Author: Kelly Long
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Paperback: 320 Pages
About the Book:
The year is 1777. America is in turmoil. And Amish life is far different than today.
Pennsylvania in the late 18th century, once called William Penn’s Woods, was an assortment of different faiths living together for the first time in American history. Included in this tapestry was a small and struggling population called Amish.
Surrounding this peaceful people were unavoidable threats: both Patriots and the British were pillaging land and goods for the sake of the war, young Amishmen were leaving the faith to take up arms and defend freedom. A simple walk in the untamed forests could result in death, if not from bullet or arrow, then from an encounter with a wild animal.
Amid this time of tumult, Adam Wyse is fighting a personal battle. To possibly join the war efforts and leave his faith, which would mean walking away from the only woman he’s ever loved: Lena Yoder. But for that love he’s made a promise that may keep them apart permanently.
"Arms of Love" was an enjoyable story that I found quite captivating. I enjoyed the theme of doing what is right and trying to listen to God's intent. The story deals with some difficult subjects: death, child abuse, war, and sacrifice, but shows their purpose and demonstrates the power of God's love, forgiveness and healing.
Yet, I'm torn with the historical setting. I had difficulty with the story centered around the Amish, because they didn't come across to me as anything different than any other colonist. They dressed a bit different and didn't fight, but there were so many things that seemed inappropriate and not what I would expect from the Amish sect. I have not looked into the practices of those that came to Penn's Woods in the 1700's, but one of the things the Old Order Amish in PA have made clear is that they haven't really changed over the years. So my thought is that if anything, the Amish then would be even more strict then than they are now. That, and of course the language, just didn't work for me. I had to continue telling myself that these characters were Amish. Yet, at the same time I was pleased to see that the practices of foot washing and bundling were included in the story. It was nice to have these historical practices included!
If you are looking for a good and entertaining story and don't mind how historically accurate things are, you will find this an enjoyable read!