Review of: Matched and Married by Kathleen Fuller
Fuller continues her Amish Mail-Order Brides of Birch Creek series with the story of Margaret, the youngest of four sisters who journeys to Birch Creek to stay with her aunt and uncle to avoid the temptations of English life [p. 1-14]. She also wants to get away from her mother, who she feels she is always disappointing. Despite her resolve against marrying, Margaret is drawn to Owen Bontrager, a hard-working farmer who is set to inherit his family’s farm [p. 48]. Owen’s work ethic and enjoyment of learning inspire Margaret to pursue studying herbal remedies [p. 34 ff]. Owen’s father insists that he works too hard and requires him to take a vacation and begin dating, which Owen resists. He is determined not to relive the years of his childhood when food was scarce [p. 20] and has difficulty giving up control [p. 50-58]. As he and Margaret develop a friendship, they help each other grow in their faith and learn to trust God, as well as each other. A parallel romance between Rhoda, a middle-aged woman whose abusive husband, Emmanuel/ Lester, purportedly disappeared, and widowed innkeeper Loren [p. 22 ff], is captivating and offers a deeper level of intrigue; however, readers will have to wait for the next installment in the series to discover how their stories will be concluded [p. 282]. Fuller’s characters are more fully fleshed out and complex in this novel than the first. This is a charming inspirational romance with themes of forgiveness, redemption, and new beginnings sure to delight Fuller’s fans. A resounding 5 stars!