I was provided a complimentary copy of this book by Harvest House. I was not compensated for this review and all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. I was not required to write a positive review.A Letter from Lancaster County by Kate Lloyd
Series: Lancaster Discoveries #1
Published by Harvest House Publishers on July 1st 2017
Genres: Christian, Fiction, Romance
Source: Harvest House
Two Sisters Get a Second Chance at Life and Love
Angela Her mother's untimely death, a struggling marriage, a strained relationship with her sister, Rose, and regrets over what might have been haunt her. Despite being a wife and mother, she feels she has little to show for her life.
Rose Still single, she longs for a husband and children. But Angela has all that and still isn't happy. Rose wants to be closer to her older sister, but she and Angela couldn't be more different. Both strong women, will their sibling rivalry ever end?
*** When a letter arrives from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, Angela and Rose decide to visit Aunt Sylvia, their mother's Mennonite sister, in the heart of Amish country. This vacation could provide the opportunity both sisters need to sort out their issues. And yet instead of finding a new way of connecting with each other, Angela and Rose discover surprising family secrets that add to their strife and threaten Rose's romance with a new beau.
Through it all, the two sisters must find the faith necessary to face their personal problems and allow God to restore hope and healing to their hearts and relationship as only He can.
Let me tell ya’ll a story about this book. I have looked forward to reading this book for more than a minute. I finally found a gap in my craziness to be able to get it into my schedule. I was excited. I need to just stop being excited and stop thinking that things will go as planned. I finished it just a wee bit ago and I’m exhausted and slightly cranktacular (it’s a thing, go with it) and I don’t even have the blog post set up. And…I’m on sketchy internet at The Old Folks Home (I call it that just to irritate my mother :D) and I just want to get it down but the eyes are burn-y people. Let’s talk about the book for a minute since I’ve now official whined about me, my neighbors 2ish AM party this morning, burn-y eyes, coffee overdose … This is not your typical Amish fiction. There are Amish in the story, yes. There is even an aunt that is/was/maybe still Mennonite. And there are two English sisters visiting their aunt they barely know.
How do I talk about Rose and Angela and their visit to Aunt Silvia without giving away too much? Their mother has passed away, Angela feels trapped in her perfect marriage with perfect children and never feeling appreciated by anyone including her younger sister Rose. Rose feels trapped in a vicious cycle of dead end pseudo-relationships with no permanent attachments, no family of her own save her dog Minnie and nothing to even hint at a different future. Angela convinces her sister to join her on a trip to visit their Aunt Silvia, they’ve not seen since they were children, and try to find a way to connect their relationship. And they fight. All. The. Time. They don’t necessarily want to but their own insecurities get in the way. Their own fears, misunderstandings, and a lifetime of jealousy and angst. As their personalities develop so do their personal stories. The chapters switched between the two sisters but it was hard at times to remember who’s turn it was, their voices were so similar. Some big things, personal things that were kept hidden for a lifetime, came up but were never shared. Perhaps in the next book? I hope? These things need reconciliation. Along with their similar voice (I mean they were both whiny and angry and argumentative and….sorry spoiler goes here.) With that goes the difficulty with understanding the girls’ motivation. Rose starts remembering things she had gone through as a teen. Things she apparently never shared with her family. While I understand that it was important in the development of her personality and life there was no catalyst for it to come up in her remembering. It felt like an awkward emotion dump that needed to find it’s way to the story somehow so here ya go. Angela had her own moments like that as well.
I know it sounds like I’m on a Negative Nancy rant of something but I’m truly not. This book was very well crafted. The ideas behind the story flowed well but I frequently got lost in the arguing that seemed to never resolve anything since it was all about surface stuff and not actually delving deep into the reason behind the argument. I loved Aunt Silvia and she is probably my favorite character in the book with her steadfast faith in both God and her family. She has a wisdom you must experience to benefit from, she seriously needs to come visit me. There was some reconciliation of the girls near the end, sorta. It wasn’t all in but it was a start. Angela’s bow was a little too neatly wrapped, well to be fair Rose’s was as well. I’m interested to see where the next book takes us!