I received in the mail from Bethany house The Bridesmaid by Beverly Lewis. This book is book two in the Hickory Hollows Series. It is about 24 year old Joanne Kurtz who is always a bridesmaid but never a bride. Yet despite appearances she has a beau courting her from afar in Shipshewana, Indiana Named Eben Troyer. He has hopes of building a life with Joanne that fringes on his brother return from the English world. Joanne has a hidden passion for writing which is frowned upon in her religious culture. I really enjoyed this Amish tale and the much simpler times it took place maybe a little old fashioned. I loved the twists and turns of the book. I would recommend this to anyone to read
Joanne Kurtz has been a bridesmaid, but never a bride which at 24 she is almost an old maid. That got my attention and made me want to see if this would go anywhere. Joanne has a secret that could get her shunned. To know what it is you will have to read the book.
Eben Troyer is her long distance boyfriend, but might never be her husband, because of challenges in his life. He is waiting on his younger brother to return to the Amish and help his dad with the family farm. A series of twists and turns makes this seem impossible. Eben and Joanna's may never have that future together or will they?
Joanna is learning to trust God and totally lean on Him. A very familiar story of Christians today.
Eben's character could have been seen a little more to let me know about him, his life and his faith. But I still recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Amish fiction.
I received this from Bethany House in exchange for an honest review.
Beverly Lewis has been called the queen of Amish fiction and credited with giving birth to the genre. The Bridesmaid is a perfect example of how deserving she is of that title!
In the late 1990s I read my first Amish novel by Beverly; I think it was The Shunning. After this one book, also set in Hickory Hollow, I was hooked and wanted to go to Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Over a decade later -- in 2010 -- my husband and I finally got to make that trip, and now the stories come even more alive as I read them.
During those years, I have read a lot of great Amish books by a variety of authors. I couldn't begin to choose my favorite book or favorite author -- but Beverly Lewis still ranks with the best, and The Bridesmaid is an example of her high quality writing. I felt like I was in the familiar company of good friends as I followed Joanna's and Eben's story. The many uncertainties throughout the book kept me interested and wanting to keep reading to see how things would work out.
I didn't read The Fiddler, the first book in this series, before reading The Bridesmaid. Although I was able to immediately engage in the story without the benefit of book one, I definitely plan to go back and see what I missed.
I would highly recommend The Bridesmaid to anyone who enjoys great Amish fiction.
This book was provided free of charge by Bethany House in exchange for my honest review.
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.
It's time to make a trip back to Hickory Hollow! If you're a fan of Ella Mae Zook from other novels written by this author then this is another chance to visit with her! I must admit that Ella Mae is the reason I look forward to these books so much!!!
About the Story:
In this book we go back to Hickory Hollow and into the home of Joanna Kurtz. Joanna's story starts with the following phrase, "Three times a bridesmaid, never a bride." Eager to prove the old proverb wrongâ€”Joanna is thrilled when she meets Eben Troyer and excited at the prospect of finding love. Like any good love story thoughâ€”this love doesn't come without trials. Eben is from a different state and the long distance relationship starts to take a toll on the budding romance. Further, the bishop has learned of Joanna's writing fiction stories and her good standing in the church hangs in the balanceâ€”complicating any chance of a transfer of membership to another Amish church.
When I really enjoy a story I dislike revealing too much of the storyline, mostly because I want others to experience the pleasure themselves so I won't go too in depth with this review. I really loved the characters in this bookâ€”more than The Fiddler. Joanna is just such a joy and I felt like this character was given a soul with true emotions and such a depth of realism to her that I felt I was reading about a real person. The words seemed to just jump off the pages and bring her to life! I also enjoyed reading about Cora Jane. The funny thing about Cora Jane is that my daughter and I were reading through the book at the same time and she would look up from her book to say, "Can you believe that girl?" Several minutes would pass and I would look up from my book and say, "Did she really just do that?" and my daughter would reply, "Who? Cora Jane?" When you have characters you can talk about in a story it means it is well written and possesses a depth that pulls you in and immerses you in the story.
Having said thatâ€”PICK THIS BOOK UP! You won't be disappointed! If you're reading
for Ella Mae then be sure to comment below! Surely I am not the only die-hard Ella fan!
About the Author:
Beverly Marie Jones (Lewis) was born in the heart of Amish countryâ€”Lancaster, Pennsylvania. At the tender age of nine, she began writing short stories and poetry.
Beverly's first venture into adult fiction is the best-selling trilogy, The Heritage of Lancaster County, including The Shunning, a suspenseful saga of Katie Lapp, a young Amish woman drawn to the modern world by secrets from her past. The book is loosely based on the author's maternal grandmother, Ada Ranck Buchwalter, who left her Old Order Mennonite upbringing to marry a Bible College student. One Amish-country newspaper claimed Beverly's work to be "a primer on Lancaster County folklore" and offers "an insider's view of Amish life."
A member of the National League of American Pen Women, as well as a Distinguished Alumnus of Evangel University, Lewis has written over 80 books for children, youth, and adults, many of them award-winning. She and her husband, David, make their home in Colorado, where they enjoy hiking, biking, and spending time with their family. They are also avid musicians and fiction "book worms."
You can find out more about this author by visiting her website at http://www.beverlylewis.com/
I received this book free from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.