Strength in the Storm
Johns Mill Amish Romance #2
By Laurel Blount
Read by Stina Nielsen
Emma Hochstedler's life and world were destroyed when her parents were murdered. She has been living with her grief and guilt. Her younger sister was traumatized by the event and Emma's attempts to help have only hindered her sister's healing. But Emma needs to be useful and helping the Christner family with their aunt seems to be best for everyone involved.
For years, Emma has held a special place in Sam Christner's heart she's the only one he can see a future with even if Emma can't see it. With his sister needing time to heal from the loss of her husband, Sam agrees to have Emma nurse his Aunt Ruth. And as an added bonus he can see Emma more frequently when checking on Ruth.
As Emma appears to begin thinking of Sam as more than her childhood friend, Sam experiences hopes for the future. But once again tragedy befalls the small community of Johns Mill. As Emma, Sam and those closest to them try to sort out the latest life-changing events to impact them and their community they will have to learn to lean on the strength of one another to weather and survive the coming storm. Can healing come while staying strong just for the appearance or does it come when accepting help from those who offer it? Only time will tell (and reading the book).
The audio edition of this book is excellent. The narrator does a superb job in relating the story and giving voice to the various characters. I really appreciate the depths that each character reveals. I also like seeing how Sam adjusted to his circumstances allow other newfound strengths to surface when he most needed them.
I was provided a complimentary copy of this book with no expectations but that I provide my honest opinion. All thoughts expressed are my own.
Emma and Sam are childhood friends, but she has always had his heart. Sam has waited in the sidelines for her and tried to be her protector. When Emma offers to help take care of his aunt, will that change everything finally?\r\n\r\nThis book has some plot points that are key to what the characters learn throughout this book. I am going to avoid spoilers and instead talk about the lessons learned.\r\n\r\n-Service. This book focuses on doing our best for others even when we are not appreciated or acknowledged. Hard to live out!\r\n-Work. Does what we do matter? Are we more than our job?\r\n-Attitude. Do we have the right to be cranky if life does not go our way?\r\n-Family vs. community. Who should take responsibility when we cannot handle life on our own? Should it always be family? Or should our circles be bigger than that?\r\n\r\nI feel like the author does a good job of presenting the Amish faith while avoiding stereotypes that can happen in this genre. She remains consistent with the ideals. While scenes do not take place at church, their pious lifestyle is evident. I rarely read Amish fiction, but I am glad to read books by this author. This is book two in a series. I would recommend reading book one first. But the author does summarize the plot of book 1 enough that readers could probably follow along with one.
This is the first book I\'ve read by this author. I do wish I would\'ve read book one because the aftermath from that one spills over to book two so I would suggest not reading them out of order. That being said, the author gave just enough of the back story naturally in book two that I knew what got Emma to where we start in the story.\r\n\r\nI really like Emma. That poor girl had been dealt a rough hand. I have to admit, that I struggled a bit with her sister-in-law (although she has a very small part in this story). Something just rubbed me wrong and I\'m guessing if I\'d read book one I would probably like her more. lol\r\n\r\nSpeaking of being rubbed wrong, when Emma goes to live with Ruth... holy smokes, I don\'t know when I\'ve read a more rude character. I\'m surprised the bishop hadn\'t taken her to task years ago. If anyone every needed to apologize publicly to their community, it would be Ruth. How anyone could abide being near her for more than a half minute is beyond me. And she has a big part in this story!\r\n\r\nThen there was Samuel. I really enjoyed him. I don\'t actually know any Amish men personally, but he seemed like he\'d be one of the typical guys - always looking out for his family and loved ones, happy with physical labor, and trying his best to be a good example & leader.\r\n\r\nI enjoyed the flow of the story and the tension with the pushy movie guy, the murderer who hasn\'t been captured, and an accident. This audiobook was one I didn\'t want to turn off!\r\n\r\nThere is a scene at the end that seemed to tie up a bit too tidy for me and a bit unrealistic so I\'m hoping if there\'s a book three that maybe that will be answered. I also want to know what happens with the movie - does it get made? If so, what are the repercussions on this Amish community?\r\n\r\nAs for the narrator, I think she did a terrific job. I would definitely listen to more of her stories.
4.5 Stars\r\n\r\nA simple life does not equal a life without trials. And this is shown with aching clarity in Lauren Blount’s Strength in the Storm. This is the second book in the Johns Mill Amish Romance series, and while this book stands well on its own, to truly get the full picture, you definitely want to read book one.\r\n\r\nEmma is blessed with beauty, but she carries a lot of pain, scars, and even some open wounds inside her. Blount excels at making the reader sympathize with Emma and her internal struggles while also showing her servants heart as she cares for a woman with strong opinions, not a kind one in sight for Emma.\r\n\r\nAnd then there’s Samuel, a big, strong man who is a teddy bear when it comes to Emma. When his world is turned upside down, he struggles with what his new identity will be.\r\n\r\nI was invested in Emma and Samuel’s story as Stina Nielson, the narrator brought them to life. I was rooting for them and I’m rooting for Mariam and Caleb too (because they better get their own stories).