Tuesday, May 12, 2015

The Decision: Praire State Friends (Book One) by Wanda E. Brunstetter

The Decision: Prairie State Friends (Book One).  Wanda E. Brunstetter. Barbour Publishing Incorporated. March 2015. 320 pp.  ISBN#: 9781616260880.

Jonah Miller and Elaine Shrock are in love; and while no verbal proposal has been made, each understands they will wed in the future. At least that’s the way it was planned in their minds until Elaine’s grandfather passed away after making Elaine promise she would take care of her grandmother in the future.  Elaine takes that promise very, very seriously even while she is doing her own mourning for this Amish family man whom she adored, a real father to her in her orphan status after losing her own parents. 

The tension begins when first Elaine’s grandmother insists on being independent, even though it is clear after a while that something is physically and mentally wrong with her.  Jonah is trying as best he can, while he is running his own business and working very hard, to offer help to the Shrock family.  But even though these characters are Amish and living in an atmosphere of mutual support and care based on Biblical principles, stubbornness and denial begin to rule the day. 

This then covers the remainder of the story, with small problems growing rapidly into large ones, when decisions are made that cannot be taken back, and when one realizes that costs are higher when caring for a loved one in need.  How does one live through such a tempestuous time without becoming bitter and angry? In addition, the imminent and constantly stressful moments from dealing with a loved one with dementia are so very important, more important than the Amish community that directs the daily lives of every community member.  This is a growing universal problem that Wanda Brunstetter addresses and depicts with graceful but gritty style. 

There is a lovely, calm tone throughout this novel that actually communicates peace to the reader.  This is because these people live by the spirit of the laws they obey and their worship which they share.  

In a world that is more and more chaotic, The Decision is a lovey way to step aside and relish how faith endures and bolsters the ups and downs of every man and woman’s live.  Lovely contemporary and inspirational fiction!

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