The Brides of the Big Valley

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 29 Aug 2019

Member Reviews

I always love finding out about new Amish communities.  This book centers around The Big Valley in Pennsylvania. It is inhabited by three distinct districts.  Each district can be distinguished by their buggy tops.  Some are more conservative than others.  I love reading about their different customs.  They often find it hard to change districts and styles in their culture.

The first story is about Deanna.  Widowed early and with a special needs child, Deanna realizes that she can love again.  However, after a tragic accident, will her second chance slip away?

Our next story finds Rose Mary torn between her family and her love.  Will she find a common ground?

Finally Leila, an insecure young woman, finds herself caught between two worlds.  Will she be able to leave her community to find love in another?

Each of these stories is bring love and faith to the forefront to solve their problems.  Will each woman be able to overcome in order to move forward?

I received a copy through Netgalley.  A review was not required.
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Fans of Amish fiction will enjoy this trilogy by Wanda, Jean, and Richelle Brunstetter. The story focuses on three families, each from a different community in The Big Valley, located in Pennsylvania. Each story is heart-warming and fun, while reminding the reader that God is always in control, even when we don't understand the things happening in our lives. The first story is about Deanna, a young widow with an autistic son. Just when she thinks she has a second chance at love, her world changes yet again. Will love be an option for her after all? In the second story, Rose Mary has to decide what she wants out of life. Her boyfriend wants to "go English", but she wants to remain Amish. Then she meets Kevin, an Englisher who confuses her even more. She will have to learn to trust God for the answers as she tries to determine her future. The final story is about Leila, a young lady who is very nervous and has a hard time making friends. I think this one was my favorite, though I did enjoy them all. As Leila learns to trust others, tragedy strikes and she has to learn to trust herself also. I would recommend this book for fans of Amish fiction. As always, the Brunstetter women do a fine job. I received a free copy of this story for my honest review from NetGalley. All opinions are my own.
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Once again, three generations of Brunstetter women have brought three unique stories together in one book. I liked how each story was set in the same valley, allowing some of the characters from a previous story to spill into the next one.  I know that fictional characters are, well, fiction, but sometimes I wonder what might have happened to that person or how they may have adjusted to a trying situation.  Difficult situations are not always written about in Amish fiction yet the Brunstetter's are able to infuse these topics into their work.  These are the very things that make their stories believable for the challenges brought to bear. At the heart of each woman's story is their faith and how it renews and strengthens each of their paths as they become brides.


I recommend this book for all fans of Wanda E. Brunstetter and for those who are new to reading works written by her daughter-in-law Jean Brunstetter and  granddaughter Richelle Brunstetter. Together their collaborations are wonderful, while each has her own unique gifts.
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Thank you Netgalley for the opportunity to provide my honest review in exchange for this free copy.

What an enjoyable and interesting book.    I am left in awe of the faith demonstrated by the characters in each of these three stories.  I love that all three women, one from each story, sustained adversity, took a chance on love, stayed true to themselves, and were granted happiness.

I find it interesting that all three authors, all related, were able to mesh their communities so well.  The characters were different from story to story, as were the branches of the Amish religion, but the story of faith rings clear throughout.

The only thing that I felt could have been written a bit differently was the title of the book.  I would loved to have read each story, enjoying the characters, just as I had, without knowing exactly what would transpire by story's end.  I personally would have enjoyed just a wee bit of surprise in the endings.
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This is a 3 story book written by 3 women, of the same family!! Wanda Brunstetter, her daughter in law, Jean Brunstetter and her granddaughter, Richelle Brunstetter. These 3 stories are bound together by the setting of Amish communities, but that is where the similarity ends. As you read, you will soon see the different styles of each writer and see that they are in different times of their lives....it is an amazing journey! I enjoyed each and every story and will read this trilogy again....

First we have Deanna, a widow and the mother of a son with Down's syndrome. Oh, what will her life hold? She finds her second love, however, an accident threatens to take him away.....can she turn the tide and make her beau realize that life may change but when they stand together, they are strong.

