The Brides of the Big Valley

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 29 Aug 2019

Member Reviews

he'd never forgotten what people said about her or the way others had treated her. By continually worrying about things she couldn't change, she had harbored guilt and anger within her soul. The reason she couldn't move forward was because she never forgave the people who had wronged her, an it caused her to not forgive herself either.

Three romance stories that over lap in an Amish community written by sisters. The romance stories are based on 3 distinct groups of horse-and buggy Amish living in the Big Valley, PA that started in the 1840's. Each group is distinguished by the different color tops on their buggies. The romance stories reflect the differences of belief and how those belief reflect how each group lives and what is important.

Deanna's Determination - Deanna is now a widow with a young boy Abner who is challenged by Down Syndrome. An old friend of the family; Elmer who was her late husbands best friend has always loved Deanna and has taken to her son as well. Their story builds to when Elmer has the courage to ask Deanna for her hand. When a tragedy takes place, their romance is put on hold as Elmer struggles to be the man that he desires to be for Deanna. They both must overcome insecurities and move forward.

Rose Mary's Resolve- This romance overlaps with Elmer from Deanna's Determination as Elmer works for Rose Mary's father. Rose Mary is a people pleaser. Always wanting to do the right thing. She has been seeing Tom of her community however, Tom is wanting to leave the Amish community and wants Rose Mary to follow him in the English world. Rose Mary struggles with her feelings for Tom as she cares for him but does not love him. Keeping that balance while protecting her own heart is a struggle. The romance is not between Tom and Rose Mary and Tom leaving the Amish for the English world but when the English world comes to Rose Mary's world landing a plane with a young handsome Kevin, Rose Mary is torn. Kevin is intrigued with the Amish as they take him in after he crashes his plane in their field. He stays with him as he recovers his plane and visits them as he drawn to their faith. I love the romances that involve the English and the Amish and the sacrifices made and how faith grows in those sacrifices.

Leila's Longing-Leila grew up being shy and self conscious and thus pretty much isolated herself from youth gatherings. She couldn't take the ridicule of others and it only made her sink deeper into despair. Leila loved working with her mother in their craft shop and helped her family with the needs of her younger brother. With the urging of her mother, she goes to a youth gathering where she meets a sister and brother. They become fast friends however, when a young man from Leila's days of school, makes rude comments, she again retreats. It is with a good friend and co-worker that she begins to open up and when a family tragedy strikes, she has to learn to trust others.

Each Amish story is about simple faith which seems simple enough but with all the distractions, it becomes difficult. These stories remind you what faith really is and the simple comfort it brings.

A Special Thank you to Barbour Publishing and Netgalley for the ARC and the opportunity to post an honest review.
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The Brides of the Big Valley: Three Romances from a Unique Pennsylvania Amish Community

by Wanda E. Brunstetter, Jean B. Brunstetter and Richelle B. Brunstetter

Three different Brunstetter authors have combined to create three equally good short Amish romances all set in Big Valley located in Mifflin County. The Amish situation that is unique in this area is that in the 1840’s the congregation broke into three groups based on beliefs, customs, and later the colors on the tops of their horse drawn buggies.

Deanna’s Determination by Wanda E. Brunstetter tells the story of Deanna Speicher, a young Amish widow with a sweet little boy who has Down syndrome. She lives with her father and contributes to their support by creating quilted goods to sell at the local flea market. Her deceased husband’s best friend, Elmer, is the romantic interest in this story until tragedy strikes again. Will Deanna and Elmer’s love survive the new crisis?

In Rose Mary’s Resolve, by Jean B. Brunstetter, we are introduced to a family that was mentioned in the first story, the Rennos, who own a furniture company. With older sister Linda getting married, Rose Mary is learning the ins and outs of the show room so she can help in the family business. Romance is in the air as Tom Yoder courts Rose Mary, but problems arise as Tom thinks of going Englisch and pressures Rose Mary on all of their decisions. Meanwhile Kevin literally drops out of the sky as he crash lands in the Renno field and develops an interest in Rose Mary and the Amish way. Will Rose Mary stay true to God and her family customs?

Leila’s Longing by Richelle Brunstetter is the story of Leila Fisher, a shy young lady who was bullied at school when she was younger and now carries the emotional scars of those experiences. She is a gifted artist, creating sketches and making greeting cards and selling them. Will her new friends Aden and his sister Sue and her new employee Mollie be able to help her emerge from her reclusiveness? Will anyone ever want to court her?

