Monday, September 14, 2009

A Man of his Word by Kathleen Fuller

Kathleen Fuller's A Man of His Word is a light read about love, relationships and betrayal in an Amish community. The author skillfully depicts life in the village of Middlefield, Ohio, the fourth largest Amish settlement.

Moriah Byler is looking forward to marrying her childhood sweetheart, Levi Miller, but after the wedding, he becomes distant and spends more and more time away from home. Moriah discovers she is pregnant and hopes the baby will bring them closer. She plans a four-month anniversary dinner where she will tell him the good news. But that night Levi never comes home. Instead, he sends her a note telling her he's leaving her and the Amish life forever. Marriage is forever in their community and even though Levi is gone, she is still married to him. She will never have a husband or another child. Gabriel, Levi's twin, has loved Moriah for years but he knows he can never have her.

I enjoyed most the descriptions of Amish life and beliefs. Fuller did a wonderful job portraying a world that was unfamiliar to me. However, the story itself didn't live up to my expectations. The plot and the subplot had predictable outcomes. There were no surprises and I didn't feel the tension and conflict that should have present. I think the story would have had more depth if we had more of Levi's story and what went through his mind in their first four months of marriage. I didn't really feel like I knew him or understood his reasons for leaving his new bride and the community. There was a lot of repetition in the progress of the relationships. And a storyline about a secondary character who played a large part, including a scene where he was presumably caught stealing, was left unresolved. The book was not a page-turner for me but those who enjoy Amish stories may be entertained.

Publisher: Thomas Nelson (September 1, 2009)
ISBN: 978-1595548122
Paperback: 320 Pages
Price: $14.99