Book Preview: The Amish Groom

The Amish GroomWe’re continuing our celebration of Amish wedding season with an excerpt from The Amish Groom by Mindy Starns Clark and Susan Meissner! The hero of this story, Tyler Anderson, was born Englisch but raised Amish. At 23, he’s old enough to commit to the church, but he’s feeling torn between the two vastly different worlds.

This scene takes place at a wedding, where Tyler and his sweetheart are guests…

* * *


I swung my head back around to face Rachel.

“Are you going to tell me what’s bothering you?” Her kind face was sweetly marked with concern.

“I ate too much,” I said, not wanting to mess with the festive mood around us.

“Nice try. What’s up?”

I shrugged, but her compassionate gaze wouldn’t allow me to say nothing at all. “Just thinking.”


Fueled by excitement and chocolate, the noise level was beginning to rise. Soon the singing would start. It would be hard to have a deep conversation.

“Just…life in general.” I toyed with a candied walnut on the plate. But then out of nowhere I voiced what was somersaulting around in my head. “Sometimes it seems that something out there is calling to me. Like maybe I have missed doing something I am supposed to take care of. And then I come to an event like this, and that feeling grows so strong, it’s nearly overwhelming.”

I shut my mouth. I hadn’t wanted to say all of that aloud, especially not at that moment. Yet it had spilled out of me anyway.

Pained uncertainty flickered across Rachel’s eyes. “Something out where is calling to you?”

I shook my head. “We don’t need to talk about this now. I don’t know why I said anything.”

Rachel stared at me, unwilling to drop it. “What is calling to you?”

I squeezed her hand. “Forget I said anything.” Which was a dumb suggestion. She wasn’t going to forget.

Besides, she knew me better than anyone. Better than Jake. Maybe even better than Daadi and Mammi.

She also knew the timetable for when the next membership classes were to begin—and that I wasn’t sure yet if I was going to sign up for them. Membership preceded marriage. That’s how it had always been, which meant if I didn’t attend the next set of classes and take my vows of baptism and membership in the spring, I would not be able to marry her in the fall.

“Is this about God? About your faith?”

I shook my head. “No, of course not. I know what I believe. My faith is solid.”

She nodded, quiet for a moment. “But this is about joining the church.” Her voice sounded sad, and for good reason. We both knew that if my faith was solid and yet I was still reluctant to join the church, then my hesitation was about things other than theology. Things like living the Amish lifestyle. Things like being married to her.

“It’s about a lot of stuff,” I finally replied, though that wasn’t the whole truth. It was about the church. But it was also about me. And the world outside. And her, too, which I realized at that moment I didn’t want to add to the equation.

“Stuff,” she echoed. “You mean things? Like the watch your father gave you? Your driver’s license?”

My face grew warm. She was latching onto the few vestiges of the outside world I had yet to dispose of, but they had nothing to do with this. These days, except when I went out to visit my dad, the watch and the license remained tucked away in a drawer.

“No, it’s not about things. It’s about all of this,” I said, gesturing toward the people and activities that surrounded us on every side. “It’s about figuring out where I belong.”

Understanding seemed to bloom in her eyes. “Ty, this is where you belong,” she said emphatically. “With me. Everyone here loves you. I love you. This is your home.”

“I’m not like Tobias.” I looked at the happy new groom across the barn from us. He seemed a perfect fit in every way.

Rachel squeezed my hand. “Only Tobias is Tobias. You’re you. And whatever it is you think is out there calling to you, don’t you think you would have found it already? You’ve been outside, Tyler, more than most. You’ve seen the Englisch world every single time you’ve visited your dad.”

“I know, but—”

“And every time you have visited your dad, you’ve always been ready to come home after just a few days. Doesn’t that tell you anything?”

Her last comment took me by surprise. The world outside Lancaster County was a lot bigger than just California, where my father now lived. “This isn’t about him,” I muttered, releasing her hand.

Rachel’s gaze wouldn’t let me go. “How do you know it’s not?”

* * *

Excerpted from The Amish Groom by Mindy Starns Clark and Susan Meissner

Want to keep reading? You can pick up a copy of the book through the publisher (40% off for the month of November!) or from your favorite book retailer.


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