AUTHOR: Laura V. Hilton
PUBLISHER: Whitaker House
A participant in a swap of Amish men, independent yet kindhearted Matthew Yoder can't wait to leave the vast farmland of Lancaster County and make a fresh start in Missouri, where he'll move in with the Stoltzfus family until he finds a place of his own.
Strong–minded yet filled with compassion, Shanna Stoltzfus always dreamed of becoming a nurse, despite her father's threats to shun her. Determined to follow her heart, Shanna ran away and enrolled in college. But when her classmates embark on a medical mission trip that Shanna can't afford, she must turn to the last place she wants to go for help: home.
Even though Shanna still flirts with the people and practices of her Englisch life, Matthew is fascinated by the Stoltzfuses' prodigal daughter, and a close friendship soon blossoms between them. When the tension escalates between Shanna and her father to the point where his health is in jeopardy, Shanna is forced to face some tough issues, including the question of where her true home is.
Shanna is not your typical Amish heroine, and I applaud author Laura V. Hilton for featuring such a strong character in this story. Shanna ran away from home in order to fulfill her dream of a nursing degree. She has almost fully embraced the Englisch life, and that creates plenty of tension – especially in her relationship with her father.
Matthew cannot ignore Shanna’s beauty and her sometimes shocking ways, and I enjoyed watching their two-steps-forward-one-step-back relationship evolve. His self-control (most of the time!) is a perfect foil to her impulsiveness. Even though I knew they had to eventually overcome their obstacles, their journey toward love and redemption kept me turning the pages to the story’s sweet ending.
If you enjoy Amish fiction, or even if it’s a genre you haven’t tried, I recommend A Harvest of Hearts. This book earns five stars.
Disclaimer: I was given a copy of A Harvest of Hearts by the author in exchange for my honest opinion.