Joanne Kurtz has been a bridesmaid enough times it is actually considered unlucky. Being passed over by all the fellows in Hickory Hollow, she is practically an old maid in her Lancaster County community. As a secret writer, she longs for the opportunity to do more than huddle over her notebook away from the eyes of others. But Joanna has one more secret that may cost her more than her writing - something that has the potential to change her life forever.
Eben Troyer is determined to make Joanna his bride, just as soon as his younger brother, Leroy comes to his senses and returns home to claim the farm that Eben is working so hard to keep up. Eben and Joanna's future hangs in the balance as promises that once seemed so easy to make are no longer even possible. Will Joanna ever be a bride? Or will she continue to walk up the altar as a bridesmaid?
This second installment to Lewis's Home to Hickory Hollow series is a beautiful and charming novel full of everything we love we love from this pioneer of Amish fiction. I felt as if I was reading about a place that was real, with characters as familiar as my own family. Getting to learn a little bit more of the Amish world from Lewis's eyes isn't the only reason why I would recommend this book; readers old and new will appreciate this novel for what it is. It is a breathtaking look into a place that exists only in our hearts, and will forever live on whenever a new reader is drawn into this captivating storyteller's spell.
A copy of this book was provided by Bethany House Publishers for free in exchange for an honest review.
The Bridesmaid is the second book in the Home to Hickory Hollow series. The story centers around an Amish man and woman who for different reasons are not yet married. Both approaching their mid-twenties, they are considered past their marriage prime by their families and peers. They meet after a chance encounter on a trip to the shore and develop a strong attraction to each other. However, they live in different towns and their potential marriage hinges on an unlikely scenario.
I liked how this book focuses on a different theme than many Amish fiction novels - the difficulties and stigma that "older" unmarried Amish people face. I also liked how the author had their relationship develop based on correspondence; it created a unique element to the story.
Like most Amish fiction novels, the ending was not a surprise. However, the author did a good job of inserting plot twists and turns that make you think, "Well maybe_" In general, I think Beverly Lewis does this well in all of her novels.
Hickory Hollow, the setting for the book, is a more progressive Amish community in some ways, but still very traditional in others. I found it interesting when the main character, Joanna, described what Amish amenities her community does and doesn't use, such as indoor bathrooms.
In this series, the books are not chronological, but they do take place in the same Pennsylvania town. It doesn't appear that the characters overlap either; just the town. I read this book prior to the first book in the series, and did not find myself missing parts of the plot.
Overall, this was not my favorite Beverly Lewis book, but it was an enjoyable read with a plot that kept me wanting to ready "just one more chapter" at a time.
Note: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.