Tag: Amish Fiction

BOOK REVIEW: A Plain Leaving by Leslie Gould

Posted November 30, 2017 by Fizzy Pop in Leslie Gould, The Sisters of Lancaster County / 0 Comments

I was provided a complimentary copy of this book by Bethany 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.

BOOK REVIEW: A Plain Leaving by Leslie GouldA Plain Leaving by Leslie Gould
Series: The Sisters of Lancaster County #1
Published by Baker Publishing Group on October 3rd 2017
Genres: Amish & Mennonite, Christian, Fiction, General, Romance
Pages: 352
Source: Bethany House

Gould Offers a New Amish Series in Idyllic Lancaster CountyAt age twenty, Jessica Bachman left her two beloved sisters and her Amish community after clashing with the new bishop about her role in the family and the future of their farm. She tried to convince Silas Kemp, who'd been courting her for two years, to join her, but when he said no, she fled anyway.

Three years later, she returns home for the first time since leaving Lancaster to attend her father's funeral. Her arrival back revives all sorts of emotions--yearnings and sorrows alike. Jessica knows things will never return to how they were. But in seeing Silas again, she can't help but wonder what might have been.

Struggling to decide where her next step should take her, she learns the story of a Revolutionary War-era ancestor that echoes her own choices. Will Jessica leave her family and community forever, or is there peace and healing and love yet to come?

I’ve not read this author before but something about the synopsis of this novel reached out to me in my monthly Bethany House email.  I had to read it.  And that it’s first in a series is just a bonus.  Sometimes you want to start at the beginning.  Other times, not so much but this was one of those sometimes.  It has sat patiently in the book stack waiting for it’s turn.  I have to say, I’m glad I read it and wish I’d read it sooner, but then of course it would have been over sooner.  I read it right on time, in bed, sick, on my day off work.

Jessica Bachmann made a hard choice three years ago.  Already baptized into her faith she chose to leave.  Her older brother Arden, her bishop, even her Mamm had turned a blind eye to her needs.  There wasn’t a lot of understanding or even honesty.  She left.  She left her family, she left her boyfriend Silas, she left the hurts.  She succeeded in the English world.  Found a job, an apartment and got her GED.  Her dat came to visit her, apparently never telling those back home.  She was shunned.  She met Tom and started dating him, even talked about the idea of marriage in the future and he met her dat.  But then dat passed away.  And she went home.  Back to the lack of support, back to the lies and back to the family that didn’t want her anymore.  She was shunned.  Well, her aunt Suz wanted her and her sister Leisel, who originally called her.  And her other older brother, Amos (Arden’s twin), who had left when Jessica was a child.  There was a lot of heartache during the visit home, revisiting old wounds that weren’t as healed as anticipated.  There were new wounds.  And a little bit of healing.

As I was reading this book I kept wondering what would happen if they didn’t go back.  I don’t mean just Jessica but anyone who had left.  We always read about leaving and/or coming home.  I’ve not read anything where they choose not to return.  What if Jessica went home and stayed home, her new home, her English home?  I mean she did.  For a minute.  What if she stayed shunned, stayed English, and went about her life?  What would that look like?  I get that this is a series about sisters so I know where the future books are going to lean.  Amos went home to stay, he did not come back.  He’s been gone longer and has more life in the English world.  But, what if?  That’s the thoughts I had reading this book.  I know, not about the book at all.  Let’s talk about the book.

The characters were so well developed that even the historical story-line blended in so well.  Even the characters you needed to despise (Arden comes to mind) had a solid backstory that created who they were.  Ruby had a choice to make, at a time when women had even less choices than they do now.  Two lives, two men, her own identity.  Jessica faced similar choices.  Though her dat had allowed for her to have more options than a woman of their faith.  Two lives, two men, her own identity.  They may have chosen differently but their stories were so similar.  Generations apart, different choices, different answers, the same outcome.  Finding yourself in the middle.  Standing for what you know is right for yourself.  That’s ultimately the truth of ‘A Plain Leaving’.

A Plain Leaving (The Sisters of Lancaster County #1)
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About Leslie Gould

Leslie Gould

Leslie Gould is the award-winning author of fifteen novels, including the #1 bestseller The Amish Midwife (CBA and ECPA), co-written with Mindy Starns Clark. The novel, the first in The Women of Lancaster County series, was a 2012 Christy Award winner. The Amish Nanny and The Amish Bride, the second and third novels in the series, also hit the bestseller list.

