Journal

Review: Wonderful Lonesome by Olivia Newport

Confession 1: I judge books by their covers. Confession 2: I judge books by their titles. Okay, so maybe not all of the time, but when it came to Olivia Newport’s Wonderful Lonesome, I couldn’t help but think how beautiful that title is, and she even wrote a blog post that proves that I’m not the only one.

My first foray into Olivia Newport’s novels were her Avenue of Dreams series. Set in Chicago’s Prairie Avenue, the books chronicle the journeys of three women who all desire something a bit different than the situations life has put them in. They were excellent books, and when I noticed Olivia Newport’s name on the cover of Wonderful Lonesome, I knew i had to read it. 

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**I received a free copy of this book from Barbour Publishing, Inc. and NetGalley in exchange for my honest review**

In a struggling Amish settlement on the harsh Colorado plain, Abbie Weaver refuses to concede defeat to hail, drought, and coyotes, even as families begin to give up and return east. The biggest challenge of all is the lack of a spiritual shepherd and regular worship. When Abbie discovers the root of a spiritual divide that runs through the settlement, she faces her own decisions about what she believes. She must choose between a quiet love in her cherished church, passion with a man determined to leave the church, or imagining her life with neither.

As a whole, I did enjoy this novel. While I don’t read a lot of Amish fiction, I do enjoy an occasional foray into their world that is so different from ours on some levels.

There are a number of main characters in this novel, and each have a voice in the narrative. There is Ruthanna, while pregnant, some unimaginable hardships come her way. There is Rudy, who lacks interest in staying the harsh lands of Colorado, but remains because of a woman he loves. Willem is torn between remaining with the Amish faith or joining the Mennonite church. Finally, there is Abbie. Abbie is definitely the strongest voice of the novel. She is determined in wanting to see the Amish settlement succeed, but is frustrated with the lack of a minister and gatherings. She is also torn between her feelings for Willem and the attraction she notices that Rudy has for her.

While I don’t think this novel was a page-turner, I could definitely appreciate some of the themes that came through. Each character had to deal with difficulties, and had to rely on hope.

I would love to hear from you! Do you have any favorite Amish fiction novels or authors who write Amish fiction?

For more on the author or this book, please check out the following links:

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