Part of the fun of being a writer is when you have the opportunity to review the latest novel of a writer friend and are given a complimentary copy by the publisher to do so. Today, I will be reviewing The Amish Clockmaker by author Susan Meissner and Minday Starns Clark. I met Susan at last year’s Mt. Hermon Christian Writers Conference and we have become Facebook friends. I was happy to respond to her request for reviewers of her third book in the series, The Men of Lancaster County.
As some of you may remember, I have visited Lancaster, Pennsylvania and hope to make my home there one day amongst the quiet life of the Amish. I learned to quilt there and continue my hobby to this day. So when the book arrived in the mail, I quickly poured a cup of tea and climbed on my bed to read. I was intriqued that it featured an Amish man as the main character and was a mystery/suspense, which I enjoy.
I think the book jacket explains the storyline best, so will quote it here:
“Newlywed Matthew Zook is expanding his family’s tack and feed store when a surprising property dispute puts the remodel on hold-and raises new questions about the location’s mysterious past.
Decades earlier, the same building housed a clock shop run by a young Amish clockmaker named Clayton Raber. Known for his hot temper, Clayton was arrested for the murder of his beloved wife, a crime almost everyone-including his own family members-believed he committed, even after the charges were dropped. Isolated and feeling condemned by all, Clayton eventually broke from the church, left Lancaster County, and was never heard from again.
Now the only way Matthew can solve the boundary issue and save his family’s business is to track down the clockmaker. But does this put Matthew on the trail of a murderer?”
Susan and Mindy write so beautifully. My favorite part of the story is the love story of Clayton and Miriam (my namesake!) as he rescues her from the shame of an unplanned pregnancy by a ‘worldly’ man, and her subsequent postpartum psychosis that tears them apart and leads to her death. I admire how the authors chose to deal with a serious mental illness that is not much written about.
God’s character is seen throughout the book. We see the faithful love of God exemplified in Clayton’s love of Miriam. We witness God’s redemption as Matthew attempts to unite Clayton and his estranged family. This gave me hope that one day the Lord may bring truth and understanding to my own estranged family situation. We see God’s faithfulness to bring good out of a bad situation, even many years later, giving every reader hope for their own future.
I became enthralled with the suspenseful storyline and read the book in three days! I particularly liked how I knew each town she mentioned in the story, as I had beenthere personally. Susan creates and weaves the beauty of Lancaster County and the simplicity of Amish life throughout the story, which any reader would enjoy.
I highly recommend Susan’s The Amish Clockmaker. Don’t you love it when you find a new author and can’t wait to read all of their published books? I am now reading the second book in her series, The Amish Blacksmith, which tells the story of a ‘horse gentler’ or horse whisperer. To find out more about Susan and her published novels, visit her website: www.susanmeissner.com
To see my Scripture art and greeting cards visit my website at giftofhisglory.com
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