A Plain and Simple Heart, Amish of Apple Grove Series #2
Learn About the Love of Father God.
In "Heart's Frontier" we followed the romance of Amish Emma and cowboy Luke. "A Plain and Simple Heart" follows the story of Rebecca, Emma's younger sister, who goes in search of childhood sweetheart, Jess, and ends up glad her plans were changed. I won't spoil it for you by telling you how it ends! I thought it was slower to develop than the first in the series, and perhaps not as rich, although it was interesting to see 'up close and personal' the early days of the Women's Christian Temperance Union in Kansas. Possibly my favorite character was Jonas Switzer, Rebecca's Papa - such wisdom, such depth, such control, such unconditional love - such a picture of our Heavenly Father when he says "the choices you have made are not the ones I hoped for, but you will never be a disappointment." I am looking forward to Part 3 in the series.
March 12, 2014
Spunky Amish? You bet!!!
1884Ã¢ÂÂA young Amish girl sets out on rumspringa to track down the man she loves and give him her lovelorn heart. But love has ever been known to be unpredictable... What sweet, innocent Rebecca Switzer actually finds could be something quite different than what she had in mind.
Once again, Copeland and Smith have crafted a wonderful, heartwarming tale of young love that is NOT your typical Amish romance. What could possibly make an innocent young Amish woman set off on her own, under cover of night, in pursuit of a man who may or may not return her affection? What stretch of imagination could place that same young lady behind bars in a handsome cowboy sheriff's jailhouse? And what possible good could come of an Amish rumspringa gone so far off the intended path?
The first book in The Amish of Apple Grove series set a high standard for a rousingly different kind of Amish tale. A PLAIN & SIMPLE HEART raises the banner even higher, and does notÃ¢ÂÂfor even an instantÃ¢ÂÂdisappoint. Can't imagine what the authors will come up with next for Apple Grove, but this reader can't wait to find out. A highly recommended, joy of a read!
October 6, 2012
Two Romances, Adventure, Historical event, more
Rebecca has held a love Jesse every since meeting him during a cattle drive. The cowboys had helped her family when they were robbed. Rebecca is Amish. Yet her sister, Emma, married Luke the cowboy who was in charge of the cattle drive.
So Rebecca leaves at night to set out to find who she thinks is her true love. She is arrested and put in jail. Colin, the sheriff, has a time with this spit fire of a young woman taking over the jail.
Rebecca gets caught up in the Temperance Movement by accident. Yet through it all she makes friend with the Englishers.
Amos comes to bail her out of jail with money from the Amish Community. He cannot believe the outside world. He falls for Sassy - Sarah, who had worked in a Saloon. She returns to the Amish Community.
I could not put the book down. I read it in two days.
Rebecca's love for Jesse turns out to be the love for a friend. He is not what she thought he would be. She finds out he is not her true love.
Yet on this adventure she finds her true love.
I await the next book Lori and Virginia write together. God has gifted them both.
September 24, 2012
Amish Western Historical Romance
Rebecca Switzer has a crush on Englischer Jesse Montgomery, but knows that her father will never permit another daughter to marry a non-Amish man. At seventeen, Rebecca hasnÃ¢ÂÂt seen the cattle drover for four years, yet she still harbours a fantasy that he will return to Apple Grove, Kansas, join the Amish and marry her. She finds out the Jesse is living in Lawrence, Texas, so enlists the help of her sister and brother-in-law to travel alone to Lawrence, announce her love to Jesse and bring him back to Apple Grove.
This first impression of Rebecca is not good. She is wilful and naÃÂ¯ve, not a good combination at any age but particularly not for a teenager who fancies herself in love with a virtual stranger than she hasnÃ¢ÂÂt seen or heard from in years, especially one with a reputation for drinking and women. Her justification for this very un-Amish behaviour is that as she is on rumspringa, not yet baptised into the church, and therefore should be permitted an adventure before adopting a lifetime of obedience to the Ordnung.
Unfortunately for Rebecca, when she arrives in Lawrence, she finds herself arrested with the women of the local temperance movement, and jailed for ninety days under the supervision of town Sheriff Colin Maddox. We then get introduced to Amos Beiler, a widow with three children who is interested in marrying Rebecca, who, at thirteen years her senior, is closer in age to his daughter than to him. I think that's a bit creepy. It is creepy in real life (Michael Douglas, Rod Stewart, Paul McCartney) and it's creepy in fiction.
The story was well-written and I really liked Colin and the other Lawrence townsfolk. I just found it difficult to like Rebecca, and itÃ¢ÂÂs really hard to like a book when, as a reader, you donÃ¢ÂÂt like or canÃ¢ÂÂt related to the main character. Overall, I found the temperance subplot much more interesting than the main romance plot, which was a more than a little unbelievable, both in terms of timing and a lack of romantic tension.
I read A Plain and Simple Heart because I wondered if an Amish romance would be better for being set in a time where the technological differences between the Amish and the Englisch were not so obvious. It wasn't. The writing was good, but it had the same vapid heroine as many of the contemporary equivalents. Maybe she reminds me of myself at that age; maybe she is a sign of what I hope my own daughter won't become; maybe she just makes me think of Bella from Twilight. Either way, I just couldn't relate to Rebecca.
This book is the second in The Amish of Apple Grove series, but can easily be read as a stand-alone. I think the first book dealt with the romance between Emma (RebeccaÃ¢ÂÂs sister) and Luke. They seem to be nice characters, from what little we saw of them in A Plain and Simple Heart, so that may be worth reading. But unless you are a fan of teenage romance or Amish fiction, I wouldnÃ¢ÂÂt recommend A Plain and Simple Heart.
Thanks to Harvest House and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review.
September 16, 2012