Katie's Way by Marta Perry
Book 5 in The Pleasant Valley Series
Paperback, 352 pages also available in Kindle and E book editions
Published November 1st 2011 by Berkley Trade
*I was given a copy of this book for review. The opinions expressed are my true feelings. No compensation for this review was received. This review is part of Virtual Tours*
A quilt shop brings Amish and Englisch together, and trouble follows...
After a thwarted romance, Katie Miller starts over by moving to Pleasant Valley and opening a quilt shop. Soon Amish and Englisch turn the store into a lively spot...to the consternation of Caleb Brand, who crafts furniture next door. Then Katie's sister joins her, to escape rumors of her wild rumspringa, and Katie feels the burden of responsibility for a restless teenager. Even worse, her efforts to bring more people to Main Street arouse resistance among local businesses. When acts of vandalism threaten Katie's shop, she turns to Caleb for comfort, and their friendship deepens. But will Caleb's secret past prevent him from embracing a future with Katie? Or will their fragile romance develop the strength to last a lifetime?
I find there is something so peaceful in reading books that feature the Amish community. Maybe it is the fond memories they evoke of fall vacations to Elkhart County, Indiana. I loved going there and was always fascinated by the peace I felt there. This book was a true pleasure to review.
The story line held my interest. I loved the characters. One thing I truly appreciated was the way Marta brought both communities together. In a lot of Amish based stories the community tends to be broken between the Amish and the Englisch. Marta acknowledges that but also weaves them together in a very believable way. I also like the way Marta portrayed Katie's father and the Bishop. Many older men in the Amish books are written of in a harsh unyielding way. Katie's father believed in her and supported her decision to move away from their community and open a business. That was so refreshing to read. Marta wrote of the Bishop's wisdom and compassion and let him show it throughout the book.
The romance between Katie and Caleb had a rocky start. Katie was jilted by a man who married her best friend. Caleb was working through having the woman he was to marry leave the community, pregnant, many believed, with his baby. Marta wrote of their feelings and matched it to their actions. It flowed very well.
Katie's younger sister, Rhoda, coming to live with Katie is another story line. Having been fodder for the Amish grapevine, Katie was able to react differently and in ways her sister needed. This was also a very interesting plot that was written in a believable fashion.
There is a third plot to this book. Katie decides to hold quilting classes in her store with both Amish and Englisch women attending. I enjoyed how Marta showed all the women with their quirks coming together, getting to know and care about each other. When Katie teams up with an Englisch business owner from her quilting class to form Pennsylvania Dutch Days the plot thickens. There also is a part dealing with a domestic violence issue between one of the Englisch woman and her boyfriend. I thought it was handled pretty well. Even when I saw it coming I was still surprised by how that worked out. If this seems like a lot of stuff going on, it is and it isn't. Marta does a wonderful job of weaving all the plots together. None of the plots interfere with the main plot. They are blended in to keep the story moving at a brisk pace. I found I did not want to stop reading this book once I started. It moved along fast enough and held my interest so I was able to read it in one afternoon.
Marta also included a small glossary of Pennsylvania Dutch words and phrases as well as a few recipes at the end of the book. I loved that! I made two of the recipes already. An excerpt of her next book Hannah's Joy is also included. Hannah's Joy is due out the summer of 2012 along with two other books by Marta.
Katie's Way is part of The Pleasant Valley Series. I have not not read any of the others and was able to follow this book with no problem. I now plan to read the rest of the series. Most likely on those between Thanksgiving and Christmas stress days. If you are stressed out and looking for a romance you can relax with and feel good about I recommend Katie's Way.
Marta's books, (this may not be a complete list):
Three Sister's Inn
Marta has a website: http://www.martaperry.com/
and a blog: http://www.booksbymartaperry.blogspot.com/
She is a Good Reads Author: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/81993.Marta_Perry
She has a Yahoo Group: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Marta_Perry/
FaceBook Page: http://www.facebook.com/MartaPerryBooks?ref=ts
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