I'm so excited to start reviewing books for Bethany House. Blogging programs are becoming such a fun outlet for me. I receive free copies of books, in exchange for my honest review of the book.
When I was young, my family lived in Lancaster County, Penslvannia. I was so intrigued by our Amish neighbors there. They chose such a different way of life, without eletricity, authomotives, or even having their picture taken. They were private, devout, and rule holders. They had abundant gardens, raised countless animals, and made the most beautiful quilts. I loved going to the markets and seeing all their beautiful home goods and produce for sale.
It's no wonder that I started reading about them as I grew older. While I don't think I could ever, personaly, be Amish, there's a certain draw, perhaps the simplicity. As a pre-teen, Beverly Lewis was one of the first Amish Fiction writers that I read. I still remember reading The Shunning, The Confession, and The Reckoning. Such good books! If you've never read Beveraly Lewis, I definitely suggest picking them up.
All that to say, I was really excited to start reading Lewis' newest book, The Wish.
One thing I love about Lewis is there is no one answer. Sometimes her characters find a happy life loving and serving God outside of the Amish community, and sometimes that life is found within their family and faith. Each story is different, each circumstance is different. In The Wish, there's a bit of a mystery. Overnight, Leona's best friend, Gloria disappears. For some reason, Gloria and her family chose to leave their Amish community. Years later, Leona receives a letter from her friend, and has to decide what to do. Does she go get her friend, and try to bring her back home? Or does she leave her in the ouside world? Leona's decision is a tricky one, there are many feelings and opinions at stake. As a devout Amish woman, soon to be married to the decon's son, she has a lot of things she's putting on the line if she does go after her dearest friend. But if she doesn't, she might always live to regret it....
The importance of prayer is a thread through this story. When Leona didn't know what to do, when the answers, the results, weren't evident or immediate, she offered up her problems to God. She asked Him for wisdom. She asked Him for direction.
Such good reminders for my own life as well. Sometimes, we receive differing opinions, sometimes the answers are hazy, it's unclear what the right or wrong choice would be. And so, we give it all to Jesus.
Good writing should make you think, should encourage you in your own life. Beverly Lewis has me thinking about faith, about prayer, which are such great things. And so, yes, go pick up her book. Find a little corner in a coffee shop to read, and be encouraged and uplifted today. Because good fiction should leave us feeling encouraged, yes?