Monday, August 21, 2017

Review: The Blessing

The Blessing
By Wanda E. Brunstetter
Amish Cooking Class #2
Barbour/Shiloh Run, 2017


Six new cooking class students.  New friendships form, a romance blossoms, and hearts receive healing nourishment. Will Heidi’s own hurting heart also be healed?

Despite stressful changes occurring in their lives, Lyle and Heidi once again open their Ohio home up to those seeking to learn about Amish cooking. This time a teenager helping her divorced dad cook for the family, a caterer needing new recipes, a food critic, a hunter looking to impress his buddies, a wife given the class as an unwanted gift, and a mailman lured in by the aroma of good cooking gather around Heidi’s table.

During each class, Heidi teaches culinary skills, but it is her words of wisdom that have a profound effect on her students—though, this time Heidi’s own hurting heart will need some healing nourishment.

My thoughts

In the Amish fiction genre, Wanda E. Brunstetter is a solid, dependable writer; I know what to expect and am never disappointed. Her characters are relatable and have depth, it’s easy to get caught up in the storyline, and spiritual themes are gently woven throughout, in a way that comforts and even makes me think.

The Blessing, continuing the Amish Cooking Class series that began with The Seekers, is about family and relationships. While there’s some overlapping of characters and themes, sufficient background is given so that this book can stand alone. But if you’re like me, you’ll want to go back and read the previous one if you haven’t already.

I loved the cooking class theme because ordinary people from various walks of life are pulled into the story. They all have some type of problem or insecurity, because that’s life – and the story reflects how life in Christ is to be lived. I was entertained and impressed by how the lives of all these characters interconnected. But best of all was the way Heidi, while dealing with her own personal struggles, shared her faith in a creative way – by writing a Scripture verse on the back of each lesson’s recipe card. Each verse seemed to be exactly what someone needed to hear at the time, and this reminded me of how easy it is to witness in the simplest of ways, then step back and let God work.

The Blessing comes to a satisfactory conclusion, but with the promise of much more to come. Several recipes are included at the end … “Chicken in a Crumb Basket” sounded delicious (also easy) and I will be trying it soon.

I thoroughly enjoyed this story and look forward to The Celebration in February 2018. Recommended.

I was provided a free copy of this book from Barbour Publishing. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.


New York Times bestselling and award-winning author, Wanda E. Brunstetter is one of the founders of the Amish fiction genre. She has written close to 90 books translated in four languages.  With over 10 million copies sold, Wanda's stories consistently earn spots on the nations most prestigious bestseller lists and have received numerous awards.

Wanda’s ancestors were part of the Anabaptist faith, and her novels are based on personal research intended to accurately portray the Amish way of life. Her books are well-read and trusted by many Amish, who credit her for giving readers a deeper understanding of the people and their customs.

When Wanda visits her Amish friends, she finds herself drawn to their peaceful lifestyle, sincerity, and close family ties. Wanda enjoys photography, ventriloquism, gardening, bird-watching, beachcombing, and spending time with her family. She and her husband, Richard, have been blessed with two grown children, six grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.


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