I LOVED this book. This was the first Amy Clipston book I read and I can definitely say it won't be the last.
I won't spend time telling what the book is about because that is covered in the description. I will tell you the story is so good and written so well I was pulled into it and was able to read this book in hours, not days. (In fact I had to force myself to do housework and have reading this as a reward!).
This book is not your typical Amish fiction story. Amy writes about a serious health issue and how it affected the entire family, focusing on Lydia, the main character. The story was written in a way that I forgot I was reading about fictional characters. These characters became real to me and I couldn't wait to find out what would happen.
This book made me tear up one second and smile the next. This book takes you on a roller coaster ride of emotions.
I highly recommend this book to everyone who enjoys Amish fiction. I will be telling others about it. This definitely goes on the keeper shelf!!!
I began reading Reckless Heart and immediately had a bit of a rough time identifying with it until I remembered that this isnt one of her Amish novels written for women; its written for young adults for youth for teens!
And then it clicked and everything made sense.
Teenagers dont think the way grown women do especially women my age! And Amy somehow picks up on this and this novel totally relates to a young person how they think, how they act and react.
I have to admit, I was blind-sided I didnt expect a young Amish maedel to act so reckless (duh maybe the book title should have given me a clue) but it is written tastefully and is a real eye-opener.
The story touches on how the young people can be seduced by some of the English ways, without even knowing it. It also shows how conflicted the young person can feel and how normal the household is even to the family members being tired, angry, argumentative, jealous, frustrated and afraid. Yet they have something many others dont have they have a God whom they can trust, even in the bad times.
Amy Clipston does a tremendous job of showing how Lydia, Tristan, Mahlon and Joshua deal with their teenage anxieties and feelings.
If you havent read this amazing YA novel, pick up a copy and read it. It fits perfectly between the Kauffman Amish Bakery Series books 4 (A Life of Joy) and 5 (A Season of Love) but it focuses on some of the teenagers.
Tomorrow come back for my review of the (sob) final book from the Kauffman Amish Bakery Series A Season of Love.
If youve been reading this series, dont miss this YA no, its not written the same; just think about your teenage years and youll love it, too.
Lydia is struggling. Her four-year-old sister is diagnosed with leukemia and Lydia doesn't know what to do. In a moment of weakness at a youth meeting, Lydia goes with Mahlon and his friends and drinks beer, something her parents would never forgive if they found out. When Lydia's mother has to take her sister to the hospital, Lydia must help out more at home.
When an English family moves to town, Lydia befriends their teenage son, Tristan. But the community doesn't like Lydia being friends with Tristan. It's not proper. But Lydia has no one else to talk to. She's doing her best to take care of the kids and to cook and clean and work, but she wants to be a regular teenage girl too. And she's worried that she's missing out, especially when she hears that Joshua, the boy she likes, might be talking with another girl at the youth meetings. How will Lydia ever get married if she can go to youth meetings? How will she know if she supposed to be a teacher or working her grandmother's bakery? And if she can't talk to Tristan, who can she talk to?
I enjoyed this book a lot. It showed a realistic portrayal of a teenage Amish girl. I was fascinated to see how much pressure they put on their kids and that Amish teens do experience some of the same temptations as regular teens. The segregation frustrated me, but I understand it. I realize that Lydia's parents were under a great deal of stress, but I was annoyed at how they were treating her. This was a gripping story that sucked me in until the very end. Loved it!
When Lydia Bontrager's parents discover that her 4 year old sister has a life threatening illness, the family's world is turned upside down. Lydia is suddenly thrust into the adult responsibilities of caring for her home and her siblings. The problem is that she is still a child herself. At sixteen years old, she is already working as a Teaching Assistant and at her grandmother's bakery. All Lydia wants is for her family life to get back to normal and for Joshua Glick to ask her to be his girlfriend. Feeling all the pressure coming down on her, Lydia unwisely chooses to get drunk with Mahlon and his friends. She begins lying to cover her tracks and the time she spent with Mahlon. Members of her community become concerned when she befriends new neighbors, an English teenager named Tristan, and his family.
Lydia felt that it was unfair that she had so much responsibility on her shoulders. All she wanted to do was go to singings and be with her friends, not run a household. That is exactly how any teenager would feel. Lydia was also confused about what to do with her future. Everyone else seemed to know the path she should take but her. Teenage readers could definitely relate to this as they are searching for their place in the world. Worst of all, she was unsure of her little sister's well being. Anyone who's had an ill sibling will feel for Lydia.
I really enjoy Amy Clipston as an author but this book fell a little short for me. It seemed slow moving. I know that the Amish are Pacifists but I think that Joshua should have told what he knew about Mahlon and the situation. I don't want to give anything away, but some other way should have been used to solve Lydia's problem. Everything was resolved too quickly in the end for my liking. This doesn't mean there isn't anything worthwhile in the book. As I read through the story I was reminded why it's labeled Christian fiction. Lydia and her family trusted God with her sister's life. Tristan was a terrific example of what a true Christian is. Lydia choose the harder path of telling the truth to everyone she had lied to. Lydia's grandmother reminded her several times in the story what the Bible says a Christian is to do. Reckless Heart reflects Christian values that any parent would want their child to read about.
Kauffman Amish Bakery Series:
#1 A Gift Of Grace
#2 A Promise Of Hope
#3 A Place Of Peace
#4 A Life Of Joy (read my review here)
#5 A Season Of Love
Novellas in the series:
A Plain And Simple Christmas
Naomi's Gift (read my review here)
A Kauffman Amish Christmas Collection
I received a free copy of this book from Zondervan's Z Street Team and NetGalley for my honest review.