by Sarah Price
Series: An Amish Fairytale #3
Also in this series: Ella: An Amish Retelling of Cinderella
Publication Date: September 25, 2018
I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.My rating:
Sarah Price delivers a delightful retelling of a beloved classic, featuring a young Amish woman who turns to faith as her guide even in the darkest times . . .
Sadie Whitaker is determined to be a good daughter, but her stepmother, Rachel, has made no secret of her overwhelming jealousy--or her desire to get Sadie out of her life. Rachel's latest plot involves marrying Sadie off to a widower in need of a mother for his unruly children--and she has convinced Sadie's beloved father to agree.
Left with no choice, Sadie flees her small Amish hometown of Echo Creek. Planning to hide in a nearby forest, she stumbles across a house that belongs to the seven Glick brothers. All outcasts from the Old Order community of Echo Creek, they generously agree to let her stay--and for the first time in ages, Sadie feels safe and needed, keeping house for them as any good Amish woman would do. Until, that is, the Glicks' handsome cousin comes to visit. For though he awakens her heart's desire, she can't risk revealing her true identity, until love and faith give her the courage to take a chance on happiness . . .
This is the third in Ms. Price’s Amish fairy tales series, though each can be read as a standalone. I was curious how she was going to handle this while keeping within the Amish constraints, but each of the pieces – the evil stepmother, the huntsman, the dashing prince, and the seven dwarves – were all there, and worked pretty well. I also thought the cover was a nice homage to Snow White!
Sadie’s mother died when she was a teen, and now, several years later, her father has remarried. At first, her stepmother Rachel seems like she wants to be more of a friend than mother, but as the years pass without any new additions to the family, she begins to resent Sadie’s youth and beauty. Sadie does her best to still be a dutiful daughter, even when Rachel starts limiting her time with friends in lieu of helping a rude and slovenly widower with his children. Most of the book is spent in the buildup of her relationships with her family and her beau, and it’s only near the end that she flees into the woods and ends up with the seven brothers. On the whole, though, I was delighted with how Ms. Price retold this in an Amish setting, in a quite cozy way. Yes, you still get the unfairness of how Sadie is treated, but Sadie is very adult – and Biblical – in how she handles it.
Being an Amish romance, it is, of course, heavily Christian. Sadie has a special affinity for nature (and wild animals), and I spent quite a bit of time throughout the book humming “As the Deer” and “This is Our Father’s World” to myself. While I disagree with much of the Amish doctrine, there’s not much in particular I think a mainstream Christian reader would have problems with. It’s pretty much exactly what you’d expect from an Amish romance – honor your parents, don’t gossip, true beauty comes from within, hard work honors God, etc. My main issue is, honestly, a minor one – after the stepmother is shunned and repents, she’s finally able to get pregnant. That frankly reeks of the whole harmful “illness is caused by sin” nonsense. As you’d also expect, there’s very little sexual content – just holding hands and a kiss on the forehead.
From Sadie’s friends, it looks like we’ll also be getting a Sleeping Beauty and a Red Riding Hood retelling, and I’m quite looking forward to both of those! If you’re a fan of Amish romance and fairy tale retellings, you can’t go wrong with this series!