A Plain Leaving by Leslie Gould

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.

Grade-A

My Daughter’s Legacy by Mindy Starns Clark & Leslie Gould

Cousins of the Dove, My Daughter’s Legacy by Mindy Starns Clark & Leslie Gould; 2017; $14.99; 388 pages;  Harvest House, Eugene, OR; 978-0-7369-6292-6; provided by the publisher in exchange for this review; 6/21/17-6/28/17

Why did I read this?  Because I read this first two books in the series and wanted to see how the authors’ tied up all the loose ends.

A time slip novel that has two sets of the same family involved in intrigue and mystery about one hundred and fifty years apart.  One part of the story takes place during the Civil War in the south and the other is set in the current day also in the south.

During the Civil War there is intrigue, love, mystery and conflict among family  members about slavery and ending it.  It concludes with agreement among the family and a restored relationship.

In the story set in the present a murder is solved, an addiction is worked on and a couple of relationships are started and continued.

I haven’t done the story justice.  Both eras of the story are compelling and engaging.

Grade-A

Amish Weddings by Leslie Gould

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.

Grade A

My Sister’s Prayer by Mindy Starns Clark & Leslie Gould

Cousins of the Dove, My Sister’s Prayer by Mindy Starns Clark and Leslie Gould; 2016; 364 pages; $14.99;  Harvest House, Eugene, Oregon; 978-0-7369-6290-2; provided by the Publisher for the purpose of review; 9/6/16-9/9/16

Why did I read this? Because one of the authors is a good friend of ours and she writes good stories.  This combines two of my favorite genres, historical fiction and mystery.  It is also the second book in the Cousins of the Dove series, the first book My Brother’s Crown is reviewed here.

This is a timesplit novel, story of two sets of sisters one in the beginning days of the United States and one contemporary.  The two sets of sisters mirror each other in their behavior and attitudes.  Both stories really drew me as I got upset at a couple of the choices they made when they couldn’t seemingly see what was right in front of them.  It took a couple of chapters to really grab me but when it did it became a real page turner.  The early American sisters are tricked into indentured servitude in the colonies by a dapper soldier who then colludes with several other men to keep the sisters in indenture.  They are rescued by a couple of men of simple means but great character.  The current sisters are involved in a murder mystery from their childhood, one of the sister is a professional perfectionist and the other is a recovering drug addict who is incapacitated in a severe auto accident.  The addict moves in with the perfectionist to recover from her injuries.   The connecting thread between the two stories is a series of letters written by the early American sisters, whom are the ancestors of the contemporary sisters.

Grade A

Amish Sweethearts by Leslie Gould

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.

Grade-A

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.