The Storekeeper's Daughter
Wanda E Brunstetter
Reviewed By Shaley Melchior
For Immediate Release Reviews
The Amish is a people that, arguably, may be one of the most misunderstood groups in the world. They are often portrayed in a less than favorable way, even among authors that have dwelt among the Plain People for a time. The many rules and restrictions that the Amish follow cause much confusion among us 'Englischers'. How refreshing it is,then, to discover an author that leads us gently through the lives of this amazing people, without judging their ways, or expecting us to understand many Amish terms and traditions from the outset.
In this first book of Ms. Brunstetter's new series, "Daughters of Lancaster County", we meet a young Amishwoman by the name of Naomi. Shortly into the book, Naomi's mother tragically dies, leaving Naomi to run the household, assist her father at their store, and raise 7 children, including a new baby boy. While Naomi had dreamed of a life with Caleb, a fine local Amish man, suddenly she finds herself thrust into the role of surrogate mother, and as she made her mother a deathbed promise that she would care for the children, she makes the sacrifice of love and a life and family of her own, to care for her father and siblings.
The family also runs a small root beer stand in their yard. Naomi's father makes root beer that is renowned throughout their community. One day, a man shows up to purchase some root beer, and while Naomi has her back turned, the man kidnaps her baby brother. After that, Naomi undergoes many trials, from searching for her brother, to trying to reconcile with her father, who blames Naomi solely for the baby's disappearance. Where is he? And why was he stolen? And will Naomi find love amidst her trials?
Ms. Brunstetter demonstrates her love for the 'Plain People' with this lovely book. It has no heavy, hard to understand use of German, nor does it attempt to place a bad light on the Amish. While other books may seem to make the Amish seem an eccentric, simple-minded people, this book is respectful of their beliefs, and truly makes the reader feel as if they have a personal relationship with the characters, and makes the reader feel a bit sad when closing the book, but does make one highly anticipate the next book in the saga.