cover image Ruth’s Ginger Snap Surprise

Ruth’s Ginger Snap Surprise

Anne Blackburne. Barbour, $14.99 trade paper (256p) ISBN 978-1-63609-689-6

Blackburne debuts with a stirring second-chance Amish romance featuring a 33-year-old widow who struggles to start over with the help of a mischievous pet kitten—and possibly a new beau. After her husband of 15 years dies and leaves her childless, Ruth is convinced she’s infertile and resigns herself to life alone on her farm. Fate has other plans, though. First, a friend gives Ruth a feisty kitten named Ginger Snap. Not long after, dimpled widower Jonas Hershberger shows up on the farm, looking to rent part of her barn for his basketmaking business. Jonas is just coming up for air after his wife’s death during childbirth four years earlier, and he’s soon enamored with the independent Ruth. As she grows closer with Jonas and his four-year-old daughter, obstacles emerge: the local bishop is pressuring Ruth to sell her farm to a local member of the church (who plans to use it for his buggy-making business), and the bishop’s cunning granddaughter has her own romantic designs on Jonas. Meanwhile, Ruth struggles to forego the safety of solitude for the possibility of new love. For help, she draws on the care that Ginger Snap has sparked in her and her trust in God’s timing. Blackburne delicately weaves Ruth’s and Jonas’s tenuous hopes for happiness with their conflicted feelings about moving on from their first marriages, lending the narrative depth and resonance. Readers will look forward to the next outing from this promising new voice. (Dec.)