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The Amish Quiltmaker's Unconventional Niece

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The whole story was unconventional and I loved it.  I highly recommend any book by Jennifer Beckstrand.  I was provided a copy by Netgalley but the opinions are mine.
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Mattie Zook was sent Away by her parents to help her Aunt Esther’s because of the conflict she stirred up at home. There she learns the Amish are threatened by a new and unfair buggy law. So Mattie decides to run for city council. This makes for a humorous story, quite unlike most Amish books. I’m surprised she was even allowed to be a candidate since she had not lived in the area long enough to be considered a resident, not to mention the Amish are not involved in politics. Since she hadn’t joined the church yet, she got away with it and even drew in new Amish friends to support her. Through all the troubles that emerge, a love story does as well. I thought the story dragged some but it is a fun read. I received a copy from the publisher through NetGalley. All opinions are my own. #TheAmishQuiltmakersUnconventionalNiece #NetGalley
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When Esther needs help with her home, and the new baby on the way, she calls on her niece Mattie Zook. Mattie is outspoken and deemed standoffish and opinionated by Freeman. Once he gets involved with her campaign to run for Mayor because of what she sees as a discrimination against the Amish, he finds just maybe his opinion may not hold true. Some bad things going on behind the scenes and a little romantic rivalry made this an interesting story showing a little different side of the Amish community.
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After her exile from her Pennsylvania community, Mattie Zook always stands up for what is right and whoever needs it. Seeing how the Amish are treated in the town her aunt lives in, Mattie decides to run for city council.  Her matchmaker aunt Esther Kiem decides to help in both the election and the romance departments. Will sensible farmer, Freeman, be just the stabilizing influence for her niece? Things don't go as planned but maybe they did.... I love the fun characters in this story. I look forward to the next story. I received a copy through Netgalley. A review was not required.
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A very well written Amish romance.  Loved the characters in this book.  My thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for my advance ebook.  This is my unbiased review.
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An Amish *maedel* running for town council? Mattie Zook is anything but a demure, Amish woman as she fights for ALL of Byler. Fueled by an unjust buggy ordinance, Mattie races against the town's most obnoxious leader who will do anything to win. Will Mattie find the support she needs? Will her fractions with boys be mended?
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Such a sweet story. I honestly learned a lot about the Amish community by reading this book. I don't know if that was the intent, but I did! But I loved Mattie's tenacity and drive to make life better for those around her. And Freeman was just the best. So sweet and loving. And don't we all need a Cathy and Caleb in our life? It was a sweet story about overcoming and standing up for what you believe. I really enjoyed it!
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Y’all, I can’t sY enough good things about Jennifer Beckstrand’s books. Each time I read them, I laugh out loud. She puts the fun in romance and The Amish Quiltmaker’s  Unconventional Niece is not exception. Mattie Zook is sure her life is over when she is sent to little Byler, Colorado, to stay with her aunt Esther. And all because she tried to sue someone! But when she discovers that a councilman has changed the laws so Amish folks can only drive on certain roads, she sets out to get elected herself and change the law back. Freeman is a sensible young Amish man who doesn’t think she should do it, but agrees to help. Full of fun characters and zany moments, you won’t regret reading the latest installment! I hope we return to Byler for another book soon
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My Mom loved this authors Amish books and this one would defiantly be on her book list. But I also enjoy these books because I lived in the Amish area among its people for many years. But still learn something new everytime I read these books.

Mom and I have been a Jennifer Beckstrand fan for many years, when I first read her Huckleberry Hill series. She always has a quirky, fun character or two in the story and in The Amish Quiltmakers Unconventional Niece, she doesn’t disappoint. Both Cathy and the book’s heroine, Mattie Zook, are fun and well developed. Beckstrand has a way of infusing her characters with both integrity and wit and her books keep me coming back for more. If you are an Amish book fan or a fan of this authors book pick up this newest book in this fun series.
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Fun book. Mattie Zook is a very unconventional Amish woman. She is headstrong, opinionated, vocal, and always ready to fight for what is right, even when it goes against her Amish upbringing. At home in Lancaster, she went so far as to sue a neighbor for dumping garbage on her family's land. In desperation, Mattie's father sends her to live with her Aunt Esther in Colorado.

But instead of learning her lesson, Mattie finds herself embroiled in another controversy. Furious at a local ordinance discriminating against the Amish community, Mattie decides to take advantage of her rumschpringe to run for town council. This decision does not sit well with her new community, but Mattie is determined.

Local farmer Freeman Sensenig is one of those who disapproves. He and Mattie clashed from the moment they met. Freeman is just as opinionated as Mattie and is vocal in his opposition. But something about her brings out his protective side, and he finds himself secretly serving as her campaign manager.

I enjoyed following the ins and outs of Mattie's campaign. Her opponent is an arrogant man who will do anything to win. Meanwhile, Mattie gets a crash course in politics with the help of a local Englisch woman. I loved seeing Mattie run a focused and clean campaign that appealed to those who were tired of the incumbent's antics. It isn't an easy campaign, as there are obstacles that she must overcome. A bit of trouble causes Mattie to rethink her decision, but in the end, the principal of the race wins out.

