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Love in Plain Sight–learning to trust again

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Love in Plain Sight

by Kathleen Fuller

Although Love in Plain Sight is an Amish romance, it is not a sugar coated love story. It addresses two cases of physical and verbal abuse in two different Amish communities—how it affected the victims and how they reacted to it. Along the way though, the reader meets some noble and likable characters. They are people with standards, people you would want to meet. The book does not address abuse from a community standpoint, but from an individual one. The abusers have other character flaws or sins that are intertwined with their abuse—a hunger for money and power. They abound in self-interest and don’t care who gets hurt.

The plot is complex as Katharine decides to flee her abusing fiancée and lies to everyone to protect herself and her parents. She is Amish and finds a job at an Amish inn in a distant town where she is surrounded by loving people. One of them was abused by her husband who has been missing for nine years and is presumed dead. The two women recognize the backgrounds they see in each other. It is difficult for both to move on with their lives. Rhoda is still legally married, and Katharine has major self-esteem issues compounded by the stress of never being able to do anything the way her fiancée wants it done. As a result, she gains weight and her acne worsens causing even more criticism from him.

I started the book one evening and couldn’t wait to resume it the next day. The plot moves quickly, and both plot lines have dramatic conclusions. One of the major themes is forgiveness. Another is trusting God to work out things for good.

There is an amusing thread in the story. An ad has appeared in a number of Amish newspapers inviting young Amish women looking for bachelors to come to the little town of Birch Creek. Katharine chooses to “disappear” in that town, not because she wants a husband, but because there will be so many Amish women arriving that no one will question why she is there. The big question locally is the identity of the ad writer, and the surprising answer emerges at the end of the book.

Kathleen Fuller is not a new author, but this book is a first of her works for me. I recommend this book and look forward to reading more in this series and others by this author.

I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Rating: 5/5

Category: Romance, Christian

Notes: 1. #3 in the Amish Mail-Order Brides of Birch Creek Series. Although I have not read the first books in the series, I had no problem reading this as a standalone.

  1. The abuse is not described graphically.

Publication: May 3, 2022—Zondervan Fiction

Memorable Lines:

Despite decades of practice stuffing down her thoughts and feelings to the point where she was numb, fighting the bitterness edging her heart was getting harder.

To cope with his verbal abuse she disappeared into herself until there was nothing but silence in her head replacing his voice. Blissful silence—

“Make sure that the man you marry is gut, kind, and true. Don’t let love blind you to his faults, and don’t compromise yourself to please him. If you do, you’ll lose the person you are, and you’ll live to regret it.”


  1. WendyW says:

    I do like that it has stories of abuse, but it’s not graphic. I think it’s important that abuse is everywhere, and it’s important to discuss it.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Gretchen says:

    I appreciate authors who are able to write books containing tough issues, but are able to keep that thread of hope going. I have read Kathleen Fuller in the past and remember enjoying the book. This sounds like a good series.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Nancy says:

    Some things have to be discussed and it sounds like the author does so discretely.
    Many think the Amish do not have problems. But as an Amish friend once said to me… we are people and we have problems too.
    Thanks for the review.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Jenna says:

    This is not a book I would typically read but you make it sound appealing~thanks Linda~

    Liked by 1 person

    • lghiggins says:

      I did not used to read Amish books or books with abuse in them, but in the last year I have found some Amish books with some depth like this one. While it is not romantic fluff, it does not leave me with nightmarish images either.


  5. I just recently heard of the abuse that some of the Amish woman went through. Call me naïve, but I was dumbfounded! I guess I felt with their strict religious beliefs they might be different.

    Liked by 2 people

    • lghiggins says:

      Yes, it is something I would not expect either. Unfortunately, not everyone who calls themselves Christians, Amish or not, follows Jesus’ example of sacrificial love.


  6. Cozynookbks says:

    I’ve never read an Amish story for some reason, but the important, surprising theme and elements in this book makes it appealing.
    Great review Linda.

    Liked by 2 people

    • lghiggins says:

      The first fiction book that I read set in Amish country was too short to have character development and just was not realistic. So, I didn’t read any more for quite a while; it colored my opinion of this subgenre. More recently I have dipped my toes in again and been pleasantly surprised. I wouldn’t make a constant diet of Amish romances, but I now enjoy them occasionally. At least I can be assured of a clean story.


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