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Anna's Gift (Hannah's Daughters Book 3) [Kindle Edition]

Emma Miller
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)

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Book Description

No one in Seven Poplars, Delaware, expects Anna Yoder ever to marry. Among her six pretty, petite sisters, big and plain Anna feels like a plow horse. But then Samuel Mast, the handsome widowed father she has secretly loved for years, asks if he can court her. Surely Anna has misheard—Samuel has his pick of lovely brides! She's convinced he seeks a wife only as a mother for his five children. Or could a man like Samuel actually have a very romantic reason for wanting Anna by his side forever?

Editorial Reviews

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Kent County, Delaware…Winter

Anna Yoder carried an open can of robin's egg-blue paint carefully through the big farmhouse kitchen, down the hall and into the bedroom across from her mother's room. Her sister, Susanna, trailed two steps behind, a paintbrush in each hand.

"I want to paint," Susanna proclaimed for the fourth time. "I can paint good. Can I paint, Anna? Can I?"

Anna glanced over her shoulder at her younger sister, and nodded patiently. "Yes, you can paint. But not right now. I'm cutting in and it's tricky not getting paint on the floor or the ceiling. You can help with the rolling later."

"Ya," Susanna agreed, and her round face lit up in a huge smile as she bounced from one bare foot to the other and waved the paintbrushes in the air. "I'm the goodest painter!"

Anna chuckled. "I'm sure you are the best painter."

Susanna was nothing, if not enthusiastic. Of her six sisters, Susanna was the dearest and the one toward which Anna felt most protective. Sweet, funny Susanna was the baby of the family and had been born with Down syndrome. Their Dat had always called her one of God's special children; at eighteen, Susanna still possessed the innocence of a girl of nine or ten.

Fortunately, for all the tasks that came hard to Susanna, such as reading, sewing or cooking, the Lord had blessed her with a bottomless well of special gifts. Susanna could soothe a crying baby better than any of them; she always knew when it was going to rain, and she had a rare ability to see through the complications of life to find the simple and shining truth. And sometimes, when things weren't going well, when the cow had gone dry or the garden was withering for lack of rain, Susanna could fill the house with laughter and remind them all that there was always hope in God's great plan.

Still, keeping track of Susanna and running the household was a big responsibility, one that Anna felt doubly, with Mam off to Ohio to bring Anna's grandmother, great aunt and sisters, Rebecca and Leah, home. Susanna and Anna would be on their own for several days. Their sister Ruth and her husband, Eli, who lived just across the field, had gone to a wedding in Pennsylvania. Irwin, the boy who lived with them, had accompanied their sister Miriam and her husband, Charley, to an auction in Virginia. Not that Anna didn't have help. Eli's cousin was pitching in with the milking and the outside chores, but Anna still had a lot to do. And not a lot of time to get it all done.

Anna had promised Mam to have the house spic-and-span when she returned home, and she took the responsibility seriously. Having both Miriam and Ruth marry and move out in November had been a big change, but bringing Gross-mama and Aunt Jezebel into the house would be an even bigger change. Grossmama was no longer able to live on her own. Anna understood that, and she knew why her mother felt responsible for Dat's aging mother, especially now that he was gone. The trouble was, Grossmama and Mam had never gotten along, and with the onset of Alzheimer's, Anna doubted that the situation would improve. Luckily, everyone adored Grossmama's younger sister, Jezebel; unlike Grossmama, Aunt Jezebel was easygoing and would fit smoothly into the household.

"We're paintin' because Grossmama's coming," Susanna chirped. Her speech wasn't always perfect, but her family understood every word she said. "She baked me a gingerbread man."

"Ya," Anna agreed. "She did." Susanna was the one person in the household who her grandmother never found fault with, and that was a good thing. If Grossmama could see how precious Susanna was, she couldn't be that bad, could she?