The Brides of the Big Valley is comprised of three novellas, gentle stories combined to make an interesting tale for a calm afternoon’s reading. The characters are likable and the plots are not overly predictable. God and faith are an important part of these tales.

I would like to extend my thanks to netgalley.com and to Barbour Publishing (Shiloh Run Press) for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Rating:  4/5

Category: Christian Fiction, Romance

Publication:   June 1, 2019— Barbour Publishing (Shiloh Run Press)

Memorable Lines:

I bet Rose Mary would say anything is possible with the Lord’s help. But can He truly help me through my relationship with Dad, by repairing the bridge across the chasm that exists between us?

She’d been too trusting of others when she was young, which caused her to be suspicious of disloyalty. No matter how nice she was to others, she didn’t receive kindness in return. That was why it was easier for her to not even try.

When life gets at its worst or drags us down, reading God’s Word provides guidance on good living.”
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A unique take on relationships and romance in the Amish community.  Each story is a unique look at developing a relationship in a climate that is fundamentally different than the current outside world.  Wonderfully touching and a please to read, these stories will leave you smiling for the rest of the day.
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“The Brides of the Big Valley” includes three romances featuring Amish characters from three different groups of Amish people. Each story revolves around a specific woman who is dealing with life situations and how each woman dealt with her particular situation. I enjoyed learning more about these three Amish groups and how they differ from one another. Enough detail was included to allow the reader to understand how the characters lived.

The stories are authored by three different members of the Brunstetter family, and each story has its own particular flavor. The stories include some of the same characters, so there is continuity amongst them. The characters seemed realistic and the plots moved along well for the most part. However, the quality of the stories seemed inconsistent. The third story, Leila’s Longing, used some strange and complex sentence variations and word choices, which I think detracted from the story line and confused the reader. These appeared inconsistent with the conversations of the characters throughout the story. I almost felt as if the story was being written by two different people, or that a thesaurus was used to find variety for the sentences. Simplifying these sentences would add consistency to the story. 

Readers who enjoy Amish romance stories would probably find these enjoyable and enlightening. 

I received this book from the publisher and from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The opinions expressed here are entirely my own.
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Love Wanda Brunstetter. Never a disappointment when picking up one of her books.  This one is great in that it is 3 tales in one amazing book. Through her characters you can see and feel God moving in their lives.
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When I first started out going back to reading Inspirational Romance, Wanda Brunstetter's books were always a go to for me, because I knew they were well written and easy to connect with.  Over time, though, I've veered away from her books, and this book really brought that into sharp focus for me.  It just wasn't that enjoyable over all!

I liked seeing a special needs child in the first story, but the story was ultimately forgettable.  I had a hard time connecting to Deanna, despite her being a special needs mother, and found that Elmer wasn't that likeable of a hero.  Rose Mary's story is by far my favorite of the three!  It was engaging, and somewhat angsty.  I loved the hero that was written for her as well, as he seemed to be a perfect compliment to her.  Leila's story was another good story, but felt a bit awkward at points.  I liked how relevant that story was to my own life!

All things considered, this was a decent book to read once, but ultimately was forgettable.
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Another winning trio of novellas by Wanda, Jean, and Richelle Brunstetter. I love the fact that it's three generations of writers each writing their own story. These stories focus on three different Amish communities in Pennsylvania. All three stories are focused on trusting God. I loved all three stories, but my favorite was actually Richelle's. Leila had been hurt many times in the past and began to doubt herself and was overly concerned with what others thought of her, so that she closed herself off from other people. If you love Amish fiction or even if you are curious about the genre, I highly recommend it. Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the copy. All opinions are my own.
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I was excited to read this book because it's about other Amish in my home state of Pennsylvania.  

I loved The Brides of the Big Valley by Wanda, Jean and Richelle Brunstetters. I enjoyed getting to know and learn about all three each Amish communities in Big Valley and their differences.
The characters and stories were well developed and each one I drawn into the story.

The Bride's of the Big Valley is actually three novellas, each novella was individually written by one of the Brunstetters. Let me tell ya I couldn't tell who wrote which story if it hadn't been for the title page to each novella. All three write the same, which is good in my opinion, it made the book flow smoothly.

I look forward to reading more novella collections and hopefully individual books by each of the Brunstetters in the future.

I received a free copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review in my own words. This is my review in my own words.
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Three novellas by three generations of the Brunstetter ladies. All three different and unique in their own way. .This was a really nice read. 
Written by mother, daughter in law and grandchild. They really.made the stories work, and complimented each other perfectly.
Each short story was well written and all three felt complete and not cut short or rushed. 

