Author Spotlight: Wanda Brunstetter

I don’t know when I started to like it or what initially drew me to it but I love Amish fiction! On a trip to the Shipshewana Amish community I found some intriguing books by Wanda Brunstetter. I picked up a few and fell in love. I love the ease at which I could read the stories. They were relateable and fun. I especially liked that they contained a lot of cooking and baking.

Wanda has been writing about Amish fiction for years. Her husband grew up in the Mennonite church. As she met more and more extended family she began to fall in love with the Amish way of life. She researches extensively for her novels. All this hard work can clearly be seen in the way she fluidly depicts Amish life.

Are you drawn to the simplicity of Amish life? Have you ever visited an Amish community? Wondered what it is that makes them want to maintain their lifestyle even when there are so many modern conveniences that would make life quicker and “easier”? Pick up any of Wanda’s novels and you will fall more in love with this fascinating people group.

Her newest book, The Seekers: Amish Cooking Class tells the story of Heidi Troyer as she organizes an Amish Cooking Class in her home. What will happen when a handful of Englischers sign up to learn to cook? Life lessons are learned in addition to cooking lessons and Heidi is stretched in her faith as she learns more about her students.

I received a digital copy of this book from NetGalley and later joined Wanda’s Clippity Clop Book Club and was given a hard copy of the book in exchange for my honest review. The book starts out by introducing all the characters rapidly one after another. The introductions were short but sweet. This was very confusing for me at first, to keep everyone straight. I had trouble remembering who everyone was. I couldn’t tell who was Amish and who was English. The story line seemed so predictable from the beginning. But, as the story progressed it got better and better. The characters were further developed and didn’t seem as fake. They were normal, everyday people, just like me. The Amish culture was present throughout the story but wasn’t overpowering and over the top like some Amish fiction. I would have liked to know a little more detail about the type of Amish these characters were. Some things they had and did are not allowed according to some other Amish books I’ve read. I was surprised Heidi had an indoor bathroom, for example. Overall the story was great. There was a clear antagonist that twisted the story a little bit. I’m glad it wasn’t all sunshine and roses. I found myself rooting for Heidi and her husband and took it personally when the villain took advantage of these kind people. The story line is simple but the concepts presented are complex and authentic. People go through these issues. I could picture myself in the book as one of the characters. Loved the relationship between Eli and Loretta and wish I could see what happens with them. Maybe in a future book?

Check out more of Wanda’s work on her website: http://wandabrunstetter.com/
or on her facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/WandaBrunstetterFans/?ref=br_rs

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