Amish Protector (River Haven Book 2)
March 31st, 2020
Amish Protector by Marta Perry has both the hero and heroine as each other’s defenders. The story skillfully explores how children feel they are to blame for the sins of their parents, and what happens when secrets are revealed that have the birth parents possibly coming back into a child’s life. All this comes into play, intertwined within the Amish culture.
The author noted, “This will be a three-book series. Each of the characters created will have contrasting personalities. I enjoy writing and informing readers about the Amish culture. I put in this quote, “To be Amish means knowing who you were and what your place was in the world. It meant a life bounded by the church, home, and family.” Faith is first, then family, and finally community. The strong extended family stay in close proximity.”
The main character, Joanna Kohler, the Bishop’s daughter, discovers a mysterious unconscious woman lying on the stairs to her apartment. This opens the door to the story’s mystery: who is she, how was she hurt, and what long kept secrets will be revealed about Joanna’s life. Her neighbor, Noah Troyer comes to help out, and points out the resemblance between Joanna and the woman.
“I wrote her as more independent and assertive than most Amish women. She has a strong sense of responsibility and handles problems head on. Her maturity allows her to balance her culture with the contemporary American culture. Her bravery and protectiveness come through strongly. Contrast her with the injured woman, : Joanna feels some connection with her. On the service, the injured woman appears more sophisticated. She is younger than Joanna so not as mature and excepts people at face value. Unlike, Joanna she has no family support so she is much more vulnerable.”
He also has his own problems, trying to overcome the shame his father brought on the family, as a drunken abuser of his wife and children. Noah had struggled with feelings of inadequacy for most of his life. He felt that the community judged him for his father’s sins and interpreted everything based on that viewpoint. He is afraid to have any relationship, fearing that he inherited his father’s violent nature. As he and Joanna unearth answers about her past, Noah will have to confront his own, as he tries to protect her from mounting dangers.
“I wanted to show how Noah is afraid he is like his father. Because father abused his mother and family, Noah lives with his father’s bad reputation. Overall, Noah is protective, responsible, self-contained, an introvert, reserved, determined, and caring. He fears the closeness of marriage because of who his father was. Yet, there is a strong attraction between him and Joanna. The relationship starts out as acquaintances, moves to a strong friendship, and then gradually turns into love.”
As with all her stories, Perry is able to combine Amish culture, within a small-town setting. These Amish amateur sleuths allow for a riveting mystery with likeable characters.