May 19, 2011

The wings of an angel

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Debut author Ruth Reid puts a fresh spin on the growing genre of Amish fiction by adding an angel to the mix. In The Promise of an Angel, the first book in Reid’s new series, Judith Fischer’s five-year-old brother, Samuel, falls from the roof of their barn; then Judith sees a tall, glowing figure kneeling by the critically injured child.

Judith tries to convince her family that she has spoken with an angel and that her paralyzed brother will one day walk again, but everyone—including Levi Plank, the man she had hoped to marry—thinks she is talking dangerous nonsense. Meanwhile, her younger sister Martha is smitten with Levi and intends to have him for her own. She blames Judith for Samuel’s plight and does all she can to create more trouble for her sister. Soon the angel returns with more messages that test Judith’s faith, alienate her family and threaten her standing in the community. Only the bishop’s son, Andrew Lapp, will listen to Judith. As her faith grows, so do her feelings for Andrew. Will Judith continue to hold to the promise of the angel—even if it means losing all she knows and loves?

The Promise of an Angel takes us inside Judith’s Amish community as Reid writes engagingly about the issues closest to her characters’ hearts—God, family and community.

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