Olivia Newport Limon Train Depot

The train depot in Limon, Colorado, has been restored to the way it looked at the time of my story.

“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