Book Review – The Storekeeper’s Daughter
My review of
The Storekeeper’s Daughter
by Wanda E. Brunstetter
I have mentioned before how much I enjoy stories that open my eyes up to a different culture, a simpler way of life.
The Amish still live in a time of simplicity where the primary mode of transportation is a horse pulled buggy and obedient and happy children run around shoeless when the weather is warm. It is a lifestyle that many ‘Englishers’ long to live; basic, quiet, peaceful, and simple.
Brunstetter captured this world so well in The Storekeeper’s Daughter. Reading this book put me right in the center of the Amish way of life. I think many of us have a romantic idea about living plain when, in reality, Amish folk have the same struggles we all do.
Naomi is the oldest daughter of a brood of 8. When tragedy strikes and Naomi is forced to take over the care of her family she finds herself frustrated and impossibly overloaded. Still, she presses on, selflessly giving what her family needs at the sacrifice of her growing up years, being courted, and starting a family of her own. As time goes by it wears on her and when a second, unimaginable blow rocks her family, it causes Naomi to question all she knows and make a decision that could change her life’s story forever.
Naomi’s family sticks together. Through their pain and dysfunctional grief their primary goal is to stay together. The youngsters obey their father at all costs, even when he is tired, angry, and irrational. Naomi is determined to make her life work even when it feels like everything is falling apart around her. When everything does fall apart, and she makes a rash decision that effects her family, it doesn’t take Naomi long to come to the realization of what is truly important in life. God is a center focus in this book. The character’s, in their turmoil, each turn to God for help, guidance, or just an ear.
Naomi, although desiring to do as her father wishes, sneaks out of her home to see a boy. Granted, they never leave her front yard and it is all very innocent. However, she has still overstepped her boundaries. This does not go without rebuke.
Naomi’s father is very strict. He is grieving a great loss and does not handle his children well while blinded by his pain. He has unreasonable expectations and, at times, is cruel to his oldest daughter. Saying that, he does repent and come to realize his error in the course of the story.
There is another con that really got to me as a mother. My daughter didn’t feel quite so strong about it. Even though this book is a series I was overcome with sadness at an unresolved issue in the story. I was actually frustrated when I finished the book. I won’t spoil it by going into detail but I wanted to warn about it none-the-less.
To Sum It Up:
I enjoyed this story. The Storekeeper’s Daughter was completely safe for my 13 year old daughter to read and she loved it just as much as I did. I was pleased that Brunstetter didn’t romanticize the plain lifestyle in an unrealistic way. Yes, the story did bring me a longing to live simpler, but it didn’t cause me to view the Amish world as the perfect place to live.
I recommend this book. The young, the old, and the in between romantics will all treasure this story.
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