Sunshine and Shadow is one of those books that will stay with you where the other romances might be forgotten as soon as you finish the novel.
Alan Wilde is a jaded, been-there-done-that, forced-to-act-as-a-child-by-profit-motivated-parents, controlling but successful Hollywood movie director. He hungers for nothing, as he is well off yet his appetite for life is at an all time low. He is spiritless. Nothing can shock or surprise him. That is, not until he meets our heroine Susan Peachy. A pretty young Amish widow full of spirit who can marvel at all the wonders of God such as star gazing at night and laying in the grass observing the busy ants. Even the simplest everyday things we take for granted, such as being able to turn a lamp on and off captivate her attention.
He can't believe that someone so pure and untainted still exists on this earth. Nor can he help but be drawn to her simple goodness & her fresh look at everything that comes her way. When she looks into his eyes, she sees the complete opposite: disillusionment, boredom, sin and badness. But she is drawn to him nonetheless. She knows he's a sinner but sinners can be saved and that's a temptation she cannot resist. She calls him "English" as that is what the Amish refer to any non-Amish people and so in retaliation, he adoringly calls her "Amish". She shows him just by being herself that he does indeed have a soul and this is a book of his awareness of how it is to really live a full life. Life not full of material goods as that is the only world he knew but a life of just good itself.
This is a marvelous love story. Proof that opposites do attract. That good will beat bad. I don't ever recall describing a novel as "beautiful" but Sunshine and Shadow is a warm and beautiful book.
---- Amazon Reviewer: Lee Haskell (CHARLESTON, SC) --------
I found it hard to enjoy the story-line of the book due to the author's lack of research. There are such blinding errors in the amish way of life and beliefs, that it kept my mind racing off to "what? that's not right!" The idea that an amish widow would allow herself to be persuaded to act in a hollywood movie is just insane -- they refuse photography for religious reasons! The simple lifstyle inacuracies (like embroidered faces on dolls) were annoying. Pigs inside the house? Come on! That's a juvenile prank, not something they would do -- if the bretheren were wanting her to reconsider her actions(not that she would REALLY have been doing such things) they would have sent the bishop over to talk with her. I just could not enjoy the book.
I loved this romance about an Amish woman and a Hollywood director. You wouldn't think it would work but it does.
I wish Sharon and Tom Curtis were still writing. They also wrote regency romances under the name Laura London.
Classic tale of an Amish widow and a cynical man from the modern world.
I decided to read this book after having seen Tom & Sharon Curtis' names on many best of romance lists for their highly praised novel The Windflower. A few months prior, I read one of their earlier historicals, Moonlight Mist, and felt it was pretty mediocre, so I wasn't sure what to expect with Sunshine and Shadow. Even though this is a contemporary romance written 25 years ago, the Amish theme kept it from being too dated. It is not only a great love story, but also really provokes a lot of thought about faith and acceptance. Extremely well written and deeply emotional, I highly recommend this one if you can get your hands on a copy.