Seeds of Hope
By Barbara Cameron
Harvest of Hope #1
Gilead Publishing, 2017
A heartwarming tale of discovering love right in front of you
Miriam Troyer has had a secret crush on Mark Byler since she was a teenager, but she knows they can never have a relationship: Mark is a big-city attorney and an Englischer. Her Amish community is too far removed from all he knows-and she loves her quiet way of life.
Mark has always loved his visits to his grandfather's farm, but he's convinced the Amish life isn't for him. There's so much of the world to see and experience, and the excitement of his successful law practice can't be matched by the slow pace of life found back home in the country.
But when things go wrong and his firm distances itself from him to try to save themselves, Mark finds himself back at his grandfather's farm. Could life in this simple world be worth living after all? Especially when the teenager he remembers has grown into a woman that could be his future. Suddenly, these two people whose lives seem so far apart may get a chance to really see each other for the first time.
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Barbara Cameron is a consistent writer, always delivering on appealing characters, realistic conflict, an emotional tug at the heart, and spiritual gems to reflect upon. Miriam and Mark’s story in Seeds of Hope is a great beginning to the new Harvest of Hope series.
Relational tension is taken to a high level in this story of no way can this end happily romance. Mark – with his defense law practice, high society (and high maintenance) fiancé, and BMW – is entrenched in the English lifestyle. Miriam, who cares deeply for him, is committed to her faith and family. Amish fiction fans know that is extremely rare for someone to join the Amish faith, and even harder to remain there … but Mark is no stranger to the Amish. What makes this scenario plausible is that his father left the Amish faith, but allowed the adolescent Mark to spend his summers with his grandfather, who he dearly loved.
I loved how we see the contrast in both worlds, reflected in the romantic tension and also Mark’s faith that asked questions while seeking. Their struggles felt so very real, and the story made me even more aware of how, as Christians, we’re supposed to be in the world, but not of the world. John, Mark’s wise granddad, was a favorite of mine. He may have read the Gospel of John a lot because of sharing the same name, but that’s an excellent book to read over and over again.
There’s one spiritual nugget expressed close to the end that really jumped off the page and into my thoughts, and that’s Mark’s realization that he had been “so busy making a living that he hadn’t made a life.” Words of wisdom for all of us.
I thoroughly enjoyed Seeds of Hope and look forward to more stories to come.
I was provided a copy of this book through Litfuse Publicity. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.
Barbara Cameron has a heart for writing about the spiritual values and simple joys of the Amish. She is the best-selling author of more than 40 fiction and nonfiction books, three nationally televised movies, and the winner of the first Romance Writers of America Golden Heart Award. Her books have been nominated for Carol Awards and the Inspirational Reader's Choice Award from RWA's Faith, Hope, and Love chapter.
Barbara resides in Jacksonville, Florida.
Find out more about Barbara at http://barbaracameron.com.