He marries her out of need. She marries him to escape. What does love have to do with it? When her father falsely accuses a stranger of dishonoring her, Bethel Eicher finds herself promised in marriage to a man she’s never met. Not exactly a dream come true, but since she has spent several years caring for her handicapped mother, she’s already considered an old maid at twenty-five—and she longs to escape her lonely life as permanent caregiver. When newly-called Amish preacher Gideon Kaiser learns he’s been accused of a dishonorable act, he's horrified. But his wife died in childbirth and his toddler is approaching his “terrible twos,” so Gideon figures marrying a woman he’s never met could be beneficial. How can Bethel and Gideon possibly make their marriage work—especially when the truth behind the accusations is revealed?
I would like to thank Celebrate Lit for giving me this copy of the book. This gift did not influence my opinion or review.
Has someone you love ever accused of something terrible? And nothing you say can change their mind? Bethel’s situation is exactly that. As a result she is shipped off and married to a man she had never met!
My heart went out to her as she felt rejected by her father and unloved by her new family. Miscommunication and misunderstandings abound and keep her feeling isolated and unwanted. Yet she serves everyone with a kind and generous heart. I really admired her for this.
Gideon, unprepared to marry again, felt he had no choice. I loved the way he determined to love his new frau even though the union had been forced. His best efforts at treating her kindly and courting her were sabotaged more than once, and mostly by his own rash words. His grief felt so palpable at times!
Hints of something more ominous than the rumors that resulted in this marriage are dropped throughout the story yet the truth, when it was revealed, was surprising to me! While the matter was (mostly) resolved, a mystery surrounding it remains for yet another story (I hope!).
A multitude of spiritual teachings filled the pages of Married to a Stranger. Forgiveness and choosing to love are just two of them, incorporated in a very natural manner and beautifully expressed. The author’s heart for the Lord shines through.
“Gideon, choose love. Not loss.” Lizzie gave a quiet sigh and then her eyes rolled back in her head.
“It’s a lie.” Bethel straightened. “Whoever he described has never touched me. Nobody has.”
Either he marry the woman who’d accused him of sexually assaulting her—a woman he had nein recollection of ever meeting, not to mention the fact that he had never touched any woman besides his beloved frau—or his name would be dragged through the mud for a sin he hadn’t committed, a sin for which he’d be forced to kneel and confess.
It wouldn’t do any gut to ask der Herr for this stranger—what was his name, anyway?—to be nice to her, because it seemed apparent Gott hadn’t heard one word of her endless prayers over the last few days. Either that, or He callously chose to disregard her requests.
It was probably the only wedding nacht in history during which the groom had hidden in the basement and raged, huddled upon and beneath a pile of blankets for warmth—warmth that never seemed to reach his core—before he cried himself into a fitful sleep.
At least, with this situation being handled directly between Gideon and both their fathers, with nein preacher or bishop involvement, none of the potentially damaging dirty laundry was hung out to dry.
The condemning stares from Gideon’s family members seemed to bore into Bethel’s back the entire time she prepared their breakfast and then washed the dishes.
She should’ve packed her bags and run away instead of going through with the wedding. Which was probably what her sister had done, kum to think of it.
He could see the hurt and bewilderment lingering in her eyes, as if she still didn’t fully realize how she’d gotten here, or why her father had chosen to believe an old widower over his own dochter.
Bethel’s first time changing Elam’s diaper didn’t go as badly as she’d feared. Lying on the changing table in his bedroom, the boppli waved his feet in the air and blew bubbles at her, completely winning her heart.
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LAURA V. HILTON is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers and is a professional book reviewer for the Christian market, with more than a thousand reviews published on the web. Her first series with Whitaker was The Amish of Seymour, including A Harvest of Hearts (2012 Laurel Award winner, first place in the Amish Genre Clash); and her second was The Amish of Webster County. Her most recent series was The Amish of Jamesport, featuring The Post Card, The Snow Globe, and The Birdhouse. Laura and her husband, Steve, live in Arkansas with their five children, whom Laura homeschools.
5 responses to “Married to a Stranger by Laura V. Hilton – Book Review, Preview”
Thank you for your review on “Married to a Stranger” by Laura V. Hinton and for being part of the Celebrate Lit book tour.
Adore this author’s books and I can’t wait for the opportunity to read this amazing sounding new one.
2clowns at arkansas dot net
This book sounds intriguing , a real good page turner! I love the excerpt and I really like the cover, wow, what some people will do. I would love to read this book. Thank you for sharing this review. God Bless you.
This certainly sounds like an i teresting storyline and one that I would like to read.
Sounds like a very difficult situation Bethel finds herself in!