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Book Review- A Hopeful Heart by Amy Clipston
From the cover of the book you can see Hannah, the main character. From looking at this cover alone, you can sense loneliness in this woman. Something is missing in her life, but what? You don't know it until you begin reading the book that she's standing next to a hotel, the one that she works at to make extra money to support her family. The hotel is significant because it is her job there that causes her to make an important decision in her life, one that could affect everyone that she loves.
I rated A Hopeful Heart 4 stars:
- Clipston made Hannah, the main character, a strong one, though it did take too much time for her to come to that conclusion. It did get annoying having to read that Hannah went back and forth, constantly questioning herself if she should stay Amish or leave the community. Yes, it was an inner debate going on in her head, but it could've been written better...and possibly not in every single chapter.
- The plot was too rushed. Hannah is a widow, works in a hotel, meets an Englisher, falls in love, and he proposes. This all happens in the matter of a few months, if that long. While I'm glad Hannah found love from a man not in the Amish community, I feel it would've been better if we saw that love develop more slowly throughout the course of the book. Not a few chapters in.
- The characters Lillian, Barbie, and Josh were absolutely the worse!!! Clipston made the three of them very unlikable. As in I didn't find any reason to like them at all, not even one! Lillian was nasty to her mother, Hannah, which I didn't think it was right. Lillian is only 16, what right does she have to even say such nasty things to her mother? Barbie, Hannah's mother-in-law never liked her and she never let up. For no reason at all, she claimed Hannah to be a bad role model for her children all because she was friends with Trey, a non-Amish guy. And Josh was so desperate for Hannah to be his bride, it was sickening. Hannah didn't love him like that...get over it! I wish there was something more to each of these characters that would make the reader like them, but I couldn't find any.
- Hannah for the first time put herself first and did the one thing she felt was right in her family. It was painful to read how Lillian, Barbie, and Josh couldn't accept that decision. They claimed her as being selfish, meanwhile they were the ones who were selfish by wanting to force Hannah to be in a life she wanted to break away from.
I honestly think there were a lot of ways Clipston could've made this story much better to the reader.
Hannah's Crossroads In Life
Hannah was born and raised in an Amish Community and its the only life she had known. She works in a hotel to raise extra money to have hired help at the farm she owns with her brother-in-law, Josh. While at work, she meets Trey, an Englisher and there is an instant attraction. Hannah never imagined herself to fall in love with a man who isn't Amish. But is she willing to give up a life she has known for a new life with a new man?
Hannah lost her husband suddenly and Trey lost his wife and daughter in a tragic accident at home. The grief they both felt for loved ones is what brings them together. They feel a sense of security and hope when they are together. They are the only two who knows how the other ones feels about their loss. A friendship strikes up between the two and is heavily frowned upon by others in the Amish Community. Is it worth losing a friend and someone who understands you over the rules of your community?