Once, when she was visiting years ago, Grossmama had spent the afternoon baking cookies and had made Susanna a gingerbread man with raisin eyes, a cranberry nose and a marshmallow beard. Susanna had never forgotten, and whenever their grandmother was mentioned, Susanna reminded them of the gingerbread treat.

Grossmama had fallen on the stairs at her house the previous year, fracturing a hip, so Mam hadn't wanted her climbing the steps to a second-floor bedroom here. Instead, they'd decided to move Anna and Susanna upstairs to join Leah and Rebecca in the dormitory-style chamber over the kitchen. Grossmama and Aunt Jezebel could share this large downstairs room just a few feet away from the bathroom.

It was a lovely room, with tall windows and plenty of room for two beds, a chest of drawers and a rocking chair. Anna knew that Grossmama and Aunt Jezebel would be comfortable here…except for the color. Anna couldn't remember which of her sisters had chosen the original color for the walls, but Grossmama hated it. She'd made a fuss when Mam had written to explain the new arrangements. Grossmama said that she could never sleep one night in a bed surrounded by fancy "English" walls.

By saying "English," Anna understood that her grandmother meant "not Plain." To Grossmama, white was properly Plain; blue was Plain. Since the ceiling, the window trim, the doors and the fireplace mantel were white, blue was the color in Anna's paint can. Actually, Anna didn't see anything improper about the color the room was now. The muted purple was closer to lavender, and she had a lavender dress and cape that she really loved. But once Grossmama set her mind on a thing or against it, there was no changing it.

Standing in the bedroom now, staring at the walls, Anna wished Ruth was there. Ruth was a good painter. Anna prided herself on her skill at cooking, perhaps more than she should have, but she knew that her painting ability was sketchy at best. But, since the choice was between Susanna or her, Anna knew who had to paint the room.

Of course, she'd meant to get started sooner, but the week had gotten away from her. Susanna had a dentist appointment on Monday, which took all afternoon by the time they had to wait for the driver. On Tuesday, there had been extra eggs, which needed to go to Spence's Auction and Bazaar. Normally, they didn't go to Spence's in the winter months, but Aunt Martha and Dorcas had opened a baked-goods stand. Anna had taken the opportunity to leave Susanna with their oldest sister, Johanna, so that she could go with Aunt Martha to sell her eggs and jams.

Now it was Wednesday. After Mam left at dawn, Anna and Susanna had spent the morning scrubbing, dusting, polishing and setting her yeast dough to rise. Now there were no more excuses. Anna had to start painting if she wanted to be finished on time. Because they were alone, Anna wore her oldest dress, the one with the blackberry stains, and had covered her hair—not with a proper white kapp, but with a blue scarf that Irwin's terrier had chewed holes in.

Knowing that Susanna would be certain to lean against a freshly painted wall, Anna had made sure that Susanna's clothing was equally worn. That way, if the dresses were ruined it wouldn't be a waste. Anna's final precaution was to remove her shoes and stockings and ask Susanna to do the same. Paint would scrub off bare feet. Black stockings and sneakers wouldn't be so lucky.

Gingerly setting the can on the little shelf on the ladder, Anna climbed the rickety rungs, dipped her brush in the can and began to carefully paint along the wall, just below the ceiling. She'd barely gone two feet when Susanna announced that she was hungry. "Wait a little," Anna coaxed. "It's still early. When I get as far as the window, we'll have some lunch."

"But, Anna, I'm hungry now.'"

"All right. Go and fix yourself a honey biscuit."

"'Fff…thirsty, too," she said, struggling to pronounce the word properly.

"Milk or tea. You don't need my help."

"I'll make you a biscuit, too."

"Ne. I'll eat later. Don't wander off," she cautioned her sister. "Stay in the house." Susanna was capable of taking care of herself on the farm, but it was cold today, with snow flurries in the forecast, and she didn't always remember to wear her coat. It wouldn't do for Mam to come home and find Susanna sick with a cold.

