“I love that title,” people say to me when I mention Wonderful Lonesome, the title of my new book. This is the start of a set of books called Amish Turns of Time. All three books are set in the 1910s, but each book is in a different setting with a different cast of characters. What ties them together is historical events at the core of each story that in some way influenced the history of a group of Amish people.
Wonderful Lonesome is about an Amish settlement struggling for survival on the Colorado plain. One of the settlers wrote to The Sugarcreek Budget: “We had no church service any more for over a year now, and it made it wonderful lonesome to live at such a place” (quoted in The Amish in America: Settlements That Failed by David Luthy).
The turn of phrase grabbed me the first time I read it, and I knew then the emotional feeling I wanted to create with a story about the hole left in the absence of a church community. As one obstacle after another challenges the settlement, what makes their heart ache most is the lack of a church because they had no bishop or minister.
Here’s what one of the advance readers said:
“Wonderful Lonesome is a fascinating story of a little-known chapter in Amish history. Olivia Newport has given each character believable goals, desires, and heart-wrenching choices. I especially enjoyed Abbie Weaver’s indomitable spirit. This is a not-to-be-missed novel for readers who love Amish fiction.”
—Ann Shorey, author of the At Home in Beldon Grove and Sisters at Heart series