ABOUT HEART IN HAND
It felt like dawn would never come.
When Anna first realized that it was going to be one of those nights . . . one of those awful nights that felt like it would never end, she reached for the book she’d been reading and read for a while with the help of the battery lamp on the bedside table.
Reading didn’t help. Knitting didn’t, either, and knitting always relaxed her. Reaching for her robe, Anna pushed her feet into her slippers and padded downstairs to the kitchen. There was no need for a light for she knew her way from all the dozens—no, hundreds—of nights she’d gone downstairs in the dark.
Even before the first time she stepped inside this house, she knew it like the back of her hand. She and Samuel had drawn the plans, spent hours talking about how he and his brothers were going to build it. As soon as the house was finished, he’d started crafting furniture for it. The final piece he’d made was a cradle for the baby he hoped they’d have soon.
His sudden illness stopped him in his tracks. Leukemia, said the doctor. One day it seemed he was an agile monkey climbing up the frame of a barn he and other men were raising—just a few days later he could barely get out of bed and she’d joked he’d turned into an old man. She’d insisted that he see a doctor and reluctantly he’d done so.
Six months later, he was gone and she’d shut the door to the room with the tiny crib. She buried her dreams the day she buried Samuel.
She filled the teakettle and set it on the stove to heat. How many cups of tea had she drunk in the middle of the night? She wondered as she reached for a cup and the box of chamomile tea bags.
Before Samuel had died, she’d heard about the seven stages of grief. She’d been naïve. You didn’t go through them one by one in order. Sometimes you walked—faltered—through them in no certain order. Sometimes they ganged up on you when you least expected them.
And sometimes—it felt like too many times—no one seemed to understand.
She couldn’t blame them. The only way she got through the first month, the first year, was to put on a brave face and pretend she was getting through it. There was no way she could get through it otherwise—she’d shatter into a thousand pieces that no one would be able to put back together again.
Humpty Dumpty, she thought wryly. Then she frowned, wishing that she hadn’t thought of the childhood story. A closed door didn’t keep out the memory of the tiny crib that lay behind it.
The teakettle’s piercing whistle broke into her musing, its sound so sharp and shrill that she put her hands over her ears to block it while she got up to take it off the flame. She poured the hot water over the tea bag, took the mug back to the kitchen table and sat there, dipping the bag in and out of the water.
Finally, she pulled the bag out and set it on the saucer. Sighing, she massaged her scalp and wondered if she should take an aspirin to stop the pain. Then she flicked her hair behind her shoulders and hunched over the cup. In a minute, she’d get up and get the aspirin. Her mind might be awake, but her body felt tired and full of lead.
As she trudged back up the stairs a few minutes later, she heard something—it sounded like a laugh, a high, excited one that went rushing past her up the stairs. She watched, tired, leaning against the wall as she saw herself—lifting the hem of her nightgown so she wouldn’t trip—Samuel reaching for her as she flew up the stairs to their room.
She blinked, not sure if she was dreaming or seeing a ghost of the two of them, so young and in love, so unaware that anything bad could touch them.
ABOUT BARBARA CAMERON
Reader review . . .
Anna has been alone for the last couple of years since her young husband passed away. Although she is lonely, she cannot imagine sharing her life with someone else. That is, until Gideon Beiler and his young daughter find their way into her heart. But Anna remembers the pain of losing someone she loved, and is afraid to take that chance again.
While this is, admittedly, a predictable Amish romance, for the most part the pace of the storyline moves along at a steady pace and keeps the reader involved. I question whether the dialogue is realistic (are the Amish that familiar with the Smurfs?), but the characters of Anna and Gideon are sympathetic enough to override that. Little Sarah Rose’s need for a mother tugs at the heartstrings and will probably appeal to most female readers. Because this is the third installment in the Stitches in Time series, anyone who has read the previous novels will enjoy seeing the further development of Leah, Naomi, and Mary Katherine.
Overall, a very enjoyable reading experience for fans of the Amish fiction genre.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the Pump Up Your Book book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”