One of Leslie’s stand-alone novels, Beyond the Blue, won of the Romantic Times Book Club Magazine’s Reviewers’ Choice Award for Best Inspirational Novel in 2006.

Leslie received her master of fine arts in creative writing from Portland State University in 2009 and has taught fiction as an adjunct professor at Multnomah University. She also teaches workshops at public and private schools and at writers’ conferences.

A varied work history, from curating a historical museum to editing a bridal magazine, preceded her fiction-writing career. She is also an Army Reserve wife who has supported her husband, Peter, through many years of service, including a deployment to Afghanistan as the commander of a field hospital. Leslie and her husband live in Oregon with their four children.

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AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Kathleen Fuller on Holidays, The Amish, and Fiction

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Kathleen Fuller on Holidays, The Amish, and Fiction

Posted November 29, 2017 by Fizzy Pop in Author Interview, Giveaway, Kathleen Fuller / 0 Comments

When you are given an opportunity to interview an author you grab it.  Oh the things my mind needs to know.  With the holiday season on us and an opportunity to sit down with a favorite author I couldn’t pass it up.  Or the fact that Kathleen is offering a giveaway as well.  It’s a win-win. Win for me with the ability to get some questions off my mind and win for you as she shares her answers and her talent. Does your family have any specific Thanksgiving traditions? My mother-in-law’s cornbread dressing. She would make it much better than I do, though. It’s a simple southern recipe that my husband loves. What is your favorite Christmas tradition? Eating! Actually, I’m serious. We don’t have any long-standing traditions in my family, other than baking and eating Christmas treats. When my kids were young, we used to bake a cake for […]

BOOK REVIEW: A Place At Our Table by Amy Clipston

BOOK REVIEW: A Place At Our Table by Amy Clipston

Posted November 14, 2017 by Fizzy Pop in Amish Homestead, Amy Clipston / 0 Comments

A young Amish volunteer firefighter who lives and breathes his family dairy farm and the fire station.  A young Amish woman who works in her family’s restaurant and lives and breaths her family life.  Two broken families touched by grief.  And two young people who find themselves falling in love with grief and baggage and an obnoxiously annoying inability to actually communicate with each other in a way that makes sense and helps them move forward through all that is life instead of moving them backward.  I loved them, I cheered for them, I virtually smacked them and at times I simply despised them.  They were both completely selfish and drowning in self-pity that manifested in different ways.  They both had, and still have, a lot of growing up to do.  Despite the conflicting emotions I’m still completing rooting for them. ‘A Place at Our Table’ tells the story of […]

BOOK REVIEW: The Proving by Beverly Lewis

BOOK REVIEW: The Proving by Beverly Lewis

Posted November 4, 2017 by Fizzy Pop in Beverly Lewis / 0 Comments

I sit down to write this review, after staying up half the night because I NEEDED to finish it, and am at a loss for words.  Yes, need in all caps is the right word to use there.  Why need?  Because I said so?  Grabbing a couple of chapters in the car before work, a chapter on lunch here and there, a couple of chapters before passing out in bed with burn-y eyes (is so a word!) wasn’t helping me to find out how Mandy and Arie’s relationship originally broke and what, if anything would actually repair it.  Those few chapters here and there weren’t helping me figure out why Mamma willed the B&B to Mandy to begin with or how she was going to navigate the stipulations of inheriting the Inn.  I needed to know if her family, her community, even her guests ever came to embrace her as […]

BOOK REVIEW: A Gift for Anne Marie by Kathleen Fuller

BOOK REVIEW: A Gift for Anne Marie by Kathleen Fuller

Posted October 28, 2017 by Fizzy Pop in Kathleen Fuller / 0 Comments

You know how I always, well OK sometimes, complain that a novella tries to be too much?  I’ve been really lucky here lately with novellas understanding their amazing role in literature and stepping up to the plate in amazing ways.  ‘A Gift for Anne Marie’ by Kathleen Fuller takes one for the team but almost, sorta, OK a little bit tilts to the opposite direction of my chief novella complaint.  I feel like there was a tidbit too little history of some the characters in their given moment to fully grasp them.  Not Anne Marie or Nathaniel but more her mother and the mysterious thing going on there.  Like how long was she a widow?  Who are her brother’s and how does her relationship with them play into her life?  That kind of thing.  My almost perfect snapshot of time had some blurry edges.  Trust me, if I had to […]