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 October 3rd 2017
Source: Bethany House Bloggers
Genres: Amish & Mennonite, Christian, Fiction, General, Romance
Gould Offers a New Amish Series in Idyllic Lancaster CountyAt age twenty, Jessica Bachman left her two beloved sisters and her Amish community after clashing with the new bishop about her role in the family and the future of their farm. She tried to convince Silas Kemp, who'd been courting her for two years, to join her, but when he said no, she fled anyway.
Three years later, she returns home for the first time since leaving Lancaster to attend her father's funeral. Her arrival back revives all sorts of emotions--yearnings and sorrows alike. Jessica knows things will never return to how they were. But in seeing Silas again, she can't help but wonder what might have been.
Struggling to decide where her next step should take her, she learns the story of a Revolutionary War-era ancestor that echoes her own choices. Will Jessica leave her family and community forever, or is there peace and healing and love yet to come?
Note: Kristin reads and reviews both Christian and secular fiction on A Simply Enchanted Life. Out of respect for my readers, I am including a content review. This content review will help you decide whether this book is suitable for you.
Christian or Secular: Christian
Trigger Warnings: None
A Plain Leaving is everything that I used to hate in a book but a style that I now love. I know you’re scratching your head and saying, “Huh?” Let me explain, A Plain Leaving is written in first person—a writing style for which I used to struggle with. Time has a way of changing people and now I long for more first-person novels in the Amish genre. It’s so rarely done.
I loved Jessica and getting into her head made me feel kinds of emotions. Anger, sadness, lonliness—I felt it all with her. Typically when I write a review, I try to point out all the negatives and end with the positives. There were no negatives for me with this story. The dual timelines between modern-day and the early Amish settlers were so beautifully woven. I’ve only read two books this year with a dual timeline and as of now they’re sitting in first and second place for the top books of 2017. It’s just awesome-sauce. Yes, I said awesome-sauce in a review. Unprofessional? Maybe. But it is how I feel.
At first, I wanted Jessica to harden her heart against her family and run away to the safety of the English world. But, as time passed, I started to see that Jessica was running away from her problems. That’s something I tend to do rather than facing them. And I began to hope that Jessica could face her fears and be better at healthy confrontation than I am. I wanted that for her on some deep emotional level.
If you can’t tell, I loved this book. I would absolutely suggest it to fans of Amish and historical fiction.