A Plain Leaving, The Sisters of Lancaster County, Book 1 by Leslie Gould; 2017; 344 pages; $15.99; Bethany House, Minneapolis, MN; 978-0-7642-1969-6; direct from the publisher in exchange for a review; 10/19/17-10/26/17
Why did I read this? Because Leslie Gould is a very good storyteller and I enjoy reading her stories.
Two stories of an Amish family, one set now and one set during the Revolutionary War. Jessica has left her family and Amish community when her beloved Dat passes away. She returns to Lancaster County to pay tribute to her father and to prevent her older brother Arden from selling part of the farm for apartments or lease the land to an oil company for fracking. As she is dealing with mistrust, cold shoulders and outright deceit from members of her family her Aenti Suz tells her the story of her ancestor Ruby during the Revolutionary War as a cautionary tale. Both stories are intriguing and gripping. Looking forward to book two.
Amish Weddings by Leslie Gould; 2017; $15.99; 375 pages; Bethany House, Minneapolis, MN; 978-0-7642-1694-7; provided by the publisher in exchange for a review; 1/12/17-1/18/17
Why did I read this? Because I have read the other books in the series and enjoyed them. In the interest of full disclosure Leslie is a friend of ours and has made Ruth Ann and I characters in another book.
This is the darkest Amish book I have ever read. Zane, an Englischer who has convert to Amish is getting ready to marry Lila when her buggy is rear ended and she suffers major injuries. Zane’s Army buddy Trevor comes to visit and wreaks havoc in one Amish family. So to quote Warren Zevon, the story involves Lawyers, Guns and Money, minus the money. Leslie makes the characters so compelling that you want to slap some of them, comfort some and learn from some. The growth of a couple of the characters have gone through in this series is amazing.
Amish Sweethearts by Leslie Gould; 2016; $14.99; 373 pages; Bethany House, Bloomington, MN; 978-0-7642-1524-7; sent from Publisher;1/3/1/16-2/3/16
A continuation of the story which began in Amish Promises. Zane and Lila are from different worlds, as Lila is part of an Amish family and Zane’s father is a veteran of the U.S. Army. They have grown close together being neighbors, perhaps too close as the are closing in on eighteen. Lila is being courted by another member of the Amish community and pushes Zane away, he impulsively joins the U.S. Army and after training is deployed to Afghanistan. Absence seems to make the heart grow fonder and bought Zane and Lila come to realizations that will change their lives and the lives of those around them.
Did I enjoy it? Yes, it was a good story of young love and complicated relationships which were made even more complicated by the differences in faiths.
Amish Promises by Leslie Gould; 2015; $14.99; 361 pages; Bethany House Publishers, Minneapolis, MN; gift from the author;4/28/15-5/2/15
Why did I read this? Leslie is a great author who tells an awesome story and she is a friend of ours.
What is the story? Amish farmer Tim Lehman recently lost his wife and Joel Beck was wounded in Iraq. Joe, his son and his pregnant wife move to Lancaster, PA next door to Tim and his family. Tim’s sister Eve has moved in with him to take care of his children. Joel’s friend, fellow soldier and unit medic, Charlie, comes from Philadelphia to help with Joel’s rehab. The action starts right away with Joel hurting himself again and one of Tim’s children getting kicked in the head by a horse. As time goes on there is conflict between the Amish and the Englisch family, but they come to a understanding. Meanwhile a romance blossoms between Eve and Charlie, and as they grow closer they are both burdened by their past.
Did I enjoy it? Yes, Leslie is a great storyteller and she tells a great story of the conflicts and understanding reached between the two families.
What is with the title of the review? Often love is able to overcome the differences between people.
Becoming Bea by Leslie Gould; 2014; $14.99; 348 pages; Bethany House, Minneapolis, MN; 978-0-7642-1034-1; fiction; gift from the author and publisher; 9/30/14-10/2/14
Leslie Gould ties together her Courtships of Lancaster County series with Becoming Bea. Bea Zook is the younger sister of the family, who has decided that she is never going to marry, when her heart was broken earlier in the series. She and Ben Rupp love each other but are stubborn, hard headed and grudge holding. Bea has always seemed introverted and until she takes a job helping with some newborns she has seemed standoffish. She learns how to be a member of community and learning many life lessons. Love, stalkers, babies, misunderstandings, and more lead to an fun read.
Did I enjoy it? Yes, I laughed, cried, got angry and got deeply involved in the story. Leslie continues to amaze me with her talent. I always look forward to her books.
What is with the title of the review? The two main characters battled in spelling bees for years, so many of their insults to each other are spelled out.