December 16, 2018

The Amish Letters Series by Kathleen Fuller {Book Review}

Amish Letters Series by Kathleen Fuller- a Review
The Amish Letters series by Kathleen Fuller follows the three Amish couples whose lives were changed because of a letter. This trilogy was one of my first experiences with books by Kathleen Fuller and I quickly decided I enjoyed her style of writing, even though Amish fiction isn’t my favorite thing to read. I am sharing my review of the books of this series in a joint post since they all take place in the same town of Birch Creek.

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About the Books

The Amish Letters series consists of three novels by Kathleen Fuller. Each novel is set in the Amish community of Birch Creek, and each book has characters who are connected in some way.

The first book of the series is Written In Love and follows Phoebe Bontrager and Jalon Chump. They become acquainted accidentally through a letter that was misdirected. One thing leads to another and the two of them become pen pals. They quickly become friends through the letters, but everything could fall apart when Jalon decides he wants to surprise Phoebe with a visit in person—because Phoebe has a secret she’s not told him which could change everything. In order to reach beyond the errors of their past, both Phoebe and Jalon must put their faith in something…or Someone—bigger than either of them could ever pen.

Book two in the series follows Jalon Chump’s sister Leanna. Leanna has always stood out in her Amish community. Not only is she the tallest woman in town (six foot tall to be exact), but she has unconventional ways that put her at odds with the community leaders and members—for she prefers to work with machinery and engineering over cooking, sewing, and the other typical and acceptable Amish woman chores. But she’s content being single and loves her job as a mechanic…until her boss’s brother Roman comes to town again. Leanna and Roman rub each other the wrong way, and that’s put to the test when they find themselves working together again. Roman doesn’t plan to stay for long—just long enough to try to patch up a relationship with his brother as his recently deceased grandmother requested in a letter she left for him. Neither Roman nor Leanna fit squarely within the structures of the Amish Faith, but their differences could be the very thing to help them form a deeper connection to their community and to each other—but will it be enough to make Roman stay for good?

The third book in the series introduces us to Leanna’s best friend Ivy Yoder. Ivy fell in love with John King when she went to help a relative in Michigan. When she had to come back home to Birch Creek, she wrote him faithfully after he wrote and lamented her return home, promising to write her faithfully. But he never wrote her back after that first letter. One year later, she’s accepted that he never will and she needs to move on in her new single life. At her best friend’s wedding, she’s approached by Noah Schlabach and is asked to help him go through a stash of boxes in his great-aunt’s attic. His great-aunt personally requested she assist Noah. That was a year ago, but then Noah appeared in her house and said he was there to start going through the boxes with her. Noah loves his great-aunt and agrees to help her clean out her attic. As an auctioneer, he loves antiques and hopes to find something exciting while cleaning out. As Noah and Ivy work side by side, they come across a different kind of treasure: a pack of letters written during the Korean War. Soon they are swept up in a story of two young people falling in love—yet have determined to not fall in love themselves.

My Thoughts on the Books

Each book in this series was excellent. The characters had great quirks and didn’t fit the “norm” of the Amish community. The main characters include for example an alcoholic, an unwed mother, a mechanically minded “tomboy,” and a travelling auctioneer who is going blind. None of these are your stereotypical “cookie-cutter” Amish life characters. Because of this, you are able to identify with the challenges the characters face throughout the books.

I enjoyed each book, but I think that I might have enjoyed books 2 and 3 the most. I enjoyed the story of “tomboy” Leanna, as well as the progression of Ivy and Noah’s relationship as they deal with his newly diagnosed health crisis. The author definitely makes the stories come alive and you can forget at times they are even Amish. Their community is simply a setting the story takes place in.
I give the whole series a 4.5★ rating
I definitely recommend these books to those wanting Amish fiction with a bit more meat to it, and characters with normal weaknesses and faults. Since reading this series, I have come across some of the characters in other novellas—like one I recently reviewed An Amish Homecoming.

You can explore more of the Amish fiction by Kathleen Fuller with these titles!

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