Anna continued to paint. The blue covered the lavender better than she thought it would. It would need a second coat, but she had expected as much. As she carefully brushed paint on the wall in a line along the ceiling's edge, Anna began to hum and then to sing one of her favorite fast tunes from the Liedersammlung. She liked to sing when she was alone. Her voice wasn't as good as Johanna's or Ruth's, but singing made her feel bubbly inside. And now, with only Susanna to hear, she could sing as loudly as she wanted. If she was a bit off-key, her little sister wouldn't complain.

"Anna? Maybe we come at a bad time?"

Startled by a deep male voice, Anna stopped singing midword and spun around, holding onto the ladder with her free hand. "Samuel!"

Their nearest neighbor, the widower Samuel Mast, stood inside the bedroom holding his youngest daughter, Mae, by the hand. Mortified by her appearance and imagining how awful her singing must have sounded, Anna wanted to shrink up and hide behind the paint can. Of all the people to catch her in such a condition, it had to be Samuel Mast. Tall, broad-shouldered, handsome Samuel Mast. Anna's cheeks felt as though they were on fire, and she knew she must be as flame-colored as a ripe tomato.

"I remembered what you said." Susanna hopped from one foot to the other in the doorway. "I didn't go outside. Let Samuel and Mae in." She beamed.

"You're busy," Samuel said, tugging on Mae's hand. "We can come back another—"

"Ne," Anna interrupted, setting her brush carefully across the paint can and coming down the ladder. "Just…you surprised me." She tried to cover her e...

Product Details

  • File Size: 336 KB
  • Print Length: 221 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0373876998
  • Publisher: Love Inspired (October 1, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #135,020 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amish love story September 18, 2011
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I just finished this book and really enjoyed it. Anna is bigger than her sisters and has been teased all her life for being big. Samuel lost his wife 4 years ago and everyone thought he wanted to court Anna's mother. Right from the beginning this book had me hooked. Samuel wants to court Anna but Anna thinks he could only want her to look after his children and cook and clean for him. He is quite handsome and she doesn't think he could love her for herself. I really felt for Anna in a world where so many people look at the outside and not the inside Anna feels she is unattractive and that no man as good as Samuel could love her for herself. I love the way Emma told Anna's story and showed her insecurities. So many of us feel we are not pretty enough or good enough or even worthy of being loved by someone which makes Anna a character many of us can identify with. I know I do. I have have been teased for my looks and told I am fat even by people in the church and it does hurt and stick. What I love is how Emma tells Anna's story and shows readers how kind hearted and loving she really is. I also love how Samuel's story was told and we see just why he loves Anna so much. This book deals with self image, love and perceptions. This was a wonderful book and the best I have read from Emma so far.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder! October 2, 2011
By Jutzie
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Anna's Gift by Emma Miller

Anna Yoder feels that she is the ugly one in her family. With her beautiful thin sisters around her, Anna compares her large plain self to them. She was teased about her weight as a child and now at age twenty-one, she knows she may never be loved. She has secretly admired Samuel Mast from far back already. He seems to be courting her Mam and she cannot imagine him being her step-father. On the other hand she knows such a handsome man would never look her way.

Samuel has waited for two years until Anna turned twenty-one and so he would have the courage to ask to court her. He sees her inner beauty and believes this is the woman the Lord has given him. They are both Amish and carry the same beliefs. He has five children though and he wants a wife who will love them as her own. Little Mae has been with his sister since she was only a few months old. When Freida died he could not take care of the babe. Now that she is with him she sees him as a stranger.

Anna quickly falls in love with Samuel s girls but the boys are mean and don't want their dad to marry her. Anna does not want to marry without love but she don't know if there will another chance for her. With her cousin whispering things like how could he care for her and how she's only needed for her household skills, Anna's decision becomes harder.

When her Grossmama and Aunt Jezebel come to live at their home it adds more tension as her Grossmama seems to dislike her mam and is mean to her. When all is said and done, can Anna ever see herself through the eyes of someone who loves her or will the reflection in her mind keep her from finding happiness?

