Wednesday, February 13, 2013

A Home for Lydia, by Vannetta Chapman

Lydia Fisher longs for a home of her own, a family of her own. Due to her father’s illness, Lydia is the financial provider for her parents and her siblings, and that responsibility weighs heavily on her, and has made her to be outspoken and strong-minded, unlike most Amish young women. She works hard as a housekeeper at Pebble Creek’s Plain Cabins, and desperately needs to keep her job. However, when her boss dies and his nephew, Aaron Troyer, arrives from Indiana and steps in with a bad attitude and no desire to be there, Lydia’s will to keep working there is shaken. They don’t agree on anything, and mostly they get on each other’s nerves, but deep down they begin to have feelings for each other. Working together with a few friends, Aaron and Lydia manage to make the Plain Cabins profitable, and their love for each other blossoms.

Now, Aaron is torn between his desire to farm in his own property in Indiana, and his profound feelings for Lydia and his desire of being with her. And Lydia sees her dreams of having her own home, her own family, too out of reach. With a little faith in God, and a strong love for each other, Lydia and Aaron can have everything they’ve always wanted.

Lydia is a very vulnerable young woman. Yes, she is strong and very opinionated, but only because she tries to protect herself, her feelings and her heart. That complexity makes the reader identify very easily with her. She slowly but surely falls in love with Aaron, who goes from being a very angry, uncomfortable stranger, to being compassionate, caring and dependable. Although there is a hate/love relationship at first, which I usually don’t like since it’s been done a few too many times, it is so well written, expressed and justified, and not at all overdone, that not only did I enjoy it, I loved it.

Vannetta Chapman knows how to write a love story. Every sweet detail, every look, every stare, every soft embrace is just in the right place at the right time. Her characters are written with real people in mind, so they are never one dimensional, and they never fall flat. True to her style, Mrs. Chapman makes use of everything to further the plot and move the story along with a nice rhythm and pace. Every story connects, every character relates to one another and to the story as a whole. In the middle of chaos, she knows how to write the unexpected sweet moment, the loving concern, and the tender touch. You can actually see it playing in your head, the stillness of everything else, the presence of just the two characters in love. That is a great accomplishment.

As the story moves along, the romance takes sort of a backseat to a few family dramas, and a small mystery of sorts about a string of robberies close to the Pebble Creek area that ultimately affect the Plain Cabins. Now, it is remarkable how a burglary situation can be funny, touching, suspenseful, scary, and sweet. A nice dose of humor and drama with a tender moment between sisters, and a scary confrontation with the robbers, make for a fantastic side story with a final romantic touch that keeps the main story in motion. Very well written indeed.

As the second book in the series, I was at first sad to know that I wouldn’t get to see Miriam, Gabe, Grace and the rest of the family from 'A Promise for Miriam' because usually another story means a new and different set of characters. But here we get to enjoy them once again, although at times it felt more like their book than Lydia’s. I wanted to spend time with Miriam again, but it sometimes felt as if Miriam’s story overshadowed Lydia’s. Once Lydia’s story got my interest and full attention, I was pulled back, and left wanting to know Lydia and Aaron better.

'A Home for Lydia' is a beautiful story about love, the love of family, the fragility of life, and the grace of God that sustains us. With inspiring wisdom and great biblical truths, this love story goes deep into the heart, and stays there.

4.5 out of 5 stars

*I received a copy of this book from Harvest House Publishers through The Christian Manifesto in exchange of an honest review.


  1. Thank you for the post and review. I'm glad you enjoyed Lydia's story. Book 1 in this series, A Promise for Miriam is now on sale for $2.99 in ebook format, so readers can start with either one.


  2. $2.99 is a steal. And readers should start with A Promise for Miriam to have the complete story. So, readers, enjoy!