Set in three neighbouring Amish communities, It was interesting to read about the different standards and lifestyles each had.
Each  story focuses on love and faith, each deeply touches the heart.
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The Brides of The Big Valley is a three story Amish Christian contemporary that is written by the three Brunstetter ladies. Wanda is joined by daughter-in-law Jean and granddaughter Richelle to write and compile this amazing collection. Wanda was one of the first Christian authors I started reading when I switched to mainly Christian books. I fell in love with her writing style right away. This book is set in Big Valley PA. Each woman has added her own flair to her story. 

The first is by Wanda. It is entitled: Deanna's Determination. Deanna has a son with Down's Syndrome. This story pulled at my heartstrings the entire time. Jean wrote book two, which is: Rose Mary's Resolve. The main character is unsure if she wants to stay in the faith and we follow her journey as she contemplates becoming English. The last story is: Leila's Longing. I had not read anything that RIchelle has written, so I was excited to get a taste of her style. I loved her story. Leila has helped her family and gone above and beyond for so long, and has not complained. She wants a family of her own so desperately.

All three books were amazing. If you love sweet, Amish Christian stories - this is the book for you. 

I received a copy through the author and publisher. All thoughts are my own,
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A unique take on relationships and romance in the Amish community.  Written by three generations of the Brunstetter family insured the books remained true to Amish culture.  Each story is a unique look at developing a relationship in a climate that is fundamentally different than the current outside world.  Wonderfully touching and a please to read, these stories will leave you smiling for the rest of the day.
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The BRides of the Big Valley is a collection of three short stories.  Each story is well written.  I always enjoy Wanda Brunstetter's books and this story was no exception.  I received an advance ebook from the publisher and Netgalley.  This is my unbiased review.
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This was such a great book all three stories. I almost feel like becoming Amish after reading about their lives.
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This was a lovely set of three stories all set in the three different communities of the Amish area of Big Valley.  Each author is new to me and I soon realised they were from the same family.  I found the stories to be entertaining but at some times they were a bit slow going.  I always enjoy an Amish story and love to learn more about this world.  If you love to read Amish books this is a great set of three.

“Deanna’s Determination”
This is a heartwarming story of broken dreams and overcoming the bumps in the road along the way.  Will Deanna get a second chance of Lov?

“Rose Mary’s Resolve”
Rose is a young Amish girl who will learn many lessons along the way to find herself in her faith.  
Will the English world shine brighter for Rose?

“Leila’s Longing”
Leila is a very shy girl with not many friends who finds herself needing to run the family shop for her mother.  Can she face the customers, help her family and maybe find her real place in this world? What will happen when a boy from a different Amish community shows interested in her?

Each story had a strong message to share with the reader in this book that I received as an ARC from the publisher and NetGalley.  This is my honest review of this book that I read.
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While this book includes three stories, each one can be a stand alone.
It was interesting to learn some about the three different Amish communities, yellow, white top buggies and the black buggies.
My personal favorite (by far) was the first story written by Wanda E. Brunstetter, Deanna's Determination. This story's main character is Deanna, a widow with a young son who has Down Syndrome. Her deceased husband's best friend eventually expresses his love for her and plans for their future are being made. Then, disaster strikes and he is left blind, and no longer wanting a future with Deanna. I thoroughly enjoyed this story!
The second story, Rose Mary's Resolve's main character is Rose Mary who is dating an Amish man who wishes to go English. Rose Mary does not share his desire. She has told him she wishes to break things off with him, but he doesn't take 'no' for an answer. It was most irritating to me how she continued to go out with him. Does the girl not have a brain? Then, she turns around and starts spending a lot of time and developing feeling for an English man whom she met when he had to make an emergency airplane landing in their field. What will Rose Mary do? Stay with the faith she's been raised in, or leave it to go English? For me, this story did not flow well.
The third story in this book, Leila's Longing, is set in the yellow-topper community. This community is more lenient than the others. Leila enjoys making cards to sell in the family's shop next to their home. The story begins with her running the shop alone as her mother is dealing with a pregnancy that has her depleted of energy.
I did admire the responsibility of Leila in running the shop, taking care of her young brother, Henry, as well as the household.
Leila has hurts from her childhood that she hangs on to and allows to control her as an adult. Most of this made her difficult for me to like. It did not flow well, or even seem believable.
Leila met an Amish man from the black top community that she began to spend time with after he pursued her. Can she leave her family who needs her and join the black tops?
I received a copy of this book from the publisher, Barbour Publishing and Netgalley in exchange for my honest review. The review is my own opinion.
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Review 	3 Stories in one book by 3 very talented authors. Each story tells a story a story of 3 different districts that drive different colored Buggy types. I fell in love with each character and was amazed at how different each district was so different from the other. You will fall in love with the authors who wrote these books. A Must read for all Amish fiction readers.
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This is a wonderful collection of stories that examine the different lifestyles of the Amish. Each have different rules and even different colors of buggies. Some are very strict as others are a bit more relaxed. I loved finding out more about the differences and how they each had one common thread. They were dedicated to their faith and always helped their neighbors out. I enjoyed how the author brings characters from the different stories together at some point. It was a surprise to have them a part of each story and for me brought the entire book together. Be sure to look for cameos of different characters as you read these charming stories.

