Unsure of what the title The River had to do with an Amish story, my choice to read this book was easily made when I saw Beverly Lewis was the author. This story is written with twists and turns different from other Amish writings. The Point of View was about two Amish sisters who had left Eden Valley, Lancaster, Pennsylvania before their baptisms to live the fancy life in the English world. The Conestoga River plays its part as the location where little sister Anna drowned one July afternoon leaving behind broken emotions on the entire family. Tilly blamed herself that she was unable to save Anna and locked her feelings deeply within. Tilly left her plain life behind the memories of Annas drowning still raw and real. She couldnt face seeing the Conestoga every day. She moved to Rockport, Massachusetts and eventually married Kris and gave birth to twin daughters, Jenya and Tavani. Tillys younger sister Ruth left for different reasons two years after Tilly. Will Kauffman had been courting her for a couple of years and suddenly jilted her. With damaged emotions Ruth sought Tillys help to move to Massachusetts.
In 1977, eight years since Tilly had left; the Amish family was planning an anniversary celebration for their parents, Lester and Sylvia Lantz. An older brother Melvin wrote a note to Tilly about their plans. Tilly and Ruth decided to ignore the invitation and not attend until Melvin called Ruth and told her of the recent news that their father was very ill and needed a pacemaker. They reluctantly decided to go for the four day weekend. They were apprehensive about being accepted and dreading their time in Eden Valley for different reasons. For reasons unknown to Tilly, she and her father batted heads constantly and no love shown in Daeds sternness toward Tilly. Ruth did not want to see Will. Particularly because she had a new love interest in her life, Jim Montgomery who was quite active in the church she and Tilly had joined.
Ruth planned to stay in her parents home, but Tilly decided it was best to stay with her favorite Uncle Abner and Aunt Naomi. The large Lantz family spread over Eden Valley included twins Melvin and Joseph, Chester, Sam and his wife Josie who had been Tillys best friend. The reunion did not go well at first mainly for Tilly but wait there is plenty to come!! Tilly had kept Annas kapp without telling her Mamm and decided she needed to risk the telling of that secret. It seems everyone had secrets and I wondered how the web would ever be unwound. Ruth sees Will again and resists him at first, but finally joins him for a meeting at his insistence. Uh oh, would she be tempted to return to the plain life? You will need to find that out by reading the book.
Unresolved issues and relationships continue to plague all concerned. It is not as though the sisters forgot the values and good upbringing they had, they remembered and still kept a deep faith In God. Unexpected circumstances complicated life even further when Daed had an attack and needed to spend time in the hospital. The sisters found out that their parents property had been deeded to Sam and plans were to move their Mamm and Daed into the Dawdy house. They decided to stay a week longer to help. Tilly moves to her parents house and sleeps in the Annas room where nothing had been changed since her death. It was there that Tilly discovered a box which holds a long kept secret. Now I must stop, because Ill be telling you the entire story.
Let me just add that I felt much anger at the father for his treatment of Tilly. I speak from experience of a relationship close to me where the father treated his step-daughter in that manner. It is impossible to tolerate only constant prayer will help. I was also angry with Mamm for allowing it. The truth will shock you, but good things begin to happen when God takes over. Ms. Lewis has indeed written a very intriguing story and I am thankful from a personal standpoint to have read it. There were some parts of the book that I deemed unnecessary to the story. Overall it was excellent and I congratulate Beverly Lewis for still coming through with new ideas after the numerous novels she has written.
I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my honest review.
I love Beverly Lewis' books - I so enjoy reading about the Amish lifestyle. This story was different in that it starts off as a reflection in 1977 - that is a while ago. Even then, the differences between the Amish & English were great. It made me wonder how much more-so this is true now.
The River touched on family crisis/hurt and leaving the Amish ways, but not their faith in Christ. Also, the realness of daughters searching for their father's approval no matter what age you are, or the upbringing you've had. Throughout the book, you feel how hard it is to repair relationships.
One of the main reasons I've appreciated Beverly Lewis's stories is because she makes the Amish feel more real to me, without unnecessary drama or focus on the "bad". Beverly has a way of writing about the hard stuff, but keeping each individual's relationship with Christ as the focus, not their religion or the life choices they make. Usually, the story brings it back to seeing grace extended between families and friends. This story is truly timeless, all the relational issues portrayed are still the same today.
**I received a complimentary copy of this book, in exchange for my honest review.**
"The River" by Beverly Lewis follows two formerly Amish sisters living in the world as Englishcers. Tilly has a tense and difficult relationship with her father, leading to her leaving the Amish community shortly after her youngest sister, Anna, was killed in a accidental drowning. Ruthie is Tilly's younger sister, and has left the Amish community 5 years later after a difficult breakup with Will, an Amish boy without good intentions. The two sisters go back home to their parents anniversary party after years of no contact and have a reunion of sorts. Not all goes happily, but the healing begins.
If you have tired of Beverly Lewis I encourage you to go back and give this book a try. She really gets into the nitty gritty of the father-daughter relationship. She dives into the humanity of the relationship, rather than the usual "amishness" of things. Then she drops a bomb about 3/4 of the way through book. The ending will give you a tear or two. Good book. I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review from Bethany House.
Beverly Lewis's new book, The River, approaches Amish life from a different angle. As the story begins, two sisters who have left their Amish upbringing behind in order to live English lives are invited home by their brother after several years away. Their parents' anniversary is the occasion and their father's failing health is the draw they need, though both return with fear and trembling.
Tilly is happily married and raising twin daughters, but Ruth is still single. Her parents and siblings can't help but hope that her visit will draw her back to her roots. Her former beau, the reason for her departure, hopes to influence her as well. Tilly, however, is determined to protect her sister from the lifestyle they chose to leave, even from Ruth, herself, if need be.
Unusual for Beverly Lewis, this sweet book stands alone. It's a story of reconciliation, acceptance, and familial love. It's a story full of secrets kept finally revealed, so that healing can take place. It's a quick read, a little predictable, but one that leaves the reader feeling happy that all has finally ended well.
I thank Bethany House Publishers for sending me a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I recommend it to fans of Beverly Lewis and Amish fiction.
It is the fall of 1977 and Tilly finds herself contemplating going back to a place she thought she had left behind forever. Years ago she left her family's Amish farm in Eden Valley and expected to never return. But a letter from her older brother requesting that she visit has weakened that resolve.
Tilly's sister Ruth followed Tilly out of the Amish lifestyle and is settled nicely in the Englisher community near Tilly's family. She's hesitant to go back for a visit as well, but not for the same reasons. Can the two sisters go back home for a visit without tearing open old wounds?
Family ties go deep in the Amish community. Lester and Sylvia Lantz have spent their days raising a godly family that they assumed would carry on the family's Amish faith. When first Tilly and then Ruth leaves their home to seek a life outside of the community it deeply affects the entire family. Can old hurts ever be healed? Can things be brought to light that will free everyone from the burdens they have been carrying?
Beverly Lewis has once again penned a beautiful story of a broken family in need of healing. She reminds us that love does heal and forgiveness frees both parties. The story of the Lantz family in Eden Valley is fresh and new even though this author has written numerous accounts of Amish fiction. The story has a familiar setting, but the characters are unique. The situation is as old as time itself.
I think you will be blessed and uplifted by reading this account of a flawed family in need of grace. I always enjoy a journey into the world that Beverly has created for her readers.
I received a copy of this book to facilitate my review.