cover image Wild Horses

Wild Horses

Linda Byler. Good Books, $13.99 trade paper (320p) ISBN 978-1-56148-736-3

Byler (Lizzie Searches for Love series) is a gifted writer whose novel of the Amish in Montana will be savored as much by those who love horse stories as by devotees of Amish romance. While it features the requisite mysterious, handsome stranger, the most emotionally powerful passages aren’t between Sadie Miller and her man but Sadie and her horses. The Millers have moved to a new Amish settlement, where Sadie faces hardships ranging from the loss of a beloved horse to the serious mental illness of a family member. Byler is Amish, which sets this book apart from the genre both in the rich detail of Amish life and in the lack of melodrama over disappointments and tragedies. Sadie’s quick forgiveness and acceptance of God’s will may feel unsatisfying to some readers, but faithfully reflects a core Amish virtue. These characters aren’t stereotypes. They can relish a visit to a shopping mall without either being tempted to materialism or fearing condemnation from their community. Sadie demonstrates courage, compassion and contentment, and Byler’s writing will leave readers eager for the next book in the series. (Oct.)