About the Book
Rachel Fisher is devastated when the young man she’s loved for years leaves her to date her best friend. Her heart is broken, and she has all but given up on love. Rachel is determined to keep her mind off the pain, and she starts teaching at an Amish school for children with learning disabilities.
Since his father became ill, Mike Lantz has been overwhelmed with the responsibility of providing for his family and caring for his six year old brother, John. When John joins Rachel’s class and she learns that his mother is deceased and his father sick, she desperately wants to help the family, even with something as simple as a meal.
With her parents’ old picnic basket, Rachel begins sending food to the Lantz family. As the weeks go by, John’s grades start to improve, and the attraction grows between Rachel and Mike. They can’t deny that their friendship is growing toward something more, but both of them are hesitant to risk a more serious relationship.
The last thing Rachel wants is another heartbreak, and Mike is worried about providing for his loved ones. Will the two be able to reconcile their past hurts with new hope for the future?
When I received my copy of The Courtship Basket I could not wait to dive into it. I have enjoyed reading Amy’s books for years, and my favorite to date was the first book in the Amish Heirloom Series, The Forgotten Recipe. I had high expectations for this book and it did not disappoint. I felt the storyline moved at just the right pace, not too quickly like some Amish love stories do. When that happens I feel as if it is not realistic and does not give the characters enough time to truly get to know one another. I will admit that I did find myself wanting to flip to the back of the book just so I could see if it had the ending I was hoping for, but alas, I was a good reader and waited until I read the book in its entirety.
This book provided two main point of views in the form of Rachel and Mike. I enjoy reading a friendship/love story this way so that I did not have to imagine what the other character is thinking and feeling – the author tells me! Amy does a wonderful job of presenting each character traits, as well as the emotions they have during the story. They do not feel fake or even forced. The emotions are shown in a realistic way that draws me in. When Rachel was feeling nervous and awkward, I wanted to dive into the story and reassure her it would be okay. The times that Mike was acting like a stubborn fool, I just wanted to give him a good smack!
The part the grabbed my attention the most was the storyline involving Mike’s father who had kidney disease. I know that Amy’s husband suffered from kidney disease, and can imagine it must have been difficult for her to write. Although Mike’s father did not undergo a transplant, it made me think of when my husband was sick and was in need of a liver transplant. The memories flooded to my mind and made me connect to this story in an intimate and personal way.
Watching Rachel’s relationship with student John really melted my heart. It was such an easy growth between the two of them, and I think that John really looked at her as more than a teacher right from the beginning. His trust in her throughout the book spoke to my heart, and I know he tried so hard for his older brother Mike to see how wonderful Rachel was as well. I feel it was her motherly instincts towards John that prompted her to start helping this family. I was so glad they did!
This book is a natural must read for Amish fiction enthusiasts. Although it is not a requirement to read the first book in the series to understand the characters in this story, I feel it would be in your best interest to do so. Amy’s work continues to amaze me and I hope you enjoy the book as much as I did!
I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest review which I have given.
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