The second, of this set, is about Rose Mary and the question of the moment.....Amish or English.....English or Amish?? Her life is complicated by the attention of 2 men....who will win?

And bringing  up the rear is Leila. Leila has a few issues....insecurities, lack of confidence and fear.....great fear that began when her mother dies in childbirth. Can Aaron help her come out of her dark world into the beautiful world that can be hers for the asking?

Enjoy these stories.....take the time to enjoy the differences, the sameness and the joy of 3 different author's styles.....I sure did!!
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The Brides of the Big Valley is a great weekend read. I was sept away with each and every story. I couldn't put it down.
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The Brides of the Big Valley by Wanda E. Brunstetter,Jean Brunstetter,Richelle Brunstetter 
3 Romances from a Unique Pennsylvania Amish Community 
In an area of Pennsylvania called The Big Valley, a uniquely blended Amish community thrives in which 3 distinct groups of Amish identify themselves by the colors of their buggy’s top—white, black, or yellow. Join New York Times Bestselling Author Wanda E. Brunstetter, her daughter-in-law, and granddaughter in experiencing the stories of three young women who search for faith and love within this special place. Deanna is a widow who sees her second chance of love slipping away. Rose Mary is at a point in life where she must choose the path of her faith and the right man to walk with her on it. Leila is burdened with family responsibilities and wonders when she will ever start a family of her own.
Meet Amish couples from communities distinguished by their buggy's color! White-toppers Deanna and Elmer plan to wed---until he becomes blind. Will Deanna's Determination keep them together? Rose Mary's Resolve to spurn English life is tested. Will she leave her black-top community? And yellow-topper Leila falls in love with black-topper Aden. Can Leila's Longing overcome their differences? In an area of Pennsylvania called The Big Valley, a uniquely blended Amish community thrives in which 3 distinct groups of Amish identify themselves by the colors of their buggy’s top—white, black, or yellow. Join New York Times Bestselling Author Wanda E. Brunstetter, her daughter-in-law, and granddaughter in experiencing the stories of three young women who search for faith and love within this special place. Deanna is a widow who sees her second chance of love slipping away. Rose Mary is at a point in life where she must choose the path of her faith and the right man to walk with her on it. Leila is burdened with family responsibilities and wonders when she will ever start a family of her own.
This is Deanna Speicher and Abner her five-year-old son and Elmer Yoder's story.
Belleville, Pennsylvania
Deanna’s Determination by Wanda E. Brunstetter
Deanna Speicher hurried to set up her table at the flea market, all the while trying to keep her five-year-old son in tow. The place bustled with activity as other vendors did the same, unpacking boxes and putting prices on the articles they hoped to sell. Serious shoppers usually came before the initial crowds arrived, looking for the best bargains, freshest baked goods, and newly harvested produce—all part of the flea market appeal. “Mammi. Mammi.” Abner tugged on Deanna’s dress with one hand while pointing in the opposite direction. “En sack voll eppel!”
“Jah, there are many sacks of apples. We will get some later.” Deanna spoke in Pennsylvania Dutch so Abner would understand.
Deanna smiled. Elmer Yoder had been a good friend even before the tragic death of her husband a little over a year ago. Simon died after falling from their roof, attempting to replace missing shingles.
A lump formed in Deanna’s throat, watching Elmer approach, pick up Abner,and lift the boy onto his shoulders. In his enthusiasm, Abner knocked Elmer’s straw hat off his head, revealing the lanky man’s full crop of auburn hair. When it landed on the floor, she picked it up.
Elmer had grown up as a Nebraska Amish in the white-top community, so he’d never expected to have anything more than a sparsely furnished home like this one.
This is Rose Mary Renno and Kevin Presley's story. 
Rose Mary’s Resolve by Jean Brunstetter
Rose Mary's Resolve to spurn English life is tested. Will she leave her black-top community?
Rose Mary is at a point in life where she must choose the path of her faith and the right man to walk with her on it.
This is Leila Fisher and Aden Troyer's story.
Leila’s Longing by Richelle Brunstetter
yellow-topper Leila falls in love with black-topper Aden. Can Leila's Longing overcome their differences?
Leila is burdened with family responsibilities and wonders when she will ever start a family of her own.
In an area of Pennsylvania called The Big Valley, a uniquely blended Amish community thrives in which 3 distinct groups of Amish identify themselves by the colors of their buggy’s top—white, black, or yellow.
I am looking forward to reading more books by Wanda E. Brunstetter,Jean Brunstetter and Richelle Brunstetter.  
I highly recommend reading.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.
The Brides of the Big Valley by Wanda E. Brunstetter,Jean Brunstetter,Richelle Brunstetter is a wonderful well written 5 star book.
Amish Cooking Class
1. The Seekers 
2. The Blessing 
3. The Celebration 
Prayer Jars
1. The Hope Jar 
2. The Forgiving Jar 
3. The Healing Jar 
Amish Millionaire (with Jean Brunstetter)
1. The English Son 
2. The Stubborn Father 
3. The Betrayed Fiancee 
4. The Missing Will 
5. The Divided Family 
6. The Selfless ACT 
The Amish Millionaire Boxed Set
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I'm very sorry to say that I did not enjoy this book as much as I had expected to. Two out of three of the stories were very depressing (in my opinion), yes they did have the romantic HEA, but with daily life...not so much. The first story could almost be considered a tragedy.

