Friday, July 20, 2012

Dear To Me (Brides of Webster County), by Wanda Brunstetter

Dear to Me
Book Three of Brides of Webster County
Written by Wanda Brunstetter
After finishing the Brides of Webster County trilogy I can honestly say I'm not a fan of Brunstetter's work. I have read quite a few Amish fiction books over the years, most of which I've thoroughly enjoyed. Brunstetter fell short, in my opinion. To be fair to her, the competition is overwhelming. I would assume it would be difficult to come up with a unique perspective or plot in a genre that is filled with hundreds of Amish stories that have already been told. I would compare it to a writer trying to make a name for themselves in the supernatural young adult fiction genre.

Now, to be fair to that competition, many of the other popular Amish fiction writers have managed to write far more unique and entertaining novels. Aside from Beverly Lewis, probably the most well known Amish fiction writer, Amy Clipston's A Gift of Grace was, by far, my favorite Amish fiction to date. Clipston managed to create a storyline that was, at least to me, completely unique, and characters that I could both relate to and sympathize with. She proved that although there is no shortage of Amish fiction novels available, a creative writer can manage to come up with a good plot and interesting characters. Not every good story has already been written, or written well.

I should also point out that it wasn't merely the lack of a unique storyline that disappointed me about Brunstetter's novels. I felt that the story itself, however redundant it was, was poorly written and a bit remedial. I felt like the characters were not only stereotypical and extremely predictable but much more self absorbed than I felt was believable. If she was going to rehash the same plot as countless other Amish fiction novels with success, she should have at least come up with new and exciting characters.

If you're looking for an entertaining novel in this genre, I'd recommend anything by Beverly Lewis (Shunning was recently made into a movie which I also loved), and A Gift of Grace by Amy Clipston.

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