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A light read about the warmth of friendship.
From the back cover:
When she moves to Amish country to find peace and healing, Madeleine finds a special community—and a special man—who pull her out of her solitude into a new life.
Moving to Pennsylvania wasn’t in Madeleine’s original plans. She should still be in California and should have married her pilot fiancé a year ago—but death has a way of changing everything. Now the former Air Force flight nurse is living alone in Paradise, Pennsylvania, and working as a maid at the Lancaster Grand Hotel. She isn’t exactly a widow . . . but she sure feels like one.
Saul Beiler isn’t exactly a widower . . . but his wife is long gone. His six-year-old daughter, Emma, doesn’t know that her mother fled the Amish community—and married another man—but she does know that her dat is lonely, and that a pretty young maedel just moved in next door. Madeleine’s numb heart begins to thaw as she spends more time with the innocent and ever optimistic Emma. The stronger her friendship grows with the young girl, the more intrigued Madeline grows about the humble, strong, man raising her on his own.
But even as a strange attraction pulls Saul and Madeleine across a stark cultural divide, they—and everybody else—have to wonder: What could they possibly have in common besides heartache? Will love allow Madeleine to finally find the home she’s been dreaming of all along?
Madeleine returns to her grandparents’ home, a source of warm and peaceful memories, to heal her hurting heart. She makes friends with her Amish neighbors and coworkers, which actually comes easily for her as her grandparents were Amish, so she learned their language and customs during the summers she spent with her grandparents.
Her neighbor, Saul, is a bit wary of this Englisher and her influence on his impressionable young daughter. He is afraid of losing his daughter to the outside world. He tries to limit their time with Madeleine, but they are both drawn to the caring woman next door.
A Dream of Home is a cute story of friendship and acceptance. I particularly enjoyed Emma, Saul’s daughter. After losing her mother at a young age, she was seeking the friendship and guidance of an older woman — someone who could teach her to cook and tend a garden. I could feel her struggle with wanting the friendship Madeleine offered her and yet respecting her father’s instruction to stay away. How hard that would have been!
With a fairly simple story line, I did not feel that A Dream of Home challenged my thinking or faith along the way, but it was an entertaining novel for a time when you want something light and easy to read.
This is the third book in the Hearts of the Lancaster Grand Hotel series. I have not yet read the first two books in the series, and there were a few places where I had trouble keeping the various secondary characters straight. The first two books do indeed tell the story of those characters, so I feel the series would be best read in order. It’s not impossible to follow the story without the other two, but it would likely be a bit less confusing.
(I received a complimentary copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review. The thoughts expressed here are entirely my own.)