This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Living in Harmony
Harvest House Publishers (August 1, 2012)
by
Mary Ellis
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Mary Ellis is the author of many books, including A Widow’s Hope, Sarah’s Christmas Miracle, and A Marriage for Meghan. She and her  husband live in central Ohio, where they try to live a simpler style of life.

She was a finalist in the ACFW Carol Awards for A Widow’s Hope in 2010, and the 3inner of the Award of Merit in the Holt Medallion Awards for A Widow’s Hope in 2010.

Learn more about Mary and her books on her Website.

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Living in Harmony is the first book in bestselling author Mary Ellis’s New Beginnings series. It’s about fresh starts and love…and how faith in God and His perfect plan for our lives provides us with the peace and joy we desire.

Amy King–young, engaged, and Amish–faces difficult challenges in her life when she suddenly loses both of her parents in a house fire. Her fiancĂ©, John Detweiler, persuades her and her sister Nora to leave Lancaster County and make a new beginning with him in Harmony, Maine, where he has relatives who can help the women in their time of need.

John’s brother Thomas and sister-in-law Sally readily open their home to the three newcomers. Wise beyond his years, Thomas, a minister in the district, refuses to marry Amy and John upon their arrival, suggesting instead a period of adjustment and counseling.

During this time Amy discovers an aunt who was shunned. She wishes to reconnect with her, but this puts a strain on her relationship with John.

Can John and Amy find a way to live in happily in Harmony before making a lifetime commitment to one another?

Watch the book trailer for Living in Harmony:

If you would like to read the first chapter of Living in Harmony, go HERE.

MY REVIEW:

Living in Harmony is one of those Amish novels that leaves me frustrated. On the one hand, it is very well written and enjoyable. I am sure that the narrative gives a realistic look into the lives of some Old Order Amish communities and is informative in that way.

On the other hand, I found that my sympathies were more with Elam and Nora who were portrayed as rebellious. I do agree that Elam’s behavior was less than appropriate most of the time and Nora’s actions were not always rational. However, although I have always tended to be a mostly compliant person, I am afraid that my rebellious nature would rise up quickly if subjected to the kind of legalism practiced in Harmony. I did not care for John very much at all and was secretly rooting for Amy to break her engagement and leave Harmony.

All that being said, there were still some lessons to be learned through Living in Harmony and John’s brother Thomas and Amy’s Aunt were usually the source. Regardless of how I felt about the Harmony lifestyle, the King sisters and the Detweiler family had a profoundly positive overall effect on each other and their community.

Living in Harmony was not exactly my cup of tea but true fans of Amish fiction should love it.