- Book: Abraham
- Author: Jennifer Beckstrand
- Genre: Inspirational Amish Romance
- Release Date: November 26, 2019
Things at the Petersheim house are getting too crowded for eight-year-old twins Alfie and Benji. As if things weren’t bad enough with three older brothers hogging all the bacon at breakfast and using more than their fair share of toilet paper, Mammi and Dawdi Petersheim have to move in because of Dawdi’s stroke. If Alfie and Benji have any hope of getting their own bedrooms, they have to get rid of their annoying brothers, and the only way to convince their brothers to move out is to make each of them fall in love. What could be so hard about that?
Abraham Petersheim is known as a man of few words. He’s painfully shy and doesn’t see the need to prattle on like other boys in the community do. That’s why he can’t understand his unexpected attraction to Emma Wengerd. For sure and certain she’s pretty, but she also has five or six boys buzzing around her all the time, and she seems to be constantly annoyed with Abraham and his little brothers. Emma would never be interested in someone as boring as Abraham, and he could never set his sights on someone as wunderbarr as Emma.
I love reading a book with foreign words occasionally. It’s a fun way to learn a little of the language and culture. The Amish way of speaking was a delightful and slightly challenging part of this novel. Most of the word meanings were easy to guess.
My family lived in Germany for a few years when I was a child so a couple common words were familiar to me. They are probably familiar to you as well as they are often used in other books or movies. If you are an Amish romance fan you may smile at my confusion with one of the words.
In one chapter, Benji holds and pats a chicken like it is a ‘newborn buplie’. My first guess was this referred to a puppy but thought it could possibly be a baby.
The internet was no help solving this question. The book finally made it clear in one of the latter chapters that a buplie is a baby. A glossary might be a gute addition to future books!
Thinking about the influence their German Bibles had on helping them preserve their religion and much of their language, I was reminded of a similar occurrence with the ancient Nephites. When Lehi and his family left Jerusalem around 600 BC, he sent his son Nephi with his other sons to get a copy of the Bible and their family genealogy recorded on brass plates (metal pages). They took these with them as they journeyed, led by God, to a new land now called the Americas. This was important to keeping their knowledge of the Commandments and God’s promises as well as their language.
I also enjoyed learning more about Amish culture. It was surprising to see how they dealt with certain aspects of modern technology.
My favorite part of this book was reading about the mischievous twins’, Alfie and Benji’s, plans and mishaps. Jennifer Beckstrand shows us their well-meaning innocence with hilarious situations and quotes.
Alfie glanced in Mamm’s direction, then pulled Benji to a stop. “We need a new plan. We’ve got to find wives for Abraham and Austin if we’re ever going to get out of that cellar.”
Their first matchmaking attempt in the previous book, Andrew, was apparently successful. (I have not read it yet but now intend to.) Unfortunately, mamm turned Andrew’s empty room into a sewing room or her “I-want-to-be-alone room” as the twins observed so they are hatching a new plan.
They soon find the matchmaking business isn’t easy even for them. Abraham is tongue tied around girls, especially Emma. He would much rather play basketball with the other boys at the young people’s gatherings so he can avoid awkward attempts at conversation.
“Our plan is stupid,” Benji said.
“It is not. Abraham’s the one who’s stupid. He’d rather choke than talk to Emma.”
Emma complicates their plans. She’s not in a hurry to marry yet. She’s having too much fun and doesn’t see quiet Abraham’s worth.
Mamm who is generally serious is also eager to encourage any hint of relationship between Abraham and Emma. It seems she has despaired, like he has, of him ever marrying. She makes Pigs-in-a-Blanket and other goodies if Emma happens to come by. Mamm is unaware Emma is there because of some mischief she discovered in her chicken coop and not because of Abraham.
A fun addition to the book are the Pigs-in-a-Blanket and Emma’s Peanut Butter Bars recipes included at the end. I am tempted to try the peanut butter bars!
I definitely recommend this charming and humorous Amish romance! Reading it refreshed my soul. I was craving something fun after a recent exhausting read. I am sure the next book in Jennifer Beckstrand‘s Petersheim Brothers series will be equally delightful.
I received a free advanced reader copy of this book. All opinions are completely my own.
About the Author
Jennifer Beckstrand is the two-time RITA-nominated, #1 Amazon bestselling Amish romance author of The Matchmakers of Huckleberry Hill series, The Honeybee Sisters series, and The Petersheim Brothers series for Kensington Books. Huckleberry Summer and Home on Huckleberry Hill were both nominated for the coveted RITA® Award from Romance Writers of America. Jennifer has written twenty-one Amish romances, a historical Western, and the nonfiction book, Big Ideas. She and her husband have been married for thirty-five years, and she has six children and eight adorable grandchildren, whom she spoils rotten.
More from Jennifer
Alfie and Benji Petersheim will do just about anything to get their brother Abraham to fall in love with Emma Wengerd, even adopt a stray dog. But to catch that dog, they’re going to need Aunt Bitsy’ help. Alfie and Benji are about to get in a lot of trouble.
I hope you enjoy this excerpt from Abraham.
Benji pushed his coffee cake around his plate with his finger. “Maybe we could keep that stray dog.”
Maybe they could keep the dog. Alfie’s heart started pounding. A dog could find them if they ever got lost in the woods. A dog could fetch sticks and bring Dat his slippers. A dog would eat crumbs off the floor. Mamm would never have to mop again.
Bitsy shrugged. “That’s up to your mamm.”
Alfie’s heart sank to his toes. “Mamm would never let us have a dog. She won’t even let me have a goldfish.”
“I have a pet spider,” Benji said.
Alfie popped a small bite of coffee cake into his mouth. “He’s not your pet. He just lives in the corner of the cellar and kills other spiders.”
“You tried to spray him,” Benji said, “and I saved his life. He’s my pet now.”
Bitsy nodded. “Spiders are gute pets. They feed themselves and don’t poop on the carpet.”
Benji sat very still before wrinkling his forehead like he did when he was upset. “We need to help that dog.”
Alfie wanted a dog as much as anybody, but they had to be sensible. They’d been asking Mamm for a dog ever since they could talk. “Mamm won’t let us.”
Benji started crying. “But he’s going to get gassed.”
Bitsy reached over and patted Benji’s arm. “He might not get gassed. The pound might find a nice family that wants to adopt him. People like chocolate labs. I’m told they’re cute.”
Benji caught his breath and suddenly stopped crying, as if someone had turned off a faucet. “Do girls like chocolate lamps?”
“Chocolate labs?” Bitsy folded her arms. “Well, I’m a girl and I don’t think he’s cute, but most girls love dogs. Do you remember Vernon Schmucker? Poor fellow had a face like a potato, and the girls ignored him. One night he brought a puppy to the gathering, and he was surrounded by girls all night. That’s how he met his wife.”
Benji jumped from his chair and threw his arms around Alfie, making Alfie spill milk down his new shirt. “Hey. Watch it.”
“Alfie, girls like dogs!”
Benji was a good partner, but sometimes he made no sense. “So?”
“If Emma Wengerd saw us walking our chocolate lamp down the street, she’d run out of her house to pet him.”
Alfie’s heart started pounding. Benji was the best bruder in the world. “We could bring Abraham with us.”
Benji got more and more excited with each word. “And they could talk about dogs and chickens and maybe start kissing.”
Alfie set his milk on the table. “We’ve got to catch that dog.”
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To celebrate her tour, Jennifer is giving a $10 Amazon gift card to three winners!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click this link to enter.