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Love Divided: Molly Jebber’s “Two Suitors for Anna”

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Title: Two Suitors for Anna (A Keepsake Pocket Quilt Novel)

Author: Molly Jebber

Publisher: Zebra

Copyright: January 31, 2017

ASIN: B01FBZXPDM

Format: E-Book, 319 Pages, $6.47 [Amazon Paperback], $5.99 [Kindle], $7.99 [Barnes & Noble Paperback], $5.99 [Nook], $5.99 [Google Play], $5.99 [iBooks]

Summary:

In 1903 Ohio, a young Amish woman must choose between the life she has long planned for and a new, very different future…

Since Anna Plank moved to Berlin, Ohio, with her widowed mamm and two schweschders, she’s found a real sense of belonging. As soon as her beloved Noah Schwartz proposes, they’ll begin a new chapter here together. But Noah has a surprise for Anna: once they’re married, he wants them to travel and live in other communities. Anna, who loves her home and her job at the quilt shop, is distraught when he takes her hesitation as rejection—and leaves.

Daniel Bontrager’s arrival adds to Anna’s confusion. Since taking over his late brother’s farm, the handsome roofer has offered friendship and gentle attentions. Yet the pull of first love is strong and deep, especially when Noah returns. Through each revelation, Anna must search her faith for guidance, knowing she is choosing not just a husband, but a life to nurture and to share…

Review:

The year is 1903. Anna Plank lives a charmed life in the small rural hamlet of Berlin, Ohio. Residing with her mother, Mrs. Plank and two sisters, Leah and Beth, she works devotedly at Grace’s Dry Goods Shop. For years she has been courted by none other than the handsome, fair-haired Noah Schwartz, a man possibly considers the love of her life. Unfortunately, Noah has different ideas from Anna and, when he constantly wants to change the way things are done, it unsettles her. He announces that he will be leaving Berlin to travel to Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and that he wants her to accompany him. Not wanting to leave her beloved family behind, she is torn between the man she loves and those who need her.

Enter Daniel Bontrager, a new arrival in Berlin, who one day arrives at Grace’s shop. The moment he sets his sights on Anna, Daniel immediately feels a liking for her, something that transforms into love over time. When he starts to perform all sorts of small jobs around the shop, Anna’s attention turns away from the irksome Noah and towards the calm, taciturn Daniel with his head of fine dark hair. Trouble comes in the form of Butch Winter as he walks into their life and flirts with Anna’s younger sister, Leah. With the threat of scandal looming over Leah and the Plank family, it is up to Anna and Daniel to dissuade Butch from his indecent pursuit of her. Between the romantic triangle with Anna at the center and the possibility of Leah being shunned, Two Suitors for Anna promises to be an interesting read.

Two Suitors for Anna is a feel-good Christian story that has something to offer everyone. In a protagonist, Anna proves to be an upstanding and kindhearted individual who goes out of her way to help others. Daniel, one of her suitors, is undeniably a masculine version of our heroine. The two have a lot in common. Noah is the character who really fell a bit flat for me. There were times when I found him downright annoying and rather shallow. I cannot see what Anna saw in him. One could even go so far as to say that Noah was merely a vehicle for change, the epitome of a progressive man.

Ms. Jebber’s writing style was engaging and everything was well-written, from the painting of the scenes to the characterization to a compelling conclusion. The pace of the story did begin slowly but when I was about a quarter way in, I was engrossed. There was a good combination of different genres: some intrigue, an abundance of romance, mystery sprinkled throughout, and even a heartwarming element. While this story was an enjoyable and substantial read, I found the predictability of certain situations and characters to be a bit of an impediment. For that reason, I give Two Suitors for Anna 4 Red Lancaster Roses.

Rating:

Stay tuned for next week’s review as we read Jen Glantz’s heartfelt memoir, Always a Bridesmaid (for Hire)!

Featured Image: October by John Whetten Ehninger, 1867.


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