The Miller family's move from Ohio to Montana was, for the most part, uneventful, except that Sadie Miller had to leave her beloved horse, the palomino named Paris. Still, she likes the Montana snows and her job at Aspen East Ranch serving the ranch hands. Unexpectedly, Ezra appears, the man who seems to be perfect in every way and fully intends to marry Sadie. But does she love him back? And who is this fascinating Mark who helps to rescue a dying horse and shows up at the Amish hymn-sing though he is English? Why can't she get his dark eyes and tall stature out of her mind? Now Sadie's own close-knit family is falling apart. Mam claims her head is cluttered and unclear, and she no longer trusts herself to make a chocolate cake from scratch or to cut Reuben's hair in a straight line. The worst part is, Dat refuses to acknowledge Mam's struggles. Sadie finds some refuge in Nevaeh, a black and white paint. But when a dreadful accident involving wild horses occurs, Sadie must move forward into the unknown future. Will Dat let Mam seek professional help? Will Mam be willing to go? Will Mark be at the next hymn-sing? Is he Amish or English? Will he like her favorite pink dress? Will she see the wild horses again? Why do these phantom-like animals take her breath away every time they appear on the horizon?
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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.