Publication Date: 04/24/2018
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Genre: Amish Romance
(Received for an honest review from Forever via Netgalley)
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, IndieBound, itunes
Rachel J. Good on the WEB: Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads
Excerpt from The Amish Teacher's Gift, courtesy of
A Teacher's Love
Widower Josiah Yoder wants to be a good father. But it's not easy with a deaf young son who doesn't understand why his mamm isn't coming home. At a loss, Josiah enrolls Nathan in a special-needs school and is relieved to see his son immediately comforted by his new teacher, a woman whose sweet charm and gentle smile just might be the balm they both need.
With seven siblings to care for, Ada Rupp wasn't sure she wanted to take on teaching, too. But the moment she holds Nathan in her arms, she realizes she'll do all she can to help this lost little boy. Plus, it gives her a chance to spend more time with Josiah. Falling for a man in mourning may be against the rules, but his quiet strength is the support Ada never knew she needed. And, together, they could have the loving family she'd always hoped for.
The Amish Teacher's Gift is the first book in a new series, from writer, Rachel J. Good. Readers of Amish fiction will love the atmosphere and setting of this novel. Good captures the Amish way of life in a different light with this one and is able to draw the reader in from the beginning. Josiah is recently widowed with a special needs child and Ada is young woman caring for a large family on her own. Good's character development and knowledge of Amish customs and practices shine here.
What I liked:
The romance that develops between main characters Ada and Josiah is sweet and loving. Unfortunately, the circumstances of life seem to have a way of keeping them apart. As with most Amish romances, this is a very clean book without a lot of frills and elaborate plot devices. Good is able to keep the readers interest by providing them with characters that are have depth and substance. She does an excellent job of showing the readers emotions and love for each other without overcomplicating or dramatising their attraction.
The special needs aspect of this book is what really sets it apart from other books in this subgenre. With Amish books you generally get a lot predictability. They tend to follow a certain pattern and sometimes that's not a bad thing, but it's an expected thing. Good however, changes things up by giving readers a special needs character that is very central to the plot. Nathan, Josiah's son is deaf and he has lost his mother. For some reason he is having a difficult time communicating and there is an element of fear in Nathan's reaction to his father. When Josiah enrolls Nathan in the new special needs school, Nathan begins to turn a corner and I thought that Good did an amazing job of showing what special needs students need in order to be successful.
I loved the relationship that develops between Ada and Josiah but I really felt that the addition of Nathan's disability added depth and sincerity to the story. Ada was a strong young woman. Dealing with seven siblings and teaching is a feat in itself, but the way she dealt with the challenges of her students with patience and love was just a joy to read to read about. Good makes Nathan's character as important as the love story and that was unexpected.
What I didn't like:
There was only one little thing that niggled at me about this book. There is not a lot of dialogue or story that explains Nathan's resistance to his father or the reason behind their failure to communicate with each other. I don't know a lot about Amish communities but it seems to me that Josiah should have been able to learn ASL or some other way to interact with his son. I just felt there was not enough back story for the reader to understand both Nathan's vehemence and fear of Josiah who essentially seems like a good father.
I enjoyed this one a lot. I'm a fan of good Amish fiction and this one had a unique quality about it that made it stand out from the pack. The special needs aspect of the story was very well written and the character development was good. I liked the romance between Ada and Josiah, but really enjoyed Nathan and the qualities this character added to the story. A good clean enjoyable read.
The Amish Teacher's Gift is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.
I'm giving this one 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag
About the Author: