While my latest book, A Faith of Her Own, is set in a familiar Amish settlement (Middlefield, OH) and features characters from previous books (Hide and Secret, The Secrets Beneath, Letters to Katie), this novel is a little different from my other stories. When I wrote the Young Adult book Hide and Secret, I always wondered what would happen to Anna Mae, Jeremiah, and Amos when they were adults. My series, A Middlefield Family, was already complete, but I hadn’t yet written about these three people. Anna Mae’s journey is a little more complex than the characters in the other stories. Thus, she deserved her own book.
One of my goals in writing Amish fiction is to portray the Amish as more similar to the non-Amish (or Yankees, as they’re known as in Middlefield) than different. As Christians we all struggle with the same issues: wondering about God’s will, trusting in the Lord at all times, knowing Christ as our Savior, to name a few. But I’ve never explored a character that was at a crossroads in the Amish faith but still maintained her faith in God. How would leaving the Amish affect her relationship with her family? How would her relationship with her childhood friend, Amos, survive? On top of everything else, when Jeremiah enters the picture and she develops feelings for him her life is further complicated, making her decisions harder than before.
Another family dynamic I wanted to explore was the relationships between Jeremiah, Amos, and their father, David. This is a family that was rocked by betrayal and abandonment when the brothers were young. In order to pursue his dream of becoming a veterinarian, Jeremiah had to leave his family behind. An adult with special-needs, Amos has his own struggles and doesn’t completely understand the strained relationship between his father and his brother. Their story needed a resolution, which is shown in A Faith of Her Own.
My hope is that readers will enjoy the journey these characters take as they are forced to make some very difficult decisions—including forgiving the people who have hurt them the most. Throughout the story Anna Mae and Jeremiah rely on their faith in the Lord, learning along the way that love and family are precious gifts from God.