I liked the development of the relationship between Mattie and Freeman. They are both stubborn people, and because of that, many of their interactions are contentious. Freeman is vocal in his disapproval of Mattie's plan but also worries about her safety and feelings. Mattie is adamant that her feelings are not so fragile that she can't take whatever her opponent dishes out. It was amusing to see Freeman's confusion over why he is so concerned about Mattie - after all, he doesn't even like her! Meanwhile, Mattie isn't sure why she feels so much more confident when Freeman is nearby - all he wants is for her to withdraw. There comes the point when Freeman realizes his feelings and that he needs to support her to make her happy, while Mattie faces a decision of whether to quit or go on. I liked Freeman's "aha" moment and the sweet scene that resulted from it. The ending was terrific.

I enjoyed the variety of characters. Aunt Esther disapproves of Mattie's plan but can't stop her. However, she can try to distract her and gives it her level best. Fortunately, Mattie sees through the attempt and finds an interesting way around it. Caleb is Esther's seventeen-year-old brother-in-law and the tool she uses for distraction. Caleb is a typically awkward teenager who is no match for Mattie's determination. It isn't long before Mattie has him helping her despite his fear of discovery. Sarah and Sadie are Freeman's eighteen-year-old twin sisters who are firmly on Mattie's side. I loved their enthusiasm and involvement. Cathy is the older Englisch lady who is the moving force behind Mattie's campaign. She was quite an interesting character, as there were times when I wasn't sure what she would say next.
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This a solid example of why I'll always pick up a book by Jennifer Beckstrand.   As ever, her stories are full of humor, heart, and memorable characters who would be a hoot to know in real life.    Mattie has been sent to Colorado by her stern father as punishment for pursuing a lawsuit with a neighbor, something that is not done among the Amish, and especially not by young women!  But Mattie can't help it:  when she sees a wrong, she feels moved to make it right.   Not long after her arrival, another wrong presents itself, and the best way Mattie can think to fix it is by doing the unthinkable--running for town council herself.   This puts lots of new people in her path, including Freeman, a staid young man who thinks Mattie is snobby and foolhardy...but also awfully intriguing.

This was a pleasant read that was just complex enough to be interesting while still staying blissfully low-angst.   I like how the Amish way of life, and their values of separateness from the outside world, aren't ignored, even when they complicate things.  The characters find a way to do what's right without compromising themselves or their beliefs.   I loved all the side characters, from crotchety Cathy to Freeman's young sisters to poor, sweet Caleb.   I was disappointed in Mattie's aunt, though.   She was unsupportive to the point of being disrespectful and Mattie never got the apology she deserved from her.   Still, this was a great deal of fun and I'd heartily recommend it for any fans of Amish romance.

Many thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review!
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The Amish are taught to love your enemy and to turn the other cheek. When Mattie is sent to Byler, Colorado because she didn’t follow this teaching in the exact way her father expected her to, she finds yet another situation where she refuses to completely turn the other cheek. Disregarding all convention she runs for city office, shocking her aunt and uncle hosting her and most of the town. What she discovers is that running for office against the incumbent is more difficult and complicated than she anticipated. One of my favorite parts of the book was when a teenager and a young man both try to profess their love for Mattie at the same time. Not every girl experience that everyday. A fun read, especially if you enjoy reading about the Amish faith.
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This is an Amish Fiction. and this is the third book in the Amish Quiltmaker series. I really love the main character in this book, and I love to have a book that has an Amish character that stands up from themselves. I know that is not the Amish way, but I know chances are there are some that do. I found this story to be so much fun to read, and I really love the mix of characters. I really laugh and smile several times while reading this book. There is a small romance part at the end of this book, but I would not say this is romance. I was kindly provided an e-copy of this book by the publisher (Zebra Books) or author (Jennifer Beckstrand) via NetGalley, so I can give an honest review about how I feel about this book. I want to send a big Thank you to them for that.
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Third in the series. Continues to delight just as if not better than it's predecessors. Jennifer Beckstrand writes witty, engaging Amish fiction and this is no exception.

It was nice to run into old faves from the previous novels but our main characters held their lead. 

This book was a departure from the typical Amish novel just a little but it kept true to the genre.
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The Amish Quiltmaker's Unconventional Niece by Jennifer Beckstrand, book three in her Amish Quiltmaker series. I loved Freeman Sensenig and Mattie Zook’s sweet Amish romance. Because of an unconventional action at home, Mattie has been sent from her community in Leola. Pennsylvania to stay with her aunt in the Byler, Colorado Amish community. Freeman is a member of this community and the son of a potato farmer. Despite their sparks, Freeman and Mattie disagree from their first meeting. When Mattie decides to run for town council to try to overturn an unjust buggy ordinance, Freeman agrees to assist her, in secret. Freeman and Mattie have to deal with lack of support from some community members and learn to trust their own hearts and beliefs before finding their way to a loving, respectful, and faith based relationship. 

