Monday, May 2, 2016

Review: A Dream of Miracles

A Dream of Miracles
By Ruth Reid
Amish Wonders, #3
Thomas Nelson, 2016


Amish widow Mattie vows never to love again . . . until a suspicious outsider with a shadowy past comes crashing into her fragile world.

Mattie Diener can barely keep it together. A young Amish widow and mother of two young children, she faces the lingering heartbreak of lost love, her son's mysterious illness, and a torrent of accusations that threaten to undo her.

Bo Lambright is a fast-rising social services investigator whose high-society mother won't rest until she finds his Mrs. Right. Despite Bo's worldly success, the raw ache of a shadowy past and a series of unsettling dreams have left him reeling.

When Mattie and Bo cross paths, all signs point to disaster. Yet as they face a crucible of trials and tragedies together, longings begin to stir that seem destined only to end in more heartbreak. Is a miracle possible---not only of healing but of forbidden love? What secrets lie in Bo's dreams? And will Mattie find the courage to face her uncertain future . . . or will she simply run away?

My thoughts

Don’t go by the cover and assume that this is a typical, traditional Amish story – because let me tell you, there’s nothing “typical” or “traditional” about it! A Dream of Miracles ranks among the best books I’ve read, Amish or otherwise. There’s a different element to Ruth Reid’s writing, and A Dream of Miracles breaks the boundaries of Amish fiction wide open, capturing me from page one with its emotional pull and character depth. Ruth writes with knowledge and authority when it comes to the Amish and healthcare, drawing from her wealth of experience in this industry. Most people are referring to suspense when they say that they couldn’t put a book down, but that’s exactly how I felt about this story, for the emotional suspense of relationship drama is what hooks me every time.

Grand Island Light
The Badger Creek community of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula area provides a wonderful backdrop for this story and Ruth conveys its beauty vividly. Pictured on the right is a unique wooden lighthouse that Bo could see from his boat on Lake Superior.

Englisch and Amish worlds harshly collide as Mattie becomes the target of a Child and Family Services investigation, and the chasm between these two worlds becomes glaringly apparent. We see a lack of knowledge about the Amish, judgmental attitudes, and no desire to learn more.  Themes explore the bond between mother and child – not only Mattie and her children, but Bo and his mother as well – foster care, removing children from the home, and clinging to faith when life makes no sense.

As a mother, connecting with Mattie and her struggles was immediate. And Bo is such an appealing character, with his heart for those who are hurting and his drive to do the right thing rather than merely follow procedure. One secondary theme that I found especially touching was Mattie’s caregiving of a little lamb that wasn’t thriving. What beautiful imagery of the Good Shepherd who watches over and protects us!

I love this quote graphic because it captures the spiritual essence of A Dream of Miracles so perfectly and is something I never want to forget:  Be strong. Be still. Be faithful. God is in control. Ruth expressed her goal for readers in a Litfuse interview and this is exactly how I felt throughout the story: “My goal is that readers will feel the presence of God. His love, His grace, His mercy, and the miraculous ways He guides us in our daily lives.”

Ruth Reid is a “not to be missed” author for me and A Dream of Miracles goes on my favorites list. Highly recommended to all readers.

Click on the title, A Miracle of Hope, to see my review of the first book in this series.


        Ruth Reid is a CBA and ECPA bestselling author of the Heaven on Earth series. She's a full-time pharmacist who lives in Florida with her husband and three children.
        When attending Ferris State University School of Pharmacy in Big Rapids, Michigan, she lived on the outskirts of an Amish community and had several occasions to visit the Amish farms. Her interest grew into love as she saw the beauty in living a simple life.

Thank you to Litfuse Publicity for providing a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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1 comment:

  1. "there’s nothing “typical” or “traditional” about it! A Dream of Miracles ranks among the best books I’ve read, Amish or otherwise." -- yes! I absolutely agree! Great review, Carole!