This book was provided to me by Bethany House Bloggers. I was not required to write a positive review, and have not been compensated for this. All opinions are my own.
Published by Baker Publishing Group on September 6th 2016
Source: Bethany House Bloggers
Genres: Fiction, Amish & Mennonite, Christian, General, Religious
A Compelling Story of Friendship from the Top Author in Amish FictionLeona Speicher got the "sister" she'd always dreamed of the day Gloria Gingerich and her family moved to Lancaster County Amish farmland. The Arkansas newcomers seem to be everything a devout Plain family should be, and Leona can't help comparing Gloria's engaging young parents to her own.
Leona's cousin shows a romantic interest in Gloria around the same time as Gloria's older brother expresses his fondness for Leona--it seems likely the two young women will marry into each other's families, remaining close friends for life. Thus, Leona is shocked when the Gingeriches suddenly pack up and disappear after being expelled from the church for reasons no one will discuss. Despite Leona's pleas, Gloria goes with them, leaving more than one broken heart behind.
When Gloria unexpectedly contacts Leona after a silence of several years, Leona makes up her mind to persuade her friend to return to Lancaster County and the Amish ways. Leona's fiancé, the deacon's son, is alarmed when Leona decides to go after Gloria. Will Leona's dearest wish lead to her own undoing?
I really enjoyed this book. As always, Beverly Lewis doesn’t disappoint with characters you can love and relate to. The cover is just lovely as well! Beverly Lewis has some of the best book covers for the genre. They’re always outstanding and beautiful.
Overall, this book was easy to read however I did feel that the story stalled in just a few places. I was able to read through with relative ease and enjoyment once I worked through the slow parts.
This book strayed from the typical Amish romance which was refreshing and instead focused on the friendship between Gloria and Leona. Their journey of self discovery was endearing and I appreciated the thoughtful spiritual content presented by the author. It isn’t that I don’t enjoy a good romance but it was good to see a book where it wasn’t the main focus.
This is a beautifully written story of love, friendship and faith that brings us closer to God and each other. If you’re looking for a quick, standalone book to read with themes of forgiveness and friendship, this would be a good choice. Though it is not her finest work that I have read and I feel that it lacked the depth that you would find in some of her other books, it is still a sweet story that I would suggest to others. I also wouldn’t hesitate to suggest any of Beverly Lewis’ books for those that love the genre or who are just starting to read the genre. Her time and research as well as family background give her an authentic feel to her characters and the communities she creates.