The second problem I had was with how the forward was written. This book contains at least three different sects f the Amish and the author of the forward never did give an adequate enough description of the sects for me to fully understand them.

Novella 1 - Deanna's Determination -this was a story of tragedy overcome.
Novella 2 - Rosemary’s Resolve -this one was about an English youth falling for an Amish girl and what they had to overcome.
Novella 3 -Leila’s Longing -this one is a bit more difficult to describe in one sentence. I had problems with understanding Leila's issues (I thought for a while that she had mild Autism) and I also found that the tragedy that befallen Leila' family was unnecessary to forward the story.

*ARC supplied by publisher.
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This sweet set of three Amish stories is really one I am glad I was able to read.  The book has three intertwined stories of the different Amish groups in the Big Valley in Pennsylvania.  This book dealt with the trials of those who have  physical struggles to overcome.  The book has different personalities and I really enjoyed reading it.  And how can they come together if they are from different Amish groups? 

I was very happy to read this book and it was a most enjoyable read. 

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and NetGalley and was under no obligation to post a review.
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The Brides of Big Valley 
Wanda, Jean & Richelle Brunstetter

Wanda E. Brunstetter is a bestselling author of many Amish fiction novels and a founder of the genre. She has teamed up with her daughter-in-law and granddaughter in The Brides of Big Valley. The ladies each gave us an Amish romance story featuring the three groups of Amish living in the Mifflin County, Pennsylvania area fondly known as Big Valley. The three groups have adopted unique practices that differentiate themselves from the other groups. Interestingly enough, one of the practices is that the groups have distinct colored tops on their horse-drawn buggies. The groups are generally referred to by their particular buggy color:  “yellow-toppers”, “white-toppers” and the black-toppers”. 

Deanna’s Determination by Wanda E. Brunstetter 
Deanna Speicher is a widow with a 5 year-old son, Abner, who has Down’s Syndrome. Elmer Yoder has feelings for Deanna, his deceased best friend’s wife, and she and her son are seemingly developing feelings for him. Tragedy strikes and everyone is uncertain about the future. 
Wanda Brunstetter brought this story to life. The details in this story were realistic because Ms. Brunstetter has drawn from her personal history, research and interactions with her Amish friends. 

Rose Mary’s Resolve by Jean Brunstetter 
Rose Mary Renno is nineteen years old and is nearing time to take her vows and join the Amish church. She knows that she wants to join the church but is conflicted because of her choice of boyfriend. 
I enjoyed this story, though the writing was somewhat stilted and awkward in places. 

