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A Shining Light

Judith Miller
A Shining Light
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The kind people of Amana have been her guiding light, but her greatest trial is yet to come... West Amana, Iowa, 1890 After Andrea Wilson receives the devastating news that her husband has been lost at sea, she returns home to Iowa with her young son, Lukas. But what she fin... Read More

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The kind people of Amana have been her guiding light, but her greatest trial is yet to come...
West Amana, Iowa, 1890
After Andrea Wilson receives the devastating news that her husband has been lost at sea, she returns home to Iowa with her young son, Lukas. But what she finds there causes more heartache: The family farm has burned and her father has died, leaving Andrea with nothing.
Andrea must rely on the kindness of the people from the nearby Amana village who invite her to stay with them for a time. She discovers much generosity and contentment among the Amanans--especially from the tinsmith, Dirk Knefler, who takes her son under his wing. But is the simple, cloistered life in Amana what Andrea wants for Lukas's future? Is she willing to give up the comforts and freedom of the outside world? And when yet another round of shocking news comes her way, will Andrea ever be able to find the serenity and hope that have eluded her for so long?
  • Product type: Book
  • Format: Softcover
  • Release Date: Feb 5, 2014
  • UPC: 9780764210020
  • Height: 0
  • Width: 0
  • Length: 0
  • Volumes/Discs: 1
  • Pages: 345
  • Publish Date: Mar 4, 2014
  • Language: English
  • Audience Age Maximum: 0
  • Audience Age Minimum: 0
  • BISAC: "FIC042030"
  • ISBN: 0764210025

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Home to Amana by PennyMindingMom on 9/16/2014

Join Judith Miller as she takes us back in time to the Amana colonies. The story begins in the year 1890 in Baltimore Maryland where Andrea Wilson receives the life changing news that her husband has been lost at sea. Andrea makes the decision to return home to Iowa with her young son where she learns that the family farm has burned down and her father has died, leaving her with without a home or money.

The people in the nearby Amana village learn of her plight they invite her and her son Lukas to stay with them for a time until she can find a way to move elsewhere. Andrea begins to love the simple life and finds herself be drawn to the village tin-smith Dirk Knefler, who has taken her son under his wing.

Andrea must of the make the decision on whether or not to give up the comforts and freedoms of the outside world to stay in the village. When Andreas new life is turned upside down by some shocking news, what will she do?

Ms. Miller immerses us into the Amana colonies using vivid descriptions and strong characters. Life is the Amana colonies is vastly different from anything I’ve ever experienced yet, Ms. Miller has a way of making us feel like we are there.

The story is full of suspense, love and lessons of Gods love. We learn how each person has their own personal journey in trusting God and how to trust Him and His plan for our lives.

Wonderful Story by Deanna on 4/27/2014

A Shining Light by Judith Miller takes place in West Amana, Iowa, and is a most enjoyable story. Andrea Wilson and her young son Lukas leave Baltimore to return to her father’s farm in Iowa after she receives news that her husband has been lost at sea. Unfortunately, Andrea’s father has sold the farm and then died when the house burned and he was trapped inside. The generous people of the Amana community invite Andrea and Lukas to live with them for a while. Andrea finds that she really likes the way of life in the community and dreads the day when she and Lukas will be asked to leave. Dirk Knefler, the tinsmith, is attracted to Andrea and he forms a very strong friendship with Lukas who is in desperate need of a father figure in his life. Andrea and Lukas are happy in the simple life when another problem rears its ugly head.

All the characters in the story were extremely well developed with most of them being very loveable but one was impossible to love. I liked the way the author had the story told from the perspective and in the voice of the main characters with the name of the character at the beginning of a chapter. Although I loved the entire cast of characters, well except for one, my favorite was Lukas for he was such an adorable little boy with a heart full of love. There were several surprises in the plot but they only made the story more interesting. I appreciate how the author had God as a very important part of the story and how God working through Dirk, helped Andrea find peace and have her faith restored. I thoroughly enjoyed learning about the workings of the Amana community.

I definitely recommend this book to anyone that loves a great story with a happy ending.

