Faith Readers Group Review: A Stranger’s Wish by Gayle Roper

A rain and snowy mix falling steadily, temperatures dropping in the low 30s and wind stinging like a horse’s tail against your face.

That’s the weather these ladies fought to get to book club, but homemade bread pudding, coffee cake and piping hot coffee with hazelnut creamer, good friends, and laughter  made it worth the trek to the Cornerstone cafe to discuss faith and fiction. We missed those who couldn’t come and always make book club night special! 

What’d we read? This month was Amish fiction. Many, including myself, had never read an Amish story. Oh, we’ve bought their bread and cheese and wondered. We may have watched an episode of Law and Order when one got killed on Rumspringa, but never read a story.

 So this was an experience. Especially for many who enjoy a fast-paced thriller with romance that makes us want to fan ourselves but not so edgy we have to take a trip to the altar on Sunday. But seriously, are we responsible for our subconscious dreams? Another blog. Another day.

We chose A Stranger’s Wish. It sounded mysterious. A key given to a Englishwoman. Not from Britain, as I thought at first. But what Amish people call, you know… us.

Here were some of our thoughts:

“I liked how the Amish parents didn’t give up on their son, even when he chose not to become a devout member.”

“I liked the main character’s quirkiness and her creativity.”

“I wanted more meat, but this book was mostly light-hearted and quick.”

“I thought there was going to be a bigger twist, but then it wasn’t and I was disappointed.”

“I couldn’t relate to the characters. Any of them.”

I asked, “Did you discover anything interesting about the Amish?”

“I didn’t realize the Amish were so works-based and not faith-based.”

“I think they should live by faith and drive a car. Seems easier.” 

I admit, we giggled at that. 

Overall, I have to say, this wasn’t the groups’ favorite read, but we didn’t hate it. And we all said we’d read more Amish fiction! After taking a poll, the rating for this book came in at 2 stars out of 5. 

We chose (out of 14 Christmas novel choices) to read A Christmas Note by Donna VanLiere for December, who we have never heard of. Have you? 

Do you read Amish fiction? Or write it? What fascinates you about these books or doesn’t? Here’s a peek at A Stranger’s Wish:

Englischer Kristie Matthews’ move to an Amish family farm in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, starts on a bad note as the young schoolteacher is bitten by a dog. A trip to the local ER leads to an encounter with an old man who hands her a key and swears her to silence.
But when Kristie’s life is endangered, she suspects there’s a connection to the mysterious key. While solving the mystery (and staying alive), Kristie must decide whether her lawyer boyfriend, Todd Reasoner, is really right for her….or if Jon Clarke Griffin, the new local man she’s met, is all he seems to be.

16 thoughts on “Faith Readers Group Review: A Stranger’s Wish by Gayle Roper

  1. I've only read one story with Amish flair. I really, really liked it, however, it's not available yet. It was a critique partner's manuscript. I hope all will see it sooner than later, because Sarah Forgrave is a wonderful writer.

  2. I actually don't read too much Amish fiction, but I've read some here and there. I like a bit more action…but, I will say this. When I have really long drives, which I seem to fairly often, I'll usually look for a book on cd to listen to, and my local library has tons of Amish fiction on cd. I've listened to a few, and I think I like listening to it better than reading it. It's a calming, relaxing way to spend a drive… 🙂

    Hazelnut creamer…mmm…

  3. I enjoy Amish fiction, Jessica. I started reading a series several years ago by Beverly Lewis, and I've read Beth Wiseman's work, as well. Wanda Brunstetter is also fabulous. AND I can't wait to read agent-mate Sarah Forgrave…AND agency-mate Jessica Patch…but wait…you don't write Amish fiction… Well, I can't wait to read you, too! (haha…Yes, I realize that's not grammatically correct.)

    I think, for me, what appeals about Amish fiction is the life of simplicity and devout faith in our Creator. I like the fact, too, that gifted writers know how to generate the same emotion in their Amish characters that ordinary folks in everyday life experience.

  4. Cindy Woodsmall writes the BEST Amish books. I was skeptical of reading Amish books. I thought, really?, how many times can you use a shunning-plot? But "When the Heart Cries" was a quick-paced novel that I could put down.

  5. Hey everyone! Thanks for chiming in with new authors and reads! I am jotting them down for TBR piles. I'm looking forward to reading agency mate, Sarah Forgrave's Amish fiction too! 🙂

    I've never really listened to online books before, but my sister played one for me this past weekend while we were driving…not bad! 🙂

  6. I haven't read Amish fiction. I do have a few on my TBR list. I will look forward to adding Sarah's Amish fiction to my list too.

  7. I'd have come just for the bread pudding:) Can't say I've read much Amish Fiction–it's the one genre I can't seem to get into. Loved reading all the comments from your group, ya'll sound a little crazy. My kind of book group!

  8. The only Amish fiction I've read was by Melanie Dobson, The Silent Order. It has some good suspense in it as well as a story filled with Amish culture.

    Loved the comment about just living by faith and driving a car!

  9. Thanks for the review, Jess. I don't read Amish fiction, for many of the reasons that your book group stated, lol. But I'm willing to give it a try if a story sparks my interest.

    Glad you gals had a great time drinking coffee at the shop.

  10. Didn't even know there was Amish fiction. Gotta give them extra points, considering they have to write on hand-cranked computers.

  11. A few years back, I read some Amish fiction. It was … okay. But here's my take on Amish fiction: How many times can you tell the same story? Do you stay with the Order? Do you leave the Order? (This seems to be a dominant theme in Amish stories I've read.) And, yes, there's usually a mystery of some sort: a key, a letter, a quilt …
    So, no. I don't read Amish now. Although I do realize Amish is hot, hot, hot.
    But,um, not in that way.

  12. Oh goodness, I wondered why my ears were burning yesterday. Look how many people talked about me in the comments! 🙂

    I'm not sure I should say this, but I don't read much classic Amish fiction…I think probably because I grew up around them and so there's not much mystery for me. But I also think that's why I chose to put such a unique spin on the whole Amish thing in my book. Time will tell whether publishers like it. 🙂

  13. I'm not a big fan of Amish fiction. Maybe it's because we live so close and work with them or maybe it's just me. I've read a couple of different books by various authors. All had great writing, but I couldn't get involved in any of the stories.

    Oh, and we have a sign in our farm store that says, "What happens in the Barn, stays in the barn." (Giggle)

  14. I'm not familiar with Amish fiction but I did feel a twinge of evny at your description of the gathering. Sounds like a group meeting worth braving the elements for.

  15. I'm with the crowd that hasn't yet read Amish fiction. Rave reviews of Beth Wiseman's "The Wonder of Your Love" has piqued my interest, but I haven't picked it up yet.

  16. I'm willing to give Amish another try, with these other authors. But I'm glad I read the last one, because getting together with the Faith Readers was worth it!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *