Genre City Review: A Hand to Hold
Title: A Hand to Hold
Author: Kathleen Fuller
Publisher: Bethany House
Release date: September 2010
Reviewed by: Laura V. Hilton
Kathleen Fuller brings details to life in this richly crafted novel.
Ruth Byler is anxious to start school. She’s had the lessons prepared months in advance. She’s bought new notebooks and freshly sharpened pencils for all her students. And she’s just putting the finishing touches on her desk when a pickup truck crashes through the back wall of the schoolhouse.
Zachariah Bender has borrowed a friend’s pickup to go to the store for supplies. He’s Amish and doesn’t have a license, but thinks it shouldn’t take long to run to the store. He loses control when a herd of deer runs in front of the truck. Now he owes a lot of money to fix the school and his friend’s truck.
As Ruth and Zach get to know each other, they find that the long-held opinions they’ve had of each other are wrong. But Zach has a secret he’s never told anyone. Will Ruth think less of him if she learns the truth?
A Hand to Hold has two different love stories in it. In addition to Ruth and Zach’s, there is also a story about Ruth’s brother, Stephen, and Deborah. I related more to Deborah and Stephen’s story, but both are excellent.
Kathleen Fuller brings details to life in this richly crafted novel. One can almost hear the cows lowing in the background, feel the soggy Kleenex, see Ruth wedged in a half-open window, and smell the sawdust in the schoolhouse. Though the book is a little slow starting and the ending feels rushed, it’s a great read.
I highly recommend A Hand to Hold as well as the other books in this series. Fuller is an Amish author whose work I’m going to want to keep reading. Discussion questions are included at the end of the book.