very evocative

A Simple Singing, The Sisters of Lancaster County, Book Two by Leslie Gould, 2018; $15.99; 359 pages; Bethany House, Minneapolis, MN; provided by the publisher in exchange for a review; 7/29/18-8/2/18

Why did I read this?  Because I think that Leslie is a great storyteller and I will read almost anything she writes.

Another fine time slip novel of two Amish families, one now and one during the civil war.  There are many parallels between the stories, unlikable characters and other characters who face moral, spiritual and ethical dilemmas.  There are a couple of very unlikable men in each time period, men who are tyrannical, overbearing and like to dominate the women in their lives.  One of the Amish leaders admonishes the main character that their traditions are what is most important not what the scriptures says.  The Civil War portion of the story is very evocative and well written and reminded me of James McPherson’s Hallowed Ground:A Walk at Gettysburg.  I was really impressed with the story and am looking forward to the third book in the series.


What is with the title of the review?  The scenes set in the Civil War are very evocative and well written and took me to the time and place.


my favorite

The Amish Quilter by Leslie Gould & Mindy Starns Clark; 2018; $14.99; 336 pages; Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, OR; 978-0-7369-6294-0; Provided by the publisher for review; 4/16/18-4/18/18

Why did I read this?  One half of the author team is a friend of ours and I like the authors writing, they are good storytellers.

Linda is the youngest daughter of an Amish family, a perfectionist and a straight edge rule follower.  She puts the other Amish folk to shame with her ability to judge others and herself when it comes to following the rules.  She finds herself confronting some facts that challenge her perceptions of the rules and of those closest to her.  In doing some genealogical research she discovers even more about balancing truth and justice.  She also tends to assume too much and speculate too much.  She is an amazing quilter who perfectionism even mandates how she quilts, she is creative but only in a certain way.  As she is confronted by new truths in her life and as her relationships grow with her family and with her beau the truths she learns about life also expands her creativity.

Grade 10/10

What is with the title of the review?  I really enjoyed the way the authors talked of art here and the word pictures they painted of paintings and quilts were quite moving.  r


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.


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.


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