Last year a friend of mine gave me a copy of The Sound of Distant Thunder, the first book in this series. I really enjoyed it and wanted to continue with this series. When the audiobooks of the next two in the series were made available to me, I jumped at the chance to continue with this series and am glad that I did. This series is set in Ohio during and just after the Civil War. Amish people are pacifists and do not believe in war, but when they are conscripted/drafted they have to find a way to reconcile their religion with this legal responsibility. You do not necessarily need to read this series in order, but for complete enjoyment and no spoilers, I do recommend it.
The Roll of the Drums (Amish of Weaver’s Creek #2) by Jan Drexler, Amy Melissa Bentley (Narrator)
Published October 1st 2019 by Fleming H. Revell Company, January 26, 2021 by Tantor Audio
The Roll of the Drums is Ruby Weaver’s Story. Ruby is single at the age of twenty-eight, a rarity in the Amish community. Ruby is living with her friend Elizabeth, whose husband if off fighting with the Confederate troops. She is helping out her parents as well with her brother off with the Union troops in the Civil War. A family show up escaping their home where battles have raged. Gabriel, his sick wife Lovinia and two children are taken in by the Weavers. Unfortunately Lovinia does not survive and makes Ruby promise to marry Gideon and become a mother to her children. Gideon makes the same promise to his wife, but both are determined to raise the children with no romantic entangles or marriage. The Lord works in mysterious ways.
I very much enjoyed this story that combines the Amish way of life with historical fiction and romance. The story was interesting and drew me in from the start. The Amish life is not easy, but their love, honesty and generosity still shines through. I love the faith in this story. It is embedded throughout, but there is always that one character that doesn’t seem to take all the Amish beliefs to heart and action. I loved the characters in this story and my heart went out to the young children who are dealing with life without their mother. Listening to Gideon and Ruby try to do what is best for the children without getting married was entertaining. The perception to the community is always a consideration in an Amish Community, so that struggle is real as well. This is a romance, so you know how it will end, but the journey was a struggle and very interesting. Living in Ohio, does not keep the residents safe and away from the war. The title of this book was perfect. There is often references to hearing the drums as they march and fight. The audiobook was very well narrated by Amy Melissa Bentley. I have listened to many books performed by this talented voice actress and enjoy her versatility. She has an easy to listen to voice and adds expression, tone and inflection to make my listening experience enjoyable. If you enjoy Amish fiction, I recommend you pick this one up.
Softly Blows the Bugle (Amish of Weaver’s Creek #3) by Jan Drexler, Amy Melissa Bentley (Narrator)
Published October 20th 2020 by Fleming H. Revell Company, March 16, 2021 by Tantor Audio
5 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Softly Blows the Bugle, #3 in The Amish of Weaver’s Creek series was the best one as far as I am concerned. In this story, Elizabeth Kaufman is notified that her husband Rueben is dead. She is also in for another surprise when she finds out that he had married again and had a child, all while still married to her. She moves back home and becomes baptized. She is as happy as she thinks she deserves and is fine with not having a family. She loves her friend Ruby and Ruby’s children become her surrogate family. The Civil War is almost over and Elizabeth’s brother has finally been sent home after several years working with the Union Army, most of them in the role of a medic. Aaron Zook, a confederate soldier, comes home with her brother, but he was injured and had lost one leg below the knee. Aaron’s family was Amish, but his grandfather had left his community years before, so Aaron is not part of an Amish community, but was raised in a Christian home. Aaron is attracted to Elizabeth, but she will have nothing to do with a man who is not baptized into the Amish faith. Another man, a newcomer, is showing interest in Elizabeth, but he has secrets. Will Elizabeth sort out what she wants before it is too late.
I liked this story. It is an Amish, Historical Fiction, Romance story, but it also has a mystery. I really liked Aaron, a broken, wounded hero, feeling lost and without hope. As he gets to know the Amish community and how their faith is such an integral part of their life, he begins to hear. I have liked Elizabeth since meeting her in the first book in this series, but in this book, I got frustrated with her. She always seemed like a strong woman, but in this book she seemed naive and at times timid and immature. The way she believed Solomon when others were trying to show her he was being untruthful, made me want to shake her. She is too good and generous at times. I know she didn’t think she would have a chance to marry again, so seemed to jump at the opportunity instead of thinking things through. This book had some twists and unexpected situations which had me dropping everything to see how this would end. There are some scenes of physical abuse which might be a trigger to some readers, but they are not graphic. The ending was tense and well written. I really enjoyed listening to this one and recommend this series to those who enjoy Amish Fiction. Once again Amy Melissa Bentley does a wonderful job with the narration of this story. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book upon request. The rating and opinions shared are my own.