Leila’s Longing by Richelle Brunstetter 
Leila Fisher enjoys card-making, but not working in her family’s card shop. She finds communicating with strangers difficult, but must get over her insecurities and help her family. Leila wonders how she will ever have a family of her own since she believes no man could ever find her interesting enough to ask her on a date. 
Richelle Brunstetter completes this book perfectly. I fully enjoyed her storytelling. 

The Brunstetter women have penned an excellent collaboration. I enjoyed each of the stories and give this collection 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it to fans of Christian romance, especially Amish romance. 

My thanks to Barbour Publishing, Inc. and NetGalley for the opportunity to read an advance copy of this book. However, the opinions expressed in this review are 100% mine and mine alone.
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5 stars for all 3 novellas:  5/5 star rating 
Deanna's Determination by Wanda E. Brunstetter--the novella collection involves Mifflin County, Pennsylvania in the area known as the Big Valley.  The stories follow Amish  families in the "yellow toppers" (most progressive Amish district in Big Valley), "white toppers"(more conservative group in Big Valley....no suspenders, no indoor plumbing, etc) and "black toppers"(also known as Peachey or Renno Amish and are stricter than yellow toppers especially regarding the ban). 

Deanna's Determination is set in Belleville, Pennsylvania and features Deanna Speicher and her story. Deanna is a widow raising her young son, Abner, who has Down syndrome.  She is in a serious courting relationship with Elmer Yoder.  Elmer happens to have been her husband's dear friend before his death.  
I really really enjoyed following Deanna and Elmer's story.  Tragedy strikes for them and readers will not want to put the book down until they know how the problem is resolved.   I read this entire novella collection in two nights as it was so good that I wanted to read more and more.  A copy of Deanna's Baked Cabbage recipes is included.  I had never heard to baked cabbage and plan to try this recipe soon.  

Rose Mary's Resolve by Jean Brunstetter--is also set in Belleville, Pennsylvania, and follows nineteen-year-old Rose Mary's story.  Rose Mary begins working in her father's furniture shop as her older sister, Linda, is marrying and leaving the shop.  The story connects to Deanna's Determination as Elmer is employed in the furniture shop as well.  Of the three novellas, I think this one would be my favorite.   I loved all three though and just really related to the characters in this novella more.

Leila's Longing by Richelle Brunstetter---is also set in Belleville, Pennsylvania, and follows Leila Fisher and her longing for love, marriage, and family.  When she does meet someone, they are in differing districts.  The difference in the districts caused friction for many people.  Readers will enjoy following Leila's love interest and learning who she becomes involved with and if there is friction and why.  Each of the three novellas is loosely connected in that some of the characters overlap.  
A special recipe mentioned in each novella is included in the book.

