Tag: Beth Wiseman

BOOK REVIEW: The Proving by Beverly Lewis

Posted November 4, 2017 by Fizzy Pop in Beverly Lewis / 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: The Proving by Beverly LewisThe Proving by Beverly Lewis
Published by Baker Publishing Group on September 5th 2017
Genres: Amish & Mennonite, Christian, Fiction, General, Religious
Pages: 352
Source: Bethany House

Amish Fiction's #1 Author Presents a Touching Story of Perseverance and Second ChancesAmanda Dienner hasn't seen her Old Order family in five years when she receives word that her mother has passed away and left her Lancaster County's most popular Amish bed-and-breakfast. Now an Englisher, Mandy is shocked: Her twin sister should have been the obvious choice! What's more, the inheritance comes with a catch: The farmhouse inn will only truly be hers if she is able to successfully run it for twelve consecutive months.

Mandy accepts the challenge even though it means returning to Gordonville and the painful memories she left behind at eighteen. Still, she's determined to prove she is more than capable of running the bed-and-breakfast, no matter that its loyal clientele are expecting an Amish hostess!

The inn isn't Mandy's sole test, however. Rubbing shoulders with her married twin sister reopens wounds that Mandy isn't ready to forgive. And an Englisher guest with a difficult past of her own just complicates matters.

Can Mandy fulfill the terms of her inheritance? Or will this year in Amish country prove a dreadful mistake?

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 a whole.  I needed to know so many many things that a few chapters here and there wasn’t cutting it.  So, instead of ‘sleeping all the hours’ I’d proclaimed I would do with my extended weekend I read most of them.  And the reading?  Worth so much more than the sleep.  However I will vehemently deny I EVER said that!

Having finished ‘The Proving’ in the wee hours this morning I just have to get this off my chest.  It was too easy.  Mandy’s 12 months were too easy.  They were hard, I get that, but they were too easy.  I get there was a lot, I mean a LOT, of hardship as she navigated her way from her English world to her roots in the Amish world.  Just the emotional toll of facing what she had left behind in a rush of deep hurts.  And then being abandoned again by people who were in place to help her, well all but the outside help.  They kept coming, without any interaction from her, without any acknowledgement from her, which I think made things too easy.  Keeping the acquiescing yard and barn help ultimately lightened the burden of the experience.  Navigating the edges of her torn family relationships, which had to be wrapped in a layers of uncertainty and doubt, was too easy.  It wasn’t easy but there was a depth of emotion that I felt was missing with Mandy.  Her hesitancy and uncertainty were forefront but it just lacked something for me.  And for the love of tomatoes, Lewis held onto the reason behind her flight from home until the near end.  I was tempted so many times to flip ahead and figure out where this little nugget of knowledge would finally be revealed.  Until then I sometimes thought of Mandy as a bit petty and unyielding.  Which, of course, layered on the hardship.

Let’s talk about Trina while we are at it.  That girl is a heaping helping of mess piled on with a thick layer of caustic kindness.  I get it, that’s almost an oxymoron but it’s true.  She’s hateful and condescending one moment and then gentle and helpful the next.  The girl made my head spin!  I feel like she took her friendship and opportunities that she had with Mandy for granted and ultimately slighted her at the end.  Mandy didn’t see it that way, I don’t think anyone in the book saw it that way but I totally felt hurt by a choice she made.  All that said I don’t dislike this book.  I actually loved this book.

I loved characters with depth and personality.  I loved characters with flaws and emotions.  I can’t imagine leaving literally everything I know, including way of life, to embark on a journey halfway across the country with no ties, no world skills, and such a deep hurt of betrayal from the people I loved most.  I can’t begin to imagine myself being successful at it either!  Mandy did all of that and also returned to the ‘scene of the crime’ so to speak with mostly tactful grace despite the uncertainty and the over-carrying hurts.  Seriously, this book, despite the flaw of easiness, is one I’d recommended for almost anyone who just needs to be reminded that sometimes even the hurts are in God’s time and in his care.

The Proving
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About Beverly Lewis

Beverly Lewis

Beverly Lewis, raised in Pennsylvania Amish country and both a schoolteacher and an accomplished musician, has been an award-winning author for over a dozen years. Her acclaimed novel, The Preacher’s Daughter, was a 2006 Quill Book Award finalist in the romance category. Her books have appeared on numerous bestseller lists, including USA Today and The New York Times. She and her husband, David, live in Colorado.”

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BOOK REVIEW: Home All Along by Beth Wiseman

BOOK REVIEW: Home All Along by Beth Wiseman

Posted September 26, 2017 by Fizzy Pop in Beth Wiseman / 0 Comments

I am so not ready for this series to end.  It’s not really over right?  It’s like a teaser and then a pleasant surprise next year with another installment?  Right?  That’s the story I’m telling myself as I write this review anyway.  Which, by the way, is my 100th review this year.  I literally just hopped over to Goodreads and upped my reading challenge goal yet again.   I can’t think of a better book to have that 100 book place of honor.  Don’t get me wrong, I probably actually can but I’m glad it was an amazing book by an amazing author that holds that honor.  There are so many choices that aren’t as amazing.  I need more time with Charlotte and her extended adopted-ish Amish family.  There’s so much unfinished business, in my opinion, that can’t be finished.  Hint, hint.  OK, I’ll stop whining and hinting and get down […]

BOOK REVIEW: Love Bears All Things by Beth Wiseman

BOOK REVIEW: Love Bears All Things by Beth Wiseman

Posted September 14, 2017 by Fizzy Pop in Beth Wiseman / 1 Comment

Oh my good tomatoes!  I really thought that ‘Her Brother’s Keeper’ wrapped up so evenly that I wasn’t sure what a second book could bring to the table.  I was so misguided.  Sooo misguided.  And completely and utterly glad I was wrong.  Charlotte’s life can’t seem to stay stable.  She’s good and things are promising with Ryan back in Texas.  Then she’s totally without a board to even float on and heading back to Pennsylvania.  She needs validation that the people she considers family there have forgiven her for the drama she caused in the previous book.  And the drama that tends to follow her.  She’s learned to trust in God, to have faith, but girl’s got baggage and a heap of drama and it’s easy to lose track of that trust when life keeps tossing you down.   I was irritated as heck with this whole dream thing that dominated […]

BOOK REVIEW: An Amish Christmas Love by Beth Wiseman, Amy Clipston, Ruth Reid, and Kelly Irvin

BOOK REVIEW: An Amish Christmas Love by Beth Wiseman, Amy Clipston, Ruth Reid, and Kelly Irvin

Winter Kisses by Beth Wiseman Three generations of Stoltzfus women are all living under the same roof. At twenty-five, Naomi has never been married, and both her mother, Barbara, and her grandmother, Ruth, have recently been widowed. Each nursing broken or lonely hearts, they also each have potential suitors. When a storm on Christmas Eve forces the three couples to take shelter in the basement of the Stotlzfus homestead, secrets are revealed, hearts are opened, and all three potential grooms drop to their knees for very different reasons a proposal, a prayer, and an epiphany. I feel like no matter how I chose to review novella’s the first story always bears the brunt. Not necessarily about the story or even in my feelings about the story or the rating of the book. Novella’s are hard for me to love. I have a ‘thing’ about the whole falling in love so […]