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Review: The Englisch Daughter

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Review: The Englisch Daughter

27 Apr Posted by in Reviews | Comments Off on Review: The Englisch Daughter
Review: The Englisch Daughter

The Englisch Daughter by Cindy Woodsmall and Erin Woodsmall
Reviewed by: Pam Graber
Genre: Christian Fiction
Publisher: WaterBrook
Publication Date: April 2020

With themes of forgiveness and faith, The Englisch Daughter by Cindy Woodsmall and Erin Woodsmall, tests the limits of what can be forgiven within the marriage bond.

Roy and Jemima and their family have already survived the worst that could happen, or so it seems. Nearly killed in a buggy versus truck crash, Roy and oldest daughter, Laura, are still healing. Throw into the mix a troubled pregnancy that puts Jemima on bed rest while her family heals and there is a disconnect. As she returns home, she and Roy are sure they’ve come back stronger than before. Then, Roy begins acting strangely, disappearing overnight, glued to his cell phone, and distant with his wife. When she discovers that the money she has been saving toward her dream of a food truck is gone, Jemima is devastated. What could possibly be so important to Roy that he would throw their future away like that?

Roy is being torn apart, bit by bit. Evidence points to him as the father of a child he has no memory of making, with a woman who is not his wife. He knows he was addicted to some pretty heavy pain pills after the accident, but they never caused him to lose his memory before. For the last year, he has been paying the rent, paying for the hospital costs of the baby’s birth, buying diapers, and supporting the woman and her child. Her demands for money have drained all of his savings accounts, even the one his wife and sister shared for their food truck. Just as he is ready to confess all to Jemima, Tiffany gives him the ultimatum: Pay up, or I’m selling the baby to the highest bidder who wants to adopt her. Can he save the baby, and if he does, will his marriage survive?

While the main story of the book centers around Roy and Jemima and their marriage, there is a secondary couple, Chris and Abigail, that also gets a lot of play. Chris is a new hire on Roy’s horse farm. Thrown out of his Amish community for bare knuckles boxing, Chris comes to Roy under a cloud of suspicion, but his willingness to jump in during a dangerous outbreak of disease in Roy’s horses goes a long way toward earning trust. Abigail is Roy’s younger sister. She teaches in the Amish school and helps Roy with the horses after school. As she works with Chris, their mutual attraction lights their hearts, but Abi didn’t get to be 27 and unmarried for no good reason! When she discovers Chris’ “flaw”, she slams the door on ever having a relationship. Can Chris get her to see that maybe she’s judging him unfairly?

Cindy and Erin Woodsmall don’t shy away from topics that are uncomfortable, and the Amish dictate that – no matter the offense – all must forgive is a hard one to grasp. I understood the difficulty Jemima had in forgiving her husband. He not only stole her dream of a food truck, he stole her trust in their fidelity. With four children to raise, she doesn’t really have any outlets. Chris, in trying to help his brother, chose the wrong avenue – fighting – and wound up an outcast. Abigail spent years helping at her uncle’s recovery house, seeing the men who came through addicted. She sees flaws in every man she has ever dated because those same flaws came through the recovery house. I liked each of the characters, even Roy was redeemable.

Readers of Amish fiction will especially enjoy The Englisch Daughter, and I think this might also fall into the women’s fiction category. It’s not a full-on romance, although there is romance in the story. I finished it in a day and a half once I got going. I definitely recommend!


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