Ms Beckstrand adds another outstanding installment to a wonderful series; drawing me into the story making me feel as if I’m part of the story rather than a spectator. The emotions, issues, and challenges the characters face are not just those of the Amish, but could affect people worldwide. You will feel all the emotions while reading this book: joy, sorrow, anxiety, love, and especially laughter. I highly recommend The Amish Quiltmaker's Unconventional Niece to other readers.

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book.
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The Amish Quiltmaker’s Unconventional Niece by Jennifer Beckstrand is an amusing Amish tale.  It is the third book in The Amish Quiltmaker series.  It can be read as a standalone if you are new to the series, but you will be missing out on some entertaining stories.  Jennifer Beckstrand has an engaging writing style.  Her stories are easy to read with humor throughout.  I loved Mattie Zook.  She is a spunky Amish woman who will fight for what is right.  Filing a lawsuit nor running for an office are the Amish way, but Mattie is not going to let that stop her.  Freeman Sensenig and his twin sisters (Sarah and Sadie) were fun.  I enjoyed the sibling banter (and bickering).  There is a great cast with differing personalities.  Cathy, an Englischer, who supported Mattie running for office (in her own way) and let us not forget the color-blind Caleb who likes to work on puzzles (he breaks out in a sweat when he lies or does something he feels is wrong).  We get to travel to Byler, Colorado which has a small Amish population.  I did not blame Mattie for trying to get the new Amish buggy law repealed.  If you cannot travel the main streets, it is next to impossible to get anywhere by buggy.  There is a touch of romance.  I am glad it was not the predominant feature in the book (there was just enough).  I had mixed feelings about the ending (I do not want to spoil it for you).  I like that the author left us laughing.  We do get to catch up with the characters from The Amish Quiltmaker’s Unexpected Baby and The Amish Quiltmaker’s Unruly In-Law.  The Amish Quiltmaker’s Unconventional Niece is a fun, unconventional Amish novel.  I was sorry when my time in Byler, Colorado came to an end.  The Amish Quiltmaker’s Unconventional Niece is a witty tale with an unbalanced buggy law, sassy twin sisters, a plethora of puzzles, unkind election hijinks, beholding a bevy of sunsets, and campaign consequences.
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Mattie Zook is a truth teller. She doesn't mind telling it, even when maybe she takes it too far like when she insults the Amish community she has been sent to in Colorado. Freeman Sensenig isn't afraid to speak truth either when he tells her she is a snob for sure and certain. Mattie's truth telling ways got her sent from her Pennsylvania home to her Aunt Esther's place after she sued her father's neighbor.
Both Amish young people are in agreement when town councilor Bill Isom seems to be targeting their community with a new ordinance restricting where buggies and horses are allowed to travel. It isn't fair. Freeman, although angry decides to live peacefully as Gott intends but Mattie is of a different mind. She is in Rumschpringe and isn't bound by Amish law the same as those who are baptized, so she decides to run against Isom for town council. Series character Cathy Larson gets involved leading to a classic Jennifer Beckstrand tale! I can count on laughing out loud, having my emotions grabbed and being prompted to think seriously on God's plans when reading any book Beckstrand writes.
I love this series. Esther, the Amish quiltmaker has a healthy temper as readers learned in the first book. It would seem that it runs in the family. Mattie has a lot to learn and has quite a journey with a political campaign and eye-opening lessons for her life and attitude. Deciding to watch over her, Freeman is in for a wild buggy ride.
I want to thank the publisher, author and NetGalley for my advanced reader's copy of the book. This is my own unsolicited personal opinion. I loved it.
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The Amish Quiltmaker's Unconventional Niece 
 
I have been a fan of Jennifer Beckstrand's since I found her Huckleberry Hill series; I love Anna and Felty. I am enjoying her Amish Quiltmaker Series.  
 
We meet Ester in book one (The Amish Quiltmaker's Unexpected Baby); she is in each book and adds an element of hilarity to each story. Her niece, Mattie Zook, is from Pennsylvania. Sent to live with her aunt, Mattie cannot help but jump into action when she learns that there is a new local ordinance that discriminates against the Amish. Since she is in her rumspringa, no rules are keeping her from running for town council.  

Freeman Sensenig, a baptized member of the Amish, decides to help Mattie and keep her from crossing lines. Freeman thought Mattie to be opinionated and rude, only thinking of herself. When Freeman begins to fall for Mattie, he suddenly finds unexpected obstacles and a romantic rival in the way. 

This book is hilarious. I found myself laughing out loud and becoming angry with Bill (you'll see). I prefer books that take me on a journey with the characters, and Jennifer Beckstrand did not disappoint.  

I received a complimentary copy of this book. The opinions expressed in this review are my own. I recommend this book with a 5-book stack rating.
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Loads of fun!  Not sure this would happen in real life but that’s why it’s called fiction.  Trouble seems to follow Mattie everywhere.  Freeman can’t say anything right.  This is a fun sweet read with enough action to keep you turning the page.
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