Thursday, June 3, 2010
A Man of His Word, by Kathleen Fuller, is the perfect combination of serenity and conflict, full of colorful descriptions that bring the peacefulness of the Amish world to life, all the while revealing characters full of dignity and courage.
Moriah Byler is a God-fearing, gentle-hearted woman who is committed in every way to her husband and the Order.
Just months after marrying Levi Miller, Moriah's world falls apart when, while working among the "English" (the Order's name for non-Amish), Levi falls in love with another woman and abandons Moriah and his faith just as Moriah is about to tell him that she is pregnant with their first child.
Having never imagined raising a child alone, Moriah turns to her husband's family for comfort, including her brother-in-law, Gabriel. According to Amish practice, divorce would not be allowed and she would be married to Levi for life, whether he returned to the Order or not.
Despite the shock of this unexpected circumstance, Moriah stays strong in her faith. She moves back into her parent's home and focuses on nurturing her baby and caring for her brothers and sisters, all the while trying to figure out how she fits among the Miller family.
Gabriel, who has harbored a secret love for Moriah since childhood, takes on a behind the scenes role of providing and protecting Moriah. Ashamed and conflicted about the feelings he has for Moriah, Gabriel continually prays for forgiveness and submits his love for Moriah to the Lord. All the while Moriah is completely unaware of Gabriel's growing emotional connection to her and to her baby.
Shortly after he leaves Moriah, Levi is killed in a auto accident. Again, Moriah turns to Gabriel, this time finding a love she would have never expected - a truly divine love.
What I Like: Moriah is a wonderful character, full of qualities that a teen girl can look up to and learn from. Gabriel, too, is a man of God that embodies characteristics that every mother would hope her daughter to find in a husband.
At the end of the story, the reader is able to clearly identify the "red-flags" in Moriah and Levi's courtship. I believe this could provide wisdom for a young girl who is just beginning to think about romantic relationships.
What I Dislike: At the beginning of the story, before Levi abandons Moriah, I found myself a little bit concerned that I might be getting into a full-blown, worldly romance novel, which would be of concern for me when thinking about my teenage daughter reading it. The author seemed to be justifying the inappropriate feelings Gabriel had for Moriah, although as the story continued, a heart committed to God and full of integrity was revealed in Gabriel.
Overall Rating: Excellent!
Age Appeal: 15-18
Publisher Info: Thomas Nelson, 2009; ISBN: 978-1-59554-812-2 ; Paperback $10.99
Buy it Now at Christianbook.com for $10.99