As a genre Amish romance novels have flourished over the last decade and a half. Wanda Brunstetter, writer of Amish fiction, says, "When people read my books, it takes them to a simpler way of life. Hanging clothes on the line, cooking meals from scratch, turning off the television and mobile phones and just visiting. We've lost that way of life. I think my readers are craving that."
Years ago, Emma Keim's husband Sanford passed away, leaving her heartbroken and alone to raise her three daughters. Her family hasn't been quiet about the fact that they expect her to stay a window, but meeting Jay Hilty a fellow single parent and widower, changes something within her. Jay feels it too. Watching his oldest son become engaged and the joy it brings him makes Jay question if it's time to finally move on.
I have not yet read an Amish fiction that has not spoken to my heart and my spirit. Oh to have lived during the times I read about in the books. I am so captivated by thier faith and how every deed and thought is with a mind to What would God do. I have been reading Amish Fiction for the last 6 months along with my Bible and can't make myself focus on some of the other materials I used to love to read. I am so captivated I just recently purchased a building for a small busines that I have. My building was constructed by the Amish in GA. That alone was the deciding factor.
Middlebury, Indiana is home to an Amish Artisan Villiage, and Amber Wright, owner of the shops, gets a call that the manager of the coffee shop, Ethan, is dead. Shaken, Amber has to eventually hire a new manager and find Hannah Troyer, a young Amish woman. They quickly become friends and it doesn't take long before they begin looking into Ethan's mysterious death themselves. Running into a lot of dead ends, secrets, and a little romance, Amber and Hannah won't stop until Middlebury's secrets reveal themselves.
The genre has proven lucrative for publishers, many of which are Christian publishers, such as Bethany House, Thomas Nelson, and Zondervan. The first commercially successful Amish romance novel, according to writer Valerie Weaver-Zercher, was Beverly Lewis' The Shunning, published in 1997 by Bethany House. In addition, over 150 Amish fiction e-books were self-published between 2010 and 2013. The three most successful authors of Amish romance—Beverly Lewis, Cindy Woodsmall, and Wanda Brunstetter—have sold over 24 million books.