Bethany House provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Reliance on God to supply one's needs by Vera on 4/15/2014

When presented with the opportunity to review A Shining Light I agreed to do so primarily because I have never read a historical novel based on the Amana Colony in the 1890s. Knowing that Judith Miller researches well when she writes, I looked forward to this romp in historical fiction amongst the Amana colonists. Since I knew virtually nothing about the Amana Colony, I did a bit of my own internet research prior to beginning my read. So as the story unfolded, it came to life for me. (Overview on Wikipedia of Amana Colonies)

Our heroine and her son, Andrea and Lukas, have come upon really hard times after the death at sea of her rough, unloving husband. So she seeks out her father and his farm which just happens to be adjacent to the Amana holdings. Upon arrival she sees the homestead has burned down and learns that her father is dead. Prior to this unhappy occurrence, her father had sold the farm to the Amana Colony with right to dwell there until his death. So Andrea now has absolutely nothing.

Faced with untold sorrow and misfortune, Andrea and Lukas are taken in by the folks in the Colony until they can reach a decision about their direction in life. Andrea is not completely ignorant of the beliefs and customs of the Amana Colony, so she and Lukas seem to adjust and fit right into daily life.

I found that as the story proceeded the beliefs and customs of the Amana folks seem to be a mixture between Amish and Quaker. While they have families that dwell together as the Amish do, they work in community kitchens and on community farms. The flour mill is owned by the Colony. It seems no one works for pay. They simply live, work, eat, and sleep there and all do their part to make the community work. One has to be voted in by the leadership group similar to becoming Amish. But there are differences.

The story's resolution surprised me but I was not disappointed. It is a sweet story of reliance on God to supply one’s needs and the support that a community of faith can give to a believer in sweet communion with the community.

DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy of A Shining Light from Bethany House a division of Baker Publishing Group in exchange for my honest review. Opinions expressed are solely my own and I received no compensation for this review.

Pure and Sweet! by KellyS on 4/13/2014

In the vast bookshelves filled with romance novels, this one is just as refreshing as a walk in the sunshine! From the front cover to the end, I could not put this book down. Judith Miller is an extraordinary writer. Her writing style is expressive and her character descriptions are so vivid

you feel as if you are in the story right there with them.

Andrea Wilson's life has not been easy. Leaving the safety of her father's farm,

she marries Fred and has her son, Lukas, who are the main characters of this book. They live a life of turmoil and abuse and Andrea doesn't know much happiness or security.

When a knock on the door from Mr. Shaw, her husband's employer, tells her he has died at sea,

she has no choice but to return home to her father's farm and start over.

Sadly, she makes the journey with her son only to find out that he has passed away

and the farm burned to the ground.

She finds refuge in the Amanan community and quickly finds her place working

alongside the women and cooking and helping until she can get back on her feet.

What she doesn't expect is to fall in love along the way.

The relationship with Dirk, an Amanan tinmaker in the community,

is so very sweet and tender and melts the heart to know that such goodness exists.

He loves her son as if he were his own and takes him under his wing.

Shockingly, Fred returns to find her and demand that she not only return with him to live but also give him all the monies from the sale of the farm.

This book has a wonderful plot, twists and turns.

While the book does prove to be predictable through-out,

the message of faith and love and purity is one that will melt your heart

and leave you with a smile.

I received a copy of this book for review from Bethany House and the opinions expressed are an honest review.

Living In A Communal Society by Maureen on 4/7/2014

When I saw that Judith Miller had a new book, and again about the Amana Community, I knew I had to read it. So when the opportunity was offered to review this book, a hearty yes! I was not disappointing, only that it eventually ended, makes me want to live there, if it still existed!
As always we get to see the hard workers and yet the peace and rewards of communal living, and although it ended with the changes of society, it looks like one big family, with everyone caring for one another.
This is the story rather typical of a young girl who has her teenage disagreements with her parents and was easily swept off her feet. She marries against the approval of her folks, and embarks off to Baltimore from Iowa. She soon finds out that her husband is not what he appeared to be. Amanda Wilson is being abused by her husband and so is their young son Lukas.
We see evil at its finest and we find the righteous turning the other cheek and helping and praying for Fred Wilson. Oh how I loved the love of God these people showed in all that they did. There is also a love story, that although it cannot continue, you feel the warmth of it.
The story is a really quick page turning read, and I enjoyed it all, and right to the end. You never see what is about to happen, and probably a good thing. Thank you Ms Miller for sharing your gifts!

I received this book from the Publisher Bethany House, and was not required to give a positive review.

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