Saturday, February 28, 2015

"Harvest of Blessings" by Charlotte Hubbard

About the Book

Harvest Of Blessings

The tranquil little town of Willow Ridge is facing a startling challenge. Wealthy Nora Glick Landwehr is determined to make it her home again--and put her past to rest. Cast out by her own family, Nora can't reconcile with Old Amish ways or her strict father. But she'll do anything to help her community embrace the future . . . and make amends to the daughter she had to give up. So, she certainly has no time for her reckless new neighbor Luke Hooley. They disagree about almost everything. And how can she trust him if he always seems to believe the worst about her? Somehow, though, his unexpected support and passionate heart are helping her find her own way in faith. And Nora will discover that even in the face of insidious lies and unyielding judgment, God creates unexpected chances for forgiveness--and love.

Please visit Charlotte Hubbard's website

This book was released in February 2015
This book comes from my personal collection for review
(I couldn't wait for the library)

My Review

“Harvest of Blessings” by Charlotte Hubbard is her latest book in her 'Seasons of the Heart' series. I have to say that this is a book that I am not entirely sure if I would allow my 13 year old neighbor to read, not because of anything that was outright said or any one scene but because some of the innuendos.  I would have to say that the words spoken were not the reason for my uncertainty but it is the other things happening/thought of at the time that makes me weary.  The words spoken frankly taken by themselves were nothing to be concerned about.  When things might have gotten out of hand, things were cut off quickly and without the actual thought to be finished, but enough was given to give the reader the intent of thought.

I do also have to say that frankly I found it offensive that the snakes that live by instinct kept getting insulted in this book. I am referring to fact that the villain of the series was constantly referred to as  being a snake in the grass but frankly this character is more like the dried up slim that is left behind a slug that is crawling across a slim pond. This villainous character has upped their game though in a different way, and they sure didn't expect what happened at the end. The villain may not have succeed like they did in the last book, but I fear we might be seeing a set up for something more in the next book, for the villain is up to something, and this is one character I don't take for face value anymore.  I usually hope that the villain of any book has a change of heart but I don't think that is going to happen with this character anytime soon or if ever.

I have to say that this book really didn't make Amish out to be this group of people who have no faults at all, and that things, both evil and good, happen to them just like in the English world. There is human emotions and desires that can be found in the English world as well in the Amish world, that can be found in this story as well. I do enjoy Amish stories because everything seems to be so idyllic, but this book isn't idyllic.  This book balances both that idyllic sense and real world issues, that made this book so enjoyable.

Luke is a character that we have seen several times through the last few books in the series. Luke is a man who has always been shown as this bachelor who is in no hurry what so ever to change his status by settling down or give up his footloose and fancy free time with the ladies.  Yet at the same time, he is a character I wanted to see finally settle down and was curious as to what type of woman it would take to tame this wild character. Luke is a ladies man who is use to things going his way while sowing his wild oats. Yet watching him through the story it is interesting to see how he changes in little ways and it is apparent with those changes by the end of the book.

Nora is a woman who is trying to right wrongs that happened so long ago, and she also goes through some pretty big changes herself. I have to say that Nora is a pretty strong woman who knew exactly what she was risking when she took the leap of faith that she did, with no promises that things would work out. So many things could have blown up in her face, and when they did in one shape or another, she kept taking one step in front of the other. To watch Nora go from what/who she was in the beginning of the story to what/who she is at the end of the story was a wonderful thing to see.

There is a couple that most people might find the relationship to be disturbing because of the ages of this couple. I have to say at first I was a little uneasy with it but then when I got to thinking about the relationship it is in a different culture with different ways of thinking sometimes. Also the younger person of the couple has been doing work of someone twice their age for a few years, all without complaint.  So there is a physical age difference but the maturity level between the two in the couple actually is not all that far apart. Both of them are hard workers who know their mind. When looking at the relationship from maturity level instead of physical ages, things are not that bad, and what made it even better is at the end when a decision was made without any pressure.

I truly enjoyed this book a great deal because it kept me on the edge of my seat. I just wanted to see how Luke was going to change, what exactly was going to happen next with Nora and just have vile the villain was going to get. I hated putting the book down at one point but a nasty headache came on, and only sleep was going to relieve the pain. As soon as I woke up from sleep I picked up the book again and continued reading until I was done.

Other 'Season's of the Heart' Books and Novellas

                                                      found in An Amish Country Christmas
                                                found in An Amish Christmas Quilt
Harvest of Blessings