the serenity and hope that have eluded her for so long?”
One of the things I liked about this book was that, after the first few chapters, it feels like it will be a sweet, sleepy little story, and then it isn’t and it takes you by surprise! There’s a bigger surprise, but also some smaller surprises that keep you on your toes. There’s enough intrigue to keep you interested and guessing without it being so stressful it keeps you awake at night. The way I like it! :>
I enjoyed this book so much more than the last one, reviewed HERE. It seemed to read a bit smoother, had a good storyline and a little bit better gospel message. As I said in the other review for this series, the gospel message is too important to leave out or water down. I care too much about people to let this go, because I don’t want them to spend eternity in hell, but to follow my Savior and live eternity with Him just like I am!!
I really like the characters in this story. Andrea, her little boy and Dirk especially. He’s a great guy with integrity, sensitivity and care for her and her son. It’s really quite sweet the way he reaches out to little Lukas. :> I also love her lovely, Christian neighbor Louise who is always there for it seems.
Of course, the main part of the story is really the way this community takes Andrea and Lukas in, cares for them and looks out for them. Knowing how rare it is for outsiders to be so accepted into groups like this, it’s a special situation that gives them the opportunity to heal and begin to thrive again as they settle in and make friends, all the time unsure whether this will be a temporary or permanent arrangement. The Amana people really do act lovingly and graciously to Andrea and Lukas, portraying many Christian like characteristics.
Anytime you read about other religions it’s good to be cautious and line everything up against the Bible, which is what I did. I enjoyed the storyline and found it interesting to learn a bit more about the Amana people. The best part is that I can pray for these real life communities to see the Truth and know that we can not be saved through our “good works” (which is so very popular in our world today), but by turning from our sins and following Christ. (This book was more vague about their beliefs, but did research when reading the last one).
“Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Acts 2:38
Overall, I did enjoy reading this and I liked the clever storyline and the great characters!
Happy Reading!! :>