I highly recommend this novella collection by Wanda E. Brunstetter and her daughter-in-law, Jean, and granddaughter, Richelle.  Each one can be read fairly quickly.  
I received a digital version of this book from netgalley and Shiloh Run Press in exchange for my honest review.  I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions expressed are my own.
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The Brides of the Big Valley consists of three different stories.  I love reading about the Pennsylvania Amish community. The Brunstetters capture the Amish lifestyle and bring it to life.   Wanda Brunstetter is an experienced writer whose writing style is very pleasing.
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The Brides of the Big Valley is a collection of three romances from a unique Pennsylvania Amish Community. These romances include: 
Deanna’s Determination by Wanda E Brunstetter – story of a widow, Deanna, having a second chance at love. 
Rose Mary’s Resolve by Jean Brunstetter – Rose Mary has to choose between staying Amish or follow her love. 
Leila’s Longing by Richelle Brunstetter – Leila struggles which community she should be with. 
I enjoyed every one of these stories. I give the whole collection five plus stars. 
I received this book from the publisher, but was not required to write a review. This review is 100% my own honest opinion.
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There are 3 different stories to this book.   The first being the story of Deana and Elmer.  Deana is a young widow with a sweet son who has Down Syndrome.  Elmer has always had feelings for Deana even before she married his best friend..  Over the months they have strong feelings toward each other.  I enjoyed reading the journey they  to take to be together.   The Second story is Rose Mary and Kevin.  Rose Mary is dating Tom and he is trying to convince her to leave their Amish faith..  After breaking up with him a plane lands in their field with a Englisher Kevin.  They find themselves attracted to each other but Rose Mary does not want to leave her faith and Kevin does not go to church .  He is amazed by her family and faith.  They both have to pray and work on what they want out of life.  The third story is Leila and Aden .   Leila has been to herself for a long time after being picked at earlier in her childhood.  She is trying to help with her household while her mother is with child.  Her mom has not been feeling well so she is taking care her little brother, her dad and the card shop she runs with her mother.  Her mom is worried she doesn't have a social life and convinces her to go to the next social.  Leila gives in and meets a new friend.   The friend has a brother Aden and she is smitten but scared.  Leila has been hurt and it takes a while for her to warm up to the idea Aden can accept her and care about her.   Leila has tragedy strike and loses her mom during childbirth.  Again she is taken on the responsibility of the household and puts Aden aside.  It takes a while for her get back on the track of living her life.  Each one of these stories have struggle with faith and love.   These couples have to work hard to make their relationships work .
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Deanna Determination:
   In this story Deanna is raising her son and just trying to make life work after her husband passed. I found this story started off with a lot of detail some a little to much. As it went further on it did draw you in. Elmer, Abner and Deanna each had trials they faced some better the others, but it seem a little surfaced based instead of faith based over all. I would rate this story a 2 I just over all had a hard time getting into and staying in it. 


Rosemary’s Resolve
   As I started reading the further I got I found the characters to be a bit immature, when I went back and verified the ages, it all seem to make more sense that they were young. The actions and choices they were making were those that we all make when we are young and still learning. I was not a fan at all of Tom at all I found him a complete jerk throughout the book. Kevin’s mom was super kind and had a way of trying to keep the peace in the family, I thought for sure the author was going to have her reveal she use to be Amish (don’t worry I didn’t give anything away). This story seem to flow a little better the the first one, slow at some parts but over all a really cute story. 

Leila’s Longing 
   I really liked this story a lot. Out of the three this was one my favorite. I think on a way we can all relate some way or another with Leila and the insecurity that she felt. The trials she faced also where heart breaking but with Mollie reminding her gently that relying on God first and foremost was just as important as breathing. I felt like Aden faced his own struggles and they just felt well together. All three story are good clean reads and suitable for all ages 
I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley. I was under no obligation to post a review and have given my honest opinion
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The Brides of the Big Valley, told by three generations of the Brunstetters, tells three unique yet similar stories. Each story centers around a different and distinct Amish group within the larger Amish community of Pennsylvania. While the issues of each differ, the stories share common values. I found each one to be warm hearted, engaging and unique with likeable complex characters. I enjoyed the entire volume of stories equally and highly recommend. Thanks to NetGalley for an arc in exchange for an honest review.
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The Brides of the Big Valley is a collection of three novellas set in a blended Amish community in Pennsylvania. The sweet stories are a bit predictable but contain unique and special scenarios. Two of the three stories felt slow to start, though. Mentioning mundane tasks that didn’t necessarily move the plot along. At least not at the pace I’d hoped. Especially in a short story.

Deanna’s Determination (Wanda Brunstetter)
I love that this story incorporated original characters and themes. Deanna is a likable main character, which made it easy to sympathize with her, and her son, who has Down Syndrome, is sweet and unique. I empathized with Elmer’s depression, and love how authentically this was dealt with.

Rose Mary’s Resolve (Jean Brunstetter)
I like Rose Mary. She is confidant in her faith and listens to the voice within her. Kevin is an interesting Englischer, although it took me longer to sink into this character. Rose Mary is at a crossway in her life and must make difficult choices on which direction to go.

