A Review of Kathleen Fuller’s An Honest Love

Kathleen Fuller: An Amish Love

Although I’m an avid reader, I never really cared too much for romance novels.

It seemed the plots were trite and the story lines predictable.

Boy meets girl (or vice versa), romance blossoms and grows, boy offends or hurts girl (or vice versa).

Next, they separate vowing to never lay eyes on each other again, and then reunite at the end in a not-so surprising and somewhat boring happily ever after ending.

However, I recently chose an Amish romance novel as part of my participation in a book reviewing program, and I was hooked.

Here were believably stories of love and romance set against the quaint backdrop of the lifestyle of the plain people.

I think these stories attracted me the most because at that time, I was doing a stint of duty at a private school with a large proportion of German Baptist students.

I loved getting to know these wonderful children and their parents and learning more about their simple lifestyles. Somehow, it brought this Amish romance novel to life for me.

Author Kathleen Fuller, in An Honest Love, serves up a double dose of love, romance, betrayal and new hope.

Here you will meet Anna Esh, Aaron Detweiler, Elisabeth Byler, and Lukas Byler. Anna and Aaron harbor hidden secrets and past regrets that may prevent them from being able to form future relationships of love and trust.

Note: German Baptists and Amish are both Anabaptists and practice a plain lifestyle.

Amish Romance Novels: Meet Anna Esh

Betrayed by her finance and humiliated in her community, she moves to Middlefield in the hopes of leaving the past behind and forging a new future.

As the manager of Esh’s Amish Goods, which she co-owns with her mother, she is determined to provide for herself and never risk her heart again.

This seems like an excellent plan until the day good-looking Lukas Byler strolls into the store with a consignment of hand-made toys. Will Anna give in to her attraction and give Lukas a chance to win her heart or will she reject him?

If she does decide to pursue a relationship with him, will she share her secret or take a chance on keeping it concealed?

Meet Lukas Byler

Even though Lukas agrees to friendship with Anna, he secretly yearns to make her his wife.

He bides his time, showing his affection by helping with chores around the store and gently but consistently courting her.

When he eventually discovers Anna’s secret, will he be able to forgive her and move ahead with their lives or will her dishonesty destroy them?

Meet Elisabeth Byler

Lukas’ sister, Elisabeth, is somewhat disorganized.

She is also perpetually tardy, and prone to forget important things like closing gates to keep the livestock confined.

Elisabeth had never paid much attention to Aaron Detweiler.

However, when she takes a part-time job in her brother-in-law’s blacksmith business, she begins to realize how handsome Aaron is.

Elisabeth falls in love with Aaron, but are her feelings reciprocated, or is Aaron too ashamed of past mistakes to give romance a chance?

Meet Aaron Detweiler

Aaron Detweiler has many regrets. During his Amish rumspringa (running around time), he over-indulged in drugs and alcohol, and had unsavory relationships with unmarried women.

He hits his lowest point when he is sentenced to jail, but enters a rehab program and turns his life around. Although he is attracted to Elisabeth, he resists the temptation to be more than friends.

Amish Romance Novels: The Plot Thickens

The story of these two couples and their up-and-downs in romance is an easy read, but make sure you have time to finish the book at one setting.

Fuller keeps the story moving along briskly and once you start reading, you will find it hard to stop. There is a moral theme presented here—honesty—in a clever but non-preachy manner.

This book is age appropriate for teens to elders and is a refreshing change from other more predictable romance novels.

Spoiler alert: Actually, I hate it when someone ruins a good story for me by revealing the ending. If you want to find out if the two couples live happily ever after, you will have to get the book and find out for yourself.

More Book Reviews: If you want to read a book that will make you feel uncomfortable and jar you out of your Christian comfort zone, Richard Stearns’ The Hole in Our Gospel is a must read. Just be aware that he is a provocative, engaging writer who will challenge your mindset and preconceptions.

If you are interested in the Amish (Anabaptist) lifestyle, you might also be interested in learning more about another branch of the Anabaptist community, which is the Hutterites. Mary-Ann Kirkby’s memoirs of her life as a Hutterite is a compelling read.