Brightest And Best by Olivia NewportBrightest And Best by Olivia Newport

Brightest And Best

byOlivia Newport

Paperback | August 1, 2015

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The collapse of a schoolhouse puts pressure on Amish families and their long-held educational values. Ella Hilty anticipates marrying Gideon Wittner and becoming a mother to his children. In a whirling clash of values, Ella seeks the solid ground that seems to have slipped away. Margaret Simpson, an English schoolteacher, wonders if she is losing her last chance at love. As the local authorities draw lines in the sand, Margaret puts romance at risk one final time. All eyes turn to Ella to make a sacrifice and accept a challenge that can bring unity to the Amish and understanding to the English.
Olivia Newport's novels twist through time to find where faith and passions meet. Her husband and twentysomething children provide welcome distraction from the people stomping through her head on their way into her books. She chases joy in stunning Colorado at the foot of the Rockies, where daylilies grow as tall as she is.
Title:Brightest And BestFormat:PaperbackDimensions:320 pages, 8.38 × 5.5 × 0.88 inPublished:August 1, 2015Publisher:Barbour Publishing, Inc.Language:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1628366338

ISBN - 13:9781628366334


Rated 5 out of 5 by from Compelling Not only did Newport engage this reader, she held her captive right to the very end. Seriously compelling. I couldn't put it down. I lost sleep over this book. Both because I stayed up late reading and because I dreamed about the story when I finally did drift off. Applying cucumber slices to my puffy eyes right after I finish writing this review. :-) If you're not an Amish reader but you love historicals don't be shy, give Brightest and Best a try. Two heroines, one Amish, one English, will keep both kinds of readers happy. And 1918 is an interesting time period for an Amish novel. In many ways, the Amish aren't so very different from their English neighbours. Day to day life is pretty similar between the two groups -- however modern conveniences such as the automobile and the telephone are beginning to create a wider gap between them. And I found the whole school issue which is at the core of this story utterly fascinating. Newport tells it from various viewpoints, both Amish and English and it pulled at my heartstrings because I know that many Amish communities went through what this one did before they were finally allowed to educate their own children. I was outraged, appalled, devastated...pretty much emotionally spent by the time I reached the end. This is as much a book about human rights as it is about the Amish at the turn of the century. A reader can make some interesting parallels to similar modern day stories seen in the media the last few years, which really got me thinking. Definitely the kind of book that has plenty of starting points for discussion so it would make an excellent book club choice. Oh -- and let's not forget the romance. Sweet and yearning, Gideon and Ella's love story is complicated by the growing dissent surrounding them. Their happily ever after seems as illusive as the hoped for Amish schoolhouse. Page-turning to the very last delectable page.
Date published: 2015-11-30
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Brightest and Best Brightest and Best is the third book in Olivia Newport’s Amish Turns of Time series, but it is the first book by her I have ever read. Although this novel started out a little slow for me, it quickly picked up speed, immersing me in the struggle between obeying God and obeying a God-ordained government. I really fell in love with the story, and found myself fighting along with them against the rules that threatened their way of life. I loved the historical aspects of this book and how they really made it what it was, and the characters were all wonderful and easy to relate to. Ella is so selfless and completely and utterly in tune with God’s will, and I really looked up to her and her faith. Margaret, although from a different background so unlike Ella’s, reminded me of her in so many ways. She really did want what was best for the Amish children, and it was obvious with everything that she did. What should you do when you know God is calling you to raise your children one way, and the God-ordained government you live under says something different? How do you know what is right, and how far to push the boundaries? Will God make His will clear, and if so, will He make a way possible so you can follow it? Many Amish parents were faced with these questions throughout the whole of this book, and how they rallied and tried their hardest to do what was right, despite attacks coming from all sides, and the effect was inspiring. I cannot imagine what it must have been like for them, wanting to do what was right but unsure exactly what that was and feeling the pressure put on them by the government and the other families. Olivia really showed us how difficult it was for them, and I applaud her for weaving the story in such a way that it made you feel as if you were a part of the drama. As the story progressed, it really drew me in, and I found myself anxious to find out what would happen. I really did love the ending, although it didn’t turn out exactly the way I thought it would. However, it definitely did end well, and I found myself looking up to Margaret and Ella even more as I finished. They are both so strong and inspiring, and I really was blessed by that. All the characters, really, had at least one relatable thing about them, and I loved all of them for the way that they handled the situations they were presented with. With everything that filled the pages of this novel, it really did end up being one that I loved, and I will present it with four bookshelves out of five, and the only reason I do not give it all five was because of the fact that the beginning was a bit slow for me. All in all, Brightest and Best was a very enjoyable novel, I highly recommend it, and am looking forward to reading more by Olivia in the future. I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
Date published: 2015-08-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Government At It's Worst The year is 1918 and WWWI is about to end in Europe, also the deadliest pandemic flu is running rampant. The officials in a small town in Ohio are not focused nationally, but have decided to make it their mission to make all the local Amish students attend the local school, and not allowing them to leave school at 15 as they do in their faith. There is a young couple Giddeon Wittmer, who is a widower and about to be married to Ella Hilty, and their lives are about to be thrown into turmoil over their beliefs. The story is about the strength of wills against the beliefs of religion. This is one story where you really don’t root for the Government and the people behind it using it as a crutch. What they do to these people, will have you shaking your heard. Ms. Newport really drew me into the story, and I held firm on which side I was on. You have to wait until almost the last page of the book to see how things are to turn out. A really great read that makes you think, and want more. I received this book through Net Galley and the Publisher Shiloh Run Press, and was not required to give a positive review.
Date published: 2015-08-09

Editorial Reviews

I read this book all in one sitting, and the only advice I have for any potential readers is to have a clear scheduled when you pick up Brightest and Best because you just won't want to put it down! Any reader who likes historical fiction, Amish fiction, fiction with a Christian background, or just a plain good read will love this book. I highly recommend Brightest and Best and am looking forward to reading more from Olivia Newport in the very near future.