This book was some fine Amish fiction with a twist I didn't anticipate. Kathleen Fuller has a special way of spinning a story that engages the reader and doesn't let go until the engagement is fulfilled.
Anna Mae, Jeremiah, and Amos are best friends and do everything together until Jeremiah leaves Middlefield, OH, to go to veterinarian school. Anna Mae has had questions about the Amish church and where God is leading her, but it really comes to a head when Jeremiah comes back to town to help out the aging Doc Miller. Her mother especially wants her to find a good Amish boy to marry and to join the church, but Anna Mae can't bring herself to do so. After helping Jeremiah all night with his cousin's horses that are suddenly ill, Anna Mae comes home to find her mother fit to be tied. The tension comes to a head while Anna Mae's father is gone on a fishing trip and Anna Mae's mother kicks her out of the house. Jeremiah's father's next-door-neighbor, Judith, takes Anna Mae in until she is able to take her GED test.
In a side-plot, Jeremiah's cousin, Caleb, falls in love with his other cousin's sister-in-law, Bekah, a woman who drives him to the very edge of insanity. It is a sweet addition to the book and does not detract from the primary plot at all.
Kathleen provides characters who deal with real struggles and settings that are easy to imagine. Amos is one of the most endearing characters with a real gift for art--something that is frowned on in Amish circles, but something that gives a young, developmentally delayed man great joy. I've not read any Amish fiction where someone leaves the community because of a crisis of faith. As Anna Mae makes her decisions, the reader will feel all the conflict that she endures. This book cannot come more highly recommended. Five Stars, Two Thumbs Up, and a healthy horse to ride.