Abby Finds Her Calling
By Naomi King
Genre: Christian Fiction
Published March 2012, New American Library
Paperback, 320 pages
The Lambright family's eldest daughter, Abby, runs her own sewing shop. There, she mends the town's clothes and their torn relationships. But the town maidel has sworn off any suitors of her own because of her unrequited love for James Graber, who is about to marry her younger sister, Zanna... On the wedding day, Zanna is nowhere to be found, breaking James' heart. Zanna has brought shame to her family, but there's more in store for them when they discover how far she has fallen. Long-buried secrets come to light, and they test the bonds of the Cedar Creek community. Abby is at the center of it all, trying to maintain everyone's happiness. But will she ever find her own?This is only the second Amish book I have ever read, but I really like the setting for fiction literature. The romance is clean, the majority of the characters have conservative values and traditions, such as the importance of God and family, and the language is clean. I love the way that the Amish community supports one another in business endeavors, or is so willing to lend a hand when tragedy strikes. One of the characters, Zanna, actually makes a business out of rag rug making, which intrigued me enough to try my hand at the craft myself.
Zanna does something completely out of character for the typical Amish young woman, but manages to fight for what she wanted despite the consequences of her actions, finding support in her oldest sister, Abby. Abby is more of a side character to the main plot of what is happening to Zanna. Abby nurses unrequited love for another character throughout the entire book, which is never really answered to, though there were hints of this changing in the next book in the series. Many of the characters are memorable in their own unique way, such as James's skill with making carriages that earns him employment to make a princess carriage for Disneyland, of all things. One of the older married couples also struggles with dementia throughout the book, which makes for some interesting and poignant scenes.
I could not have predicted how Zanna's predicament would impact another family so much for the better, or even how the book would have gathered all the lose ends at its finality, but the book came together very well with a sweet ending. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
The Cover: The cover is simple and gives me an image of the simplicity of Amish ways.
First Line: "James Graber inhaled the crisp October air and grinned up at the rising sun."
A beautiful and picturesque opening line - I anticipate the rest of the book will be just as well-written.
*I received this book free of charge from the publisher for review purposes.*