Lelia’s Longing (Richelle Brunstetter)
This one is my favorite novella of the three. Lelia is shy and not as confidant. I love the growth she experiences, letting go of her fears and becoming the woman she was meant to be. It best displays the distinctions in the blended community.

Three Amish tales that build upon each other, sharing common threads of following God’s path and trusting in Him.

Source: I received a complimentary copy from Barbour Publishing and NetGalley and was under no obligation to post a review.
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I was immediately drawn to The Brides Of Big Valley when I saw it was written by Wanda Brunstetter, her daughter in law and her granddaughter. What a treat! I knew the stories would be heartfelt and enjoyable.  I always enjoy Amish fiction and Brunstetter seems to have inside knowledge that isn’t found with other Amish fiction writers. The Big Valley is an area that has three distinct Amish communities. The colors of the buggy top determines how the families live.-yellow, black or white. 
In the first story we meet Deanna Speicher and her son who has Down syndrome. Deanna lives with her father after the death of her husband. She contributes by selling her quilting items at the local flea market. Elmer Yoder has a special relationship with Deanna’s son and would like to have a deeper relationship with Deanna . But as tragedy strikes can Elmer overcome his doubts and fears and move forward?
Rosemary’s Resolve is the second story in the book. The plot revolves around Rose Mary and her effort to find love even though she is positive Tom Yoder isn’t the one God has planned for her. I was surprised at this storyline. It seemed unusual for an Amish man to seem so persistent in his pursuit of an Amish girl. No only pursuing but try to convince Rose Mary to leave her faith and enter the Englisch world. Rose Mary is sure that world isn’t for her until she meets Kevin Presley. After a crashing his plane in the field near Rose Mary’s house, Kevin recovers with her family. As Kevin and Rose Mary draw closer together they have a decision to make. Which world do they belong to? One of them must make a change!
Leila’s Longing, the last story, is possibly the best. Even though she is extremely shy Leila must keep her mother’s stamp shop running while her mother is handling a difficult pregnancy. This story really focuses on the difference between the Amish communities. It also touches on bullying which is why Leila is so untrusting. I really didn’t think this story would have a happy ending. I think bittersweet might be a better word for the outcome. Following God’s path and trusting in His plan can be terribly difficult but He knows best. Leila comes through indecision, tragedy and fear to create a beautiful story by believing and following God’s path.
I voluntarily received a copy of this book from Netgalley.
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I enjoy Wanda Brunstetter books as a rule, but this one was an exception. I normally review each novella independently in a collection, but my remarks apply to all three stories, so I'm just going to review as one. The timing was off in each story -- there was too much lag time before we get to the crux of the relationship and conflict. I found myself skipping through some of the early parts rather than really becoming absorbed in the story. There was so much scene setting without making a connection to the main characters. I kept wondering why we should care. Our character leads weren't particularly likable. Furthermore, in each novella, there was a weird plot twist that didn't make sense or was too trite. Our first main character's beau lost his vision and decides to snub everything including a woman he's liked for years -- but then, out of the blue, decides he has to return to living on his own. This story line was predictable, although there were some precious moments with the little blind girl. Another Amishwoman wanted to break off a relationship BECAUSE her boyfriend was considering going Englisch (not because the guy was controlling and pushy), but then fell in love with an Englisch pilot who crash landed in her family's field. He, all of a sudden, decides to become Amish! In a community that seems to be relatively insular toward even other Amish communities in the area -- white-toppers, black-toppers, yellow-toppers -- how would that decision really go over? The third lead loses her mother and then, predictably, has to break off her engagement plans to take care of her siblings, but the potential groom doesn't say anything about trying to find another way. Plus, the guy who has made her life difficult for years reveals that he acted that way because... he liked her. These stories were not credible, seemed juvenile in both story line and character development, and dragged early but ended with rushed conclusions. Unfortunately, I did not like this offering from the Brunstetters.
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The Brunstetter ladies did not disappoint. The glimpse they give into the Amish way of life is done in such a way that it's interesting and informative.
The way they all dealt with the different characters set of personal issues was made you want to see what happens next.
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