Treasuring Emma, by Kathleen Fuller

book coverEmma always put the needs of others ahead of her own. When will it be her turn to be treasured?

Adam was her first love and best friend. But then he went away. Determined to experience the freedom of living in the Englisch world, he left Emma heart-broken. How could he have chosen the world over her?

Now Adam is back in Middlefield and Emma can’t seem to keep him away from her family’s farm. But this time she’s determined to guard her heart. It might be love that keeps him there… or perhaps just guilt.

When a newcomer arrives in town and shows an interest in Emma, she dismisses Adam’s insistence that she be cautious. All this attention is new to her and she doesn’t know quite how to accept it. Emma knows her Heavenly Father treasures her. But will her new beau?

In this book, we have sisters who don’t get along well, a marriage falling apart and a suspicious cousin. Only one of these set-ups includes the Emma in the title. The marriage is between Clara, her sister, and Peter. When Peter’s distant cousin, Mark, arrives in town not everyone is accepting of him. Clara initially wants him to court Emma but only because she doesn’t like Adam who is under the bann.

Adam and Mark are a good study of contrasts. Adam has been shunned for leaving his Amish community two years previously. He’s matured during this time and is coming to the conclusion that perhaps the Englisch world isn’t for him. Mark, on the other hand, has never left the Amish. “I’m a faithful member of the Amish church. I attend worship. I follow the Ordnung,” he tells Emma’s grandmother. Except his outward appearances don’t match what’s in his heart and his reasons for staying around Middlefield aren’t innocent. By the end of the story, he’s left trouble in his wake and looks to cause further problems elsewhere.

This was a book that held my interest even though, in my opinion, the plot wasn’t exactly as advertised. Emma tries to be strong and independent, but eventually throws up her hands and surrenders to her sister’s plans for her future. She tries to tell Adam she doesn’t need his help but eventually accepts it. Clara is unhappy that Peter has been out of work for almost a year and their marriage is suffering because of it.

Ultimately, this book has one message for the reader: God is with us and our lives will go well if we put Him in control. “If God is in control of your life, you won’t be confused. You’ll know your place in this world,” Adam is told. And, at the end of the novel, the narrative reads, “In good times and bad, in struggle and joy, the Lord was present, and that presence made all the difference.”

Publisher: Thomas Nelson

Word Count: 320

Release Date: 02 August 2011

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I received my free copy of Treasuring Emma from Thomas Nelson in exchange for an honest review.

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