Deanna’s Determination
I enjoyed this story and how one of the characters, Abner had Downs Syndrome. The author doesn’t shy away from talking about the handicap and how much of a blessing the child is. Deanna is trying to make ends meet when her husband dies. Going to the market and selling her goods is hard when you have an active child to watch as well. The author explains about Down Syndrome and helps readers understand the challenges families face. Abner was a delight to get to know and I especially loved that he seemed to always be happy.

Deanna has been through several tragedies but has a great friend in Elmer. He has been there to help her when needed but his feelings go deeper than just friendship. There is joy when Deanna says yes to marrying Elmer. He has wanted this for so long and he is excited to have Abner as his son. The bond between them is very special, but something happens to change everything. Will Elmer and Anna overcome this setback? Can Elmer swallow his pride and allow the woman he loves to help him? I loved the story and found it interesting to read about how in a minute your life can change forever.

Rose Mary's Resolve
 This story is about Rose Mary and finding her way to what God has called her for. She has a young man who adores her, but she has said several times she is not interested. He will not take no for an answer and seems to push her to continue going out with him. I did like how excited she was to work in the family furniture store. It is a big step for her and shows her becoming more responsible and maturing.

Tom can be pretty persuasive and he is trying hard to push Rose Mary into the English world. It can be tempting to some who wonder what it would be like to drive a car, wear clothes other than Amish and go anywhere you wanted. Will Rose Mary be tempted to dip her toes in another culture? When a plane lands in an Amish field, I could just image the shocked look on the neighbors faces. Luckily the pilot is not seriously  injured and Rose Mary's family takes him in to help him. As Kevin stays with the family while his plane is being repaired, Rose Mary seems to be getting attached to him. They share lunches together and he enjoys helping around the farm. I think Rose Mary's parents are hoping his plane gets fixed soon so he can leave. They are becoming concerned about the closeness Rose Mary and Kevin are sharing.

It is a wonderful story of making choices and following God's direction. I loved the way Rose Mary stuck to her belief's while deciding if Kevin was the right person for her. The story is a nice look at the Amish life and how devoted they are to family.

Leila's Longing

Leila is a sweet young woman who helps run the family shop. She is very uncomfortable around people at times. She is not sure of herself and often wonders why she has not caught the eye of any young men in the community. It doesn't help that an old friend of hers comes into the shop and reminds her how lonely she really is.

With her mother's encouragement, she suggests Leila should spend more time around people her own age. Maybe she could attend some of the singing get together's for young people. I could relate to Leila so easily. I was pretty unhappy as a child and very shy. I didn't want to hang out with anyone and I was picked on a lot.

I liked how Leila started to become comfortable after she met Aden at the singing. He didn't like the way she was treated at the singing and is intrigued by her. Maybe he can help her overcome her shyness and start to open up to him. This story is emotional and brought tears to my eyes. I loved how Leila started to come out of her shell and express her feelings to Aden. There are many changes that happen to her and her family that will help Leila become more confidant and be able to forgive those who had hurt her in the past.

I received a copy of this book from the author and publisher. The review is my own opinion.
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Enjoyed this book. Kept me interested all the way through. Would recommend to a fellow reader.  Love the cover.
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I loved each story in this book. The book contains three different romances centered around Big Valley, Pa. Each story is written by a different author. Each community can be identified by the color of their buggy tops. I enjoyed learning the customs of the different communities. I can't pick a favorite because I loved them all and thought they were great. Go grab your copy today you will be glad you did.
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This book is what I have come to expect from Wanda Brunstetter- simply fantastic! From the colorful imagery used throughout to the simple ways we can connect with the characters, the author draws us into remarkable stories. This is a collection of stories to cherish.
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