The Amish Clockmaker
Mindy Starns Clark and Susan Meissner
Harvest House Publishers, Feb 1 2015, $13.99
In Lancaster County, as construction to expand Zook's Feed and Tack is about to begin, proprietor Matthew Zook reflects back to the 1950s when his Grossdaedi established the successful store that decades later his Daed almost bankrupt. However, a legal dispute with the Starbrite owners of the nearby under construction hotel arises. Their lawyer Purcell insists the Raber and Sons Clockmakers land that Zook’s Grossdaedi bought from the Raber matriarch six decades did not include this acre as she did not own that piece; her son Clayton did. They plan to find and buy the land from him. .
In 1955 facially scarred with a severe limp Clayton fell in love with his next door neighbor Miriam, but she treated him like a friend. Not long after his father died, when she became pregnant out of wedlock, he married her though she carried someone else’s baby. She lost the child and behaved weirdly until she fell from a cliff. Though there was a lack of evidence his Amish community believed Clayton pushed his wife so treated him as a pariah until he left never to be seen again. Matthew plans to prove Clayton’s innocence, find the man and obtain his signature.
The third Men of Lancaster County drama (see The Amish Groom and The Amish Blacksmith) is a fantastic entry in a fabulous series. The storyline consists of three tremendous subplots: a short look at Matthew; his family and his expansion plan; an extended 1950s glimpse into Clayton and the Raber family; and a short present day Matthew cold case search for a self-exiled man excommunicated by family and neighbors six decades ago.