**Received through NetGalley for review.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This 'ugly duckling' is beautiful October 5, 2011
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I have read all of Emma Miller's Amish romances. This author has the gift of spinning a sweet romance while weaving a colorful story. The result? A soft and glorious series that tugs the heartstrings and warms the soul. Highly recommended read!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Read November 6, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
Anna is just 21 and able to marry yet she feels she is fat and figures no one will ever want to marry her. She secretly has a crush on the the widowed neighbor named Samuel. Anna thinks he is going to court her mom(he is 16 years older then Anna). So she is shocked when he asks to court her!

Samuel has been a widow for 4 years and is ready to find a new wife. Even though Anna is only 21 and he 36 he can't help but be drawn to her. Will he be able to convince Anna he loves her and does not just want her as a caregiver for his children?

This book was well written and I enjoyed reading it but the subject of Anna hit a little to close to home. I am over weight myself and it really bothered me how the people in this book treated Anna. Considering how excepting the Amish are they came across as mean and down right nasty in this book at times. I have read other books about "Plain" Amish girls but this one was the worst in my option. I was glad that Samuel saw Anna for the wonderful girl she was. I admit the huge age difference between the two felt weird at times in this book. I liked both characters and the writer did a good job of exploring the difficulties that would come from such a big difference in age.

Over all this was a good book. I hope to go back and read the first two books as well. I really liked the writing style and also how well developed the characters where.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sweet Amish Romance October 1, 2011
By Maureen
Format:Mass Market Paperback
When Samuel Mast expresses an interest in Anna Yoder, she is sure she heard him wrong and he meant her mother. Anna is a big boned girl, and can't imagine a man as handsome as Samuel being interested in her.
Anna does not have very good self esteem, but is so kind hearted. To make things worse some of her Aunts and Cousins, tell her that Samuel only wants her to cook, clean and watch his children. They tell her she a big fat girl and he surely would never love her!
Samuel lost his wife 4 years ago, and everyone in the Amish Community expects him to marry Hannah Yoder, but he falls in love with Anna. Anna does not believe he could love her. Some of the incidents in this book are hysterically prepared for some really great laughs!
Throughout the whole story you find a strong faith in God, even Grossmutter with her dementia keeps her faith.
A really good and fast read...enjoy!
I received this book from the publisher Harlequin, and was not required to give a positive review.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I love Amish romance novels and this did not disappoint!
Published 1 month ago by angeltoes
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 1 month ago by KELLY BAIZE
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Easy to read and keeps your interest all the way through
Published 4 months ago by linda stewart
5.0 out of 5 stars Anna
I am really into Amish books right now, and this series meet with all my expectations. Can't say much about the story without giving it all away, but this was a quick read and I... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Anne M. Stalker
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprise Proposal in Amish Country!
This story is my favorite so far, of all the books in the series. Anna has so much to offer a man, although none of the men (and many of the women) can't see it. Read more
Published 6 months ago by DJ Mynatt
5.0 out of 5 stars Great
Love this series. I'm.ready to read the next .. one. this is a great collection to add to your library.
Published 7 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars great series
Each book in this series is enjoyable. Just enough drama and a lot of love. I look forward to reading the next story about the family.
Published 8 months ago by it's me
5.0 out of 5 stars FUN read with a large dose of humor
This book was just plain fun to read from Anna falling off the ladder into Samuel's arms to her and Samuel's ability to see the humor in everyday situations. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Charlie Peterson
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice change
Hannah's Daughters
Book 3

The book focuses on Anna who is the daughter (besides Susanna, the Down's Syndrome daughter) who is most likely to never get married. Read more
Published 10 months ago by M. Palmer
5.0 out of 5 stars review of Anna's Gift
This book was well written and interesting. Here is a woman who is not the "ideal" that the media and even the Amish say is someone that could attract a man. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Amazon Customer
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More About the Author

Emma Miller is a wife, mother and a grandmother who lives a quiet life in Delaware. She's the author of the Hannah's Daughter's series and is at work on her next Amish romance novel.

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