One of the things that have always impressed me about the Amish is that they keep basic home-making skills alive. Things like sewing, gardening, and cooking is such a vital part of their lives, it would be odd if it were missing in lieu of things like eating out instead of taking your food from garden to table and often wonder how amazing that food tastes when no preservatives are added. If you have ever wanted to cook like the Amish, you can find plenty of Amish cookbooks out there, but what if you could read a great novel about the friendships that form among various people who come together drawn initially by their love of wanting to know how to cook?
In The Seekers by Wanda E. Brunstetter, that is just what happens when Heidi Troyer realizes that she has quite a bit of time on her hands and learning from her friends that they have benefited from creating classes to teach others what they excel at, and for Heidi that is cooking! She has always dreamed of starting a family of her own, but at this time, it seems that will never happen. So now she imagines a small group coming together where she can teach them how to prepare some of the Amish beloved dishes.
She managed to incorporate her friends who burn more than they can successfully cook like Loretta Donnelly, who is a recent widow and mother of two very busy young children, who would love to utilize this class to help her prepare better meals for her family but also give her a much needed break from being a mom. Charlene Higgins is the most desperate of the group as it seems she can't do anything right. She needs to be able to at least cook seeing as a wedding to her Amish boyfriend Len is in her future and her future in-laws aren't the slightest bit impressed with anything she does, finding fault in everything. Eli Miller is tired of cold cereal and hard boiled eggs, now that his wife has died in an accident, a cooking class might be what he needs to get out of his slump and at least put a decent meal on the table for himself. Kendra Perkins needs this class since being tossed out of her Amish house when she became pregnant unexpectedly. This might help her find a true purpose in her life for now.
Ron Hensley needed to find a place to fit in and the Troyers seems just the place. Since they are a small family with no children and plenty of space on their farm, he anticipates they are just the right people to garner sympathy for a man living out of his RV that needs a place to park it while he tries to fix it. Only it is all a ploy so he can find the time to scope out their home and find just the right things they won't miss to sell at the local auction. Joining a cooking class might just be the edge he needs to get that kind of invitation. But will they be cooking up something else that he didn't expect?
I received The Seekers by Wanda E. Brunstetter compliments of Barbour Publishing and Net Galley. For me, the best part of this novel is the mouth-watering recipes that Heidi provides for each of her classes and ones you will find at the conclusion of this book as well as some great discussion questions perfect for book clubs. I love how this group of people come together to learn to cook and come away with so much more. For some, they will find the perfect friends, others will see that their perceptions of others aren't quite what they imagined and for others a dream come true. I give this one a 5 out of 5 stars in my opinion and this is the first novel in the Amish Cooking Class series.
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