About the book: Years ago, a picnic basket brought two hearts together. For Rachel and Mike, history may be about to repeat itself.
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. Determined to keep her mind off the pain, 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?
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My review: Amy Clipston is at the top of the list when it comes to authors of Amish fiction. Her writing is fantastic and she creates realistic, genuine, and imperfect characters for readers to fall in love with. The Courtship Basket is a perfect example of Amy Clipston’s superb storytelling.
Rachel and Mike embody everything the Amish are known for: caring, helpful, family-oriented. I couldn’t help but like these characters immediately and hope they would get the happy ending they deserved. It was nice to “catch up” with characters from the first book and meet new ones in this one.
One of the characters in the book has kidney disease which is an issue near and dear to the author’s heart. She did a wonderful job of writing about this health issue in a way that made it an important part of the story but not overwhelming. There was a good balance between the romance aspect of the story and the health issue aspect.
A storyline written around a mysterious blue onesie continues on from the first book. Personally, I love the secrecy around this article of baby clothing. It adds another level of reality to the story. The Amish aren’t perfect and don’t have perfect lives and the author does an excellent job of showcasing this.
One of the things I love most about the author’s writing is that she doesn’t repeat things from one book to the next. She gives you just enough information to know what’s going on while keeping the story fresh and entertaining.
With each book she writes, Amy Clipston grows as an author. She creates complex characters you can relate to in settings that are realistic. If you haven’t read one of her books yet you are missing out. The Courtship Basket would be a perfect book to start with. While it’s the second in the series it can be read as a standalone. I would highly recommend getting the first book though because it’s fantastic, too! Grab a copy of each and set aside some time to read. Once you get started reading you won’t stop until you have reached “the end”.
I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest opinion which I have given.
About the author: Amy Clipston has been writing for as long as she can remember. Her fiction writing “career” began in elementary school when she and a close friend wrote and shared silly stories. She has a degree in communications from Virginia Wesleyan College and is a member of the Authors Guild, American Christian Fiction Writers, and Romance Writers of America. She is the author of the bestselling Kauffman Amish Bakery series and Hearts of the Lancaster Grand Hotel series with HarperCollins Christian Publishing. Amy works full-time for the City of Charlotte, NC, and lives in North Carolina with her husband, two sons, mother, and three spoiled rotten cats.
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