The Journey - Wanda Brunstetter
Released April 2011
Wanda E. Brunstetter
Reviewed by Tracy Farnsworth
The Journey is the first book in Wanda Brunstetter's Kentucky Brothers series. I started reading this thinking I was coming into a series well under way, so it was surprising to see it's the first. The author throws a few punches along the way making it stand out from most Christian novels. Most readers will find themselves stunned by a couple of the twists and turns.
In The Journey, Titus Fisher is heartbroken when his long-time girlfriend up and leaves Amish country for a new, exciting life in California. After Phoebe begs him to join her and he tells her he's not interested in leaving the Amish way of life, he accepts a job in Pennsylvania helping out in a family-run wood shop. There he is stunned to meet the owner's daughter who closely resembles Titus' ex-girlfriend.
While he first acts cold and almost hateful towards Suzanne Yoder, Titus soon comes to find that she's nothing like Phoebe. As his feelings grow, he begins to wonder if Suzanne is the woman God intends Titus to marry. Just as he's getting use to his new life, Phoebe realizes she misses him and reappears saying she's ready to marry.
The pacing of the story kept me involved, but there are a number of characters. Titus's mother and father were married before Titus came along so he has a number of half-siblings, full siblings and their wives and children. There is a family tree in the front of the book to help things along, but for the first couple of chapters, I found it difficult keeping up with the who's who aspect. Then the story does make frequent jumps from Kentucky to Pennsylvania and back, so you have to remember which sibling is in each state.
My only other complaint is the frequent use of Penn-Dutch/German terms. It almost came across as though the author threw them in simply to show off some of the terminology. I didn't see that the terms added much to the story at all, in fact I often found them to be distracting.
I still enjoyed the story and look forward to the next chapter in the Kentucky Brothers' lives.