Review: Lydia’s Charm by Wanda E. Brunstetter

18 Nov

Lydia's CharmMy rating: 3 of 5 stars

Summary via Goodreads:

Visit Amish Country during the fall as Lydia King attempts to make Charm, Ohio, feel like home after losing her husband. But is her heart ready to open back up to love when gifts appear on her porch from a mystery source? Could it be from the widowed father of four energetic boys, or is it from the man who has rejected romance to be his family’s caregiver? When life hands Lydia another challenge, will the gift giver be there to support her?

To me, this book had a serious mismatch between the tone and the content.

I was expecting a sweet, gentle romance– and in many ways, the tone matched that. Not much emotion came through, which was particularly surprising considering the events of the book.

The book dealt with parent child relationships; the death of a grandparent; the death of a child; choosing whether to marry for convenience or live alone; unemployment; the long-lasting effects of childhood trauma, and more.

Even with all that, the same gentle tone pervaded the book. Nothing seemed to affect the characters for long. I do understand that the characters had a deep religious belief that comforted them in time of crisis. I just don’t see the reason for including all of these crises if the reader wasn’t going to see a noticeable effect on the characters.

In addition, most of the characters seemed flat and/or unlikeable.

I liked Lydia well enough in the beginning, but I never felt any change from everything she encountered.

Her mother was unlikeable. She probably showed the most growth of any character in Lydia’s Charm, but I never really believed it. Menno (love interest #1) was self centered, and love interest #2 (Levi) was so nice as to be boring, and this from someone that really likes nice guys as characters and in real life. The kids were interchangeably rambunctious.

Everyone in the community was nice and did their best to be helpful. There were no bad guys, no one challenging authority. Even the kids that were briefly mean had a good reason for it.

In the end, I liked many of the parts. I could have really enjoyed the gently love story, I could have appreciated an exploration of the effect of so many problems on a group of people, and how their faith got them through. Unfortunately, this didn’t come together as either of those books for me. I didn’t dislike it, but I was disappointed.

To see other reviews, go to

I received this book for review through Planned Television Arts. Thank you for the opportunity to review this book!

1 Comment

Posted by on November 18, 2010 in books, reviews


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One response to “Review: Lydia’s Charm by Wanda E. Brunstetter

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