Barbara Cameron has always been drawn to the Amish world because it represents so many of the values she holds dear—hard work, a rich faith heritage, a love of family and care and concern for the community.
And those same rich themes are woven into her latest novel, Her Restless Heart (Abingdon Press), the first volume in the Stitches in Time series. She tells the story of a young woman named Mary Katherine. Struggling to choose between the traditions of her faith and the increasingly persistent draw of a different life, she meets Daniel, an Amish man in Florida, who also understands tension as he pursues a life outside of his home in Lancaster County.
Adding another layer of intrigue, she has another potential suitor in a longtime friend named Jacob. He’s loved her for years, but she doesn’t necessarily reciprocate his feelings—from a romantic perspective, anyway. And like any good friend, Jacob can’t help feeling a little worried when this perceived “outsider” starts wooing Mary Katherine.
“Jacob is a farmer and drawn to the land that has been in his family for generations. As such, he’s tied to much of what Mary Katherine thinks she rebels against. But the two of them are passionate about what they do and they support that about each other,” Barbara says. “Daniel is Beachy Amish Mennonite and lives in Florida, which represents a new, nontraditional man and place for Mary Katherine.”
In terms of reader takeaway, Barbara loves writing about the theme of God’s love and acceptance of His children and how even our best-laid plans pale in comparison to what God has for us.
“God has so blessed me by guiding me toward my writing. Not only do I get to do something I love and share what I’ve learned along my spiritual journey—I learn by letting His hand guide me by helping to write those stories,” Barbara says. “And I have the best readers. They write to thank me, encourage me, and when they say that each book gets better, it challenges me to try to write a story they’ll like even more next time.”